KLT announces Pack River conservation partnership

By Reader Staff

The Kaniksu Land Trust recently announced a voluntary conservation partnership that will protect 10 parcels of land adjacent to Pack River.

A portion of the land along Pack River that will be protected from development by a conservation partnership between the Thorells and Kaniksu Land Trust.
Courtesy of KLT.

Lenny and Carole Thorell, who purchased their first parcel in 1978, have spent more than 40 years steadily stitching back together the fragmented remnants of land around their home, ultimately rejoining the 10 contiguous parcels comprised of 65 acres of hay meadows, carefully tended forestland and streamside wildlife areas.

“We have sensed for many years that this property is unique,” Lenny stated in a news release announcing the partnership. “The past 40 years have given us time to reflect on its importance.”

Drawing on community support, Kaniksu Land Trust — the organization behind the Pine Street Woods project, which opened to the public in fall 2019 — assisted the Thorells in ensuring their Pack River land remains undeveloped while still being functional for hay production, timber and wildlife. 

“It’s truly remarkable what Lenny and Carole have accomplished here,” stated KLT Conservation Director Regan Plumb. “Conserving this portion of the Pack River will pay many dividends in the future, from protecting our clean water and healthy forests to providing scenic beauty to people and space for animals. It’s been such a pleasure to assist them in this process.”

As with all land conserved with Kaniksu Land Trust, the property remains in private hands and traditional land uses are preserved. The Thorells continue to own and manage their land and are free to sell, gift or lease it to others. 

According to Lenny, “Unchecked development in rural America deserves greater awareness. I have pretty strong feelings about the paving of paradise.”  

This is one of many projects in which Kaniksu Land Trust has helped private landowners to accomplish their conservation goals. Based in Sandpoint, KLT has worked extensively along the Bull River and other areas of Sanders County, Mont., as well as in Bonner and Boundary counties in Idaho. Nearly 4,000 acres of stream corridors, working farms and ranches, natural areas, and wildlife habitat have been now conserved with the organization since it was established in 2002.  

In addition to providing conservation tools to private landowners, KLT offers community programming and opportunities for people of all ages to learn and play outside. KLT is a nonprofit organization that is funded through community support and private foundations.

For more info on KLT or questions about conservation partnerships, call 208-263-9471 or email [email protected]

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