In 1996, when Executive Director Scott Boettger arrived in the Wood River Valley after leaving Pennsylvania, the first thing he saw was a large “For Sale” sign on Gateway Ranch, touting the land as a future development site. He remembers the feeling of sadness coming over him as he imagined homes built on the land, forever changing the welcoming and stunning views of the Valley.
Thankfully someone else felt the same way Scott did and purchased the land for open space.
The current owner described her reason for protecting the land this way:
“For many years, my husband and I drove with our sons from southern California to the Valley. I did the long shift, driving all night while they all slept in the back of the van. Coming over Timmerman Hill at 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning after a 16-hour drive, my breath was always taken away as we came down that hill, seeing the wide-open expanse. I knew at that moment we were “home,” a special place of wildlife and scenic beauty. I want others who come here to experience that same feeling—that connection with nature—that I did. Protecting this land with the Wood River Land Trust is my way of ensuring this gift for future generations.”
Gateway Ranch is now permanently protected thanks to a donation of a conservation easement and the generosity of the landowner. Now the water resources on the property and the scenic views as visitors and residents enter the Valley are conserved in perpetuity.