The bridge at the takeout for Idaho's Lolo Creek has been replaced since the 2007 paddling season. The construction eliminated historical parking areas adjacent to the bridge, and also removed the USGS staff gage used by paddlers to determine the flow.
American Whitewater has been in touch with the BLM regarding these two issues, and they have been very helpful. In 2002, BLM wisely purchased a parcel of land for public access in case access was eliminated upstream. The land is a grassy bench along Lolo Creek located on river right, about 50-100 yards downstream of the take-out bridge. There is a driveway to the lot from the main shuttle road, located past the houses but before the bridge. The BLM will mark this lot in the near future to indicate that parking and river access is allowed. Please practice Leave No Trace practices while using this area.
BLM is also working with USGS to determine if a staff gage can be replaced in the near future, and if possible correlated to the old gage. The USGS has already reconfigured the stage/flow relationship based on the new channel cross section. American Whitewater has offered to assist with the installation of a new staff gage if necessary.
We would like to thank the BLM and the USGS for being so supportive of public enjoyment of Lolo Creek. Paddlers will recall that Lolo Creek is a candidate for Wild and Scenic designation. Hopefully we'll see this wonderful creek protected in the not too distant future.
Comments Needed on BLM Idaho Plan
October 25, 2006