Outdoors

Boise just received the second-largest Foothills donation in city history

Boise city officials announced the second-largest donation of Foothills land in city history during a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday morning.

Longtime Boiseans Terry Walther and Tracey Herrick will donate nearly 75 acres of land in the Collister neighborhood, a gift that Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said is the largest land donation since 2003.

The parcel is located northwest of Polecat Gulch Reserve and south of the couple’s property off of Pierce Park Road.

“This donation is important to our family because it continues a long tradition of preservation and appreciation for the Boise Foothills and what they mean to the city of Boise,” Walther said in a news release. “We are proud to join a list of Idahoans who have donated land to maintain the natural habitat that is vital for deer and other animals to thrive.”

Herrick said the area is also home to foxes, bobcats and owls, as well as Aase’s onion, an endemic plant species found only in Southwest Idaho.

According to Holloway, no trails are currently planned on the donated land, which does not connect with other city-owned Foothills property. Instead, the parcel will serve as part of the city’s plans for Foothills preservation.

“We really want to balance the recreational use with the conservation use (in the Foothills),” Holloway said during the news conference. “This is Terry and Tracey’s baby. ... This is truly an area from a conservation and preservation standpoint that is very important for our Foothills.

Boise Mayor David Bieter also lauded Walther and Herrick’s donation on Tuesday.

“I don’t need to tell anybody in Boise ... how important the Foothills are,” Bieter said.

According to Bieter, the city has more than 12,000 acres of Foothills land.

Holloway said the city will continue working to acquire additional Foothills land through trades and purchases. He said $9.6 million remains of the $10 million levy Boiseans voted for in 2015 to protect open space.

“It’s donations like this hopefully that will spur the philanthropic piece of that,” Holloway said.

The Boise City Council must approve the donation before it is made final. The donation is on the council agenda for the Oct. 8 meeting.

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