Habitat Restoration

The City of Boise owns over 5,000 acres of open space reserves, located primarily in the sagebrush steppe ecosystem. Sagebrush country contains many biological, cultural and economic resources but this ecosystem has become threatened and fragmented by a number of forces. Today, the sagebrush steppe is considered one of the most imperiled ecosystems in North America.

What We Do

The City of Boise actively manages open space reserves using a science-based, adaptive management strategy founded on three basic principles of resistance and resilience in ecosystems;

1) Protection of intact habitat

2) Preventative management

3) Restoration and rehabilitation of wildlife habitat, where feasible

To meet our program goals, the city engages in a variety of restoration projects annually.

Current Projects

Aase's Onion Plant in soil

Monitoring Rare Plant Plants of the Boise Foothills

Learn more about rare plants that live in SW Idaho and no where else in the world and what the city is doing to conserve these precious resources.

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Enclosure in the foothills

Restoration Enclosures

Restoration in semiarid systems such as the lower Boise Foothills is difficult and success often depends on factors outside of a land manager's control.

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Hulls Gulch Reserve

Hulls Gulch Reserve is a 292-acre site north of downtown Boise at the base of the foothills.

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Table Rock Reserve

Check out the story map created to evaluate restoration success and utilized an approach to healing the landscape.

View Story Map

How We Do It

In 2007, Zoo Boise became the first zoo in the country to create a conservation fee. The 50 cent fee, charged in addition to the admission price, was designed to fund conservation project taking place in Idaho and around the world. In the wake of the 2016 Table Rock fire, Zoo Boise committed $100,000 of the conservation fund for Table Rock restoration efforts and pledged an additional $50,000 annually for five years managing our open space reserves.

Program Goals

Our science-based land management program addresses the public’s conservation goals, as determined over many years of citizen engagement, and approved by City management plans (including the Boise Open Space Reserves Management Plan, the Ridge to Rivers 10-Year Management Plan, and the Interagency Foothills Management Plan). Conservation goals include protecting and conserving clean water and drinking water, safeguarding critical wildlife habitat, protecting critical open space, preserving native plant species, and enhancing trails and recreational opportunities.

How to get involved?

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For other after hours park related emergencies (i.e. irrigation issues, restrooms), please call (208) 489-6640.