LEWISTON, Idaho—Western Rivers Conservancy, a leading nonprofit dedicated to conserving outstanding rivers throughout the West, has announced its purchase of Ten Mile Creek Ranch, on the Snake River.
According to the conservancy, 50 to 80 percent of Idaho’s Hells Canyon herd of bighorn sheep, which number roughly 150 head, give birth to their lambs on the property. Ewes then nurture their young amongst the ranch’s steep and rocky cliffs, which provide crucial protection for the vulnerable lambs.
“This is some of the most important bighorn habitat in the Pacific Northwest,” said Zach Spector, WRC’s project operations director. “The seller’s vision for the property aligned perfectly with our mission to keep the West’s great rivers healthy for fish and wildlife, and the outcome will be positive across the board.”
The 2,920-acre ranch lies between Idaho’s Hells Gate State Park to the north and the 78,000-acre Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area to the south.
“This ranch a special place, and we wanted to make sure it stays intact forever,” said Rick Rupp, the former owner of the property, “We feel the greatest of pleasure and deepest sense of gratitude that Ten Mile Creek Ranch was purchased from us by Western Rivers Conservancy with the intention of conservation. We could not be happier with the outcome and hope this serves as a catalyst for protecting more open space along the Snake.”
In addition to having prime bighorn habitat, the ranch spans
four miles of the Snake River, a reach that includes important Chinook salmon
redds and migration habitat for sockeye salmon, spring and fall Chinook, and summer
Now that Western Rivers Conservancy owns the ranch, it is working on a long-term conservation solution that will benefit the Snake River, its fish and wildlife and the local community alike.
ABOUT WESTERN RIVERS CONSERVANCY
Western Rivers Conservancy acquires prime river lands along the West’s best rivers and streams to conserve habitat, protect key sources of cold water and provide public access for all to enjoy. It is the West’s only organization dedicated exclusively to saving rivers through land acquisition—an approach that is effective, tangible and permanent. Its motto is “Sometimes to save a river, you have to buy it.” WRC has protected key stretches of great rivers throughout the West, including the Salmon, Grande Ronde, John Day, North Umpqua, Klamath, Gunnison, Yampa, Snake and Madison. To learn more, please visit westernrivers.org.