The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began acquiring land around the river for the Blackfoot River Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA), in order to maintain the high-quality recreational opportunities and protect its natural resources. Today it encompasses more than 14,000 acres, and, with the help of The Conservation Fund, it continues to expand and give the public access to Idaho’s stunning landscapes.


Our Role

Beginning in 2012, we partnered with BLM to protect 400 acres along the Blackfoot River near the popular Morgan Bridge Campground. Gordon and Theresa Prouse, the landowners, were seeking a way to permanently conserve their land. As the property was nearly surrounded by BLM lands, BLM was interested in adding it to the Blackfoot River SRMA but lacked the funding to purchase it in time. As a temporary solution, The Conservation Fund purchased the land while BLM secured the necessary funding.

With support from Idaho’s congressional delegation representing Bingham County – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, U.S. Senator Jim Risch and U.S. Representative Mike Simpson – Congress appropriated recreation-focused funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for BLM to purchase the land, which was completed in 2016. LWCF is a bipartisan, federal program that uses a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties—not taxpayer dollars—to acquire critical lands and protect our best natural resources.

Why This Project Matters

This property’s protection enhances opportunities for fishing, camping, hunting and whitewater floating, and it secures new public access to the Morgan Bridge Campground and 1.5 miles of frontage along the Blackfoot River, including one of the highest quality put-in and take-out locations on this section of the river. 

As America’s premier conservation program, LWCF is one of the most effective tools for conserving natural landscapes – and it is at risk. Without this important funding source, many special places like this property along the Blackfoot River would be lost forever. We support full, permanent funding and permanent reauthorization for this 51-year-old program.

“Obtaining these 400 acres ensures access to Morgan Bridge Campground and continued use of these lands for a variety of recreational opportunities. The Blackfoot River Corridor is a popular spot for recreation, especially for the local community. We are grateful for both The Conservation Fund and the private landowner that made this possible.”

                                                                                                         —Dave Pacioretty, Pocatello Field Manager

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