New Conservation Easement Established at Lava Lake
Lava Lake is thrilled to announce that two new conservation easements that will protect 4533 acres of ranchlands in the Pioneer Mountains have been established. The Nature Conservancy will hold the easements. Conservation easements are legal agreements that ensure traditional uses of the land can continue while protecting the property from subdivision forever.
The two properties protected by easements are located in the West Fork of Fish Creek drainage in the Pioneer Mountains, an area identified as important for wildlife in Idaho’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The properties are particularly important for sage grouse populations in the Pioneers, and also provide habitat for pronghorn, elk, mule deer, moose, sage thrasher and rare plants.
“Lava Lake is delighted to have completed conservation easements on 4500 acres in the West Fork of Fish Creek, which build on the existing 7500 acre conservation easement on Lava Lake Main Ranch,” says landowner Brian Bean. “These lands are an important part of the forage base for our sheep operation and they support significant cultural and natural values, including Native American sites and sage grouse. We are honored to be able to protect these lands in perpetuity.” Brian and Kathleen Bean previously completed a 7500-acre conservation easement with the Conservancy in 2001.
“The Pioneer Mountains are teeming with wildlife and benefit from excellent ranch stewardship,” says Susanna Danner, director of protection for the Conservancy in Idaho. “Conservation easements like these will ensure that this region remains a special place, for people and nature.”
Funding for the two easements was made possible by the Natural Resources Conservation Service Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program and from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, through the Northwest Wildlife Conservation Initiative, an initiative to support protection for ecologically important lands identified in state conservation plans. The landowner contributed 25 percent of the value of each easement through bargain sales.
“We are extremely grateful for the support and hard work of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and The Nature Conservancy in Idaho,” says Bean. “These two organizations have been important partners in our ranch’s conservation efforts, and are playing a leadership role in efforts to protect other working lands and wildlife habitat in the larger Pioneer Mountains-Craters of the Moon region. We look forward to continuing our work together.”
Learn more about Lava Lake’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy in this video.
Read more about the easement in this Idaho Statesmen piece by Rocky Barker.