In the 1980’s the Rinker family purchased what we now know as the 10,400-acre Rinker Rock Creek Ranch. Waiting for the right time to develop the land, the family continued grazing cattle and ranching on the property. Then in 2013 they initiated their conservation vision to preserve the land for future generations. Partnering with the National Resources Conservation Service, the Rinker family placed a conservation easement on the majority of the property to ensure that the land and water resources would be forever protected. The Wood River Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) were then able to purchase the land at a bargain sale for permanent protection. It 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 (UI) to be managed through a unique collaboration between the UI, Land Trust, TNC and other partners critical to the success of the project. The Ranch serves as an outdoor laboratory in the heart of Idaho to study how ranching, recreation, and conservation intersect.
The property will also serve the community by allowing access for hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, hunting and snowshoeing. Trails for these traditionally limited or undesignated activities are mapped and some may be subject to seasonal closures due to wildlife and habitat protection or other needs. Camping is prohibited and motor vehicles, including snowmobiles, are limited to designated roads.