On May 20th, volunteers from Idaho Chapter BHA and Idaho Trails Association (ITA) worked together to rehabilitate a spring on BLM-managed public lands in the Owyhee Mountains. The spring near the Mud Flat Road was illegally excavated in 2021 and BLM requested help in late 2022 to return the site to its natural contour and flow. Although the work was delayed in 2022 due to weather and hard ground conditions, the Idaho Chapter members and ITA were able to organize a group of volunteers this spring. Even thought all work needed to be done with shovels and Pulaskis, the volunteers did an amazing job getting the work done in about 5 hours. The BLM will be creating a barrier to protect the spring from livestock use by falling junipers around the spring area. It will likely take a few years for the spring to return to its normal vegetative cover and flow. Springs are a vital connection between ground and surface water in shrub-steppe habitats and are essential for wildlife for ungulates like deer and elk and birds.
Site before restoration efforts:
Site after restoration efforts: