Map of recovery project area. Click on it to enlarge.
The Boise National Forest’s Mountain Home Ranger District asked for public comment on a scoping document on proposed post-wildfire recovery of the South Fork Boise River area. Within a 50,000 acre analysis area the Forest proposes to plant some 7,000 acres of upland areas and 1,500 acres of riparian areas.
Comments were accepted from February 7 to March 7, 2014. The Forest received comments from the Boise Valley Fly Fishers (.pdf) and from the Ted Trueblood Chapter of Trout Unlimited (.pdf) among others. The Forest will complete the recovery plan in 2014 with the goal of significant planting efforts beginning in 2015. Comments from Trout Unlimited pointed out that in 2014 it would be possible to collect seed from cottonwood trees in the summer, and begin to grow new trees from locally-sourced seeds. TU and the Boise National Forest’s Lucky Peak Nursery pioneered this practice since 2011. And in the fall 2014 it should be possible to put willow cuttings along riparian areas where needed, assuming appropriate sources of willow can be found.
If you are interested in following this recovery project you can provide your email to the Boise National Forest here.
Nearly 100 volunteers made it to the South Fork Boise River to plant cottonwood trees and other plants to help jump start habitat recovery on the South Fork of the Boise River. Check out this video below:
The video above from KTVB is also accompanied by a story here.
Open areas include the South Fork Boise River, downstream from the Anderson Ranch Dam.Recreation along the river corridor is open to day use only, and overnight use is prohibited.Floaters are advised that the river has substantially changed with new channels, flows and large trees in the river.
Make plans for Saturday November 9th for volunteer planting along the South Fork Boise River to kick start the recovery of the river corridor from the recent wildfire and mud flow events.
The plan is to meet at the parking lot near Albertsons near Federal Way and Gowen Road (next to Exit 57 on I-84) at 8:30 a.m. We will organize those who want to car pool and to leave promptly at 9:00 a.m. for the drive to the South Fork of the Boise.
Thanks to the more than four dozen people who signed up to volunteer at the September 11 meeting we think we will have a core group to start. But additional help is needed for this effort. We are working to get the word out with the fly shops and the fishing clubs. The Boise National Forest is determining what plants and trees will be planted, they types and quantities. Needed tools are being identified. At this time we need you to sign up to help. You can call Bob Caldwell at (208) 322-5539 and leave a message or email BandDCaldwell@gmail.com.
There are several areas where the debris flows scoured the gound the removed vegetation. These areas will be one to plant. Other sites where the fire burned may also need planting, but in many cases we are already seeing willow begin to regenerate on its own from the roots that were not killed in the fire.
Knowing in advance how many people are coming will help planners determine how much we can get done. Lunch will be provided on site. And, there is not Boise State football game on November 9th so don’t worry about that potential conflict.
The Federal government shutdown that started October 1 has thwarted any movement towards long-term recovery of the South Fork Boise River. And any decisions about opening the river or a portion thereof to fishing has also been stymied.
While so-called “essential” staff are still on the job (without pay), which includes fire, law enforcement and burned area emergency rehabilitation activities, other Federal government professionals are not.
Deep-rooted cottonwoods like those in the tub at Lucky Peak Nursery are available for planting. L to R: Matt Perkins, City of Boise nursery; John Sloan, Lucky Peak Nursery; Pam Harrington, Trout Unlimited; Clark Fleege, Lucky Peak Nursery
Discussions in late September identified the potential for planting cottonwoods in some areas along the South Fork Boise River. Cottonwood cuttings taken from South Fork Boise River have been growing at the Boise National Forest Lucky Peak Nursery, and several dozen of these trees could go in the ground before the snow flies to begin the long-term recovery effort for the South Fork. The meeting to decide when, where and what to plant would have happened October 1st or 2nd, but the government shutdown slammed the door on this little initiative.
Conservation groups had approached the Boise National Forest about the idea to do some planting along the South Fork. The Forest is very interested in using some volunteers and have identified some areas where planting can do some good, and where it would be safe to have volunteers do some work. Not only that, the cottonwood trees are at Lucky Peak Nursery, ready to be put in the ground. But until the government shutdown is over little can be done about it.
Granite Creek blowout washed away the hill side. Perhaps a good location for some cottonwood trees?
Once the shutdown is over and some progress gets made on a planting project we will provide an update at this website.