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AW Seeks Stream Protection in Idaho Panhandle

Posted: 12/21/2011
By: Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater recently prepared a report on the streams of the Idaho Panhandle that are eligible for Wild and Scenic designation based at least in part on their regionally or nationally significant recreational values.  The US Forest Service is charged with maintaining a current inventory of such streams, and is currently updating that inventory as part of their forest planning process for the region.  Once found eligible, the US Forest Service must provide interim protection for the streams' recognized values. 

The report prepared by American Whitewater staff and volunteers shares the intimite knowledge that the paddling community has of these remote and spectacular streams.  Each of these streams are unique and cherished by the paddling community for their solitude, polished bedrock, sparkling clear waters, and abundant wildlife.  Indeed paddlers could glimpse federally endangered mountain caribou, canada lynx, grey wolves, or grizzly bears in these remote mountain valleys.

We have asked the Forest Service to find each of these streams eligible for Wild and Scenic designation.  These intact streams exist in landscape otherwise criss-crossed with active logging roads, and in a region where dams severely impact many rivers and streams.  Currently, developers are proposing to dam and dewater two of these streams for hydropower generation: Boulder Creek (read our intervention) and a new proposal on Boundary Creek

If you have proposed edits for this document, or photos, videos or stories about these streams, please share them with  The report is intended to be a living document.

A copy of the Report can be downloaded from the link to the right of this article.   

Associated Rivers

Boulder Creek ID
Gorge IV-V
Boundary Creek ID
Clearwater, Little North Fork ID
Lion Creek ID
Slate Creek (Tributary of St. Joe River) ID


Idaho Panhandle Wild and Scenic Eligibility Report (12/21/2011)

American Whitewater's Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Report for the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. This report serves as our formal recommendation to the US Forest Service for interim stream protections.

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