Upper Dry Creek easement allows for conservation, restoration, research

Tim Breuer doesn’t ask the question unless he knows the answer will be “yes.” Sometimes, it takes awhile to get there. In the case of the most recent easement agreements between the city of Boise, Idaho, the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and Grossman Company Properties, it took 20 years.

“The first time I walked on [Upper Dry Creek] with the landowners was in 1994,” said Breuer, who has been the executive director of the Land Trust for eight years. At the time, he was the Ridge to Rivers coordinator for the city of Boise. Since then, it has been a slow but steady process of wooing the land owners into allowing the public on the popular hiking trails in perpetuity.

This newest easement agreement, however, goes far beyond the 11 miles of trail just off Bogus Basin Road. For starters, it isn’t just one easement. It includes three separate agreements: one between the city and the owner allowing the permanent trail easement so the Department of Parks and Recreation can perform maintenance; another between the city and the owner with a revocable easement covering nine miles of logging roads; and a third, between the owner and the Land Trust that allows for conservation work in the area.

The last conservation easement encompasses 3,400 acres and gives the Land Trust 10 years to enhance wildlife habitat, minimize sediment into the stream and decrease creek crossings along the trails.

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