(BONNERS FERRY) — About 300 acres of prime forest and wildlife habitat at the foot of Hall Mountain near Bonners Ferry in northern Idaho was conserved recently by The Nature Conservancy and the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL).
The Hall Creek Forest property, purchased by the Conservancy in 2012, has an abundance of large ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, hardwoods, and includes an extensive forested wetland. Recent efforts by IDL and the Conservancy placed the property under conservation easement, which will allow timber harvest and ensure the lands remain intact for wildlife, while also remaining in private ownership.
“By keeping the forest in private ownership, this Forest Legacy conservation easement supports the local timber industry by keeping working forests working and perpetuates IDL’s mission to use, protect and sustain our natural resources for the benefit of all Idahoans,” IDL Forest Legacy Program Coordinator Karen Sjoquist said.
“The Forest Legacy Program is about conserving forests for future generations, encouraging sustainable forest management and providing for wildlife habitat and clean water,” Janet Valle with the U.S. Forest Service said. “What a wonderful legacy to leave to families that live and work in northern Idaho.”
The property provides excellent habitat for wildlife such as moose, elk and deer, as well as black bears and grizzly bears. Trail cameras placed on the property have captured images of frequent use by wildlife.
“Ensuring our forests are healthy and productive is good for the economy, clean water, local communities and wildlife,” Kennon McClintock, northern Idaho field representative for the Conservancy, said.
The Idaho Department of Lands administers Idaho’s Forest Legacy Program. To date, the program has successfully conserved nearly 91,000 acres of privately owned working forestland. In addition, IDL manages more than 2.4 million acres of Idaho endowment lands, for the benefit of endowments, primarily public schools. More information is available at https://www.idl.idaho.gov.
The U.S. Forest Service administers Forest Legacy at the national level and provides grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to states to protect environmentally and economically important forests. More information is available at http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/.