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How some groups are using indigenous science to restore ecosystems

Unfragmented landscapes are important to greater sage-grouse and other wildlife of the sagebrush ecosystem.
Dave Kimble/USFWS Mountain-Prairie

In 2015, the Soda Fire burned 280,000 acres of mostly sage grouse habitat in southwest Idaho.

Immediately after the wildfire was out, officials went to work trying to restore the landscape using thousands of pounds of seeds, herbicides and millions of dollars to keep out invasive plants and provide food and shelter to sage grouses, pygmy rabbits, golden eagles and the other animals that live there.

But many scientists are finding that some landscapes can come back on their own or with much less invasive help from people, and there are more and more examples of this kind of restoration popping up around the West.

Journalist Josephine Woolington did some digging into the idea of native restoration. She wrote the March feature story for High Country News about native plant species and restoring landscapes, and she joined Idaho Matters to talk more.

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As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.