A recent partnership between Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Teton Regional Land Trust has conserved important farmland and open space near the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area. Thanks to the generosity of Wetlands America Trust, a supporting organization of Ducks Unlimited, the 242 acre property will continue to be used for agriculture and will help buffer nearby public lands. Wetlands America Trust first purchased the property in November of 2012. In 2016, Ducks Unlimited approached the Land Trust to conserve the property with a conservation easement.
This newly protected property lies along I-15, a half mile from the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area, and will continue its use as productive farmland. The property’s agricultural fields, wetland areas, and its proximity to the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are valuable to many important bird species. “Market Lake WMA is a world-class resource for a wide variety of wildlife, especially migratory birds. This easement is undoubtedly a benefit to the resources provided by the Market Lake WMA. It is extremely fulfilling to have been a part of such an impactful project,” said Bill Dell’Isola, Resource Specialist for Teton Regional Land Trust.
Ducks Unlimited donated the conservation easement and gave up a portion of the property’s development rights to protect this important farmland and open space. Chris Bonsignore, DU’s Manager of Conservation Programs, described the reasoning behind wanting to protect the property. “Preserving the rural landscape in and around Market Lake, which includes wetlands, other natural habitats and agriculture, provides important benefits for waterfowl, other wildlife, and people. This is one of DU’s highest priorities in Idaho. We are very pleased to be working with the Teton Regional Land Trust and our other partners to complete this conservation easement which will preserve a portion of this unique landscape for the benefit of future generations.”
“DU’s efforts to conserve open lands buffering the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area are extremely important for the many species utilizing the WMA’s resources,” said Josh Holmes, Teton Regional Land Trust Land Protection Specialist.
Most recently, the property was sold to an agricultural producer. The conservation easement, which limits subdivision, mining, and other incompatible uses, will remain in place for the benefit of future generations while the farmland will continue its traditional agricultural production.
Teton Regional Land Trust has worked with partner organizations and willing landowners for the last twenty-seven years to protect over 33,000 acres through conservation easements and other voluntary conservation options. A conservation easement is a legal agreement that allows for farming and ranching of properties as well as limited residential construction, but permanently restricts the amount and type of future development.