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perspectives on

Land Wood River Land Trust

FALL 2006 Kathryn Goldman and summer intern Rachael document new wood deposited by this spring’s flood




t first glance, the downed tree stretching across the river appears to be an obstacle for fisherman and inner tubers, but in reality it provides many benefits to the river system, fish, and wildlife. To put it simply: wood is good. Removing wood from the river system reduces fish habitat and can even de-stabilize the river channel itself. This spring, the highest water levels ever recorded on the Big Wood River recruited an abundance of wood into the

river. New log jams and woody features appeared in the stream throughout the valley. Wood in the system often “hangs up” at strategic points like meanders to slow water during high flows. Wood jams also stabilize banks and prevent erosion during high flows. It is this dual function—providing bank stability and slowing high water—that creates a stable channel less prone to movement and erosion during spring runoff. This new wood creates points where the river scours down to form pools. A newly felled tree or a jam of wood may have a very deep pool beneath it. These pools are good places for fish to hide and provide a cold water refuge during our hot summers. Wood is not only good for the river and fish but also for wildlife. Small mammals like chipmunks and birds use dry log jams for cover and nesting areas. The productivity of the entire riparian area (the transitional area between land and water ecosystems) is enhanced by downed wood in the river system. Continued on page 7

A publication of Wood River Land Trust www.woodriverlandtrust.org info@woodriverlandtrust.org

Protecting and restoring our natural lands and healthy waters since 1994.

WHO WE ARE President’s Message

Meet Our New Staff Me Major Gifts Officer

By Clark Gerhardt

Robyn Watson


ood River Land Trust is continually reviewing its strategy, the center of which is to work with private landowners to protect the valley’s open spaces, wildlife habitat, river health, and farm and ranch lands. In addition, we increasingly find ourselves working with federal, state, and local public officials and planning staff. Local officials and planning departments recognize the immense value of the lands we have permanently protected and seek to protect additional lands, waters, and the rural lifestyle we enjoy. To this end, elected officials and agency staff often seek the professional expertise of Wood River Land Trust staff. This consultation has recently cast our work in a more visible light than in the past, and has sometimes brought a measure of controversy. In questioning whether this is appropriate, we as an organization consider where the Wood River Valley is in comparison to other mountain resort areas. Fortunately, the Wood River Valley is in a favorable position compared to Vail, Aspen, Park City, and others, and we have a unique chance

Clark Gerhardt to “get it right.” But it is a constant challenge—a challenge Wood River Land Trust is well-equipped to meet. We have broad and active support from locals and second homeowners who rely on us to help protect the places where they live, love to visit, or to which they plan to retire. We also have an excellent professional staff who do the heavy lifting on a daily basis and who achieve amazing results. Success builds upon success, and I am happy to begin my tenure as Board President after John Flattery’s 3 years of hard work and leadership. But we can’t be successful in our work without you. On behalf of the Board, I thank you for your commitment to protecting our natural areas, healthy waters, and wildlife habitat. I hope you will continue your support—there is more to be done than ever. Together we can be part of a vibrant community.

There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives. — Josephine Hart


Robyn’s career has included interior design, television production, and event coordination, but she finds non-profit fundraising the most fulfilling. Originally from Oklahoma, her love of the land comes from growing up riding horses on her family’s cattle ranch and spending her college years on Colorado’s ski slopes. Having visited the Wood River Valley on and off for the past 25 years, Robyn looks forward to combining her passion for fundraising and nature and to making the valley home for her little dog, Dixie, and herself.

embers.... Membership Assistant Morgan Buckert Morgan grew up on a ranch in South Texas where her interest in protecting natural resources developed. In 2005, Silver Creek brought Morgan north to the Wood River Valley. She will graduate with her M.A. in Environmental History from the University of New Mexico in December and holds B.A.s in History and Government from the University of Texas. When not at Wood River Land Trust, Morgan can usually be found at Lost River Outfitters, fishing on Silver Creek, or climbing at the City of Rocks.

Chris, summer intern, checking out big wood in the Big Wood River

Super Interns Steward Our Local Lands


ood River Land Trust was lucky to have three great interns this summer. Ben Niffenegger, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was tireless in his work stewarding our preserves—fighting noxious weeds, maintaining trails, and creating management plans. Chris Evelyn worked long hours ensuring our annual conservation agreement monitoring efforts went smoothly. Chris is the third graduate student we’ve been fortunate to hire from the Bren School of the Environment at UC Santa Barbara. Finally, Rachael Goetzelman, an AmeriCorps Member, worked in a joint position for Wood River Land Trust and Blaine County Weed Department on a comprehensive noxious weed mapping project. Ben, Chris, and Rachael enabled us to have a very productive summer. They also made the most of their weekends—learning to fly fish, backpacking in the Pioneers, looking for frogs and amphibians, and getting to know the Valley. Many thanks and all best wishes to Rachael, Chris, and Ben!

Interns Rachael and Ben with staff member Kathryn Goldman on the Big Wood River


CONNECTING Photo credit: Jerry W. Britton

June In Bloom

Morels In May Locals looking to get out after the snow melted joined us for our first Morel Mushroom Walk in May. Kathy Richmond of the Southern Idaho Mycological Association led over fifty rubber boot clad mushroom hunters through the soggy Cedar Bend Preserve in Hailey in search of tasty morels. Richmond showed us the ins and outs of searching for and identifying morels and other native mushrooms. Mushroom stories were shared, but no secret spots were revealed. It was too early in the season for most to find morels at Cedar Bend, but a wide range of other mushrooms, both poisonous and edible, were found by all.

Morel hunting at Cedar Bend Preserve (right) Kathy Richmond (far right) of the Southern Idaho Mycological Association led the mushroom hunt


Hot-rock Penstemon and Fleabane! Scarlet Gilia! Globe Mallow and Rabbitbrush! NO knapweed or Dalmatian Toadflax! These are some of the plants we saw – and didn’t see – on the annual wildflower hike at Lake Creek Preserve in June. Led again this year by botanist Carol Blackburn, 16 of us tromped up and down the hill, learning and identifying as we went. Lake Creek Preserve is 16 acres of hillside and wetlands across Hwy. 75 from the Lake Creek Trail Head. The Preserve has been undisturbed by grazing so there are many varieties of native wild flowers in the Spring and early Summer. The views are grand at any time of the year so plan a visit on your own, or join us next June for the Annual Hike! There are many varieties of native wildflowers at Lake Creek in the Spring and early Summer

Learning about wildflowers at Lake Creek Preserve

TO THE LAND 2006 Community Picnic A Success

Enjoying our community picnic along the Big Wood River in Bellevue

The 3rd Annual Community Picnic at Howard Preserve was our best yet. Over 100 people joined us for an afternoon along the river with spit-roasted lamb and a barbecue in honor of everyone who makes our work possible by volunteering, becoming a member, and otherwise supporting our work. We thank the Howard family and the City of Bellevue for helping to host a fantastic end-of-summer celebration. Thanks too to all who attended despite a few raindrops!

Bellevue community picnic Howard Preserve, 1950’s 5


“The Fall Trailing of the Sheep” by Jennifer Montgomery, 3rd place winner in Photography division, 2005

Third Annual Heart of the Valley Contest


he 3rd Annual Heart of the Valley Contest is in full swing, with photographs and writings coming in daily. Last year’s contest participants defined the heart of the Wood River Valley in myriad ways. Some said it was the Big Wood River; some said Silver Creek; others said Bald Mountain. These we expected. Others, however, defined the heart of the valley as the playground of Hemingway Elementary, a secret spot by River Run, and a little-known stand of cottonwood forest. We at Wood River Land Trust believe that the heart of our valley beats not just in these special places but in the people who live here. Our community is active, passionate, involved, and vocal about the places that make this valley home.


This year’s contest asks you to capture your interaction with and relationship to the Wood River Valley. Whether it is the Big Wood River, our cottonwood and alpine forests, or our agricultural heritage, the nuances of the Wood River Valley and the people who live here influence our daily experiences. It’s our challenge to you . . . send us your photographs and short writings (poems, essays, and memoirs) that document the ways your heart is tied to the Wood River Valley. Photographs will be showcased at the Images of Nature gallery in Ketchum during the December Gallery Walk, and we are working with local businesses to arrange readings of the short writings throughout the valley in January and February. Submission guidelines and

entry forms are available on our website. Visit www.woodriverlandtrust.org and click on “Calendar.” You can also stop by our office or contact Heather Kimmel at 788-3947 or hkimmel@woodriverlandtrust.org. This year’s contest is sponsored by

Prizes for 1st - 3rd place in both categories and one staff favorite prize for each. Prizes generously donated by Silver Creek Outfitters, Iconoclast, Lost River Outfitters, Flolo’s, and Phoenix Framing. Additional support provided by the College of Southern Idaho.

Submissions Due: November 17, 2006



Continued on page 1

Because wood is good for the river, fish, and wildlife, Wood River Before Riverside Pond: the site of Hailey’s sewage Land Trust worked with the City treatment plant of Bellevue to create an engineered log jam along the riverbank at the Howard Preserve. The engineered jam acts like natural in-stream wood in a stretch of river where a man-made dike makes it difficult for the river to recruit its own wood into the system. Contact Kathryn Goldman at 788-3947 to tour the engineered logjam.



New wood creates points where the river scours down to form pools. These pools provide a cold water refuge for fish during our hot summers



Donation Highlights Planned Giving Opportunities An anonymous local donor has generously gifted a Wood River Valley home valued at approximately $2 million to Wood River Land Trust, Idaho Conservation League, and The Wilderness Society. The donor explains that, after living in the community for 35 years, it was only right to support financially the organizations working to protect the things that make the community a better place. The donor cites the tremendous growth in local real estate as an example of “unearned income” and makes the gift hoping that others with similar abilities will do so as well. For more information about a variety of planned giving opportunities, contact Robyn Watson at 788-3947 or rwatson@woodriverlandtrust.org.



TU Stewards Boxcar Bend The local chapter of Trout Unlimited “adopted” Boxcar Bend Preserve in the spring of 2004 to help us protect the river and steward the preserve. This summer, volunteers from the Hemingway Chapter joined us for a day of pulling weeds, delineating paths, and refurbishing trails leading to the water at this popular protected area on the Big Wood River along the bike path. Thank you Trout Unlimited for your love of the river and your help protecting it for the community! Trout Unlimited members at Boxcar Bend

Nature wil She invites her smalles view of its p



ll bear the closest inspection. us to lay our eye level with st leaf, and take an insect plain. — Henry David Thoreau

Bruce Tidwell and daughter Madison

Bruce Tidwell Receives Founders’ Award For Service We were happy to award Bruce Tidwell our Founders’ Award this August for his longtime support of our work. The Founders’ Award is given to an individual or group who has significantly advanced our efforts and who demonstrates a long-standing commitment to preserving and protecting the valley’s natural areas. Tidwell served on Wood River Land Trust’s Board of Directors from 1996 to 2006. He held the office of President in 1998 and 1999 and served on the Community Relations and Fundraising Committees as well as the Marketing Task Force during his tenure. In 1998, Tidwell founded the Building Material Thrift Store to help financially support Wood River Land Trust. Along with his time and energy, Tidwell invested his own funds to get the business on its feet. Anyone on staff will tell you that Bruce does a lot more than just provide monetary support— he assists us with jobs big and small and provides materials, equipment, and his much-demanded time. Bruce has given so much of his time, energy, and leadership to the Wood River Land Trust and is an unwavering and selfless advocate of our work. Thanks, Bruce, for all you do for us!

The Salmon River near Peach Creek


OTHER NEWS CHALLENGE GRANT 2006 This year we are once again very fortunate to have a year-end challenge grant. This year’s generous two-for-one challenge grant from anonymous donors and our Board of Directors is for $160,000. Every $1.00 you donate before December 31, 2006 will be matched by an additional $.50. Please help us reach our goal! We must raise $320,000 by the end of the year to receive this $160,000 gift.

Challenge Grant Goal

= $320,000

Amount Received as of 10/9 = $79,940 Amount Still Needed to Meet Challenge

= $240,060

The year-end challenge provides the perfect opportunity to make your money go even further in the protection of our natural lands and healthy waters. Donations are tax-deductible.

We facilitate the reuse or recycling of homes, building materials, and larger household items. Proceeds from the sale of materials are dedicated to Wood River Land Trust’s preservation of natural areas and healthy waters throughout the Wood River Valley.

208-788-0014 buildingmaterialthriftstore.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Clark Gerhardt, President Ed Cutter, Vice President Jack Kueneman, Treasurer Robin Garwood, Secretary Jerry Bashaw William Burnham John Flattery Heather King Patricia Klahr Bill Lehman Liz Mitchell Steve Strandberg Joan Swift Tom Swift Chris Thompson Barbara Thrasher Doris Tunney Liz Warrick


WRLT STAFF Scott Boettger Executive Director Morgan Buckert Membership Assistant Melanie Dahl Executive Assistant Kate Giese Director of Conservation

Advisory Committee David Anderson Larry Schoen Peter Becker John Seiller Ranney Draper Bruce Tidwell Rebekah Helzel Dave Parrish This newsletter is published by:

Kathryn Goldman Project Coordinator Diane Kahm Development Assistant Heather Kimmel Program & Membership Coordinator Robyn Watson Major Gifts Officer

Wood River Land Trust 119 East Bullion Street, Hailey, Idaho 83333 208-788-3947 (ph), 208-788-5991 (fax) info@woodriverlandtrust.org, www.woodriverlandtrust.org Tax ID# 82-0474191

Great News For Conservation Donors!

Silver Creek Outfitters

A new law provides added incentives for conservation donations of land.

During December 1 - 3, 10% of all purchases made at Silver Creek Outfitters will be donated to Wood River Land Trust.

THE NEW LAW: • Increases the tax deduction for conservation easement donations from 30% of landowners’ income in any year to 50%;

Thank you Terry Ring & the Silver Creek Outfitters staff for your support of our programs!

Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income; and

Increases the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.

These new rules only apply to conservation agreements and land donations made in 2006 and 2007.

Check Out Our New Website! After a lot of hard work, Wood River Land Trust has a new website. Visit www.woodriverlandtrust.org to learn more about our latest projects and resources, find out what activities and volunteer opportunities are available, and to send us a message. You can even donate online using your credit or debit card.



119 East Bullion Street Hailey, Idaho 83333 www.woodriverlandtrust.org ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

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Acres Permanently Protected With Your Support: 4,635

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