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wood river land trust

wood river land trust

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Cinnamon Teal at wetlands Photo by Larry Barnes

Unique Wetlands Protected in the Camas Prairie

Go to our website for more news and other customized features: www.woodriverlandtrust.org

generous donation of a conservation easement to the Wood River Land Trust was made in December, 2010, by Dr. Ralph Campanale protecting 1620 acres encompassing mile of Camas Creek. The property is east of Fairfield in the Camas Prairie and also contains Kelly Reservoir, which provides over 150 acres of wetland habitat for waterfowl. Dr. Campanales property is in the vicinity of other public lands, several voluntary conservation agreements, and Idaho Department of Fish and Games Centennial Marsh Wildlife Management Area. Dr. Campanale approached Wood River Land Trust two years ago to explore ways of permanently protecting his property. He said, There are two reasons why I originally purchased the property: To preserve it from development by keeping it under single ownership, and to develop a relationship with this incredible piece of land as payback for all my years of outdoor recreation and enjoyment in nature. Dr. Campanales property provides essential habitat to numerous species of waterfowl, migratory birds, sage grouse, and pronghorn. Continued on page 7

Spring 2011

Protecting the heart of the valley...now and for the future.

who we are
Scott Boettger, Executive Director

Meet Our Board


Rebecca Patton

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Scott Boettger, his son Gunner, and his father Doug Boettger

any of you know that my father lost his three-year battle with cancer late this fall, although he would never have called it a battle. He loved life more than anyone I ever knew; he cherished every moment and never complained when things didnt go as planned. I see his enthusiasm live on in my children. He was one of the Land Trusts earliest and biggest fans. When I moved here to take the job of Executive Director in 1997, he was my first visitor that snowy March. We fished every moment we could, from postholing to the Big Wood at Sheeps Bridge, to Sunnyside Campground below Redfish Lake in search of steelhead, and to Bear Tracks Williams in the desert above Richfield. What I remember most from his trip then was the joy on his face when I picked him up at the end of the day from Hulen Meadows. What struck us both, being from the crowded east, was that some of the best fishing we had had was to be found right in town. My family had deep roots and a strong connection to Pennsylvania, that part of the country where I grew up, and my grandmother (Dads mom) never understood why I left. But I saw this beloved landscape eaten up by suburban sprawl, and my father would often say that Idaho recalled for him the Pennsylvania of his youth. I like to think we all share that kind of appreciation of the land, and that may be why the Land Trust has such support in our efforts to protect what is best about our valley. We cannot turn the clock back on what has been lost in many parts of this country, but we can make a difference here. We need to do more than just look back and remember when. Now is the time to protect those places that bring joy to each of us and will bring joy to our childrens children. My fathers last wish was that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name for our Croy Creek Wetlands Boardwalk. I look forward to seeing the Boardwalk completed this summer, not just to honor my father, but to honor what he loved about the Land Trust and our efforts to protect and share the wonders of the natural world. m

ebecca and her husband, Tom Goodrich, first visited the Sawtooth Valley in the late 1980s. Avid hikers, they fell in love with the rugged and Newest Board Member, Rebecca pristine landscape. Patton and husband Tom Goodrich When they returned in the early 1990s, they came to the Wood River Valley. Although most of their hiking experience had been in the Sierras and the Alps, they were drawn to the beauty of the sagebrush steppe ecology and the Big Wood River. They kept coming back to experience the unique character of each season. It was during a rainy June vacation that they found themselves looking at real estate rather than hiking, and ended up purchasing a home seven years ago in Greenhorn Gulch. They are still working on spending more time here across the seasons. As she learned more about the Land Trust, Rebecca was impressed with our commitment to preserve the unique combination of open space, agriculture, scenic vistas, and water resources that makes the valley so special. As she notes, The Land Trust has played and will continue to play a vital role in helping to preserve the character of this valley, given its focus on working with private landowners and its broad-based local support. Elected to the Land Trust Board of Directors in September, 2010, Rebecca says she is pleased to have the opportunity to join the Board. Having spent 20 years in the private sector with Silicon Valley companies and eight years as an executive for The Nature Conservancy, she hopes to bring the benefit of her skills and experience to the Land Trust as it seeks to expand its scope in the valley and surrounding areas. The next several years, she believes, will present unique opportunities for conservation and, she says, I feel fortunate to be a part of defining this future. m

Land Trust Gains National Recognition


n December, 2010, after an intensive year-long project involving Land Trust staff and Board members, the Wood River Land Trust was awarded accredited status from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever, said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. We proudly display the accreditation seal, said Scott Boettger, Executive Director. Having achieved accredited status demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation. Accredited land trusts display a seal indicating that they meet national standards for excellence. The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation group based in Washington, D.C. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commissions website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org, and information on the Alliance is available at www.landtrustalliance.org. m

CLARk GERhARDT EARNS FOUNDERS AWARD


Clark after climbing 18,800-foot Saqsha in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

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CLINTS LEGACy
ast October, the Wood River Land Trust lost a good, longtime friend with the death of state Senator Clint Stennett. As an Idaho farm boy, he knew his Idaho well and had a great love for all its diverse landscapes. In 2000, Clint and his wife Michelle donated a small parcel of land along the Big Lost River near Mackay to the Land Trust to facilitate its transfer to Idaho Fish and Game, which occurred two years later. Stennett Public Access, as the gifted land is called, creates an access point to the Big Lost specifically for recreational and fishing use. Clint was a true sportsman and conservationist. His gift of land on the Big Lost River, protected in perpetuity, is another gem in his bright legacy. m

he longest serving member of the Wood River Land Trust Board of Directors, Clark Gerhardt stepped down in July, 2010. To honor his service and extraordinary efforts on behalf of the Land Trust, his nomination was unanimously approved for the 2010 Founders Award at the January meeting of the Board. The Founders Award is earned by individuals who have advanced the mission of the Land Trust and demonstrated a longterm commitment to preserving and protecting open space. Clark began his tenure in 1999 and held the office of President in 2006 and 2007, and was long-time chair of the fundraising committee. His forte was attracting new board members with the skills, experience, and professionalism to benefit the Land Trust. He brought a more vibrant approach to fundraising, and the donor appreciation party he initiated has become an anticipated annual event. With his help, the organization developed its focus on the big picture. As he noted in his resignation letter, WRLT is in excellent shape with the best non-profit Board in the valley, a balance sheet that is financially very sound, and an image in the valley that is second to none. I will continue to support WRLT as a donor and enthusiast and, of course, wish you all good luck in meeting your goals. Aim high, onward, and upward! An avid mountain climber, Clark joined the Board of the American Alpine Club in early 2011. m

what we do

Dennis Higman and his beautiful paint horse, Keith Richards

Coyote hill: Living a Western Dream


Grasses began to grow again in the sagebrush on the steep hillsides. Along the creek, aspens and willows grew, not only providing shade for the tiny trout that had survived, but attracting beaver as well, one of Gods most accomplished engineers. Soon our little stream filled behind the beaver dams which filtered the water, held off spring runoff, and maintained even flows in the fall. The surface water table came up and the surrounding pastures turned green.

In 1998, Dennis and Lee Higman worked with the Wood River Land Trust to place a conservation easement on their land along Twin Bridges Creek. Their story:

e were city people when we bought our 80 acres in the high mountain desert 14 years ago and built a home there. Attracted by the beauty, spectacular mountain views, privacy, wildlife, and the creek that ran through the property, we knew nothing about water tables, erosion, native ground cover, or what a healthy stream should look like. All we saw initially was a living-in-the-oldWest dream come true where we could ride, hike, or ski out our back door, and sit on the porch at night with a glass of wine and see nothing but stars and listen to the silence. In fact, as we soon learned, the property itself was in bad shape and the creek, in the words of an expert we hired to survey it, was an ecological disaster. Over-grazed for decades by cattle, what should have been pastureland was now rock hard dirt bereft of grass by late summer, and the eroded creek, supporting no discernible life, was a muddy trickle by fall. While the tax advantages of putting our land into a conservation easement with the Wood River Land Trust were attractive, and the idea of keeping it intact and undeveloped in perpetuity was a great idea, the real benefit over the years was learning firsthand about the amazing power of nature to heal itself. We began this process by fencing out cattle, slowing the creek with rock and woody debris, eliminating noxious weeds, and rotating our horses around the property. Then, we watched and learned about what good things can happen when you simply leave the land alone.

The effect of placing the easement on the land has enriched our lives immeasurably.
With reestablished ground cover and improved stream flow, ducks, red-winged black birds and songbirds began to appear along the banks. To the delight of our fly-fishing grandchildren, trout wintered over and grew to pan size. In the uplands, sightings of grouse became a daily event on our horseback rides; we saw an increasing number of elk, antelope, moose, deer, rabbits, ground squirrels and our personal favorite, the tiny least chipmunk. To keep the numbers of these animals in check, predators arrived otter, skunks, golden eagles, falcons, hawks, cougar, coyotes and wolves. Continued on page 6

takes a stroll on the Boardwalk

A young moose

who have donated to this exciting project!

We thank all of you

party in October gathered a crowd

The Boardwalk Aglow

Croy Creek Wetlands Boardwalk On Track

he completion date for construction of the Boardwalk is this summer. Winter halted our efforts in 2010, but our contractor, K&M Construction, has all the necessary building materials and is ready to go. What a great community benefit this will be! In October, we held a half-way-there celebration on the Boardwalk, with a bonfire, music, and refreshments. Other plans: At the naturally landscaped entrance, we are planning a log welcome center that will display a donor board and interpretive signage. Smaller signage will be installed along the Boardwalk to describe the wetlands, birds, and other animals seen in the area. Fun amenities are on our wish list, like telescopic binoculars for bird watching. m

you Can help!

Donations for the Boardwalk are still needed: $25 for an inch a $300 for a foot a $1000 for a yard. We are close to our goal but you can help us reach the finish. Please mail a donation or go online at www.woodriverlandtrust.org.
more online!

See

Share the Spirit with

Terry Ring, the owner of Silver Creek Outfitters, again donated a percentage of sales to support the work of Wood River Land Trust during Share the Spirit weekend December 10 - 12. Homemade winter soups and wine were served during the festive Friday reception. Over $5,900 was raised to support our land conservation efforts. We are deeply grateful for Terrys generosity and continued support, and a big thank you goes to the helpful Silver Creek staff.

Coyote hill: Living a Western Dream, continued


from page 4
Each spring a cow moose gives birth in our lower pasture, and each fall we watch for the great blue heron that appears year after year to fish in the lower creek. We listen for the cry of the cougar and the call of the solitary buck antelope. We keep our eyes peeled for the wolverine we were privileged to see one time, and one time only. Occasionally we see the track of a solitary wolf and pray he will survive. All these wonderful things are the unexpected and surprising consequences of the simple act of putting our property in a conservation easement with the Land Trust. The easement agreement requires us to do certain things and abide by certain guidelines, but in the process of becoming good stewards of Coyote Hill, the effect of placing the easement on the land has enriched our lives immeasurably. m

hulen Meadows River Restoration Update

n 2008, the Bureau of Land Management offered the Wood River Land Trust and the City of Ketchum the opportunity to apply for a Recreation and Public Purposes lease on public land along the Big Wood River north of Ketchum. We expect the lease will be finalized and issued to the City of Ketchum late this year. In cooperation with the Land Trust, Ketchum will manage 205 acres of land along the river encompassing Sun Peak to the Hulen Meadows river access area. The Land Trusts goals are to improve riparian and fish habitat along this stretch of the river, and restore the flood control functions of the floodplain and sediment catchment pond. We have completed hydrologic surveys and geomorphic mapping of the site, thanks to funds provided by private donors. Our next step is to participate in Ketchums master planning for the site and evaluate all potential recreational enhancements to ensure there is no impact on the fishery and wildlife. This year, we will start our planning and engineering in preparation for on-the-ground restoration work to begin in 2012. m

Building Material Thrift Store

A Note from Bruce Tidwell, Owner/Manager

received a call recently from a longtime friend in Ketchum who told me he had just sold his house of 35 years to someone who bought it for the lot and planned to demolish the house. He told me, I hadnt even considered that I was living in a teardown. His biggest concern was seeing his familys home knocked down and hauled away to the landfill. Unfortunately, due to a narrow driveway and extensive landscaping, the house could not be picked up and moved to a new site. However, the buyers Realtor had explained to his client the value, such as the tax benefit, of recycling the unwanted home. My friend wanted to make sure the Building Material Thrift Store had as much time as needed to carefully salvage all the usable material such as appliances, granite countertops, and even a custom spiral staircase. The general contractor called to say he would make sure we would have time to complete our work. Thanks to my friends concern and persistence, a significant amount of material from his former house will be used again. Visit www.buildingmaterialthriftstore.org m BMTS recycles building materials, larger household items, furniture, appliances and even homes through deconstruction or relocation. The Building Material Thrift Store, 3930 S. Woodside Blvd. in Hailey, has an ever-changing inventory. Proceeds from sales help fund the work of the Wood River Land Trust.

connections
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7th Annual heart of the Valley Photo Winners
he awards reception was held on Friday, Feb. 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at See more Tullys in ketchum. To view the top-place online! finishers in the photo and writing categories, go to our website, www.woodriverlandtrust.org. Thanks to all who entered!
1st Place Adult: Moon Over Della, Doug Brown
I moved here over 30 years ago. I skied every day and worked the swing shift at the Scott Ski Boot plant. One night I saw something amazing as I walked out the factory door at 2 a.m.. There were the snow covered slopes of our mountains, gleaming like liquid silver, bathed bright in the light of the full moon.

Unique Wetlands Protected in the Camas Prairie, continued from cover


Land Trust Stewardship Coordinator Keri York noted, This conservation agreement is significant because it protects agricultural lands, open space, and large expanses of sagebrush and wetland habitat. There are few protected wetlands comparable in size to Kelly Reservoir within the Camas Prairie other than Centennial Marsh, and we are very excited to have worked with Dr. Campanale to achieve his conservation goals. Maintaining large tracts of sagebrush-steppe habitat is important for migration of large game animals and nesting sage grouse. In addition, the conservation easement protects 300 acres of working agricultural land from development. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and the Land Trust. This agreement defines a propertys uses to protect its conservation values, such as wildlife habitat, native plants, or productive agriculture, and some of the rights associated with owning the land are forfeited in order to protect those values. The easement agreement is binding in perpetuity. m

1st Place Student: Red Fox in Spring, Brooke Beckwith


I was at my brothers spring baseball game when my dad let me lay hands on his good camera for the first time. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a red fox dashing over a hill. I followed it silently. The fox was not scared of me and made me feel like I was a part of nature. Just then, I realized how lucky I was to live here.

wood river land trust


Protecting the Heart of the Valley
Board of Directors
Jack kueneman, President Trent Jones, Vice President John French, Treasurer Robin Garwood, Secretary David Anderson Ed Cutter John Flattery heather king Jane Mason Liz Mitchell Rebecca Patton Wolf Riehle John Fell Stevenson Megan Stevenson Steve Strandberg Joan Swift Barbara Thrasher

Now and for the Future


Advisory Committee
Fred Brossy Ranney Draper Larry Schoen John Seiller Tom Swift Bruce Tidwell Liz Warrick This newsletter is published by:

Staff

Scott Boettger
Executive Director

Melanie Dahl
Executive Assistant

Protecting this land is payback for all my years of enjoyment in nature. Ralph Campanale

Erika Phillips

Senior Project Coordinator

Trey Spaulding
Director of Operations

Natalie Spencer Ashley Wells

Director of Development Development Assistant

Wood River Land Trust


119 East Bullion Street hailey, Idaho 83333 208.788.3947 (telephone) 208.788.5991 (fax) info@woodriverlandtrust.org www.woodriverlandtrust.org Tax ID# 82-0474191

keri york

Stewardship Coordinator

wood river land trust

spring 2011
Unique Wetlands Protected in the Camas Prairie, cover and 7 A Note From Scott Boettger, Executive Director, page 2 Wood River Land Trust Gains National Recognition, page 3 Coyote Hill Living a Western Dream, page 4 and 6 Croy Creek Wetlands Boardwalk on Track, page 5 7th Annual Heart of the Valley Photo Winners, page 7
more online!

Acres permanently protected with your support: 13,549

See

Croy Creek Wetlands Boardwalk Fall sunset, 2010

Wood River Land Trust protects and restores land, water, and wildlife habitat in the Wood River Valley and its surrounding areas. We work cooperatively with private landowners and local communities to ensure these areas are protected now and for future generations.

wood river land trust


Protecting the Heart of the Valley Now and for the Future

119 East Bullion Street Hailey, Idaho 83333 www.woodriverlandtrust.org


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