Idaho native plant forces BLM closure for off-road riders near Payette

Packard’s milkvetch might not have the sex appeal of the Selkirk Mountain woodland caribou.

But the purple-flowered plant is found only in a 10-square-mile area between Big Willow Creek to the south and Little Willow Creek to the north. Biologists have found about 5,000 plants around light-colored sedimentary outcroppings, with distinctive but not yet well understood soil characteristics.

What they suspect is that the soil prevents competition for the milkvetch from invasive species.

But what does threaten the plant — a candidate species for the endangered species list — is off-road use.

That prompted the Bureau of Land Management to temporarily close off 7,400 acres of public land in Payette County in 2011. Now the BLM is getting around to holding scoping meetings to ask the public for its ideas about protecting the plant and managing off-road use in the area.

Open-house-style hearings are scheduled 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 23 at McCain Middle School in Payette; and May 24 at Emmett Middle School in Emmett.

The BLM is preparing an environmental assessment. The plant grows in 26 known sites, 17 of which are on public lands.

It’s a typical but straightforward issue. If the BLM can’t find a way to protect the plants from off-road riders running over the plants or causing soil damage, the US Fish and Wildlife Service may be forced to list the plant threatened or endangered, which could entails even more restrictions.

Semantics- the plants are just being plants.

It's unfortunate how headlines in this type of article (including this one) often make the plant the subject, and make it seem like the plants are taking action against others.

A more accurate phrasing would be to make ORVs the subject, and explain that they are causing harm to the plants. The plants have taken no action. They are doing what they have done for millions of years- trying to grow.

Rocky, respectfully, please consider rephrasing to emphasize that the ORVs are threatening the plants, not the other way around.

baby steps

Uncle Bob, you are asking for an awful lot from the Rock. He is challenged with commas. You are talking Greek to him about subjects and grammar.

It wasn't marijuana???

No problem! In 2 months brushfires will kill all that and you can't try fire, only KILL IT.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Don't be such a pig about ORVs.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Endangered- not so much.

The woodland caribou (R. t caribou) is restricted to North America (Fig. 1), and is further broken down into 2 “ecotypes”: mountain and northern .
Ecotypic differentiation is based on habitat use and behavior patterns and is not a genetic consideration.

Because the animals concerned are of the same subspecies, genetics is not an issue. The mountain ecotype of woodland caribou is found in eastern British Columbia (B.C.) and western Alberta south of Prince George, B.C. The Selkirk Mountains caribou ecosystem is within the range of the mountain ecotype.

Too many FEDS

So we've got a handful of federal employee study the bageezious out of the Packard there is a quality use of federal tax dollars. And the answer to their valuable research lets build a bubble over the 10 sq. mile area where they found the plant. We better not let to foothills goats near probably tastes like chicken.

Enjoy the Ride...there is no return ticket.

Fence around the plants

Put a fence around the plants where they are found and open the other 99.99% of Big Willow to the public, whose land it belongs to. Problem solved with 100% common sense, Thank you.
Oh, that's right, we're dealing with the pro-agenda 21 feds......nevermind.

Rocky - one word.....



What exactly does this plant do for us? Are the plants on the trails? You said it is in rocky outcroppings...not the best place to ride..
Just more BS from the groups that bring you the spotted owl, lynx, etc... all phony studies..

What do you do for the plants?

Doesn't sound like much.

If it were marijuana there would be a lot of vehicles there.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Exactly Right

You got it right Coobeed. But a simple solution won't fulfill their ultimate goals.

The ESA is a funny deal.

It did nothing to directly stop the harvesting of 500-1,000 year old trees; which are arguably irreplaceable. Not until the spotted owl was listed could some groves of these trees be protected for future generations to enjoy.

Big fat hairy deal!

Now the trees are there and other owls, predators are naturally taking over their habitats. Are you gonna shoot their natural rivals?


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.