The Wood River Land Trust and our partners are honored to bring Hannah Sanger, Science and Environment Division Administrator for the City of Pocatello, to the Valley to present her free talk, “What we can Learn from Pocatello’s Portneuf River – Lessons for the Big Wood,” at The Community Library in Ketchum on Wednesday, January 16th from 6 to 7:30pm.

The Portneuf River originates in the northern portion of the Portneuf Range, and the 111 mile-long-corridor drains around 1,300 square miles of land in southeastern Idaho. Over time, heavy alterations to the river corridor as a result of manmade decisions have compromised the health of the river’s ecosystem and have greatly reduced the benefits it provides. Through the analysis of these management decisions, we can apply a better-management framework to our own river, the Big Wood. While we generally understand that these freestone rivers play important roles, we don’t always understand the impacts and interconnectedness of these rivers or the effects humans have upon them.

Hannah will share Pocatello’s history with flood control and efforts on the Portneuf River, and how their community is now working to undo some of those past actions. She will give examples of restoration practices that do, and don’t, work and will provide the rationale for how the consequences of historical actions can provide an example for future watershed management. After her presentation, Hannah and Scott Boettger, Executive Director of the Land Trust, will field questions from the audience.

Hannah has worked for the City since 2008, developing and implementing programs to comply with the City’s federal stormwater permit, improve water quality, and address other environmental interests of the City.  Most recently she led an effort to reimagine the Portneuf River in Pocatello, culminating in the 2016 Portneuf River Vision Study.  This initial visioning effort has translated into implementation plans and projects, including interpretative signage and plans for setting back a levee and creating river access by Centennial Park, in collaboration with watershed and community groups.

Prior to her work with the City, Hannah served as Executive Director of the Portneuf Greenway Foundation, where she facilitated the funding, design and implementation of separated bike/walking paths in Pocatello. Hannah also worked as project coordinator for ISU’s GK-12 project, which partnered ISU graduate students in the Sciences and Engineering with K-12 teachers to improve graduate students’ ability to communicate. Hannah holds an MS in Resource Policy & Behavior and an MA in Curriculum Development from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Neuroscience from Colgate University.

The presentation is being sponsored by the Wood River Land Trust, The Community Library, the cities of Hailey and Ketchum, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and Flood Control District #9. For any questions, please contact Matt Steinwurtzel at or call 208.788.3947.


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