History

Almost thirty years ago, the inspiration for the Payette Land Trust arose with a collaboration between a local attorney and a retired physician who had a passion to protect the uniqueness of Central Idaho. Dr. Phyllis Huffman recognized these cherished landscapes were at risk and wanted to protect the unique agricultural character, the vibrant wildlife populations and the incredible scenic beauty of Long Valley. That discussion evolved into the formation of PLT in late 1993.  

The founding members were Cutler Umbach, John Kwader, Ken Twergo and that attorney who met with Dr. Huffman; Steve Millemann. Steve has been engaged with the Land Trust ever since its inception and still acts as pro bono legal advisor to the trust.

The next five years brought a new easement every year, and by 2007 there were 11 easements in four different counties. 2008 brought a downturn in the land trust world and PLT went through a stagnant period and an eventual rebirth with a reinvigorated board. 2017 brought change from having an all-volunteer board to adding our first paid staff member. Craig Utter joined PLT as Executive Director and has been a tireless advocate for open space since. With the current flood of people moving to rural areas PLT has its hands full with new easements, public education and partnering with other groups to make sure that we retain these wonderful lands that surround us.