A tremendous amount of work has gone into recreation, pathways and conservation planning for the region over the last 20+ years. The elite trail systems available to locals and visitors alike, the river and lake habitat preservation programs, the preservation of our mountainous viewscape–these all can be attributed to the hard work of several organizations committed to making the West Central Mountains the best it can be. But what if these groups centralized their planning efforts, across the board for the greater good? Could we realize efficiencies and meaningful progress if conservation groups worked with trail builders to concurrently build new recreational assets, while maintaining open space and historic uses like farming and ranching?

We think there’s a huge opportunity here, so we went to work to find a partner who could help us get a little more organized. In 2019, we wrote a grant for technical assistance for recreation and conservation planning from the US National Parks Service (NPS). This competitive process took a significant amount of legwork to put together, but with our partners, we were successful in our request. The team from NPS will be out to help us get the ball rolling on April 22nd, 2020. We will be hosting a stakeholders workshop that day to identify best practices, then we’ll go to work on planning and executing a shared vision for the future. If you are a stakeholder working in this arena and would like to join this conversation, please give us a shout: admin@wcmedc(dot)org

Stakeholders/partners, in no particular order:

  • National Parks Service (facilitator/grantor)
  • West Central Mountains Economic Development Council (facilitator/grantee)
  • Central Idaho Mountain Biking Association
  • Horizons Cascade
  • Payette Land Trust
  • Friends of the Weiser River Trail
  • Valley Soil and Water Conservation District
  • McCall Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Cascade Medical Center
  • Valley County
  • Jug Mountain Ranch
  • Tamarack Resort
  • Valley County Pathways
  • Brundage Mountain Resort
  • United States Forest Service
  • University of Idaho Valley County Extension