Idaho land agreement benefits wildlife restoration

Idaho officials and energy company Avista Corp. have agreed to a land swap intended to benefit wildlife restoration efforts and state-operated timber operations, according to Avista officials.

Avista Corp. has finalized the acquisition and transfer of a 125-acre parcel of land on Upper Gold Creek in Bonner County to complete an exchange with the Idaho Department of Lands for property along Trestle Creek that Avista can use for bull trout restoration efforts. The Trestle Creek land, identified as a critical bull trout habitat, is not well suited for IDL’s timber harvesting programs, which generate revenue for state trust programs that benefit education and other areas.

The agreement, approved in November by the Idaho Land Board, allowed the Idaho Department of Lands to transfer ownership of Trestle Creek lands to Avista in exchange for the Upper Gold Creek parcel.

Avista plans to use the land for a bull trout protection and restoration project as part of the Clark Fork Project License and Settlement Agreement, which is a multi-stakeholder agreement for managing and protecting the area’s natural resources.

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