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City council will consider 160-acre open space purchase

city open space purchase

Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway points to the open space property up for consideration at the June 16 City Council meeting. Photo by Erika Sather-Smith.

The Idaho Humane Society has agreed to sell 160 acres of land west of Bogus Basin Road to the city of Boise for $240,000. The City Council will consider the purchase at its June 16 meeting. The money to purchase the land will come from $1.54 million that remains from a 2001 Foothills serial levy.

“This piece could arguably be one of the most critical that we have been able to purchase since the 2001 levy passed,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway.

The purchase would connect Daniels Creek to the 40-acre North Bogus Basin Road parcel, which was purchased by the city about two weeks ago for $300,000. The land will also connect to the Stack Rock Reserve via public land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service.

Holloway said that when the department brought the North Bogus Basin Road Parcel to the city council for consideration on March 3, they knew the Humane Society owned the adjoining 160 acres, but they did not know the organization was interested in selling it.

Boise Foothills open space map including Idaho Humane Society parcel. Click to enlarge.

Boise Foothills open space map including Idaho Humane Society parcel. Click for full map.

Mayor David H. Bieter at a press conference June 12 described the purchase as “at least a double bankshot and I think probably a triple bankshot” because it will create an open trail between two important recreational areas, Polecat Gulch and Stack Rock, and because it helps the Humane Society in its fundraising efforts for an expansion. The timing fits well too, Bieter said, because on June 9 the City Council approved a ballot initiative that would establish a temporary, two-year override levy to preserve and protect water, wildlife, and open space for recreation in the city’s foothills and along the Boise River corridor. The initiative will appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Acquisition of the property has been a priority of the mayor and the City Council, the mayor’s office said.

The two-year 2001 Foothills serial levy generated $10 million for the protection of open space in the Boise Foothills. The mayor’s office said the city has used the levy and other funding sources to protect 10,807 acres of land valued at nearly $38 million from development.

About Erika Sather-Smith

Erika Sather-Smith is the web editor at the Idaho Business Review.