There is a 1,000-acre ranch in North Idaho, a mix of timber and cattle lands, that borders a “gem lake” with waters that recharge the Spokane aquifer.

“It’s habitat. It’s water,” said Dave Schaub, executive director of the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy. “According to our analysis, it’s climate-resilient land. It’s some of the more climate-resilient land in our region.”

In other words, it’s the type of property ripe for conservation, but a fevered real estate market means that the ranch, which is not for sale, likely won’t be conserved.

“The asking price of similarly sized somewhat similar land in Kootenai County is shocking,” Schaub said. “I’ve been talking to some major conservation funders that are walking way away from the property based on the price of the land.”

That reality is causing problems for regional and statewide land conservancy efforts, a fact made clear during…

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