Dear river lover,
The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are currently taking public comment on their preliminary analysis of potential rivers for inclusion in the National Wild & Scenic River System. While only Congress has the authority to designate such bodies of water, the Forest Service is charged with studying and recommending rivers, river segments and streams for permanent protection. Visit the website set up by the agency for public comment. The public comment deadline is September 15.
The first few pages (1-4) provide legal definitions, planning guidelines and an inventory of all rivers on both forests. Use the maps to zoom in and learn about these waters, including how the Forest Service determines whether or not a body of water is eligible for protection. If a body of water is deemed eligible, that does not necessarily equate to it being recommended.
In order for a river to be protected under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, it must be free-flowing and also contain at least one Outstanding Remarkable Value. Pages (5-7) define outstanding remarkable values, wild and scenic river classifications and criteria for suitability. These pages also contain documents that you can download to help with your personal analysis.
More background information is provided on Page (8-9). You can submit public comments through the comprehensive story map on Page (10). This is where you want to advocate for the protection of a certain body of water and/or provide feedback on the preliminary conclusions drawn by the agency. Don’t forget to include personal stories and upload pictures.
There are many bodies of water in the N. Fork, S. Fork and Middle Fork Clearwater drainage that are eligible for protection under the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. The same can be said for the St. Joe, Lochsa, Selway and Salmon drainage. Visit our website to learn more about these main bodies of water. You can learn about their tributaries here.
Public comment deadline is September 15. Visit the Forest Service Wild & Scenic River Evaluation page. Feel free to contact FOC staff 208-882-9755 for questions.
If you prefer to mail your comments send them to:
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests
903 3rd Street
Kamiah, Idaho 83536