A group of land conservationists from around the state are meeting in McCall Monday. The meeting comes as folks in the West Central Mountains have seen access cut off to some private land in the region.
After two Texas billionaires purchased almost 200,000 acres of private land in the West Central Mountains in 2016, some things started changing for hunters and hikers. Suddenly, “no trespassing” signs and gates showed up on what used to be land owned by timber companies – companies that allowed the public to recreate on their private acres.
Since then, Payette Land Trust Executive Director Craig Utter says he’s heard from people in the region interested in learning more about how to conserve private land across central Idaho.
"We’ve had a lot of folks approach us about volunteering, being involved," says Utter. "I’ve also had an increase in private landowners, for different reasons, coming to the trust.”
The Payette Land Trust works with private landowners to help maintain public access and limit development. The group has conserved about 10,000 acres across four counties.
“We don’t want to stifle development, but we want to find a way to have positive development and positive conservation.”
In conjunction with the annual meeting of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts, the Payette Land Trust is hosting a public event in McCall Monday to talk more about the group’s mission. The social hour will take place at the North Fork Lodge, Monday Nov. 5 from 5-6 p.m.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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