MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
The 366th Civil Engineer Squadron Natural Resource Management Program recently gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service two, large seed drills, bolstering the agency’s efforts in the protection and restoration of local wildlife and natural habitats.
Jamieson-Lee Scott, 366th CES USFWS wildlife biologist, said the opportunity to offer the seed drills to a partner agency came about in a meeting between the two agencies.
“With no projects in the near-future planned for their use, it was decided that we would offer [the drill seeders] to one of our partnering agencies …,” Scott said. “In the last minutes of our hour-long meeting, I prompted them about possible interest in the seeders and they were quick to accept our offer.”
A seed drill is a device that sows plant seeds into the ground, and can effectively seed a large area of open space at once. For Mountain Home AFB, they are used extensively in revegetating areas on base or at the Mountain Home Range Complex to help establish native species and help protect soil from erosion.
“If there is a fire at the range, sometimes it is important to step in and establish a new seed bed to help prevent invasive species from taking over,” explained Leslie Peña, NRM Wildlife biologist. “The more native species you have the healthier the habitat is for wildlife in the area.”
Peña said working with partner agencies is one of her highest priorities as a natural resource manager.
“When we work with other agencies, it allows us to reach our goals and also helps us meet some of their goals,” she said.
Peña said while this is the first major 366th CES equipment exchange that she is aware of, NRM is always coordinating with other agencies on other projects such as seeding projects to endangered species surveys.
The physical work that went in to the seed drill transfer was completed by members of the 366th CES.
“Without their knowledge and years of experiences as crane operators, and their equipment background there is no way we could have initiated the move without their help,” Peña said. “It’s just another example of different departments working together.”