Group buys Idaho ranch to protect bighorn sheep habitat

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — A conservation group bought a 4.5-square-mile (11.7-square-kilometer) ranch in Idaho with the purpose of protecting bighorn sheep there.

The Lewiston Tribune reports Portland, Oregon-based Western Rivers Conservancy purchased the Ten Mile Creek Ranch near Lewiston last week.

The property, which was owned by Rick Rupp of Port Townsend, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona, includes a 5,000-square-foot (465-square-meter) primary residence, a 2,000-square-foot (186-suare-meter) caretaker’s home and about 4 miles (6 kilometers) of waterfront property along the Snake River.

But the bulk of the land is undeveloped.

Western Rivers Conservancy leaders are still formulating plans for the land but say their interest in making the acquisition was to protect habitat for bighorn sheep.

The group’s project operations director, Zach Spector, declined to say how much the conservancy paid for the property, but it was listed for $7.9 million in 2014.