America's Great Outdoors Project Underway In Idaho

Aug 17, 2012

Restoration work to make a section of Idaho’s Salmon River better for salmon and steelhead is about to get underway. It’s also the focus of a nationwide campaign dedicated to conservation.

Anne Castle, an Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Interior visited central Idaho a few days ago. Because of the Halstead Fire, she didn't get to visit the Yankee Fork Rehabilitation Project near Stanley. It's an area where dredge mining destroyed salmon and steelhead habitat in the late 1800’s.

The goal is to restore river flow, making it better habitat for juvenile chinook salmon. And for adult salmon returning from the ocean each year.

Castle did see a nearby stream that was restored for fish more than twenty years ago.

Castle: “If there is a before and after picture. Bear Valley Creek is the after picture. And now we see a more vibrant channel. A channel with natural meanders..the kind of habitat that the anadromous fish are looking for.”

The Yankee Fork Rehabilitation Project is one of fifty the U.S. Government is focused on. One for each state. It’s called America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.

The other restoration projects here in the Northwest are focused on the Elwha River in Washington and the Sandy River in Oregon.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio