Thursday, November 10, 2011

IDFG to Buy Hammer Flat From Boise

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 9:18 AM

UPDATE 12:00 p.m.

As expected, Fish and Game announced that its commission voted this morning to move ahead with the Hammer Flat negotiations.

"This is a tremendous victory for those who love Boise's Foothills and want to seem them preserved," said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.

A public information session regarding the potential purchase will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The time and place will be announced next week.


A little-known but high-impact item is on today's agenda when the Idaho Fish and Game Commission meets in Coeur d'Alene. Agenda item No. 11 is simply entitled, "Land Acquisitions." The item concerns Fish and Game's intention to purchase Hammer Flat from the City of Boise.

In March 2010, the city used $4.1 million in Foothills Levy funds to purchase the 701-acre Hammer Flat, about one mile east of the city and adjacent to the Boise River.

"Of all the incredible land acquisitions made through the Foothills serial levy, this is the most significant," said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter at the time of the purchase.

Once upon a time, developers coveted Hammer Flat, hoping to build up to 1,350 homes in a planned subdivision known as the Cliffs, but the city's purchase brought all of that to a halt.

Shortly after the purchase, the city's Parks and Recreation Department locked access gates to Hammer Flat and posted no-trespassing signs. At the time, city officials said they still needed to determine what would be appropriate access. That frustrated a number of recreationists who sailed over the valley as paraglider pilots.

If commissioners approve the initiative today, Fish and Game is well on its way to purchasing the land from the city (for approximately the same amount that the city paid), using mitigation funds from the Bonneville Power Administration.

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