Real Estate Development & Investment
One of Ron’s most important development projects is Three Rivers Ranch in Eagle, Idaho. He bought the property in 1989 so he could get back to his roots raising cattle, horses, and other animals that he learned to love growing up in the Yakima Valley in Washington State. In 1989, the property had been mostly neglected and was left with weeds and broken down fences. It took a few years to re-level the property and design and install irrigation systems so it would irrigate efficiently. Once he improved the operating inefficiencies of the property, the land required larger volumes of water. Ron contracted someone to come in and excavate a reservoir so he could have access to the larger volumes of water needed for the ranch. It was during this process that he became involved with the mining of sand and gravel which he still does today in different parts of the Treasure Valley. Over the next 16 years, the property produced sand and gravel materials for the construction industry in the Treasure Valley. Today the property has two lakes: one is 35 acres, which is part of the development on the South side of the property, and a much larger lake of nearly 100 acres surrounds Ron’s home on the property.
Three Rivers Ranch was a large and long project, but with it came many other opportunities to improve the property. After finishing extraction they turned the pit into a highly sustainable lake which now welcomes those who come to Three Rivers Ranch. It is also a great habitat for the local and migrating wildlife, providing a source of water, safety and food. The development was focused on enhancing the natural attributes of the environment. All of the natural habitats have been protected or recreated to ensure the best conditions for the fish and wildlife that lives there.
One might think that aggregate extraction and wildlife conservation have no place together, assuming the process usually results in an unfinished gravel pit. For Ron, aggregate mining was simply a part of the master plan in creating a beautiful, functioning environment. He leveraged the sand and gravel extraction to make the property even better than when he found it, making it a perfect place for people and nature to live together. Many forget that places like Lake Harbor and Park Center Pond were once gravel pits and have since been turned into productive properties with sustainable wildlife habitats.
An excerpt from an article explaining the difference Ron makes when developing.
“When I was first told about Sali’s residential development in Eagle, I must admit that while impressed, my impressions were anchored around what I knew – every other high-end development that I had ever seen while living in Seattle, Dallas, and Boise. I was told of man-made lakes, beautiful homes, and constructed waterfalls. I remember thinking, ‘sounds great’ but frankly, I was sure I’d seen it before.
The truth is that I’ve never seen anything like it. The fact of the matter is that there is nothing like it… not in Boise, not anywhere. Sali’s developments can safely be described, without hyperbole, as the most unique, environmentally advanced projects of their kind in the country. These projects cannot be adequately appreciated secondhand. They must be visited.” – Brian L. Boyle
Ron’s specialty is master planning for people and wildlife, and he believes that development doesn’t just have to be about the money. It’s about bringing people and nature together and giving them both a ideal habitat to coexist in.
Ron has continued to improve upon Three Rivers Ranch since its inception. One big change made in the last few years was the restoration of Island Creek, one of the streams that now meanders through the property. Before restoration, the stream was choked with aquatic weeds; not suitable for rainbow trout that require side channels for spawning. With the help of Trout Unlimited, Ron restored the stream to near perfect conditions for rainbow trout spawning and rearing. Trout Unlimited knew that it would be the perfect habitat for trout from the Boise River. Fish now live and spawn in Island Creek directly from the Boise River. Just three weeks after restoration, Ron’s 9-year old granddaughter was able to catch a 17-inch rainbow trout from the creek. In the end, nearly 3500 feet of Island Creek was restored, and two more smaller streams were built as well.
Ron’s developments are truly different, as well as all of his efforts to improve the life of the people and animals living in them. Simply seeing one of his properties will prove that to you; for more pictures of the land and wildlife head over to our Lifestyle Gallery.