Boise & Garden City

Boise reaches deal to place Foothills weather station on private land

In March, faced with public backlash, the city of Boise backed off its plan to put a Remote Automated Weather Station near the Elephant Rock trail in the Fort Boise Military Reserve in the Boise Foothills.

The city had started building fencing to accommodate the weather station when people complained that it detracted from the area’s natural beauty. Another, better option has since emerged: a piece of private ground north of the end of Mountain Cove Road between the Military Reserve and Hulls Gulch.

Assuming the Boise City Council approves the deal as expected Tuesday, it would be the first Remote Automated Weather Station in the Foothills. The stations are designed to give emergency responders real-time information about natural events that occur in areas where fast notification isn’t guaranteed.

“In the Boise foothills, where wildfire spreads quickly, RAWS technology would improve emergency response and increase the safety of firefighting personnel and nearby residents,” Boise Fire Department finance manager Kim Brown wrote in a memo to the City council. “Additionally, it is anticipated that other agencies will benefit from the weather information collected by the RAWS.”

Eventually, the city would like to have two more stations in the Foothills — one near Eagle and Star, the other in the Lucky Peak area, Boise Fire Department spokeswoman Tammy Barry said. The station is set to become functional by the end of September, Barry said.

Claremont Realty Company of Boise owns the land where the station will go. Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said the company will not charge the city for use of the land. The only cost to the city will be construction of a fence around the station, which the Boise Fire Department and Parks and Recreation Department will split, Holloway said.