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Bike Trails and Deer Tails: Maucieri Easement Preserves Forest and Animal Habitat

November 2009 | Idaho

500 acres near Harrison, Idaho along eastern shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene

As bike riders and runners hit the Coeur d’Alene trail to test their endurance, one land owner persevered and achieved her own long distance trek. Jean Maucieri worked with Inland Northwest Land Trust to permanently protect 1.5 miles of Lake Coeur d’Alene shoreline bordering the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

Thanks to a process which commenced in 1994, the Maucieri Conservation Easement protects 500 acres of forested land encompassing O’Gara Bay and part of Shingle Bay. This large area of open space combined with wildlife habitat preserves a scenic view from Lake Coeur d’Alene and the far shoreline.

The wildlife prominent on the land includes white-tailed deer, black bear, elk, forest grouse, songbirds, and squirrels. Nearly 134 species of birds reside in the local area. As for trees, most common species located on the property are Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, grand fir and western larch.

Jean Maucieri understood the importance of protecting the land her family owned. “The innovation of money-making commerce was intruding and it was just on the brink of development. The original owners had passed on and people were standing in line and offering chances to cut it up into lots and destroy the possibility of there ever being any wild nature and forest land. It was the last chance for a piece of land that was really worth saving for the views, the quality of the land and natural forest,” she clarifies. The subdivision plats around the Maucieri easement visibly underscore her concerns.

The environmental benefits of the Maucieri easement include protecting healthy forest from deforestation, preventing commercial development and residential construction, and preserving the property in one piece so that it remains intact.

The Maucieri property is actively managed as timberland. In 2008, the Idaho Tree Farm Program named Jean Maucieri as Tree Farmer of the Year. Her family’s property received certification as a Tree Farm® in the early 1950s and entered the Idaho Forest Stewardship Program in 1999.

Jean Maucieri’s words and deeds demonstrate her intent to preserve the land that has been in her family’s care for nearly 100 years. She believes in land conservation and summarizes her viewpoint with the following statement, “I wanted to preserve what Idaho was, the original Idaho. It was forestland, there were no intruding wild yellow daisies, it was a land of wild beasts and bull moose… Imagine views of nature in the raw. Nothing had been touched; it was beautiful and healthy land. It was clean, there were and still are no poisonous snakes. Idaho is a healthy place and a wonderfully satisfying experience to be in the wild forest.”

According to Lonnie Johnson, Park Manager for Old Mission Park and Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, 32,000 people passed the Harrison trailhead and 15,000 people either walk or ride past the Maucieri property. Trail users could tip their hats or helmets to acknowledge the generous gift bestowed to people, vegetation and wildlife. (Those with horns, beaks or claws can simply wave their hooves, wings or paws.)

By: Brooke Nicholson

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