Together, the two headwaters streams of the Upper Snake River constitute one of the most important and popular wildlife and recreational areas in the country. Because of their natural beauty, they’re also attractive locations for residential subdivision and development.

Our Role

For nearly 20 years we’ve been working with our partners to protect lands along the Upper Snake River. Our goal: ensuring the economic stability of the region while maintaining the watershed’s open, agricultural character for the long-term benefit of wildlife and recreational users. Since the early 1990s, we have protected more than 20,000 acres along the Upper Snake River from unchecked development.

Most recently, we were part of a conservation partnership that worked to save two of the last unprotected parcels of private land along the canyon stretch of the South Fork. We helped the Bureau of Land Management purchase a 440-acre tract that had been approved for a 25-homesite subdivision. We also worked with the Teton Regional Land Trust to place a permanent conservation easement on 872 acres of land owned by farmers Sharon and Cletus Hamilton adjoining the purchased property. Key funding for these projects was provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act.

Why This Project Matters

Conserving these two properties—one now in public ownership and the other remaining in private hands—benefits the citizens of Idaho and all those who visit to enjoy hunting, fishing, beautiful scenery and wildlife viewing. These lands also provide migration routes for big game like elk and mule deer, as well as habitat for imperiled species like the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse.

“[This] agreement is another excellent example of private landowners, conservation groups, and public agencies working together to secure public access and protection for a beautiful part of Idaho. This effort shows that private working lands can still remain productive while providing assurance that future generations of Idahoans will have the same opportunity to enjoy these lands.”   
—U.S. Senator James E. Risch

Learn more

Teton Regional Land Trust

Fisher Bottoms On The Snake River In Idaho

In February 2012, the Fund helped the Bureau of Land Management purchase the 431-acre Fisher Bottoms property along the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho. The property had been home to the author Vardis Fisher, author of the 1965 book, "Mountain Man," which became the movie Jeremiah Johnson starring Robert Redford. The purchase was made possible thanks to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Because of LWCF, BLM and TCF, the public can now visit this historic property when floating along the river. Video by Bureau of Land Management.