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A Look At New Boise State Research On Cheatgrass And Its Effects On Wildfire Patterns

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Bureau of Land Management
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In this 2015 photo provided by the Bureau of Land Management, a helicopter carries seeds to be dispersed over a burned area of the Soda Fire in southwest Idaho to help stabilize soils and combat invasive weeds such as cheatgrass.

 

COVID-19 is taking most of our attention now, but in the midst of it all, another crisis is on the horizon: it’s almost wildfire season in Idaho. 

Cheatgrass is a pesky invasive weed that thrives in the soil after a wildfire. It’s also extremely flammable, causing a dangerous cycle. Cheatgrass has been studied here and there across the country, but it wasn’t until a recent Boise State University research project compiled all the data that scientists really started to understand the impact of cheatgrass on wildfire patterns. 

 

Matt Williamson is an assistant professor of Human Environmental Systems at Boise State and was a key part of this project. He joins Idaho Matters today to talk about what we can learn from this new data.

 

As COVID-19 cases spread through the U.S. and Idaho, we’re committed to keeping you updated and informed. You can get updated info on cases, closures and how to stay healthy at any time on our Coronavirus news blog.

 

Idaho Matters is working on a story about how families are dealing with school closures during the coronavirus outbreak. Parents: What do your days look like now? Are you creating structure, or are you letting your kids have an extended spring break? Kids: What do you like about being at home, and what do you miss about school and being with your friends? Using your smartphone, please send us a voice memo with your family. Tell us about your daily routine, or about what your’e doing to stay distracted or learning. Send the voice memo to idahomatters@boisestate.edu. We might use your message in an upcoming show.

 

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters

 

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Molly Wampler is a newsroom intern at Boise State Public Radio. Originally from Berkeley, California, she just graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Washington state. There, Molly worked for her university's newspaper but is stoked to try her hand at and learn all there is to learn about radio journalism.