City of Boise Plans to Preserve 80 Acres of Boise Foothills Land in the Barber Valley

May 17, 2024

This purchase was approved by Boise City Council on Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

The City of Boise plans to use Clean Water and Open Space Levy funds to purchase a beautiful, undeveloped piece of Boise Foothills property in the Barber Valley. The land encompasses 80 acres and includes a broad valley and sloping hillsides.

If the $365,000 purchase is approved by Boise City Council at the upcoming Tuesday, May 21 meeting, it could eventually lead to a variety of trail experiences and connections, adding recreational opportunities within the Ridge to Rivers system.

Mayor Lauren McLean announced the pending purchase at her annual State of the City address.

"This purchase allows for the realization of our vision to bike or hike into the Boise Foothills at the mouth of the Barber Valley, with options to connect from one reserve or trail to another, finishing at Boise’s edge near Highway 55," said Mayor McLean. “How incredible that this land that once provided apples, cattle and other goods to the community will now further interconnectedness and community access across the entire Boise Front.”

The property is bordered on all sides by open space and is adjacent to the Boise River Wildlife Management Area. Trail connections are possible with nearby Mesa Reserve and other Ridge to Rivers partnership-managed reserves. Designs and proposals will be developed in the coming months.

"We are grateful to Susan Miller and Charlotte Biyas, the granddaughter and great grandniece of the original owner, Alvin William Seelye, for their willingness to work with the City of Boise to preserve this unique piece of open space for generations to come," added Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. "This announcement is the result of hard work, trust and relationship building with the family, and we’re grateful to our Ridge to Rivers team for being such good stewards of these important community treasures."

Statement from the Family

"We would like to recognize and honor our ancestor, Alvin William Seelye. He was devoted to the stewardship of land and natural resources, and a devoted father and grandfather. He loved the beautiful country he found in Idaho and purchased land where he focused on growing apples and other fruits, as well as cattle. We are so pleased that the land will be respectfully cared for by the community going forward and made available for the public, including hikers, walkers and others of all ages and abilities, to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife that the Seelye family believes was a gift from God."

Levy Fund Update

There is currently $2.6 million of the original $10 million left in the 2015 levy fund. To date, levy funding has helped preserve more than 12,500 acres of land in the Boise Foothills, supported trail accessibility and pathway additions, community-led science projects and more.

To learn more about the 2015 Clean Water and Open Space Levy and view a list of projects and land purchases the money has funded, see the Approved Levy Projects.

Barber Valley

Contact: Parks and Recreation Media Relations

(208) 608-7600 |

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