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Lava Lake Land & Livestock

Lava Lake Land & Livestock

The Role of Private Landowners in Landscape-Scale Conservation

(p.185) 10 Lava Lake Land & Livestock
Stitching the West Back Together
Michael S. Stevens
University of Chicago Press

Lava Lake Land & Livestock (Lava Lake) in Idaho’s Pioneer-Craters region has employed numerous strategies for conserving working ranchlands across a checkerboard of public and private lands. Strategic land purchases and leases focused on securing lands with maximum conservation potential and economic value. A partnership with The Nature Conservancy led to collaborations with agencies, academic researchers, and others to perform science-based grazing management and rangeland restoration. Lava Lake manages its sheep to optimize habitat protection and restoration. Niche marketing of grass-fed lamb provides income. Lava Lake is selling perpetual conservation easements on its private land. Recreation and ecotourism-based businesses are also in development. Lava Lake helped establish the Pioneers Alliance, a coalition of diverse stakeholders working to develop a long-term vision and conservation strategy for the region. Finally, Lava Lake formed the nonprofit Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation to support regional research and conservation projects.

Keywords:   Lava Lake Land & Livestock, Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation, Pioneer-Craters region, conservation easements, grass-fed lamb, grazing management, conservation strategy, checkerboard

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