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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Agreement protects 5,000 acres of North Idaho forestland

FILE - McArthur Lake is a state-protected wildlife area along Highway 95 south of Sandpoint. (Photo from The Nature Conservancy / Courtesy)

Roughly 5,000 acres of forest near Bonners Ferry will be protected under a conservation easement. The agreement was announced Wednesday.

Half of the forestland is located near Hall Mountain and the other half is east of McArthur Lake in the McArthur Lake Wildlife Corridor. They were placed under conservation easements in January, according to an Idaho Department of Lands news release.

The voluntary easements allow the landowner to retain ownership with a promise to restrict certain activities, such as development. The landowners are compensated for limiting those uses.

Forest management will continue and the land will be open for public access like hunting, hiking and berry picking, the release said.

“This project is a win-win for both nature and people in North Idaho,” said Toni Hardesty, State Director for the Conservancy in Idaho in a news release. “These lands will continue to provide habitat for native wildlife while also maintaining jobs and providing access to the local communities.”

The U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program and the Nature Conservancy funded the project.

Correction: The original photo attached to this story was of the wrong area. The story has been updated.