Restoring rangelands in the Danskin Mountains

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Rancher Jeff Lord looking at regrowth on rangeland in the Danskin Mountains.
(Photo provided by Steve Stuebner)

Like many ranchers, Mayfield rancher Jeff Lord watches for opportunities to improve the public range where his cattle graze.

Following the 280,000-acre Pony-Elk Complex wildfires in 2013, Lord partnered with state and federal agencies to assist with range-rehabilitation projects in the Danskin Mountains.

Wildfires can be tough on the landscape and cause economic hardship. But after the fires die out, there’s a chance to replant and start anew. That’s a big priority for the Idaho Department of Lands, the BLM and the Forest Service, too.

The agencies spent more than $6.5 million on rehab and restoration projects following the wildfires.

Timely and extensive seeding activities, combined with a string of good winters and spring rains, plus well-managed grazing, are helping rangelands in the Danskin Mountains rebound nicely, officials say.

The Lord Ranch is located just north of Mayfield, east of Boise. He runs cattle on private, state and federal range in the Danskin Mountains.

“Turned out to be a pretty good project, and everybody’s pretty happy with it,” Lord says. “I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it looks pretty damn good. Pretty significant improvement.”

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