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Deer Habitat Secured

Idaho big game

A key part of one of southeastern Idaho’s most important mule deer winter ranges is now protected from development.

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Idaho Fish and Game Department pooled federal Bonneville Power Administration money to buy about 2,800 acres in Idaho Canyon. The land is in the Soda Springs Hills.

Fish and Game studies indicate that before a recent slump in numbers, the 32,000 acres comprising the Soda Hills served as sanctuary for the highest density of deer in the state. “It’s real desirable winter range,” wildlife biologist Bill Davidson said. “Deer have been coming here for years and years.”

BPA money for the acquisition is to mitigate fish and wildlife habitat lost when Palisades Reservoir was built on the Snake River decades ago.