Paddle for a cause this summer in beautiful central Idaho! The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest will determine which streams to protect for potential Wild and Scenic designation through their forest plan over the coming year. Many of the streams under consideration are exceptional in part because they are remote and hard to access. That is where you come in. The Forest Service, the public, and politicians need to receive compelling photos, videos, and personal stories featuring these streams. If you are planning a trip into the wilds of Idaho this summer, you can help protect some amazing streams by sharing your experiences.
Adventure + Activism Opportunities
First, pick the draft eligible streams you want to explore from the draft list of eligible streams (or streams that should be eligible), by zooming around this web map, or from a honed list of streams at the bottom of this article. Streams outside of designated Wilderness should be prioritized. Plan your team and take the time to generate river descriptions and other written content, as well as good photos and video depicting the river’s scenery and the experience of being there. Document anything that is rare, unique, or exemplary. Once you are back home, consider the following actions:
1. Add photos to the American Whitewater photo database, which links them to the appropriate river page.
2. Send new or updated river descriptions for the American Whitewater National Whitewater Inventory to kevin(at)americanwhitewater(dot)org.
4. Post photos / video to:
a. Instagram, tags: #clearwaternationalforest, #nezpercenationalforest, #wildandscenic, #americanwhitewater
b. FaceBook, tags: @NPClwNFs, @americanwhitewater
c. Twitter, tags: @NPClwNFs, @AmerWhitewater. And tag your political reps. Say something simple like “______ Creek would make a great Wild and Scenic River someday.”
d. Youtube and/or Vimeo, tags: Clearwater National Forest, Nez perce National Forest, Wild and Scenic, American Whitewater.
5. Consider publication in other online or print media sources.
The Opportunity & The Threat
Typically, National Forest management plans select and protect a roster of streams that qualify as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation. This simply means the reach is free-flowing and has at least one rare, unique or exemplary value. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest has proposed a great draft list of eligible streams, however plans to immediately strip the protections from many of those streams through a political analysis they call “suitability.” We think this move is illegal, and undercuts the Wild and Scenic River system. No matter what process they use, sharing the many values of these streams will help build the case for protection from dams and other impacts.
The Adventure Short List – By Watershed
North Fork Clearwater
South Fork Clearwater
Be safe out there, and enjoy!