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This land buy preserves more Foothills, opens way for trails to link Boise to Avimor

The tract outlined in brown shows the 560 acres the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley recently bought. The parcel is the final piece connecting a public lands bridge between Avimor and Stack Rock Reserve. The land shaded in green is an 840-acre piece the city of Boise bought late last year. The land in yellow is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The tract outlined in brown shows the 560 acres the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley recently bought. The parcel is the final piece connecting a public lands bridge between Avimor and Stack Rock Reserve. The land shaded in green is an 840-acre piece the city of Boise bought late last year. The land in yellow is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

A new Foothills acquisition opens the door to a public trail system that could someday connect Boise to Avimor, a planned community about 8 miles north of the city’s northern edge on Idaho 55.

The Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, a nonprofit that works with private landowners, developers, governments and the public to protect open space, recently bought a 560-acre piece of land northwest of Stack Rock Reserve, a popular recreation area west of Bogus Basin.

The Land Trust plans to sell the parcel to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, spokeswoman Hollie Conde said Wednesday. Easements would allow maintenance of nonmotorized trails and permanently preserve the land from development, she said.

Conde declined to identify the seller of the land, which is in Boise County, or the sales price.

She said it is prime winter range for elk and mule deer.

The 560 acres lie between two swaths of land the BLM controls east of Avimor and northwest of Stack Rock. It was the last obstacle to a public-lands connection between Avimor and Stack Rock, which connects to the vast Ridge to Rivers trail network that runs through the Boise Foothills.

Late last year, the city of Boise bought 840 acres between Stack Rock and the BLM’s eastern parcel. Several unofficial trails cross much of that property. The city is working on plans to develop a permanent trail system.

Since the 1990s, conservationists, charities and government agencies around Boise have put a premium on preserving Foothills land from development. A $10 million levy city voters passed in 2001 has led to the protection of land holdings worth about $40 million, according to Boise Parks and Recreation.

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