We hike along the Boise River and the wildlife habitat area nearby, where we often see an amazing number of waterfowl, song birds, birds of prey and many animal species.
The Barber Pool Conservation Area (hereafter, BPCA) is located approximately 6 miles east of downtown Boise, on the Boise River. It contains one of the last intact black cottonwood stands in the rapidly urbanizing Boise area. The study area covers 712.6 acres. The BPCA is heavily utilized by over two hundred species of wildlife, including bald eagles, and mule deer. Over 200 bird species and 60 mammal, reptile, and amphibian species have been documented there, including several US Fish and Wildlife Service "Species of Concern." This makes the BPCA a place of tremendous significance to wildlife, conservationists, and the scientific community.
Although the pool area was originally formed in the early 1900's by damming the river, and is thus a man-made system, it functions in many ways like a natural area. Quality shrub-steppe, wetland, and riparian systems exist within the study area. However, past years of grazing, noxious weed infestation, and the lowering of the hydrology behind Barber Dam have degraded habitat quality within the BPCA. Human intervention to improve the ecological quality of the BPCA will provide vast benefits.
The primary goals of the Friends of BPCA are to protect and enhance the habitat value of the BPCA for fish and wildlife, utilize the BPCA as an educational setting, and to provide non-intrusive recreational opportunities (compatible with ecological goals) to the general public. The Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands has created a web site with more information about the Barber Pool.