The Lower Salmon is a very special place, located downstream of the iconic whitewater town of Riggins, Idaho. Paddlers typically take 4 days to traverse the canyon, which is a prime example of the Canyon Grassland ecosystem. While most similar rivers are protected as Wilderness or Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Lower Salmon is honored with neither designation. It is under mixed ownership and is thus somewhat of a working landscape, and subject to some degree of risk. Idaho Rivers United has been a superb parter in our stewardship of this great place.
American Whitewater has recognized the the Lower Salmon may need a bit more love than many other nearby rivers. We have helped paddlers to become leading advocates for Wild and Scenic designation. The Cottonwood District of the Bureau of Land Management has been undertaking a planning process for several years and the results thus far have been very encouraging. Among the recommendation in the documents is the determination that the Lower Salmon should be considered by Congress as eligible to become a Wild and Scenic River. AW has filed comments in support of this determination as have many paddlers. Much work remains to actually get the River designated!
The Lower Salmon was also at risk of new mines occurring in and along the river just upstream. AW weighed in and encouraged paddlers to do the same.
Most recently, a road-like trail was cut into a hillside for several miles along the river by a private landowner - yet on public BLM lands and lands under a conservation easement held by the BLM. AW has filed comments seeking to minimize the impacts of this trail on the river and the paddling experience.
The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.
Sultan Relicensing - Lower Salmon River (ID)