Agency expands Sawtooth Forest through ranch acquisition

KETCHUM, Idaho - The U.S. Forest Service has expanded the Sawtooth National Forest through the acquisition of a ranch in central Idaho.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that 368 acres of the Goat Falls Ranch adjacent to the forest and southwest of the town of Stanley were acquired last month.

The state acquired water rights to a creek that provides habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout.

Sawtooth Ranger Kirk Flannigan says the property is mostly pasture land, but it does contain some wetlands and lodgepole pine forest. He says the agency's land purchase will allow the property to remain undeveloped.

The agency says the property was acquired through a partnership with the Western Rivers Conservancy, which purchased the ranch in February 2017.

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This story has been updated to correct that the state, not the federal agency, acquired water rights to the creek.

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Information from: Idaho Mountain Express, http://www.mtexpress.com


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