City Government

Cheatgrass And Growth Are Hot Topic

Range managers and scientists from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management are meeting in Boise this week to figure out a way to reduce the invasive cheatgrass species found throughout the southwest Idaho desert, according to a DAILY PAPER report.

If they find a solution it could save Ada taxpayers some money. Last summer in just one afternoon the BLM dumped nearly $80,000 into a single fire of about 100 acres off South Cole named the “Peregrine Fire.”

While little of the land was actually government owned, the BLM crews responded with aerial retardant bombers, bulldozers, fire engines, and ground crews from as far away as Vale, Oregon.

And herein lies another aspect of growth, taxes, interagency cooperation, and how to spend public money.

BLM crews are not trained or equipped to fight “structure fires” but as more and more development invades rural areas–just like the cheatgrass invades it–the cost to local property owners (taxpayers) tends to skyrocket.

Not only did the BLM dump $80,000 on the Peregrine Fire, the Boise City fire department dispatched close to one-third of its resources to protect a handful of upscale homes built in the Whitney fire district which is now protected by Boise FD under a contract agreement. Units from other departments in the county also responded.

THE GUARDIAN noted at the time, firefighters all worked together and did a great job extinguishing the “human-caused” blaze. But the fact remains lives were put at risk and public money was expended because GROWTH trumped common sense.

When the next housing bubble is formed, politicos should not allow development to leapfrog beyond incorporated areas.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Rod in SE Boise
    Jan 31, 2011, 5:38 pm

    …and the next housing bubble should start to form about 2060 or thereabouts. We need to leave a time capsule for whatever passes for local politicians then, warning them about growth.

  2. Wilford Brimley
    Feb 1, 2011, 4:03 pm

    Nice piece,I agree with the message. Smart growth principals can and do save the tax payers money.

  3. Dave, you’re talking about a living and a way of life for the fire departments. How do you plan to employ them if it stops burning?

  4. Heres a thought…Anything the Emergency Services you complain about!!!How bout some solutions editor? and no Volunteer idea’s because of social change and the need for people to work that cannot for a area the size of boise. What if one of thous houses was yours?

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