HAILEY, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) - Everyone from local politicians to homesteaders came out to celebrate the beginning of a collaborative effort preserving over 10,000 acres of rugged ranch land.
“We lived on the upper ranch up here. There was eight of us. My two youngest sisters was born up there. The rest of us moved there when I was probably two,” said Mary Stewart Tews, a homesteader.
The Nature Conservancy and Wood River Land Trust purchased Rock Creek Ranch from a private land owner back in 2014.
Now the University of Idaho is joining the effort.
“We envision that this is a space where we can do research to look at sustainability and to look at shared use amongst all the different stake holders,” said John Foltz, University of Idaho.
The organizations intend to conduct research and education on conservation practices and responsible grazing.
"If we can use this as the demonstration site to allow good science to be brought to how we manage lands, both with the public interface with recreation, but also wildlife conservation benefits, we hope to do much more throughout this great state of Idaho,” said Scott Boettger,
Executive Director of the Wood River Land Trust.
The conservancy and the land trust have applied for grant funding from Blaine County to help with the restoration efforts.