PRESS RELEASE: BLM conservation easement enhances outdoor recreation, helps protect wildlife habitat and water quality

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – The Bureau of Land Management has purchased a conservation easement that enhances public access to outdoor recreation opportunities and helps protect important mule deer habitat and water quality in the South Fork of the Snake River corridor.

The BLM purchased the 154-acre conservation easement on the Alan Lynn Davis property from the Teton Regional Land Trust using monies from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 

The Alan Lynn Davis property is located on the north side of the South Fork of the Snake River in Jefferson County near Ririe, Idaho. The property is within the BLM’s Snake River Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Special Recreation Management Area. BLM-managed public lands are adjacent to the property on the east and west sides. The BLM’s acquisition of this conservation easement aligns with the America the Beautiful initiative that seeks to conserve fish and wildlife habitat and expand access to public lands and waters through voluntary conservation. 

“The South Fork of the Snake River corridor is a special place and acquiring this conservation easement, which ensures that the Alan Lynn Davis property will remain much the same as it is now, is a real win for the public and for fish and wildlife,” said Jeremy Casterson, Field Manager for the BLM Upper Snake Field Office. 

The conservation easement will maintain open space and scenic vistas and will enable the public to access one third of a mile of shoreline of the South Fork of the Snake River for boating, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities. It will also help protect important winter range for mule and white-tailed deer that summer in the Big Hole and Palisades Mountains. “Protecting the Alan Lynn Davis property through a conservation easement helps ensure that mule deer in this area will have secure winter range in the future,” said Matt Pieron, Regional Supervisor with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 

The conservation easement will also help protect water quality as Hawley Warm Spring is located on the property and provides water for Hawley Creek, which drains into the South Fork of the Snake River. This will help support fish habitat in the South Fork of the Snake River, which supports the largest native cutthroat trout fishery outside of Yellowstone National Park. 

The Teton Regional Land Trust purchased the conservation easement from the landowner in 2019. 

“We appreciate the generosity of the landowner to voluntarily place permanent development restrictions on his land for conservation,” said Renee Hiebert, Conservation Specialist with the Teton Regional Land Trust. “The Teton Regional Land Trust will use the proceeds from selling this conservation easement to the BLM to further conservation along east Idaho rivers.”