Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Boise

4.1
#17 of 23 in Parks in Boise
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area has one of the densest populations of nesting raptors. The National Conservation Area (NCA) is located 35mi south of Boise, Idaho along 81mi of the Snake River, and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The NCA covers 484873acre. In descending order of land area it is located in Ada, Elmore, Owyhee, and Canyon counties.
Section 2301 of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, section 2301 renamed the area as the Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in recognition of the contributions of Morley Nelson, a raptor expert and advocate and a leading proponent of the original creation of the National Conservation Area.
About 14,000 years ago, as glaciers receded from the last ice age, the 20000sqmi Lake Bonneville crested at Red Rock Pass, Idaho, creating what is known as the Bonneville Flood. As soft soils eroded at the pass, the lake poured into the volcanic plain of the Snake River and its canyons. Today, visitors to the Snake River area can explore the house-size boulders, box canyons, and other evidence left behind by the tremendous flood. At Swan Falls (now Swan Falls Dam), peak discharge of the flood was an astounding 33 million cubic feet/second.
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Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area reviews

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  • Confusing trying to find the actual place, ended up down by the dam which was interesting. We were early in the season, not many raptors out there except one beautiful pair of Prairie Falcons...  more »
  • I thought there would have been more about raptors, but instead learned about hydro-power. The great flood and petrified watermelons were interesting surprises.  more »

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