With six miles of Lawyer Creek running through our 5000 acres, the Flying B Ranch bears quite a responsibility for the stewardship of this unique resource. The Creek is home to a wild run of native steelhead as well as resident wild trout. The Creek has challenges from surrounding agricultural fields with the associated run off and chemicals, past stream bed alterations and invasive plant species topping the list.
How does a land owner tackle these issues with a limited budget?
We started by hiring a stream restoration company to look at the present condition of the stream and give us habitat improvement options. Because this company specialized in complete restorations and have a wildly successful track record of doing that, their recommendations ended up being cost prohibitive for our budgets.
When we started looking for public funding to help, we were competing directly with Idaho Department of Fish and Game, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the NezPerce Tribe for funds. It didn’t take long to figure out we needed to partner with these agencies rather than compete with them for this limited funding.
Enter the divide and conquer mentality that is at times needed in hunting conservation.
These are not as flashy as a total stream restoration, but the end result will be more compatible with our finances and will bring the stream into a more natural state in the long run.
The thing to remember is this; Do what you can with a very long term goal of giving the next generation a better property than you started with.