Public input wanted on Silver Creek Preserve restoration

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By Brittany Cooper

The Nature Conservancy has owned the Silver Creek Preserve for about 30 years and the group's asking for public input on restoration efforts of this public resource.

The Silver Creek Preserve south of Bellevue is known as a biological hotpot and also serves as a destination for world–class fly fishing for trophy trout.

The Nature Conservancy owns about 880 acres and help to manage about 9000 acres surrounding the preserve.

Preserve manager Dayna Gross says, "We have over 20,000 macro–invertebrates per square meter so if you can think of how many insects that is in the water, it's a lot. The fish populations are some of the highest recorded...then we have over 150 species of birds that come through."

Gross says they do a lot of monitoring to make sure the spring–fed system is healthy and in tact, but with 150 years of grazing and agriculture, the creek has seen its share of impacts.

"Recreation, invasive species, irrigations, pretty much the whole gamut."

While the preserve is still in very good shape, they're looking for public input in how to keep the preserve beautiful for generations to come.

"So people are doing narrowing, creating meanders, trying to restore the creek and I'd like to use the word 'enhancement' because we really don't know what it used to be like."

Gross says they want to look at the whole watershed and gather all the information they can about Silver Creek in order to prioritize areas that need enhancement.

The group will work with Ecosystems Sciences of Boise on the holistic watershed enhancement plan.

There is a series of public input meetings on the Silver Creek Preserve coming up in the next few weeks.

Meetings will be held on April 22nd and 24th at noon at the Picabo store on the 26th at the Nature Conservancy in Hailey and on May 5th at the Picabo Store at noon.

If you have input on this project, you can call 788-7910 or email the address listed on your screen.



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