Southwest Idaho's deer, elk and pronghorn herds have a much brighter future because of the Boise City Council's decision Tuesday, December 20, to sell Hammer Flat to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The 700-acre property east of Boise is an important remnant of historic winter range that once extended from the foothills west to Lake Lowell in Canyon County.
"Hammer Flat's purpose is to provide critical wildlife habitat and wildlife-based recreation opportunities, including hunting and wildlife viewing," Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said. "But we are willing to consider other outdoor recreational activities, including hang gliding."
Idaho Fish and Game will develop a management plan for the property with public input. The process could start sometime next spring.
Fish and Game plans to use $4.23 million in wildlife mitigation funds provided by Bonneville Power Administration to purchase Hammer Flat. A closing date hasn't been set.
Mitigation funds are designed to help offset impacts on wildlife habitat caused by hydropower development in the Northwest.
Hammer Flat is adjacent to Fish and Game's 34,000 acre Boise River Wildlife Management Area.