Preserving and Sustaining Idaho's Wildlife Heritage

Success Stories / Upper Snake

Establishing Nesting Trumpeter Swans in Teton Valley

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The Foundation provided funding to install a floating wetland island to improve nesting habitat at the trumpeter swan cygnet release location at Lazy K Marsh. The breeding range of the Tri-State area flock of the Rocky Mountain population of trumpeter swans is roughly centered on Yellowstone National Park, an area that sheltered the last remaining nesting trumpeter swans in the contiguous United States in early 20th century. Discovery of this remnant flock galvanized larger swan conservation efforts that have resulted in trumpeter swan recovery in the Rocky Mountain population and other populations, but the viability of the Tri-State flock remains a conservation challenge.

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Moist Soil Management at Market Wildlife Management Area

The Foundation’s grant provided the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (MKWMA) north agricultural fields to be leveled to provide optimal flood irrigation and utilize water efficiently. Water catchment areas (brood ponds) were designed at the bottom of the field to catch and retain water draining from the field. The open, wet areas in this segment were created to increase the amount and diversity of insects which equate to food for many bird species. This moist soil management project was completed and is successfully providing better habitat for all wildlife and important gallinaceous, passerine, and water birds.

sign  after catch ponds (brood strips) 2 more green  leveling of field

Habitat Improvements at Deer Parks & Gem State

 Installing Butte Slough nest box 

The Foundation provided funding to restore wood duck nesting habitat in the Deer Parks Wildlife Mitigation Unit and Gem State Wildlife Habitat Area outside of Idaho Falls. The Idaho Master Naturalists, Upper Snake Chapter, were involved in the construction and installation of the nest boxes around Butte Slough between the Market Lake Canal and the Snake River. The Deer Parks WMU is a 3,173 acre area of wetlands, uplands, and some crop fields. It’s home for waterfowl, upland and big game hunting, and wintering habitat and feeding for hundreds of swans and other waterfowl. It’s also a popular area for birdwatchers. Gem State WHA is a 70-acre site along the Snake River at the west end of Deer Parks WMU. A total of 30 new nest boxes were constructed out of cedar boards using designs recommended by the Wood Parks WMU. The boxes were placed on posts to thwart raccoon predation and to make monitoring easier. Spring 2015 was the first nesting cycle that the boxes were in place. Since instinct drives a hen or juvenile back to a natural cavity or net box used the previous season, it’s hopeful that future years will see an increase in wood duck usage of these nesting boxes as well as an increase in wood duck populations.  

Bear Aware Safety & Education Trailer
The Foundations’ grant updated the Bear Aware educational displays. Due to an increase in demand for bear safety programs in eastern Idaho, the program provides safety awareness and education materials to the general public and to a wide variety of community organizations. The Bear Aware Safety Program is run by trained volunteers through the Idaho Master Naturalist Program, Upper Snake Chapter, in Idaho Falls.      Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City 2014. New table cloths.  New canopies, signs and table cloths 
Teton Creek Stream Bank Restoration and Education Project
The Foundation granted funds to Friends of the Teton River to restore eroding stream banks and riparian vegetation along the Teton Creek in eastern Idaho. The project engaged 20 high school students in on-site field work and included an interpretive sign component for public outreach. The project helped to restore Teton Creek, a spawning area for Yellowstone Cutthroat trout, and a tributary of the Teton River. Eroded creek banks were rebuilt, vegetation replanted and silt removed to improve habitat for a number of fish and bird species.
Crow Creek Stream Bank Restoration Project
Trout Unlimited, Idaho Falls Chapter, received funds to restore a section of Crow Creek, a major spawning and rearing tributary of the Salt River for Yellowstone Cutthroat trout. The restoration project worked to improve spawning and rearing habitat, bank stabilization and to control sediment with the goal to increasing fish and wildlife populations. 
Trail Creek Stream Bank Restoration
Between 1999 and 2003, the number of Yellowstone Cutthroat trout declined 95% in the Teton River, while non-native trout increased 200 percent. A grant from the Foundation helped fund the installation of a series of v-weirs to stabilize the stream bed and maintain a low-flow channel for fish passage, stabilizing 600 feet of eroding stream banks with rock and other elements to slow erosion. The project included replanting willows, cottonwoods and native grass, and replaced erosion control fabric to establish vegetation on the banks and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. Other partners on the project included the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, On the Rocks, Western Watersheds, Grand Teton Targhee, and landowners and developers.
Fox Creek Restoration
Teton Regional Land Trust was awarded a grant to improve in-stream and riparian habitat along a highly-degraded reach of Fox Creek for native Yellowstone Cutthroat trout, nesting waterfowl, and migrating waterbirds.
Warm Creek Riparian & Wetlands Enhancements
WarmCreek1Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation provided a grant to enhance nesting and brood-rearing habitats along a spring creek serving as a headwater tributary of the Teton River in Eastern Idaho. This project improved the productivity and diversity of wetland breeding birds while increasing woody cover to benefit moose, elk, deer, raptors and songbirds. Other project partners are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and Teton Regional Land Trust.
Lower Teton River Corridor Wildlife Habitat Restoration
LowerTetonAn Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant to the Teton Regional Land Trust helped wetland breeding birds by establishing better nesting and brood-rearing habitat on the Lundquist conservation property in Teton Valley. This project included planting 460 native willows along 3,500 feet of a seasonal irrigation channel running through the property and installing fencing to protect the area from cattle grazing. Livestock grazing on two pastures will be alternately deferred until mid-summer of each year to help increase quality nesting and brooding for ground nesting birds. The grant funded plant, fencing and equipment materials. Other partners in this project were the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and private landowners.
Teton River Basin of Eastern Idaho - Greater Foster's Slough Wetland Restoration
Teton Regional Land Trust received a grant to help restore and preserve a key wetland area in the Teton River Basin of eastern Idaho. The Greater Foster’s Slough provides critical fish and wildlife habitat in a region facing increasing development pressure. The Foundation’s grant supported the cost of fencing, re-vegetation and water control structures. This project is part of a long-term habitat restoration plan for 5,000 acres.
Rainey Creek Restoration
A grant from the Foundation went to Trout Unlimited to help restore Rainey Creek, a trout-spawning tributary of the South Fork of the Snake River. Improvements at nine water diversion sites gave native Yellowstone Cutthroat trout better access to their historic spawning and rearing habitat. Trout Unlimited worked with private landowners to modify diversions and restore habitat.
Teton Basin Spring Creek Restoration
Friends of the Teton River received a grant from the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation to restore woody riparian vegetation along 2,200 feet of Unnamed Creek in the Teton Basin. The restored woody riparian vegetation provided forage and shelter for birds and wildlife; provided cover for fish; lowered stream temperatures; stabilized stream banks; narrowed the stream channel; and increased water quality.
Henry's Fork Public Access for Anglers
Anglers who love to fish the Henry’s Fork in eastern Idaho have an easier time casting a line in this revered fishing area. A Foundation grant helped fund the development of two public access points along the river: Stone Bridge and Vernon Bridge. The Henry’s Fork offers world-class fishing to Idahoans and an increasing number of visitors throughout the world.
Garden Creek Restoration
As part of its Home Rivers Initiative, Trout Unlimited teamed up with 15 state, local and federal partners to restore Garden Creek, a traditional spawning area for Yellowstone Cutthroat trout. A grant from the Foundation was part of more than $1 million spent on this complicated restoration. Garden Creek runs through both federally and privately owned land, so the project included two goals. First, Trout Unlimited worked with private landowners to modernize irrigation systems for ranching operations using the creek. This move improved efficiency and reduced overall water consumption. Second, the group rebuilt the creek’s original stream channel which had been diverted for much of the past century and reestablished the creek’s historic route by reconnecting it to empty into the South Fork of the Snake River. New fences and plants were added to protect the restored area. All of these changes were to promote spawning activity by providing greatly improved habitat for Yellowstone Cutthroat trout.
Sheridan Creek Restoration/Harriman Park
Sheridan-CreekThe Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation partnered with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to help recreate 2.8 miles of trout spawning habitat to help sustain a naturally-producing component of the trout population in the Island Park Reservoir. Approximately five acres of new wetlands were created in the eroded ditch. Sediment loading to the reservoir greatly decreased and lowered water temperature, and greater water depths work to attract to trout.  Sheridan Creek is the largest direct tributary to the Island Park Reservoir and historically produced large Cutthroat and Rainbow trout.
Teton River Riparian Restoration Project

TR-DownstreamF-11_2012-e1363889100890Teton Regional Land Trust received funding to restore and increase protective riparian cover for native Yellowstone Cutthroat trout, waterbirds, and wintering Trumpeter swans along the Teton River. The project included bank stabilization and riparian planting along a total of 1,446 feet of the river; approximately 1,400 willow poles; 813 containerized native trees and shrubs, and 81 transplanted willow clumps. Instream features, including channel constrictors, rock clusters, and large rootwads, were installed to increase the diversity of fish habitat. Teton Valley Trout Unlimited volunteers, Teton Regional Land Trust volunteers and Teton Valley Community Schools students contributed over 140 volunteer hours.

Graham Wildlife Habitat Riparian Restoration Project

AFTERGrahamWildlifeHabitat20120801_IMG_0574-e1363888968293The Graham Wildlife Habitat Riparian Restoration project restored nesting and brooding habitat for water birds along two channels of Buffalo Fork Spring Creek running through the Graham Wildlife Habitat property. Teton Regional Land Trust was able to re-connect riparian and upland vegetation between the two sites, establishing dense riparian cover and large woody vegetation suitable for nesting and brood-rearing. The Graham Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project will yield educational benefits for local youth and the community at large for years to come. The Foundation’s grant funded approximately 386 aspens that were planted between the channels and along the periphery of the project area. A 72″ -tall enclosed fence was maintained until planted materials were successfully established to handle light browsing by native wildlife. The high-fence was replaced with a wildlife-friendly wire fence to preclude all grazing by cattle, while still allowing access and crossing by deer, elk, and moose.

Aquatic Invasive Species Wader Wash Stations

Wader-Wash-e1389116083403The Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation partnered with Idaho Fish and Game and local businesses to help fund the Aquatic Invasive Wader Wash Disinfection Stations in the Island Park area in eastern Idaho. The stations encouraged fishermen to disinfect their gear before fishing in the Island Park area in order to prevent the spread of invasive species. The stations are also used as an educational tool to spread awareness of the threat of invasive species.