Lava Lake Land and Livestock
Watch a video about our partnership with Lava Lake Land and Livestock.
Two conservation easements will protect 4533 acres of ranchlands in the Pioneer Mountains owned by Lava Lake Land & Livestock. The Nature Conservancy will hold the easements.
Conservation easements are legal agreements that ensure traditional uses of the land continue while protecting the property from subdivision.
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.”
Lava Lake Land & Livestock is a well-known sheep ranch with an active conservation program. The ranch’s owners previously completed a 7500-acre conservation easement with the Conservancy in 2001. The ranch is actively involved in research and conservation, focusing on restoring upland and stream habitat.
“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.”
The ranch has received awards from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Sustainable Northwest for its land stewardship.
Funding for the two easements was made possible by the Natural Resources Conservation Service Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation and 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.”
Weekly news, notes and stories from The Nature Conservancy of Idaho at www.IdahoNatureNotes.blogspot.com
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.