Thursday, September 21, 2006

Idaho Statesman Photo Challenge

This week's Idaho Statesman photo challenge was of the benches at Silver Creek Preserve. See today's Statesman for the photo, and you can read more about visitor center here. The fishing is still good, wildlife is abundant and fall is in the air, so it's a great time of year to make a visit to Silver Creek!

Monday, September 18, 2006

It's Autumn at Silver Creek!!!!

Its fall at the Silver Creek Preserve!! The elk are moving onto the Preserve to seek shelter and fatten up for the winter. The sandhill cranes with their haunting song are gathering and preparing to leave for warmer climate, and the ducks and geese are accumulating and getting ready for a winter at Silver Creek. The beaver are extremely busy this time of the year and a badger was sited last week. We have had sitings of a small blue heron and the birding has been very active as birds fly through on their way south. This will no doubt be another amazing fall-- the fishing has been great, the air is clear and crisp, and the animals are busy preparing for the winter. In the seasons and years to come we hope to continue our protection work at Silver Creek through education, scientific monitoring and restoration, and through building relationships in the community. Come visit the preserve and see for yourselves the wonders of autumn at Silver Creek and learn what we are doing to protect this amazing place.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Tax Incentives Benefit Easement Holders

Conservation easements offer significant benefits for landowners, and are a powerful force for conservation. Easements allow owners to continue to own the land and continue traditional uses like farming and ranching, while restricting development to protect wildlife habitat, clean water and open space. The Nature Conservancy has protected land through easements in all 50 states, including more than 25,000 acres in Idaho.

New tax incentives are available for private landowners interested in protecting the important conservation values of their lands through the donation of conservation easements.

On August 17, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Pension Protection Act of 2006. This legislation contains a two-year provision that in 2006 and 2007 will enhance the tax benefits of protecting your land when you donate a conservation easement.

If you own land with important natural resources, donating a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy can be one of the smartest, most cost-effective ways to conserve the lands and waters you love.

By donating a conservation easement, you can help fulfill your vision for your property and protect America’s natural heritage—while maintaining private property rights and possibly realizing significant tax benefits.

Summary of the Improved Benefits
For many landowners, the new law enhances the tax benefits of protecting private land. The legislation improves the tax incentive for donating conservation easements by allowing conservation easement donors to:

Deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income in any year (up from 30 percent);

Deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income if the majority of that income came from farming, ranching or forestry; and

Continue to carry over unused portions of deductions for as long as 15 years (up from 5 years) after the initial year in which the deduction was claimed.

Learn more about conservation easements.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Idaho Chapter Welcomes New Trustees

The Nature Conservancy of Idaho is pleased to welcome the following new members to its board of trustees: Diane Borjessan of Coeur d'Alene, Craig Groves of Bozeman, MT, Tom Praggastis of Ketchum, Sue Richards of Boise, Bill Rogers of Idaho Falls and Penn Siegel of Spokane, WA.

Tomorrow, these new members will spend a full day learning about the chapter's conservation projects and programs around the state. We look forward to working with them to protect Idaho's most special places.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ernest Hemingway Festival Held in Ketchum

The Sun Valley Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau will hold the Second Annual Ernest Hemingway Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho, September 28 - October 1. The schedule includes notable Hemingway scholars and speakers, including Valerie Hemingway, author of the recent memoir Running With The Bulls.

The festival celebrates Hemingway's time in Idaho and explores some of his haunts.

The Nature Conservancy owns Ernest Hemingway's last home in Ketchum. The Conservancy is currently archiving historic items in the home, and a preserve caretakers is ensuring that necessary repairs are made to best preserve the cultural assets of the home. The home is not open to the public to respect community wishes. A special fundraising dinner to provide necessary funding for the upkeep and ongoing management of the home will be held during the festival, contact the Chamber and Visitors Bureau for more information.

Ernest Hemingway also played an important role at another Nature Conservancy preserve: Silver Creek. Beginning in the 1930's, Hemingway was often invited to the area by the Sun Valley Resort for publicity. He often hunted ducks along Silver Creek, then part of the resort, with other celebrities like Gary Cooper. Ernest's son, Jack, loved spending time at the creek. When the Silver Creek property later came up for sale, it was Jack who contacted The Nature Conservancy to purchase the preserve.

Photo: Ernest Hemingway (third from left) prepares for a hunting outing along Silver Creek with family and friends.