People and Nature: Urban Life and Wetland Use

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



School of Public Service


Environmental Studies

Faculty Sponsor

Beau Hansen


The Hyatt Hidden Reserve is a bird sanctuary and recreational hiking location located close to the urban center of Boise Idaho. Since its creation in the 1980’s the scientific community and outdoor management groups have come to understand and value the role that native plants and animals play in maintaining a historically diverse ecosystem. Applying these ideals on the environments of the reserve will require extensive invasive species removal and the application of herbicides in conjunction with strategic planting. Funding for this project is limited, and its allocation for future projects is an important issue for the community and grant stakeholders. To better understand how this money can serve the public, data collection on public needs was undertaken by surveying community members and reserve visitors.

Our group has partnered with Eric Willadsen of the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley in creating a survey which seeks to assess community perception of the efficacy of reserve land use and policies, as well as ways in which they can be improved. A particular focus of the survey is the issue of public awareness regarding invasive species, and whether they are considered a positive, negative, or neutral aspect of reserve life. We assessed community concerns regarding fuel build-up and fire hazards, as well as visitor travel distances. Findings indicate that there is a strong public support for efforts to restore native species and remove invasive species in the Hyatt Hidden Reserve. Returns on the surveys also call for more effective enforcement of park rules and greater conservatory protection. A report will be prepared for our partners in the Land Trust which delivers these suggestions to management as rehabilitation work goes forward.

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