Help Protect Wild Rivers in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho

Idaho’s Salmon-Challis National Forest is revising its forest plan, leaving the potential to protect dozens of free-flowing rivers through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Middle Fork of the Salmon river, one of the original 8 Wild and Scenic Rivers. Runs north from near Stanley to near Salmon,Idaho. Drops 3000 feet in the 100 miles it runs. Looking north along trail to Johnson Pt. | Michael Melford

The Salmon-Challis National Forest in central Idaho, headwaters of the world-renowned Salmon River, is currently revising its forest plan. This process occurs just once every 20 years or so, making it incredibly important that the Forest gets it right. While getting a new Wild and Scenic river designated by Congress often takes upwards of 10 years, forest plan revisions have the potential to protect dozens of free-flowing rivers through the planning process – a once in a generation opportunity.

Part of the plan revision process is inventorying and protecting the remaining free-flowing streams on the Forest that qualify as “outstanding” under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Salmon-Challis National Forest has done a great job on its draft inventory, finding 69 streams totaling 708 miles to be free-flowing and possessing at least one outstanding value. But opposition groups are pressuring the Forest to protect far fewer streams, and in some cases none at all.

We need your help. Please send a comment to the Forest supporting the protection of all streams in the Salmon-Challis National Forest’s “Draft Wild and Scenic Eligibility Inventory.”

Comments on the Draft Eligibility Inventory, due July 16, can be emailed to: scnf_plan_rev@fs.fed.us.

For more information, take a look at the Forest’s story map to review their recommendations. You can also submit a supportive comment through their portal. For those who want to dig even deeper, take a look at the Forest’s Draft Eligibility Report.

During the year of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and at a time when public lands are being assaulted from all directions, we need more of our last free-flowing rivers to be protected, not less. Thank you for your help!