Students come together to restore Boise’s beloved viewpoint

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Table Rock is one of Boise’s most treasured landmarks. Students spend countless hours hiking, climbing and taking advantage of all the activities it has to offer. Once at the top of the trail system, students can enjoy taking in the view of the city of Boise.

In 2016, Table Rock and surrounding areas suffered from a fire that consumed over 2,500 acres. Sparked by an illegal firework, this tragedy affected Boiseans and students alike. Since then, wildlife and environmental conservation centers have teamed together to conserve the land in an attempt to bring it back to life.

This Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is hosting an event for the students and community to restore Table Rock.

Anne Halford, BLM Idaho State Botanist, explains how this is a great way to not only connect the community, but also foster learning on environmental issues.

“This event helps connect the community to the Boise foothills ecosystem in a direct way by rehabilitating the native plant community affected by the Table Rock Fire,” Halford said. “For students, this event reinforces how simple, but sustained acts of conservation will make a difference both for the local community who enjoy the foothills as well as for the ecosystem that sustains wildlife, rare plant species and numerous other foothill denizens.”

Martha Brabec, Foothills Restoration Specialist from the Department of Parks and Recreation, said, “Table Rock represents a nexus of all good things that are Boise; recreation, science, history and culture. While the fire was devastating to the ecosystem and that wildlife that utilizes it, it provided a unique opportunity for the community to pull together to restore and rehabilitate the burned landscape so that invasive species do not take over.”

Sharla Arledge, Public Information Officer from the Idaho Department of Lands, believes it is important to preserve the land for the future.

“Restoration is important to minimize invasive species, such as cheatgrass, which increase the risk of fire during hot, dry seasons,” Arledge said. “Planting native grasses and forbs will reduce the invasive species while restoring wildlife habitat.”

Katie Gibble earned her masters in geosciences and spent time studying post-fire erosion and wildfire policy in the Boise Foothills. She thinks this event provides an excellent opportunity for volunteers to have a hand in restoration efforts that positively impact their own “backyard.”

“Because this restoration effort is taking place close to home, I think residents will feel more of a sense of ownership for the restoration taking place,” Gibble said. “This will hopefully translate to more community members staying on the trails and not disturbing the landscape in its early stages of recovery from the 2016 Table Rock Fire.”

Join the Bureau of Land Management this Saturday to plant and restore for future generations to come. Tools, plants and equipment are provided courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management and they advise bringing plenty of layered clothing for fall weather. For more information or to RSVP for this event, visit their Facebook page: “Table Rock Restoration: The Biggest Planting Day Ever.”

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