Another large swath of the Boise foothills is now designated as open space.
On Tuesday, the Ada County Commissioners voted unanimously to preserve a roughly 250 acre parcel in the Dry Creek Valley for wildlife protection and recreation. The property, called Red Hawk, was purchased by the county at foreclosure in 2012 and has at least one hiking trail in the area currently.
The property, which serves as an important wintering area for deer and elk, has steep slopes unsuitable for development. Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said developers of Hidden Springs, Avimor and Idaho Fish and Game are supportive of preserving the land. Non-motorized recreation, like hiking and bird watching, will still be allowed.
Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said she grew up hiking in the foothills and is glad to preserve the same natural habitat for Idahoans coming after her.
“It’s wonderful to be able to give a lasting gift to the future generations for them to enjoy the open space we’ve been able to enjoy,” Kenyon said. “It helps us sustain our core values, who we are and what we’re able to appreciate in Idaho.”
This is the second piece of open space preserved by the Ada County Commission in the past month. At the beginning of December, the commissioners also voted to preserve roughly 35 acres in southeast Boise near the Boise River. These are the first parcels preserved for open space and conservation by Ada County, after roughly two decades of the City of Boise doing the same.
Outgoing Commissioner Patrick Malloy likened preserving the area to New York City’s collective effort to set aside Central Park in Manhattan for public enjoyment and natural habitat.
“I think in the same way, this sets aside that land for the future,” he said. “I’m sure developers would love to get their hands on it, but it has a higher and better use in this situation.”
This was Malloy and Commissioner Diana Lachiondo’s last open business meetings before newcomers Rod Beck and Ryan Davidson are sworn in on the 11th. This will swing the commission to a Republican majority after two years of Democratic control.