Help Protect Salmon River Tributaries By July 16 (ID)

posted June 27, 2018
by Kevin Colburn

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Just like the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, the Salmon-Challis National Forest will determine which streams to protect for potential Wild and Scenic designation through their forest plan over the coming year. The Forest Service needs to receive compelling photos, videos, and personal stories featuring these streams. Deadline is July 16, which is coming up fast! 

Your Comments Should

1. Describe Specific Values and Experiences on Specific Streams

First, pick the (draft) eligible streams you want to share information on from the Forest Service’s solid draft list of eligible streams, by zooming around this web map, or from a honed list of streams at the bottom of this article. The Forest Service needs to hear about streams’ specific rare, unique, or exemplary values. These values could be related to recreation, fisheries, scenery, geology, wildlife, or other similar things. What makes each stream special to you? Sharing good photos and video with your comments is even better.  

2. Ask for No Suitability Determination

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 Salmon-Challis National Forest has proposed a great draft list of eligible streams, however plans to likely immediately strip the protections from some of those streams through a political analysis they call “suitability.” We think this move is illegal, and undercuts the Wild and Scenic River system. Ask them not to conduct suitability determinations. 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.     

You have two options for commenting

1.    Submit photos, videos, stories and value descriptions to the Forest Service web map on tab 3. 

2.    Or, send your comments through a simpler but less fun web portal or via email to scnf_plan_rev@fs.fed.us

Here are just a few streams that we think paddlers might want to emphasize in comments: 

Middle Fork Salmon Tributaries

Main Salmon Tributaries

Deadline is in 2 weeks. Your letter could make the difference. Go get it! 

ps. We could also use some good photos and river descriptions for our website and advocacy, so hook us up if you can. Send to kevin(at)americanwhitewater(dot)org. Thanks!