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Preserve Croy Canyon Campaign Galvanizes Local Homeowners
Sunday, December 19, 2021



A six-acre patch of land out Croy Creek Road turned into one of the busiest places in the Wood River Valley this week as trucks lined up one by one to dump snow that had been removed from city streets during a 72-hour snowstorm.

Just beyond the mounting pile of snow sits a small patch of land that could easily go unnoticed by those heading to Rotarun Ski Area or to mountain bike trails in Croy Canyon.

The Wood River Land Trust says this 22.23-acre site, which sits between the Simons/Bauer Preserve and the Mountain Humane campus, should not go unnoticed. It says it must be preserved for migrating wildlife and for the restoration of the nearby wetland and the Big Wood River.

And that’s why it’s started its Preserve Croy Canyon campaign.

“It means significant open space for the community and protection of sensitive wildlife habitat,” said  Scott Boettger, executive director of the Wood River Land Trust.  “It means connectivity--a 1.5-mile trail from Colorado Gulch to Mountain Humane that would be wheelchair accessible with interpretive signage and wildlife viewing platforms.”

The area was originally designated for a retirement community and an elementary school. More recently, the City of Hailey considered developing a campground there. But after hearing comments supporting and condemning a campground, council members voted to work with the Land Trust to place a conservation easement on the parcel to guarantee it remains undeveloped in perpetuity.

“There are areas that need to be set aside for affordable housing and other things, but there needs to be balance,” Boettger said. “The council recognized that this is an area of sensitive wildlife habitat. And preserving places like this that are in our backyard gives the community the opportunity to enjoy nature, and it helps preserve the specialness of this place.”

The project has galvanized people who aren’t full-time millionaires, said Boettger.

To date, the Land Trust has raised about $200,000 of the $350,000 price tag, primarily through a postcard campaign to Hailey residents. The majority of checks have been under $100; the remainder have been $1,000-plus.

“When you think of projects for the community by the community this is it,” said Liz Pedersen, the Land Trust’s fund manager.

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