By Greg Kaltenecker, Diane and Winston Moore Family Endowed Executive Director
It has been my personal pleasure to work with so many local partners in developing the Diane Moore Nature Center thus far. In past newsletters we’ve highlighted the wonderful partnership between Boise State University and Micron Technology, Inc. that resulted in the design and construction of the new Boise River side channel.
We’ve told you about working with habitat restoration partners like College of Western Idaho, Golden Eagle Audubon’s Treasure Valley Native Plant Network, The Nature Conservancy, and so many others!
It is so rewarding to me to seek out these like-minded groups, brainstorm and plan, and then actually do something productive and positive on the ground!
Being able to come back later and say “we did that”, or watch as seedlings turn into plants, flower and then go to seed, providing real wildlife habitat!
As construction activities on the side channel were winding down last winter, I met Troy Pearse from the Boise Valley Fly Fishers (BVFF), a local organization of like-minded fishermen who strive to educate anglers about conservation.
Troy explained to me that the club focuses on access projects for fishermen as well as efforts to educate the public about conservation and habitat.
We quickly “hit it off” and began planning future collaborations at the Diane Moore Nature Center. Of particular interest to Troy was the new IBO side channel. His club’s members were excited to become involved in monitoring the channel for spawning trout, but we also discussed IBO’s desire to create interpretive signage highlighting the channel’s many benefits to fish and other wildlife.
“BVFF’s mission is fly fishing Education, Access and Conservation and I think our partnering work at the Diane Moore Nature Center is the perfect match!” -Troy Pearse, BVFF
With design assistance from Idaho Fish and Game’s Watchable Wildlife Program Coordinator Deniz Aygen, Design Artist Nancy Jasper, local artist Link Jackson, and Troy himself, we quickly began sketching out ideas for interpretive signs that would tell the compelling story of the side channel’s benefits to Boise River trout.
We also designed a beautiful anti-litter sign for the nature center. After several months of sending drafts back and forth we finalized three striking new sign designs. Boise State’s Sign Shop printed the sharp new signs, and Troy organized a group of BVFF volunteers to install them. A relatively seamless process, facilitated by capitalizing on all of the individual partners’ skills and strengths. A brief brush with poison ivy during the sign installation resulted in about 6 weeks of misery for me, but overall the experience of partnering with BVFF was awesome!
“We are very pleased to have these wildlife-focused anti-litter signs on the Boise River!”-Troy Pearse, BVFF
During one of our site visits, we began discussing IBO’s desire to maintain river access for fishermen as plans for the Diane Moore Nature Center move forward. Showing Troy the most-used river access point at the far upstream end of the property, we noted how use of this site had exploded with the recent boom in the city’s population, and how we saw a huge spike in use of the area during the Covid pandemic. In a few short months, the river access had gone from a narrow foot path to a “highway”, quickly eroding into the river and damaging native vegetation.
Sounded like another perfect project for BVFF!
A few months later, after numerous meetings and phone conversations with various stakeholders, BVFF submitted a grant proposal to the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation-Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s non-profit fundraising arm.
Near the end of summer we found out the proposal was funded!
Just like that, Troy was hard at work organizing a work party, purchasing materials and equipment, and pulling in local expertise. Randy Lancaster, owner of Dig! Custom Gardening, a local landscaping firm, was eager to help organize and lead the construction effort.
A couple of weekend work parties later, we can now boast a beautiful and sustainable set of access stairs that will serve fishermen and other river users for decades to come. A second phase of the project requires a stream alteration permit to complete the stairs below the high-water mark, but we hope to install this final section during the coming spring.
Looking back at this last year, we’ve made some pretty phenomenal progress at the Diane Moore Nature Center, thanks to our many, many community partners!
A new side channel, beautiful interpretive signs, a new set of access stairs, continued native plantings, and more! We thank you all and look forward to working together for many years to come!
This article is part of our 2022 end of the year newsletter! View the full newsletter here, or click “older posts” below to read the next article.
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