"Build it and they will come."
Call it our "wetland of dreams." In 2002, The Nature Conservancy began a 500-acre restoration project on Ball Creek Ranch Preserve, a 2300-acre nature preserve located 12 miles north of Bonners Ferry.
The wetland project aimed to restore habitat that had been missing from the Kootenai River Valley for decades, part of an effort to provide more habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife throughout this special area.
The Conservancy balances the wetlands with a working farm and ranch that operates on two-thirds of the preserve.
In addition, the Conservancy has a 350-acre conservation easement on adjacent timberland owned by Forest Capital Partners. The propetty is managed under a timber management agreement.
When the wetland was first constructed, the Conservancy's Steve Grourke remarked, "Build it and they will come." It did not take long for his prediction to become reality. In the fall, flocks of ducks and geese flock to the preserve before continuing their migration. Dozens of other bird species have been spotted on the preserve and nearby Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors should keep an eye out for moose, elk, otter, beaver, bald eagle and even black bear.
We hope you can visit our beautiful wetlands soon.