Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Thousand Springs Preserve is Open!
The Nature Conservancy’s Thousand Springs Preserve is open for the season. Our new volunteer caretakers, Kathy and Bill Berkley, are living on the island. They are happily greeting visitors and hope you come to see the preserve soon.
Kathy and Bill live in northern Idaho in Laclede, just west of Sandpoint. Before retiring, Bill worked as a teacher, small business owner and an appraiser for Bonner County. Kathy is retired as well and spent 21 years working as a teacher in the West Bonner County schools.
They will be staying at the preserve through the Thousand Springs Festival, held the last weekend in September.
The Nature Conservancy purchased the preserve in 1986 to protect the unique springs that form the falls that flow in the Snake River Canyon walls. These springs originate with the rivers that sink underground in the lava of the Craters of the Moon area, and emerge 200 years later here. The crystal-clear water and aquatic vegetation provides habitat for interesting wildlife, including the Shoshone sculpin, a fish species found nowhere else on earth.
The preserve includes Ritter Island, once the site of a state-of-the-art dairy farm. The historic barn and dairy facilities remain and are open to visitors. There are hiking trails around the island. The preserve is consistently one of the best birding spots in the state.
For more information, contact the Berkleys by email or phone (208) 536-6797.