For Sale

Weiser River Ranch

$7,900,000 Weiser, ID 2,104± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Featuring abundant migratory and resident waterfowl, excellent pheasant and quail populations, multiple flocks of wild turkey, and large herds of elk and mule deer that begin arriving in late summer, the 2,103± acre Weiser River Ranch is among the richest, most diverse wildlife properties that we have had the privilege to represent. The Weiser River flows for over three miles through the ranch and provides extensive riparian habitat with the added bonus of a robust smallmouth bass fishery. Other prominent water resources include a four-acre bass pond, over a mile of Cove Creek (a year-round tributary to the Weiser), springs, wetlands, and miles of seasonal irrigation canals.

The property consists of approximately 800 acres of productive bottomland flanked by a broad, undulating plateau with over 1,000± acres elevated above the valley floor. The agricultural component of the ranch is leased to a local rancher who runs 225-275 cows on the property year-round. The ranch has approximately 570± irrigated acres, with the tenant raising hay and pasture on 330± acres using wheel lines, hand lines, and gated pipe. The remaining irrigated acreage is managed by the owners and in wildlife food plots and permanent pasture.

The ranch compound lies in the center of the property and is highlighted by a refurbished, two-story farmhouse surrounded by a manicured lawn and large cottonwood trees. This home offers five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a well-appointed kitchen, and large living room and is well-suited to host large gatherings or hunting groups. The ranch compound also includes a garage converted into a gear room, covered carport, trap range, dog kennel, and an outdoor entertainment area. Additional ranch improvements are functional and well-maintained and include employee housing, shop buildings, covered hay storage, dry lots, and corrals and cattle handling facilities.

With a constant eye toward improving the ranch, the owners have leveraged their resources with hundreds of thousands of dollars of state, federal, and private grants to implement wildlife and agricultural enhancement projects, including a solar-powered stock water system, native grass seedings, irrigation system conversions, spring developments, riparian fencing, and wetland development.

The property is located 10 miles east of the county seat of Weiser, and 75 miles northwest of the capital city of Boise and its commercial airport. Ontario, Oregon, which is the main service center for the area, is 25 miles southwest of the ranch and offers a jet-capable, general aviation airport.

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Just the Facts


•    2,103± deeded, contiguous acres 
•    Remarkable diversity of wildlife that includes abundant waterfowl, pheasants, California quail, chukar, turkey, elk, and mule deer
•    Extensive water features with over three miles of the Weiser River, over a mile of Cove Creek, multiple ponds, springs, wetlands, and seasonal irrigation canals
•    Located in hunt unit 32 with general seasons for both deer and elk
•    Meticulously managed to balance income producing agriculture with premium wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities 
•    570± irrigated acres with the current tenant raising hay and pasture on 330± acres.  
•    Functional, well-maintained livestock and ranch facilities
•    Mild, four-season climate with elevations from 2,175’ to 2,685’
•    Year-round access on maintained county roads 10 miles east of Weiser and 75 miles northwest of Boise
•    Annual Washington County property taxes are approximately $18,000
•    Opportunities exist for current management to remain in place 
 

General Description

The main entrance to Weiser River Ranch is located along Cove Road at the south end of the property. A private road heading north from Cove Road and crossing Cove Creek leads to the ranch headquarters that lies at the foot of a large plateau. Extending westward from the headquarters are the main agricultural fields and habitat areas associated with the Weiser River floodplain. The entrance road continues north and east along the base of the plateau to the upper part of the ranch and a second set of buildings, including hay and equipment storage.

The Weiser River enters the property from the northeast and flows south and west through a brushy, willow-lined riparian corridor. Levies have been constructed along portions of the river for flood control purposes, and roads atop the levies provide access to riverfront areas and prime hunting spots. Cove Creek enters the property from the south and flows west through the property joining the Weiser near the ranch’s western boundary. Water from Cove Creek feeds several shallow wetland ponds that were developed in cooperation with several state and federal agencies as part of a wildlife habitat and water quality project.

Additional agricultural fields, pastures, and habitat areas lie north and west of the Weiser River and are accessed either by crossing the river at a traditional fording spot or from Weiser River Road. This part of the ranch features a secondary set of improvements, including a refurbished barn, shop building, corrals, and tenant’s home. 

The broad plateau encompassing the eastern end of the ranch represents another diverse aspect of the property. In addition to offering spectacular views of the and surrounding foothills and valley below, this area provides excellent early season pasture for livestock and a refuge for elk and deer beginning in late summer through the hunting season. Upland birds also utilize this area with chukar taking advantage of some of the steeper slopes and quail utilizing brushy coulees that connect with the valley floor. The owners have devoted significant resources toward enhancing grazing and wildlife resources on the plateau, including developing a solar-powered, gravity fed stock water system, installing pasture fencing, and seeding with native grasses.

Broker's Comments

Lying in the heart of one of the region’s top locations for wingshooting and big game hunting, the Weiser River Ranch has been thoughtfully managed to optimally balance wildlife habitat with an efficient, well-run farming and ranching operation. The property is large enough and diverse enough to accommodate a variety of species and hunting opportunities, from upland birds to wild turkeys to waterfowl to deer and elk. 

Learn about the locale

Location

Weiser River Ranch is located in western Idaho 10 miles east of the community of Weiser, the county seat for Washington County, and 75 miles northwest of the state capital of Boise and its commercial airport. Weiser offers a general aviation airport with a 4,000’ x 60’ runway, while Ontario, Oregon, 25 miles southwest of the ranch, is home to a jet-capable airport with a 5,011’ x 100’ runway and a fixed base operator, Frazier Aviation. The ranch headquarters is accessed via Cove Road, an all-season, paved county road that connects the ranch to US Highway 95 just south of Weiser. Weiser River Road, also a paved county road, crosses the north end of the property and provides secondary access to the ranch from downtown Weiser.


Locale

Located at the confluence of the Weiser and Snake rivers, Weiser (pop. 5,500) is one of western Idaho’s most charming small communities with tree-lined streets and turn-of-the-century architecture. Agriculture is the backbone of the local economy, and with a mild, four-season climate the area supports a variety of farming, orchard, and livestock enterprises. Among the liveliest times of the year is the third week of June when Weiser hosts the National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest and Festival, which began in 1963. Weiser offers a selection of retail and commercial services and is home to Weiser Memorial Hospital, an affiliate of the St. Luke’s Heath System. Boise (pop. 225,000) is Idaho’s largest city and the fourth largest in the northwest. Boise is a vibrant, fast growing city with a bustling downtown core and home to high tech industry, excellent hospitals, a topnotch commercial airport, and Boise State University, one of the region’s most respected academic institutions. 

Climate

The climate of the area is best described as semi-arid with total annual precipitation of approximately 10 inches. This part of western Idaho generally enjoys four distinct seasons with mild, open winters. The average daytime high from November through February (the coldest months of the year) is 46 degrees. The average winter low is 24 degrees. Summers are warm with temperatures consistently reaching the low 90s during July and August and cooling to the mid-50s at night.


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Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 2,104±

Total Acres: 2,104±

* All acreages are approximations.

Improvements

The ranch compound lies in the center of the property and is highlighted by a refurbished, two-story farmhouse surrounded by a manicured lawn and large cottonwood trees. Capable of hosting large gathering or hunting groups, this home features five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a well-appointed kitchen, and a large living room. The ranch compound also includes a garage converted into a gear room, covered carport, trap range, dog kennel, and an outdoor entertainment area. 

There are three additional homes on the property, including an 1,800+ sq ft., two-bedroom home along Cove Road used by the ranch caretaker, and a 1,500+ sq. ft., two-bedroom home along Weiser River Road rented to a tenant on an annual basis. The third home is accessed from Weiser River Road and one of the oldest structures on the ranch. This home is in poor condition currently but has potential to be refurbished and put to use as employee or tenant housing. 

Additional improvements support the agricultural operations on the ranch and are functional and well-maintained. These include shop and storage buildings, covered hay storage, dry lots, and corrals and cattle handling facilities. The ranch is perimeter fenced with some interior, pasture division and riparian corridor fencing. An internal road network provides access to various parts of the property. 

With a constant eye toward improving the ranch, the owners have leveraged their resources with hundreds of thousands of dollars of state, federal, and private grants to implement wildlife and agricultural enhancement projects, including a solar-powered stock water system, native grass seedings, irrigation system conversions, spring developments, pasture and riparian fencing, and wetland development.

Water Rights

The ranch holds shares in Crane Creek Reservoir, Weiser River Irrigation District, and Sunnyside Ditch Company. The irrigation season generally runs from March 1st through November 15th of each year. The ranch also holds water rights decreed by the State of Idaho for stock water, domestic water, and recreation/wildlife uses. 

Mineral Rights

Western Idaho is the site of the state’s first commercially viable natural gas deposit discovered in 2008. Referred to as the Willow Field, it is considered to be a relatively small, conventional deposit that is accessed by vertical and directional drilling rather than hydraulic fracturing. Currently, there are eight active wells (including one oil well and one high grade condensate well) located on private lands south of Weiser near the community of Payette, and it is unclear to what extent the resource may extend beyond the current scope of production. With this in mind, however, it is understood that the seller owns and controls the majority of the subsurface and mineral rights associated with the property with the exception of federal mineral reservations covering approximately 460 acres on the east end of the ranch. The seller has not pursued nor entered into an oil or gas lease for any portion of the property, and therefore this opportunity remains open for the next owner. All mineral rights owned by the seller are included in a sale of the ranch at the current offering price.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

With a mild four-season climate, a strong farming base, intact habitat areas and migration corridors, and a year-round river system, the lower Weiser River basin is one of the most desired sporting destinations in the region, and the Weiser River Ranch lies in the heart of it. The property features remarkable diversity of wildlife including abundant migratory and resident waterfowl, excellent pheasant and quail populations, multiple flocks of wild turkey, and large herds of elk and mule deer that begin arriving from the mountains in late summer. The ranch is located in hunt unit 32 and the Weiser River Elk Zone with general season hunts for both deer and elk. For the warm water fishing enthusiast, the Weiser River is home to smallmouth bass and the four-acre pond on the ranch offers a good population of largemouth bass. 

It is also worth noting that less than a mile upstream of the property is the possible site of the Galloway Dam on the Weiser River. As proposed, the dam would be 235 feet high and used to store irrigation water, control flooding on the lower Weiser, and store water that could be released when needed for salmon and steelhead passage on the lower Snake River. If the dam were constructed, it is contemplated that the Weiser River Ranch would be a major beneficiary in several ways. First, the ranch could serve as a source of gravel and raw material for the project. Next, because of habitat mitigation requirements associated with building the dam, the owner could be a funding recipient to implement conservation projects on the ranch, including the purchase of a conservation easement over the property. Finally, with the release of cold water through the dam from the reservoir above, the project could create conditions necessary to sustain a “tailwater” trout fishery that does not currently exist on the lower river.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The agricultural component of the ranch is leased to a local rancher who runs 225-275 cows on the property year-round. The ranch has approximately 570± irrigated acres, with the tenant raising hay and pasture on 330± acres using wheel lines, hand lines, and gated pipe. The remaining irrigated acreage is managed by the owners and in wildlife food plots and permanent pasture. 

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