The Bureau of Land Management Shoshone field office and The Nature Conservancy in Idaho have secured a conservation easement on the historic Cenarrusa Ranch in the Pioneer Mountain foothills near Carey.
The working ranch and the areas surrounding it include critical habitat and migration corridors for wildlife that include big game and sage grouse, according to a press release from BLM.
The easement ensures 3.16 miles of motorized and non-motorized access routes to public land and 7,691 acres will be protected for generations to come.
“Expanding access to public lands and outdoor recreational opportunities is among the BLM’s highest priorities,” William Perry Pendley, BLM deputy director for programs and policy, said.
“This easement is part and parcel of that commitment and preserves a vital part of the West’s heritage for future generations,” he said.
The easement was purchased through the High Divide Collaborative’s funding proposal for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is generated from royalties from offshore oil leases.
Included in the agreement is access across the property to large swaths of public land.
“I’m really proud of this project. The acquisition of this conservation easement is significant as we have now secured public access for recreation and hunting opportunities,” Codie Martin, BLM Shoshone field manager, said.
“By working together, we have guaranteed a working ranch and farm will always be what it is today and the local economy will be able to continue to depend on its agriculture and livestock production,” he said.
One of the longest pronghorn migration routes in the West, which is more than 160 miles round-trip, crosses over the ranch, Tess O’Sullivan, conservation manager for The Nature Conservancy in Idaho, said.
“It’s the kind of place that makes Idaho Idaho. In a time of much change for the state, we are thankful to keep this area intact and we’re grateful to everyone who helped make this happen,” she said.
The Cenarrusa Ranch is one of the largest private ranches conserved by the Pioneers Alliance within the vast area between the Pioneer Mountains and the Craters of the Moon National Monument.