FEATURED PROGRAM – March 6, 2012

Kennon McClintock, The Nature Conservancy
Ball Creek Ranch Preserve

 

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Kennon McClintock with Rotarian David McIntosh


In 2002, The Nature Conservancy began a 500-acre restoration project on Ball Creek Ranch Preserve, a 2300-acre nature preserve located 12 miles north of Bonners Ferry. The project aimed to restore habitat that had been missing from the Kootenai River Valley for decades.  Kennon McClintock is the director of this operation whereby the Conservancy balances the wetlands with a working farm and ranch that operates on two-thirds of the preserve.

Kennon, who has worked for the US Forest Service and Forest Capital Partners, indicated that the Conservancy has a 350-acre conservation easement on adjacent timberland owned by Forest Capital Partners. The property is managed under a timber management agreement.  The farm was originally formed by Ty and Lisa Iverson and has Trout Creek as its northern boundary.  The farm has a guesthouse, with bird and wildlife watching, tent camping, hiking, hunting, canoeing and kayaking, fly-fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing,

According to the Conservancy’s website http://www.nature.org/Idaho, when the wetland was first constructed, the Conservancy's Steve Grourke remarked, "Build it and they will come. It did not take long for his prediction to become reality. In the fall, flocks of ducks and geese flock to the preserve before continuing their migration. Dozens of other bird species have been spotted on the preserve and nearby Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors should keep an eye out for moose, elk, otter, beaver, bald eagle and even black bear."

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Kennon invited Rotarians to visit the Ball Creek Ranch Preserve. He indicated that maps to the Preserve are available at the Preserve’s Guest House and the Bonners Ferry Visitors Center.