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Pioneers Alliance  » Place

At the heart of the work of the Pioneers Alliance is our work to conserve the working lands and wild lands of the Pioneers-Craters region. We recognize that many of the values we most cherish about the region – working ranches, abundant migratory wildlife, backcountry hunting and recreation, spectacular vistas – require a large unspoiled landscape. Our vision is of a unified approach – supported by private ranchers, federal and state officials, residents and conservationists – to managing the 2.6 million acre Pioneers-Craters landscape that will safeguard these values for the long term.

The Pioneers-Craters landscape can be thought of as consisting of three major subregions. At the south end, on lands typified by sagebrush steppe and lava flows, the federal Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service are the primary landowners. Major activities on these lands include livestock grazing and recreation. At the north end of the landscape, are the high mountains, forests and river valleys of the Sawtooth and Salmon-Challis National Forests, managed by the United States Forest Service. And connecting these two large swaths of federal land is the foothill country, which consists of a complicated mix of private ranchlands, state lands and federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

In order to fulfill our vision of conserving the entire landscape, Pioneers Alliance has worked on several fronts. First, local landowners, conservationists, Blaine County and federal agencies have worked to secure funding for the purchase of conservation easements on private ranchlands in the foothills portion of the landscape.

Ray Baird

These agreements provide landowners with a payment in exchange for the landowners’ commitment to maintain agricultural, scenic and environmental values of their properties. Second, we work with state and federal agencies throughout the region to influence land use decisions that impact the condition and character of the landscape. Recent examples include our work on the Bureau of Land Management’s Shoshone Field Office’s Travel Plan and our work in 2007 on the proposed Mountain States Transmission Intertie, a regional electric transmission line.

The size and unspoiled nature of the Pioneers-Craters represents one of the great legacies that has been passed to us by previous generations and is one of the gifts we can pass on to the next. This sense of legacy motivates and inspires us to work at a large scale, one that matches the landscape itself.

About Us

The Pioneers Alliance is a cooperative effort by ranchers, local residents, conservationists and public lands managers to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural values of the Pioneer Mountains and Craters of the Moon landscape of south-central Idaho.

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Contact Us

The Nature Conservancy in Idaho
(208) 788-8988