Utah was hit hard by wildfires this year, leaving hundreds of thousands of acres of vegetation destroyed. Wednesday, the Division of Wildlife Resources began planting wildland seeds in an effort to restore that vegetation. Alison Whittaker, Project Leader for the Great Basin Research Center, says this fire season was four times worse than usual, adding they’ve hired extra crews to spread the seeds.
“Especially for the large fires, we have airplanes that spread the seed out onto the land. They are loading about 1,200 pounds into an airplane and then fly over those areas. That’s the way we get a majority of these large fires seeded,” she says.
The Division has collected 2 million pounds of seed to help restore the land and wildlife habitats. Crews will be flying over the Wood Hollow Fire site in Sanpete County, the Baboon Fire site in Southern Utah, and the Dump Fire site in Saratoga Springs. Whittaker says the re-seeding is crucial for emergency land stabilization.
“We’ve heard about a lot of the mudslides and things that have been happening out in Saratoga Springs and also in Sanpete County because there is no vegetation on the land to hold the soil there and also to capture the rain as it comes down, you have a lot of mudslides, so it’s important to get vegetation back on the ground as quickly as we can,” she says.
The seeds are centrally located at a warehouse in Ephraim. Crews will work through November to ensure they are properly mixed and distributed.