BPA plays an important role in supporting the diverse regional goals related to improving conditions for fish and wildlife. What’s good for fish and wildlife is also good for humans.
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One of the things that makes the Great Northwest so great is its abundance of trails and recreation opportunities. But what does hiking have to do with the Northwest’s largest clean energy provider? What you may not know is that the Bonneville Power Administration’s environmental efforts don’t just benefit fish and wildlife; some of them have adventure benefits for humans too. 

Land conservation efforts by tribal, state, local and private organizations are among the hundreds of projects BPA funds each year to lessen the impacts of building and operating the federal hydropower system on fish and wildlife. BPA relies on these partnerships to help protect and enhance land for fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin. Creating public access is an additional benefit of this important work. Here are a few of the outdoor recreation opportunities made possible with support from BPA and its Northwest public power utility customers.

Bald Hill Farm, Corvallis, Oregon

Bald Hill Farm adjoins the larger Bald Hill Natural Area. Its network of recreation trails is open to foot traffic, bikes and horses, and is used extensively by the community throughout the year.

Bonneville’s role: BPA and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board provided funding to Greenbelt Land Trust to purchase the property and manage it to protect and enhance wildlife and their habitats.

Partners: Greenbelt Land Trust, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Learn more about Bald Hill Farm.

Thurston Hills Natural Area, Springfield, Oregon

Thurston Hills Natural Area is 665 acres of land dedicated to recreation and habitat restoration. The area has more than 6 miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and nature lovers. The area is home to many plant and animal species, including the Western bluebird and Lewis’ woodpecker.

Bonneville’s role: BPA provided funding through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Agreement to Willamalane Park and Recreation District to purchase the property and manage it to protect and enhance wildlife and their habitats. Sensitive habitats are protected from user impacts.

Partners: Willamalane Park and Recreation District, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Learn more about Thurston Hills Natural Area.

 

Camas Prairie, Hill City, Idaho

The Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh Wildlife Management Area is open year round, but much of the high prairie wetland is inundated by water from mid-April to mid-July. Known as “duck heaven,” the area attracts waterfowl, water-based birds, bird watchers and nature photographers. It’s also a popular destination in late May and early June when the Camas lilies are blooming.

Bonneville’s role: BPA provided funding to Idaho Fish and Game, which manages the properties to protect and enhance wildlife and their habitats.

Partners: Idaho Fish and Game.

Learn more about the Camas Prairie – Centennial Marsh WMA.

BPA plays an important role in supporting the diverse regional goals related to improving conditions for fish and wildlife. The agency shares a common vision with its partners for a resilient and sustainable population of native fish and wildlife. Photo of the Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh Wildlife Management Area, near Hill City, Idaho, courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game.

Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh

BPA plays an important role in supporting the diverse regional goals related to improving conditions for fish and wildlife. The agency shares a common vision with its partners for a resilient and sustainable population of native fish and wildlife. Photo of the Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh Wildlife Management Area, near Hill City, Idaho, 

Minto-Brown Island Park, Salem, Oregon

Minto-Brown Island Park offers more than 1,200 acres that provide visitors beautiful scenery, bird watching and glimpses of a variety of wildlife. It even has 30 acres designated for off-leash dogs. Enjoy the outdoor sites from observation platforms along the sloughs, or walk, run or bike any of the nine trail loops where you may see blue herons, ospreys, squirrels and rabbits.

Bonneville’s role: BPA provided funding through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Agreement to purchase a 307-acre area that was added to the park to be managed for fish and wildlife habitat and also allows public access.

Partner: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Learn more about the Minto-Brown Island Park.
The city of Salem, Oregon, with funding from the Bonneville Power Administration through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program, purchased 307 acres from the Boise Cascade Corporation for use as a conservation area. The area is part of Minto-Brown Island Park, where visitors can experience beautiful scenery, bird watching and glimpses of a variety of wildlife. The area is managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, one of BPA’s regional environmental partners. Photo courtesy of city of Salem, Oregon.

The city of Salem, Oregon, with funding from the Bonneville Power Administration through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program, purchased 307 acres from the Boise Cascade Corporation for use as a conservation area. The area is part of Minto-Brown Island Park, where visitors can experience beautiful scenery, bird watching and glimpses of a variety of wildlife. The area is managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, one of BPA’s regional environmental partners. Photo courtesy of city of Salem, Oregon.

Deer Parks, Jefferson and Madison counties, Idaho

The Deer Parks Wildlife Mitigation Units are three separate parcels of land – Menan, Beaver Dick and Deer Parks – located along and near the South Fork, Henrys Fork and mainstem Snake rivers. The three areas provide numerous trails and are popular for horseback riding, hiking, dog walking and mountain biking. Almost any species of waterfowl found in southern and eastern Idaho can be found at Deer Parks, including more than 3,000 trumpeter swans that have been seen wintering there. The properties are owned by the Bureau of Land Management and are managed cooperatively with Idaho Fish and Game, the BLM and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. 

Bonneville’s role: BPA provided funding to Idaho Fish and Game, which manages the properties to protect and enhance wildlife and their habitats.

Partners: Idaho Fish and Game

Visitors to any of the three areas that make up the Deer Park Wildlife Mitigation Units in Idaho will find many species of waterfowl, including more than 3,000 trumpeter swans that have been seen wintering there. BPA provided funding to Idaho Fish and Game, which manages the properties to protect and enhance wildlife and their habitats. Photo courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game.

While all of BPA’s mitigation projects lead to improved habitat for fish and wildlife, some of them also lead to adventure. June is National Great Outdoors month, and in the Pacific Northwest it’s the perfect time to get out and explore the beauty that surrounds us.

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