HIGHLIGHTED PROJECT: SIMONS BAUER PRESERVE
Access to a healthy river and abundant recreational opportunities are critical to our way of life. Enhanced hiking, fishing, birding, biking, learning, and connecting – these are just a few of the activities this new preserve has the potential to provide for the community and anyone who loves our Valley. The preserve will connect the popular trails at the Draper Wood River Preserve with the new Mountain Humane campus in Croy Canyon. This means more opportunities for you and your furry friends to enjoy the outdoors in a relatively pristine setting. More opportunities for you to enjoy the unrivaled open spaces view of the Valley, additional trails for you to hike, more ways for our community’s youth to engage with nature, improved habitat for our river and wildlife, and a priceless treasure for all to enjoy.
The 118-acre property is an important wildlife and potential recreation corridor and contains extensive wetlands including a 1-mile section of Croy Creek that feeds into the Big Wood. Studies have shown that 85% of all wildlife species native to the area- both aquatic and terrestrial – depend on riparian and/or wetland habitat at some time during their life. This includes elk, waterfowl, songbirds, beavers, amphibious and fish species. The property also contains an artisan spring that serves as a critical water resource for Hailey, our river, the wetlands, and our wildlife. Acquiring this land behind Lions Park represents our best chance to address the cause of flooding, while protecting more habitat and places to connect to nature. That’s what we call a win-win-win.
PRESERVES & PROPERTIES
Our preserves or public properties are community spaces where you can connect with the beauty of nature. Whether it’s by doing some fishing, going for a hike, or sitting and letting the landscape wash over you, we are proud to have protected the following treasured landscapes for generations to come. Some of our preserves have been strategically acquired as part of the Hailey Greenway which you can read more about by clicking here.
About: The 7-acre Boxcar Bend Preserve is located along 75 just north of East Fork. The Preserve got its name from the boxcars placed in the Big Wood River by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1952. This was a result of attempts to prevent the erosion along the riverbank that threatened the ground beneath the railroad tracks, but the attempt ultimately failed. Several decades later, the community and various stakeholders came together to restore this section of the river, and now this beautiful respite along the river has become one of the most popular fishing access points in the Valley.
Acquired: 2016 (Colorado Gulch Bench acquired in 2018)
About: Thanks to the support of our community, what originally started as a small conservation easement has now become one of the most celebrated protected areas along the Big Wood River, and serves as one of the most important components of the Hailey Greenway. In 2018, the Colorado Gulch Preserve was expanded by nine acres thanks to the generosity of a silent donor and big fan of the Land Trust. This preserve is well-regarded as a community treasure, and rightfully so. With a multi-use trail system, protected river corridor, habitat for wildlife, and multiple ongoing restoration projects, this area has plenty to offer everyone in the Valley.
Cow Catcher Ridge
About: The Cow Catcher Ridge Preserve provides a beautiful scenic backdrop to the city of Bellevue and provides a beautiful hike with views of the Wood River Valley. The property is habitat for many species of songbirds, game birds, deer and elk.
Draper Wood River Preserve
Acquired: 2000,2003, 2007
About: What began with a lot donation, and later expanded into the iconic 84-acre preserve along the Big Wood River in Hailey, the Draper Wood River Preserve is the most well-known and frequented of our preserves. This critical property forms the heart of the Hailey Greenway, and is regarded as an ideal haven for both wildlife and people. Whether you enjoy a picnic at the pavilion, catch a glimpse of moose, wet your line in the river, or visit the idyllic Bow Bridge – the Draper Wood River Preserve is easily your next favorite wild space.
Howard Preserve Expansion
About: What started with the initial acquisition of 7.4 acres, the Howard Preserve has expanded to over 35 acres over the years to solidify its reputation as a beloved place that provides public access to the Big Wood River, in addition to opportunities for education and community partnerships, including the Friends of the Howard Preserve and the City of Bellevue.
About: The Independence Creek Preserve provides an access point to The Bureau of Land Management trails. The property’s upland slopes and free flowing creek provide habitat for a variety of plants and wildlife species. It’s also a great place close to Ketchum, located in the Elkhorn neighborhood, to hike with dogs. Access the Independence Creek Property via the Forest Service kiosk on Independence Creek Road. The trail that runs through the property can also be accessed from Elkhorn Road where it meets Juniper Road.
Lake Creek Preserve
Acquired: 1996, 2000, 2002
About: Lake Creek Preserve is a very accessible preserve, located just north of Ketchum on Hwy 75. It is home to many species of birds, ungulates, and wildflowers. As a dog friendly preserve, it is a great place to interact with nature, access the Bureau of Land Management’s trails, and observe the scenic views. All this can be accessed near where Lake Creek Road meets Highway 75. The sagebrush hillside is accessible from Cottonwood Drive however parking is limited along the roadside and there are no official trail markers. A ridgeline trail on the property can be accessed from adjacent BLM and USFS land.
About: On this 100 acre property, you are likely to see elk and mule deer on their Pioneer Mountain migrations from higher elevations to lower elevations. This habitat also supports beavers, moose, songbirds, black bears and many species of grouse. These lands have been designated as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern due to the sensitive wildlife, so be careful letting dogs roam free. Find Porcupine Creek by heading out Quigley Drive. This preserve is accessible seasonally via a rough double track dirt road following Quigley Canyon over to Town Creek and into upper Baugh Creek.
Rinker Rock Creek Ranch
About: Acquired through the Rinker family’s generosity in 2013, Rinker Rock Creek Ranch is a valuable asset for the community, providing close-to-home recreation and important wildlife habitat. In 2019, the Ranch was transferred to the University of Idaho to become a center for research on the intersection of ranching, habitat protection and restoration, and recreation. The Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy serve on an Advisory Board with other industry and agency stakeholders to help guide management of the Ranch.
About: The most recent addition to the Hailey Greenway, the 118-acre Simons Bauer Preserve is an important wildlife and now recreation corridor and contains extensive wetlands including a 1-mile section of Croy Creek that feeds into the Big Wood River. This property also allows for the opportunity to reconnect the Big Wood River to its floodplain at Lions Park. Simons-Bauer has the capability to change how we deal with flooding downriver in a holistic way that is beneficial to habitat, the river, and our community. This acquisition also included the 16 -acre Vorberg Gulch.
About: Established in 2015 to protect salmon habitat, wetlands, and the scenic views of the stunning Sawtooth Valley, the 34-acre Valley Creek Preserve in Stanley is a perfect example of how our organization has worked to protect critical resources not just in the Wood River Valley – but throughout Central Idaho. A major tributary to the Salmon River, Valley Creek has historically provided spawning habitat for Chinook and sockeye salmon, steelhead, bull and westslope cutthroat trout, and other native fish species. The Preserve also provides a wild oasis for all residents, human and wild, as it meanders through downtown Stanley.
About: Few things match the feeling of coming over Timmerman Hill and catching that first glimpse of the Wood River Valley as you head home. Thanks to the generosity of Valley-resident Lesley Andrus, that gateway to our Valley is now further protected. With the donation of her 84.9-acre property at the northwest corner of Highways 20 and 75 to the Wood River Land Trust, Ms. Andrus makes it possible to conserve the property’s riparian and wildlife habitat and scenic views for the public.
A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Landowners retain many of their rights, including the right to own and use the land, sell it and pass it on to their heirs.
Easements: 1999 (Lot 9), 1998 (Lot 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8), 1999 (Lot 10, 13, 11, 12)
Three Mile Creek
Red Cliffs I & II
Easements: 2000 (II), 2004 (I)
Acres: 83.6 (II:6.9, I: 76.7)
Lower Broadford I & II
Easements: 2003 (I), 2006 (II)
Acres: 8 (I:1, II:7)
Lower Branch Ranch
Big Springs Creek
Timmerman Ranch I & II
Acres: 603 (I:325, II:278)
COLLABORATIONS AND OTHER PROJECTS
The Wood River Land Trust is proud to work with government agencies, municipalities, and other non-profits to ensure the preservation of critical lands.
- Stennet Public Access: This acre on the Big Lost River near Mackay, Idaho known as Stennet Public Access, was given to the Wood River Land Trust which, in 2002, conveyed the parcel to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, subject to the condition that the Fish and Game guarantees recreational and fishing access to the river from the parcel.
- Bluff Parcel: The Wood River Land Trust acquired 3 acres in the Elkhorn area, known as the Bluff Parcel. The parcel was transferred to the Sun Valley Elkhorn Association, and with the Association’s support, the parcel has been zoned Open Space by the City of Sun Valley.
- Timbered Dome: 1,609 acres located in Butte County, Idaho known as the Timbered Dome property were sold to a private citizen which under his ownership was approved for a Grasslands Reserve Program permanent easement in 2011.
- Square Lake: 320 acres located in Blaine County, Idaho known as the Square Lake property had been previously purchased by the Wood River Land Trust. It was sold to a private individual who transferred it to the Bureau of Land Management.
- Sheep Bridge Canyon: 360 acres located in Blaine County, Idaho known as the Sheep Bridge Canyon property had been previously purchased by the Wood River Land Trust. It was sold to a private individual who transferred it to the Bureau of Land Management.
- Lincoln County Property: In 2018, 9 acres of land owned by the Wood River Land Trust were transferred to Lincoln County with the restriction that the property be maintained only as a park open the the public for recreational and educational purposes.
VISIT OUR PUBLIC PRESERVES, EASEMENTS, AND PROPERTIES
Now that you’ve read all about our preserved lands, use the map below to go and explore them for yourself!