Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area could grow by as much as 2,100 acres if pending deals go through in the near future.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved during its July meeting in Pocatello the purchase of three privately owned land parcels totaling 2,119 acres. The land, generally adjacent to the wildlife management area, has high value to wildlife, particularly elk and deer, Fish and Game said.
“These are all properties that will help to make Tex Creek contiguous and have some really good parcels that will improve connectivity with migration pathways,” said James Brower, regional communications manager. “They are really good properties that will give hunters more access.”
Funding for the purchases will be provided by Bonneville Power Administration under the Southern Idaho Wildlife Mitigation Memorandum of Agreement. Brower said the Idaho Department of Lands will facilitate the purchases.
The three pending properties include a 340-acre Croft property, located about 35 miles east of Idaho Falls next to Tex Creek wildlife management area; the 719-acre Jeffery property, about 15 miles east of Idaho Falls; and the 1,160-acre Deep Creek-Rack Brown property, about 20 miles east of Idaho Falls. Prices listed for the properties are $300,000 for the Croft property, $885,225 for the Jeffery property and $1,770,000 for the Deep Creek-Rack Brown property.
Fish and Game said the land acquisitions would connect some of the isolated parcels of Tex Creek and enhance the overall habitat management.
“It will make the Tex Creek footprint a little bit bigger and accessible to the public,” Brower said. “It can be pretty checker-boarded. This will fill in some of those holes.”
During late fall and winter, upwards of 4,000 elk and 3,000 mule deer typically migrate to the wildlife management area to spend winter often crossing private, state and National Forest land.
Tex Creek management area is about 35,000 acres before the addition of the three properties. The area is a mix of state and federal land managed by Fish and Game for wildlife habitat, hunting and wildlife-related recreation.
“Tex Creek (Wildlife Management Area) supports a wide variety of wildlife including Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, ruffed grouse, dusky grouse and Hungarian partridge as well as big game, furbearers, nongame species and birds of all kinds,” said Roger Phillips, Fish and Game information officer, in a news release.