Envisioning a future Sun Peak Preserve

Restoring the most degraded stretch of the Big Wood River and recreating the Hulen Meadows Pond.

Click here to download a full informational packet including current restoration maps and designs

Our Vision 

sunpeak1The proposed Sun Peak Preserve project is a transformative river restoration project. The section of the Big Wood River between the BLM’s Lake Creek Trailhead and the BLM’s Sun Peak Day-use area is one of the most unstable reaches of the whole river. If we do nothing, the river will continue to degrade, harming habitat for fish and other wildlife, exacerbating flooding downstream, and filling in the Hulen Meadows Pond. But together, we can reconnect the river to its floodplain, repair old damage, and restore the pond in a way that can bring the wonder of nature to all members of our community – regardless of physical ability or walk of life.

Letters of Support for the Project

To make this project possible, we need your help! Please show your support by adding your signature to the letter of support by using the form below.

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If you would like to add a full letter of support, please email your letter to Ryan Santo at

We would like to thank the following community members and groups for their support of this project.

Project Timeline

After the flooding event in 2006 which partially filled in the pond, there has been interest in restoring the site. After the 2016 river-wide study identified this reach as indeed being in dire need of restoration, a group of neighbors approached the Land Trust.  We are now working to restore the site for the community.  The immediate timeline is as follows:

Duration of Comment Phase:  Since this project will be going through Ketchum City Council and through the BLM's Recreation and Public Purpose (RPP) Act each of these steps will have an opportunity to accept public comment.  We do not have a date set to ask for City council approval to start the RPP process.  The RPP process will allow BLM to transfer land to Ketchum for recreational purposes outlined on our website.  So for now we do not have a hard date to stop accepting public comments.  With that being said, the Land Trust is always available to hear comments about individual projects

Duration of Fundraising Phase:  Once the City Council approves to apply for a RPP application we will start fundraising to complete the RPP process.  When you enter into the RPP it initiates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which requires an Environmental Assessment (EA).  The EA will evaluate project components for environmental impacts to the area.  Once that is completed we will start fundraising for project construction of the restoration and ADA amenities.  Fundraising efforts will be matched by applying for private, state, and federal grant opportunities.

Construction Phase: The NEPA process can take from 6-18 months to complete.  After that fundraising will commence for the restoration coupled with applying for grant opportunities.  If everything goes well construction for the restoration could start 2-3 years from submitting a RPP application; if there are delays it could be 4-5 years.  Once the restoration is completed then we can implement the ADA amenities portion of the project.

How We Got Here: For an overview of how we got to where we are, the timeline below recaps all of the work we've done on this project from 2017-now.

Read an open letter to the residents of the Hulen Meadows Subdivision that describes how we got to where we are today.

Sun Peak Preserve FAQ’s

The most effective approach to river restoration is to restore and enhance habitat at a reach-wide scale. The Hulen Meadows reach of the Big Wood River was determined to be one of the most degraded reaches of the river in the 2016 river-wide assessment done by Biota. Because such a large portion of this reach is public land owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the proposed Sun Peak Preserve project provides a unique opportunity to enhance the River on a reach-wide scale.

The habitat restoration will enhance floodplain and riparian habitat for fish and wildlife, decrease bank erosion, and provide diverse instream habitat for fish. All of these components will reduce sediment depositing just upstream from the City of Ketchum and thereby will reduce flooding impacts to downstream residents. In 2017, residents from the Hulen Meadows neighborhood asked the Land Trust if there was a way to also restore the man-made Hulen Meadows Pond in the process.

Have More Questions or Comments?

Please use the comment form below and we will get back to you!

 
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