President Reagan has approved an appropriations bill containing $250,000 for research in Idaho and Utah into development of fire-resistant plants.

"Wildfires destroy more than 240,000 acres of rangeland in southern Idaho each year," said Sen. James McClure, who announced the appropriation Tuesday. "I trust that our researchers will develop a plant that serves as both food for livestock and as fireproof ground cover."The $250,000 will fund research at University of Idaho's College of Forestry, and the Forest Service's Intermountain Research Service at Provo, Utah.

BLM and Forest Service managers plan to use fire-resistant forage to greenstrip rangeland and to replace plants destroyed by fire. Greenstripping involves planting strips of shrubs or grass to slow wildfires.