Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Gift To Idaho

"Christmas came to Idaho early this year," Governor Jim Risch said yesterday at a press conference in his office. Risch was there to announce Idaho's newest state park, Ritter Island--a gift from The Nature Conservancy to the state.

Ritter Island has been owned and managed by the Conservancy since 1986. Since Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation has a vision

The gift includes a one million dollar endowment for the state to manage its new state park. This money was given in 1986 to the Conservancy and was invested wisely, thus enabling the state to manage the park without straining its budget.

The Conservancy has owned Ritter Island since 1986, and has managed it as Thousand Springs Preserve. The island includes a historic rock house and dairy farm built by businesswoman Minnie Miller in 1920. The facilities remain in excellent condition. The Minnie Miller Falls on the property are the largest intact springs along the Middle Snake River.

The Conservancy’s goal in the Thousand Springs area was to protect the springs and unique wildlife they support. The scenic site has also been a popular recreation area and many visitors have expressed an interest in touring the historic buildings. By donating the property to Idaho to manage as a state park, the Conservancy will ensure the continued protection of the springs and wildlife habitat, while at the same time provide the public with what it wants: more access and interpretive facilities for the history and nature of the island.

“Our work in the Middle Snake River with members and partners is creating a legacy that all Idahoans will be able to enjoy,” says Laura Hubbard, the Conservancy’s Idaho state director. “I thank all of our supporters over the past twenty years who have made this enduring conservation legacy possible. Because of their support and vision, future generations will be able enjoy the natural beauty, unique wildlife and inspiring human history of Ritter Island.”

Read the Idaho Statesman's story on Ritter Island.

Watch KTVB-NBC Channel 7's reporting of the press conference.

1 comment:

Gary O. Grimm said...

In the spring of 2004 we shot and produced two "full screen" High Definition 360 degree panoramas from the Thousand Springs area. We also produced a short video sequence. These can be found on our web site on the following page: