Stalker Creek on Silver Creek Preserve
Stalker Creek Restoration Stalker Creek on Silver Creek Preserve © Traci Swift/TNC


The Nature Conservancy Completes Restoration Project at Silver Creek Preserve

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People overlook restoration efforts at Stalker Creek Preserve.
Volunteers at Stalker Creek Erika Phillips explains restoration efforts at Stalker Creek. © Traci Swift/TNC

After three years of planning and implementation, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Idaho has completed the construction of major restoration project along Stalker Creek and Lower Chaney Creek at Silver Creek Preserve. The project restored 1.1 miles of stream channel at Stalker Creek, improved 50 acres of wildlife habitat, enhanced and constructed two acres of wetland, rehabilitated a side channel and restored eight acres of fallowed lands into native meadow. 

These outcomes will benefit the entire watershed with better streamflow and habitat conditions for fish, waterfowl and other wildlife, as well as improve the overall resiliency of the Preserve in the face of climate change. Restoration of Stalker Creek was identified as having the highest potential impact for the watershed with a low impact on visitors, being a remote and publicly inaccessible area of the Preserve. 

The goals of this project were to prepare the Silver Creek system to better withstand fluctuating conditions caused by climate change, such as reduced water supply and higher temperatures, as well as remove sediment buildup in the creek. To achieve this, the project returned the creek to a natural meandering path that is nearly half a mile longer than pre-restoration, supports better flows and avoids sediment deposits. TNC will plant native shrubs, wetland sod and other plants in the restored areas throughout summer and beyond.

“As longtime stewards of Silver Creek Preserve, TNC is happy with the outcomes of this science-based restoration project and believes the anticipated benefits will help the ecosystem continue to thrive into the future,” says Director of Stewardship Erika Phillips. “We could not have completed this important project without collaborative partners, including the Silver Creek Alliance, Idaho Fish & Game, Trout Unlimited, Blaine County and adjacent landowners, as well as dedicated TNC supporters who are committed to this special place.”

These efforts are part of the comprehensive Silver Creek Enhancement Plan, a five-year project led by TNC in partnership with the community, to enhance the overall visitor experience, expand community and youth education opportunities and continue restoration and habitat enhancement of the diverse creek ecosystem. Construction of the new Conservation and Education Center was completed in spring 2022 and TNC is now working with partners, education specialists and Tribal and community members to reimagine interpretive signage, improve trails and enhance accessibility across the Preserve. These critical investments will ensure the long-term sustainability of the Preserve for people and nature alike. 

For more information about the ongoing Silver Creek Enhancement Plan, please visit:


Silver Creek Preserve was established in 1976 when the local community urged The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to purchase 479-acres known then as the Sun Valley Ranch and create its flagship preserve, Silver Creek. This launched a landowner conservation effort along the stream to protect an additional 12,000-acres through conservation easements, making it one of the most successful stream conservation efforts ever undertaken for public benefit and a model for community-based conservation.

Over the last forty years, TNC has expanded the Preserve to 881-acres and restored this high-desert spring creek to a thriving ecosystem for an abundance of wildlife including eagles, coyotes, bobcats and moose. As many as 150 species of birds have been identified along the nature trail and its globally unique aquatic ecosystem features one of the highest densities of stream insects.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.