The Tex Creek Wildlife Area east of Idaho Falls is set to grow by 1,552 acres after a land acquisition was given the go-ahead.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission recently approved the land deal during its quarterly meeting held in Grangeville. Also approved for purchase was a 232-acre parcel of grass and shrubland about 10 miles northeast of Boise adjacent to the Boise River Wildlife Management Area.
The new acquisition in East Idaho butts up against Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area about 20 miles east of Idaho Falls.
“It’s on the south end of Tex Creek, kind of off the Kepps Crossing Road,” said Gregg Servheen, Fish and Game wildlife program coordinator. “Those additional acres will provide that amount of public access to Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area.”
Servheen said the area was previously grazing land and has kept its natural habitat characteristics.
“It will be providing for normal spring, summer and transition to winter range needs for wildlife,” he said. “For big game, in particular, it will serve as winter range and transition range for deer and elk. This will help improve the ability of Tex Creek to keep and hold those animals during winters and such.”
Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area is a combination of Fish and Game property, Bureau of Reclamation land and state land managed by Fish and Game. Its current size is about 34,000 acres. Much of the area surrounds Ririe Reservoir and land south of it.
The purchase price for the two properties is $1.96 million. It will be paid for using Bonneville Power Administration mitigation funds. The mitigation funds are a result of a settlement deal between the state and Bonneville Power Administration for impacts to fish and wildlife associated with the Columbia River Power System.
“It’s pretty frequent we get folks come to us want us to look at purchasing land,” Servheen said. “Lots of them are interested in protecting habitat and helping wildlife.”
To find a map of the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area online, go to idfg.idaho.gov/old-web/docs/wma/texCreek.pdf.