THE DRY CREEK VALLEY
While we recognize the historical, cultural, recreational, and agricultural importance of the Dry Creek Valley, we believe this land has intrinsic value independent of any human interest. The Dry Creek Valley cannot speak for itself and we believe we have a responsibility to speak for it to ensure it is preserved and protected.
Where is the dry Creek Valley?
The Dry Creek Valley is located about 5 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho. Foothills surround the valley and it can be accessed by several roads, including State Highway 55, Seaman's Gulch Road, Cartright Road, and Dry Creek Road.
The Dry Creek Valley is home to an abundant array of wildlife, birds, and insects: from elk to snakes to native bees. This valley has been identified as a "sensitive wildlife/ecological area" by Ada County. During the harsh Idaho winter, a large herd of elk survived in part by foraging for food on Peaceful Belly Farm. Other wildlife that can be found in this area are mule deer, voles, mountain cottontails, whistle pigs, cougars, and sometimes even bears.
Owls, kestrel, osprey, magpies, Red-wing Blackbirds, quail, Killdeer, and Red-tailed Hawks are just a few of the many birds that call the Dry Creek Valley home. The riparian areas of the Dry Creek Valley provide crucial habitat for these birds.
A network of popular Ridge to Rivers hiking trails can be found in this valley. The Dry Creek Valley is popular with cyclists as well. Preservation of open space is a top priority in Ada County's 2025 Comprehensive Plan and residents of the Treasure Valley are well aware of how special the Foothills are and how fortunate we are to live in a place where opportunities for recreation are literally at our doorstep. A large development will undoubtedly change the character of the area.
The prime farmland found in the Dry Creek Valley is arguably the best farmland in Ada County. Agriculture plays an important role in food security and in creating healthy communities. 98% of food consumed in Idaho is not grown here. To change this statistic, we must have the foresight to preserve prime farmland. This valley has the potential to provide delicious and nourishing local food for many future generations.
The Dry Creek Valley has diverse plant life, including rabbitbrush, which provides food for mule deer and elk, and shelter for small mammals like rodents and rabbits. Other plants can be found here as well, like sagebrush and sunflowers. In any season, a walk through the valley never fails to surprise and delight. See below. (Yes, that's a tree growing in the middle of sandstone!)
Dry Creek is a small tributary of the Boise River watershed. It is a limited and valuable source of water in the Dry Creek Valley and it supports life in the area. In the Upper Dry Creek, genetically-pure Columbia River redband trout (one of three subspecies of rainbow trout) can be found. Preserving biodiversity in this area is imperative for healthy ecological systems.
Original inhabitants arrived in the Dry Creek Valley 15,000 - 12,000 years ago. Rich agricultural and cultural roots run deep in this valley, from Native American history to Basque and German immigrant farmers. Ada County identified the Schick-Ostolasa Farmstead (built in the 1800's) as a historical site with the highest priority for preservation. Find out more about the historical significance of the area from the Dry Creek Historical Society.
In the lower Dry Creek Valley, cattails and reeds can be found in the marshy riparian areas. Wetlands have been confirmed in the area and are federally-protected land. Preserving these unique areas contributes to a healthy ecosystem as a whole.
The soil in the Dry Creek Valley is special. In some areas, there is 6 feet of top soil. Most soil scientists agree that it takes at least 100 years to form 1 inch of top soil. This soil has been at least 7,000 years in the making! The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has given the soil in the Dry Creek Valley an "A" for farming and a "D" for development. It would be wise to develop in places where the soil is less ideal for agriculture yet still suitable for development.