Boundary-Smith Creek WMA

Before You Go

Boundary-Smith Creek WMA is open year-round and provides a range of opportunities from hunting to wildlife watching. Travel on the WMA is limited to foot traffic and non-motorized vehicles and boats.

There is no camping on this WMA, however, camping is allowed on nearby federal public lands.

There are day use picnic areas in the southern and northeastern corners of the WMA.

Visiting Hours:

Open year-round, seven days a week.

Contact:

Panhandle Regional Office

2885 W. Kathleen Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
United States

WMA facts

Primary Purpose: Waterfowl production, wildlife viewing and other recreation.

Habitat: Wetlands, grasslands, shrublands, conifer and floodplain forest.

  • 2,072 acres
  • Boundary County
  • Established in 1999
Wildlife: Supports 20-plus species of waterfowl, big game and multiple Species of Greatest Conservation Need, such as the Western bumblebee, burbot, bull trout and grizzly bears.

things to know

Many visitors ask about travel from the WMA to Porthill, ID. There is no vehicle access directly from Porthill to the WMA. Visitors must cross the Kootenai River by personal watercraft at Porthill or by vehicle at the Copeland area bridge. The bridge is 12 miles south of Porthill, west off State Hwy 1.

Grizzly bear activity is common and possible on any part of the WMA, day or night. Please use Bear Aware precautions, including carrying bear spray, when enjoying the area.

Overview

Boundary-Smith Creek WMA hugs the Canadian border in the northernmost part of Idaho. Restored wetlands and floodplain habitats support a broad range of wildlife. Since the WMA was established in 1999, more than 237 species of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals have been observed. Whether you are a hunter, birder, or hiker, this WMA is a great place to visit. 

Up to 6,000 migrating waterfowl visit this WMA each spring and fall. Managed and natural fluctuations in wetland water levels provide diverse, productive habitat for a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl during migration and breeding seasons. Deer, elk, and moose are all common visitors to the WMA, as are black and grizzly bear, mountain lion, coyote, beaver, mink, and river otter. Ring-necked pheasant and ruffed grouse are year-round residents and nongame species such as bald eagle, osprey, trumpeter swans, northern harrier, and black tern are seen regularly.

The WMA was active agricultural land from the early 1920s until 1999. A partnership of willing landowners, conservation NGOs, state and federal agencies worked together to purchase the property and re-establish the wildlife habitat that had been lost over the decades. It now consists of a mosaic of wetlands and historic floodplain, grassland and forest habitat types.

In 2018, Idaho Fish and Game and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) began collaboration on a habitat project to restore 250 acres of forested lowland habitat on the WMA.  The Idaho Panhandle Bees to Bears Climate Adaptation Project goal is to improve landscape resiliency for six Species of Greatest Conservation Need. It includes restoration of ephemeral flood cycles, create cool-air refugia, improve soil moisture, reduce air temperature, and increase native trees and understory plants. The project is to serve as an example of pro-active conservation actions that will assist species adapt to climate change.

 

News

Video

Electrofrogging on Boundary-Smith Creek WMA

Activities

Most people visit during the fall for hunting, especially for waterfowl.  Hunters are required to follow all applicable rules and regulations. Be sure to check Idaho’s Seasons and Rules for up to date hunting information.

Grizzly bear activity is common and possible on any part of the WMA, day or night. please use Bear Aware precautions, including carrying bear spray, when enjoying the area.

Trapping is allowed on the WMA. Please report non-target captures immediately to the Panhandle Regional Office, WMA staff or the local Conservation Officer.

A variety of resident and migratory animals can be regularly seen on the WMA – waterfowl, grizzly and black bear, elk, deer, mountain lions, upland birds, raptors, songbirds, reptiles, and amphibians.

The Boundary Smith Creek WMA is a recognized spot on the Idaho Birding Trail. 

Most hiking is on WMA access roads between the wetland cells, but there are some trails maintained in the upland forested part of the WMA on the west side.

Grizzly bear activity is common and possible on any part of the WMA, day or night. please use Bear Aware precautions, including carrying bear spray, when enjoying the area.