article photo 1

TAKE ACTION: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Plan Open for Comment

Posted: 09/15/2011
By: Thomas O'Keefe

The Forest Service is developing a new Forest Plan for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and has released a Proposed Action. The Forest Service is accepting public comment on this plan that will guide management for the next decade or more. The plan currently in place was released in 1989/1990. Of interest to river advocates, plan revision is an opportunity to reevaluate rivers for Wild and Scenic designation. Once a river is found to be eligible for designation it is managed to protect its free-flowing nature until Congress has an opportunity to take action.

Take Action:

Paddlers can help support the positive direction the Forest Service is taking in recognizing the value of these rivers by sending a simple message before the September 28 comment deadline. We suggest that you talk about the places you love and know the best. Make your comments personal and speak from your experience. Your area-specific comments, taken from your personal knowledge, will go a long way toward getting your voice heard.

1) Identify your personal connection to the rivers of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest: comment on how long you have been boating, note how great these rivers are in comparison to other rivers around the country. If one of the rivers on the list below is particularly important to you highlight that.
2) Note your support for continuing to manage previously identified eligible and suitable rivers in the new Forest Plan (Icicle and Wenatchee have particularly high whitewater value).
3) Note your support for expanding the list of additional rivers to include the rivers the Forest Service is proposing to add (Cooper, Little Wenatchee, and Nason have particularly high whitewater value).
4) The Forest Service has identified a need to improve the put-in and take-out on the Cooper, the put-in for Lower Icicle at Snow Creek Trailhead, and access at Tumwater Campground. River runners can comment on the value of these access points and we also suggest adding the need for formally-recognized access on the Little Wenatchee.
5) The Tieton, Bumping, and Upper Teanaway (the section in the National Forest) were identified as not eligible for Wild and Scenic designation in the Proposed Action. In consultation with our colleagues in the conservation community we believe these rivers should be further evaluated and paddlers are well-qualified to speak to the value of the Tieton.

Send your comments to:
Forest Plan Revision
Okanogan Valley Office
1240 Second Avenue South
Okanogan, WA 98840

Email Comments:
Deadline for Comments; September 28th, 2011

Details from the Proposed Action

The 1989/1990 Forest Plan includes the following river segments and the Proposed Action recommends continuing to manage these rivers as eligible and suitable Wild and Scenic rivers.

Proposed for Continued Management as an Eligible Wild and Scenic River, Outstandingly Remarkable Values
1) American: Scenery
2) Canyon Creek: Scenery, Recreation, Fish
3) Chewuch River: Scenery, Wildlife, Fish, Recreation
4) Chiwawa: Scenery, Recreation, Fishery
5) Cle Elum: Scenery, Recreational, Historical/Cultural
6) Entiat: Scenery
7) Granite Creek: Scenery, Recreation, Fish
8) Icicle: Scenery, Recreation
9) Lost River: Scenery, Geology, Wildllife, Fish
10) Methow River: Scenery, Wildlife, Fish, Recreation
11) Napeequa: Scenery, Geology
12) Pasayten River: Scenery
13) Ruby Creek: Scenery, Recreation, Fish
14) Twisp River: Scenery, Wildlife, Fish, Recreation
15) Waptus: Scenery
16) Wenatchee (Tumwater Canyon): Scenery, Recreation, Fish, Historic/Cultural, Other Ecological Values
17) White: Scenery, Fish
18) Wolf Creek: Scenery, Wildlife, Fish

In addition to the rivers listed above, we were thrilled that the Forest Service has identified additional rivers as eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers in the Proposed Action. The analysis reflects what we all know--the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has some of the most incredible rivers in the country with some spectacular creek boating every spring.

These Additional Rivers include the following:

Newly Proposed Management as an Eligible Wild and Scenic River in the Proposed Action: Outstandingly Remarkable Values
1) American River, Rainier Fork: Scenery
2) Cedar Creek: Scenery, recreation
3) Cooper River - tributary to the Cle Elum River: Scenery, recreation, other ecological values
4) Deep Creek - tributary to the Bumping River: Scenery, geology, fish, other ecological values
5) Devils Creek - tributary to Naches River: Scenery, recreation, geology, wildlife
6) Early Winters: Scenery, recreation
7) Indian Creek: Geology, fish, other ecological
8) Little Naches River - above Pileup Creek: Recreation, fish, historic/cultural, other ecological values
9) Little Wenatchee River - including Lake Creek: Scenery, recreation, fish, wildlife, other ecological values
10) Mad River: Scenery, recreation, fish, other ecological values
11) Nason Creek - above Whitepine Creek: Scenery, recreation
12) Raging Creek: Recreation
13) Rock Creek - Fish
14) Rattlesnake Creek: Scenery, recreation, geology, fish
15) Silver Creek - tributary to the Yakima River: Scenery, recreation, wildlife
16) Tieton River, South Fork - above the high pool level of Rimrock Lake: Scenery, recreation, fish, other ecological values

Associated Projects

Methow River

American Whitewater supports the conservation and stewardship of the Methow River.

Read More
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (WA)

The Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests are home to some great whitewater runs and AW has in interest in protecting the resource values of these rivers.

Read More

Associated Rivers

Canyon Creek (Skagit trib.) WA
Cooper River WA
Little Naches WA
Rattlesnake Creek (Naches trib.) WA
Tieton, S. Fork WA
Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!