Boundary County conservation easement protects working forest and wildlife habitat

BONNERS FERRY – March 12, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Seven hundred forty-eight acres of forestland in Boundary County will be conserved as working forest and wildlife habitat in perpetuity after the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service, purchased a conservation easement from the Hubbard family in February.

For more than half a century, the Hubbard family has lived on and actively managed the property for timber production, farming, wildlife habitat, and recreation. The activities support jobs and revenue in industries vital to northern Idaho’s economy. The property provides habitat and connectivity for Idaho’s iconic wildlife such as elk, moose, white-tailed deer, black bear, mountain lion, and several sensitive bird species.

“This conservation easement assures the property we have owned and sustainably managed for three generations will remain intact as a working forest, leaving a legacy of conservation for our heirs,” members of the Hubbard family said. “We would like to thank those who helped our family with this most important and rewarding project, the Idaho Department of Lands, The Nature Conservancy, and Greg Johnson, Idaho Department of Fish and Game retiree.”
The conservation easement acquisition was funded entirely through the Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, which protects environmentally and economically important forests from conversion to non-forest uses. Nationally, the program has protected more than two million acres of forestland in 48 states and territories.

Using federal grant funds, IDL purchased the easement for a discounted price, and the Hubbard family contributed the difference as donated land value. Additionally, this conservation achievement would not have happened without significant contributions by The Nature Conservancy.

“We are grateful to the Hubbard family for their commitment to keeping these forests working, while also providing vital wildlife habitat,” said Kennon McClintock, watershed manager for the Conservancy in Idaho. “Working collaboratively with local families, IDL and the Forest Service, we’ve been able to conserve this amazing area of Boundary County for people and nature.”

“The Idaho Department of Lands strives to provide landowners with the tools necessary to protect and sustain their natural resources,” IDL Director Tom Schultz said. “All Idahoans will benefit from the continued economic contributions of these sustainably managed timberlands and the protection of water, wildlife habitat and open space.”

The Idaho Department of Lands manages more than 2.4 million acres of Idaho endowment lands, benefitting the people of Idaho through active, sustainable management of forestlands, rangelands, mineral and gas resources and other endowment assets. The IDL also administers Idaho’s Forest Legacy Program through the Forestry Assistance Bureau. To date, this program has successfully invested nearly $24 million into Idaho’s economy and conserved 72,000 acres of private forestland.

More information about the Forest Legacy Program can be found at:
http://www.idl.idaho.gov/forestry/forest-legacy/index.html http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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