Just south of Boise is the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), most being comprised of public lands that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Idaho Army National Guard. Many locals utilize this area for recreational purposes, most commonly for recreational target shooting. With such close proximity to the city of Boise and the network of roads that scatter the landscape, many of these areas are heavily used and degraded by the public land users, potentially creating conflict with land managers as to whether these areas should still be accessible. While scouting field sites for a graduate project, BHA member and Vice President of the collegiate club, Sabrina Schuler, noticed many abused areas in need of dire care. Members of Boise State University (BSU) BHA Collegiate Club took the initiative to collaborate with land managers to clean-up an area in distress.
On Sunday, October 20, a total of 15 people from BHA BSU Collegiate Club, Idaho BHA, and volunteers cooperated to pack out ~12 full bags of trash in a matter of 2.5 hours; however, there are still many more areas that are affected with litter and can always use TLC. Responsible public land users cleaning up places will hopefully encourage other recreational users to pack out their trash and maintain the areas that they love to use. It is important to demonstrate ethical clean-up practices so that our public lands can remain healthy and accessible, so always take the time to pack out trash that you see!
Along those lines, it is important to remind hunters, anglers, and all public land goers alike that we need to use the land responsibly and be accountable for ourselves, including the litter that we create. There have been instances where public land was temporarily inaccessible to the public due to the lack of compassion toward the environment. Within this location, the sagebrush steppe is a particularly sensitive ecosystem that is heavily impacted by increasing intensity and frequency of wildfires, invasion of non-native species, and constant human development pressures. With that in mind, it is essential that we leave as little impact on these delicate ecosystems for the sake of healthy wildlands, and to further support our right to access these public lands! We want to thank everyone for coming out again to support this effort, and hopefully initiate another clean-up event soon.