Photo by Giuseppe Saitta
“We are celebrating what’s in our backyard,” said Matt Miller, director of communications for The Nature Conservancy in Idaho. “It’s a celebration of 35 years and celebrating 35 years of all the people who have made Silver Creek possible.”
The Silver Creek 35th anniversary celebration will take place on Thursday, June 30, at the Heart Rock Ranch (formerly Diamond Dragon Ranch) south of Bellevue.The gala event will feature stories from inspirational conservation leaders, auction items and a lively evening of music and dancing with live music by the High Street Band.
The evening will begin with cocktails and appetizers followed by dessert. A short presentation will include special guests Sanjayan Beebe, world traveler and lead scientist with The Nature Conservancy, Spencer Beebe, conservationist and author, and Laura Hubbard, state director at The Nature Conservancy in Idaho.
For 35 years, Silver Creek has been a conservation success made possible by the community and its supporters. The Silver Creek story is one of landowners, guides, anglers, birders, nature lovers and other community members working together to benefit the Silver Creek Valley.
“Silver Creek is so important to the community and beyond because of a trout stream loaded with fish, and it’s such a challenging place to fish that it draws people from all over the world,” Miller said. “Also, people are attracted to its wildflowers and the birds.”
Miller said the creek is a haven for agriculture and the surroundings. Twenty-two landowners have donated 10,000 acres of conservation easements to Silver Creek.
“It’s a tremendous achievement,” he said. “It will remain.”
Miller said The Nature Conservancy has worked on conservation land easements around the U.S. He said it’s a great tool because landowners continue to the own land but the land will not be developed.
“These conservation easements are a model for other places,” he said. “The model has been used in the PioneerMountains, and we’ve been working with ranchers to protect that amazing mountain habitat.”
Visiting the preserve is free and people don’t have to be members.
“Membership does keep the preserve a special place,” he said. “It allows us to do projects at Silver Creek and all over the state. Anyone can join at any time.”
Projects include restoring habitat along streams and wetlands in the north of Idaho as well as removing barriers for salmon to spawn.
“I think the heart of The Nature Conservancy’s work is a belief in working together to protect Idaho’s special places,” he said. “Every year, people come from foreign countries and every state in the U.S. to see, bird and fish at Silver Creek.
The event will include an optional shuttle service running from Ketchum and Hailey to and from the Heart Rock Ranch. Shuttle times and locations are southbound departures at 5:30 p.m. from River Run Lodge parking lot in Ketchum and at 6 p.m. from the Park and Ride lot at the corner of River and Bullion streets in Hailey. Northbound trips will depart at 9 p.m. leaving Heart Rock Ranch with a 9:15 p.m. drop-off at the Park and Ride and a 9:30 p.m. drop-off at River Run Lodge. In addition, an 11 p.m. northbound shuttle will leave Heart Rock Ranch with an 11:15 p.m. drop-off at the Park and Ride and an 11:45 p.m. drop-off at River Run.
To drive from the north, take state Highway 75 south of Bellevueseven miles. The entrance to the Heart Rock Ranch is south of the Wood River Ranch, near mile marker 104. The driveway is on the right. Look for a white fence and a Heart Rock Ranch sign. Once on the drive, follow the signs to the parking lot. A shuttle will drive you the last few hundred yards to the ranch house. From the south, on Highway 75 drive two miles north of the U.S. 20/Idaho 75 junction. The entrance to Heart Rock Ranch will be on your left, near mile marker 104. Turn left and follow the signs to the parking lot.
Tickets are $50 per person at the door or call 788-8988.
Silver Creek events
· 2 p.m. a canoe float with the Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society’s Heritage & Ski Museum. To register, call 788-7910.
·2 p.m. end-of-summer canoe float. To register, call 788-7910.
Sabina Dana Plasse: email@example.com