Idaho Fish and Game recently finalized two land deals in the Clearwater Region, preserving access to a stretch of river frontage that is a popular destination for salmon and steelhead anglers, and adding additional access to the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area.

The first agreement was for the purchase of a nine acre parcel 12 miles upstream of Kooskia known locally as Harpster Hole — which includes 3,600 feet of river frontage that is directly adjacent to Idaho Highway 14. Salmon and steelhead anglers spend thousands of hours fishing here every year during those seasons, and Fish and Game’s acquisition of the property will protect and provide for this continuing fishing and fishing access. The property was purchased for $25,000.

The second agreement was a property exchange that allowed Fish and Game to acquire 360 acres of private land inholdings within the core of the Craig Mountain WMA. The property will be managed consistently with the surrounding Fish and Game and tribal-owned lands, which allow non-motorized public access and are managed for the benefit of wildlife and wildlife habitat.

In exchange, the landowner received a 540 acre parcel (Reeves property) that falls outside of the current core of Craig Mountain WMA, and agreed to pay Fish and Game $147,000 for the difference in appraised value. The landowner also agreed to a public access easement, which will provide for non-motorized public access on the Reeves property in perpetuity, and ensure that the property remains undeveloped and will continue to provide wildlife habitat.

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