DU recently placed a conservation easement on one of its own properties near the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area, the first of its kind in Idaho and only the second such arrangement for Ducks Unlimited along the Pacific Flyway. DU generally only holds easements on private parcels owned by other parties in the western region.
The 242 acres of farmland located just a half-mile from Market Lake WMA was originally purchased by Wetlands America Trust in 2012 and acts as an important buffer for the wildlife area. In 2016, Ducks Unlimited approached the Teton Regional Land Trust with a proposal to keep the property protected from mining, development, and other potential harmful uses to the wetlands, while still acting as productive farmland.
Ducks Unlimited donated the conservation easement and gave up a portion of the property’s development rights to protect the wetlands, natural habitat and other agricultural areas that provide numerous benefits for the waterfowl, wildlife and people in the region.
Chris Bonsignore, DU’s Manager of Conservation Programs, described the reasoning behind wanting to protect the property. “Preserving the rural landscape in and around Market Lake, which includes wetlands, other natural habitats and agriculture, provides important benefits for waterfowl, other wildlife, and people. This is one of DU’s highest priorities in Idaho. We are very pleased to be working with the Teton Regional Land Trust and our other partners to complete this conservation easement which will preserve a portion of this unique landscape for the benefit of future generations.”
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