Monday, January 27, 2020
Wood River Land Trust Presents Proposed Preserve to the Community
Jamie Trevino and Tawni Baker sat down for portrait themed Protecting Wild Spaces and Happy Places.
Sunday, August 18, 2019


Hailey’s first mayor S. J. Friedman acquired the property shortly after he arrived in the Wood River Valley in 1869 to raise cattle and sheep.

But he never developed the land, seemingly understanding that the area at the mouth of Croy Creek Canyon was far too valuable as wetlands and habitat for wildlife.

On Thursday 200 Wood River Valley residents looked out over the 118 acres of pristine land as representatives of the Wood River Land Trust exhorted them to help save it for future generations.

The acquisition of the 118-acre Simons/Bauer Preserve along Croy Creek Road would connect the Draper Preserve with the new Mountain Humane campus.

“I’m a big supporter of both the Wood River Land Trust and Mountain Humane,” said Tawni Baker, who was among those in the crowd. “I would love to connect all this beautiful land all the way to the river.”

Scott Boettger, executive director of the Land Trust, recounted how he grew up in a wooded area of  Pennsylvania that had been in his family for eight generations.

It was heaven on earth,” he said. “Unfortunately, the landscape of my youth turned into the suburbanization of Philadelphia—we didn’t have a Land Trust.”

Boettger added that the parcel just west of the Draper Preserve is valuable in a multitude of ways. Securing the land would enable the Land Trust and other organizations to deal with the cause, not just the effects, of flooding downstream in the Della View neighborhood. The open space is fed by artesian springs, which is needed by wildlife. And the parcel would be a place for people to enjoy nature close to town.

Artist Molly Snee contributed a painting she did en plein air to the cause.

“We know the state of Idaho is the fastest growing state in the country and we need to be proactive, doing things that will make a difference,” he said.

 “We’re so excited about this,” said Kathie Levison, past president of the Wood River Land Trust. “It will enhance Mountain Humane, providing trails for people and dogs to walk.”

“We’re very excited that this beautiful corridor could remain open space,” added Joanne Dixon, executive director of Mountain Humane.

The Simon and Bauer families—heirs of S.J. Friedman, offered the land for $500,000, said Roland Wolfram, vice-chair of the Land Trust.

Diana Thomason and Amy Browning nibble on hors d’oeuvres served up by The Haven during the event.

“They understood how important this parcel was to the Hailey Greenway and the river and how critical it is to wildlife like pronghorn antelope and deer,” added Matthew Steinwurtzel, the Land Trust’s community engagement coordinator.

Before Thursday evening’s event commenced a variety of donors had pledged $185,000. Another $25,000 was pledged in the memory of Richard Carr, a longtime board member of the Land Trust. And Martine and Dan Drackett pledged yet another $25,000.

The Land Trust went on to raise most of the additional money needed Thursday night, said  Steinwurtzel.

“Now we need the community to get us across the finish line!” he added.

Tom Blanchard and Alan Stevenson were among those who turned out Thursday night.

That’s just the opening salvo, however, noted Land Trust chair David Woodward.

“We’ve protected over 20,000 acres with easements and other tools, but we have a lot more to do,” he said. “There’s a number of properties that we think will come on the market. If we don’t have resources to move quickly, these properties will be lost forever.”

Want to know more? Visit Or, call 208-788-3947.


The Wood River Land Trust is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year by trying to preserve the proposed Simons/Bauer Preserve and a few other parecels.

The Land Trust will have a celebratory reception on Dec. 10, during which it will show a six-minute film about its work narrated by Mariel Hemingway.

There are more than a hundred Land Trusts nationwide but just a few in Idaho—the Wood River Land Trust and Land Trusts in the Treasure Valley, the Palouse area near Moscow and the Coeur d’Alene area.


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