The Wilderness Land Trust transferred three Owyhee County Parcels totaling 1110 acres to the Bureau of Land Management as additions to the Owyhee Wilderness Areas, providing public access and habitat protection in this spectacular and wild area outside of Boise, Idaho
OWYHEE COUNTY, Idaho, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Wilderness Land Trust announces the transfer of three properties in Owyhee County to the Bureau of Land Management, all in the newly designated wilderness located adjacent to the Owyhee Backcountry Byway. The property acquisitions will offer scenic desert canyons for public access and recreation.
The acquisitions are part of the on-going implementation of the Owyhee Initiative, a historic collaboration by local ranchers, Owyhee County, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, conservation groups and recreationists.
The properties total 1110 acres in size and will be added to the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness and the North Fork Owyhee Wilderness. The first property is located along the largest canyon that intersects the Owyhee Backcountry Byway, on Juniper Mountain Road. It is also adjacent to the only developed campground on the byway. The property offers spectacular rugged canyon scenery in the heart of the Owyhees and over a mile of the North Fork Owyhee River for fishing, hiking and habitat protection.
The other two properties border Shoo Fly Creek in the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness and are accessible off Mud Flat Road as it enters the Owyhee range from the Grand View area. With the easy access of Mud Flat Road, people can enjoy the wide-open vistas, stunning canyons and abundant wildlife of the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness.
The three land transfers are the first in a series of acquisitions of private land inholdings and properties adjacent to wilderness areas, made possible by the Owyhee Public Lands Management Act of 2009. Last year's legislation specified that lands acquired within wilderness or adjacent to wilderness would become part of the designated wilderness. All inholding acquisitions made possible by the Owyhee legislation are strictly voluntary, on a willing seller basis.
The legislation that made this transaction possible was the result of eight years of work by the Owyhee Initiative. The properties transferred to the Bureau of Land Management will be added to the more that 500,000 acres of new wilderness in Owyhee County.
"The Wilderness Land Trust was very excited to work with the ranchers and the Bureau of Land Management on these important acquisitions. They are the result of years of work, and it is gratifying to see the various interests pull together for such a positive outcome," says David Kirk, Senior Lands Specialist for The Wilderness Land Trust.
The Wilderness Land Trust acquires unprotected private land within wilderness, returning it to public ownership to guarantee that future generations can enjoy the enduring resources of wilderness. The Trust is a small, highly specialized non-profit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land. Since it was founded in 1992, the organization has preserved more than 344 parcels comprising more than 31,000 acres of wilderness inholdings in 76 designated and proposed wilderness areas. Read more at www.wildernesslandtrust.org
Contact: David Kirk
The Wilderness Land Trust
SOURCE The Wilderness Land Trust