Chief Eagle Eye Reserve site (left) and new plants in plant protectors at the revegetation project dedication event on Thursday, April 22.
By LORI ANN EDMO
BOISE — A revegetation project was dedicated at the Chief Eagle Eye Reserve in Boise April 22 that Fort Hall Business Council secretary Ladd Edmo attended, along with Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Council members.
Major General Michael Garshak, Adjutant General for the Idaho National Guard and City of Boise Mayor Lauren McClean were also in attendance.
Chief Eagle Eye Reserve is a 49-acre site on the east end of Boise that lies below Eagle Rock – a traditional area of the original Boise Valley People. The city of Boise and the Idaho National Guard partnered with original Boise Valley People to plant forbs and other grasses in the area.
Mayor McClean said, “Today with the people of the Boise Valley we planted pollinator plants in the Chief Eagle Eye Reserve — a project partly for Earth Day but it lasts well beyond Earth Day to restore the reserve with native plants. At the same time for the city of Boise she announced a 30 x 30 initiative where, “We’ve committed to protect and restore 30 percent of the natural land and water by 2030 here in Boise.” It involves planting trees, taking park lands and making them native spaces, setting aside open spaces, cleaning up river habitat and engaging the people in the community and the region and hopefully the people of the Boise Valley “in this really important undertaking to protect these special places for generations to come,” McClean said.
Major General Garshak said the Guard exists to protect what’s important to the citizens of the country and the citizens of the state of Idaho, “Right up near the top is the preservation of the environment as well as the preservation of the cultural history of our Native Americans.” He said anytime they get a chance to support those interests we consider it a great opportunity. “One of my duties as the Adjutant General is to consult with the tribal councils of the tribes of the state. My predecessor Major General Sayler and our cultural history guy Jake Fruhlinger — they came up with the idea of supporting the Return of the Boise Valley People event — that of fulfilling our duties and responsibilities to consult and interact with the tribes of Idaho. “It’s been a great experience,” Garshak continued. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Idaho National Guard Conservation Branch Manager Charlie Baun said he, along with Sara Arkle from the City of Boise designed the project. Last fall, 3,000 bitterbrush and sagebrush was planted and it’s tied into the pollinator project. He said it’s a cooperative project between the Guard, the City of Boise and the tribes. “This site is actually perfect for it because we have the tribal component with the park and the history with it. The foothills have burned multiple times so we’re trying to reestablish structural and functional components it just worked out really well,” Baun said.
Charlie Baun with plant.
He showed a forb to be planted noting pollinators are a huge push right now to reestablish a pollinator habitat, “So we can basically can have a lot of the insects that pollinate all the native plants out here so we can have sufficient habitat or they are going to disappear.”
FHBC secretary Edmo said it was a good day and “good to be here today.” “We are here to dedicate some native plants to be planed back into Boise Valley lands – used to be all tribes homeland our ancestors left here for us.” He said Idaho National Guard officials and the Mayor of Boise talked about how important it is to recognize our Indian tribes, our heritage and talk about conservation efforts of water and the soil.
FHBC member Ladd Edmo at the Chief Eagle Eye Reserve.