Friends of the Clearwater (FOC) was founded in 1987 by Steve Paulson, a native of Idaho and former Forest Service smoke jumper. Steve founded FOC as an informal group to monitor Forest Service activities in North Central Idaho. At that time, wildlands were mostly being damaged by rampant road building and clear-cutting due to an overall disregard for environmental standards on the National Forests in the Clearwater Basin. In 1996, FOC became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Today we continue to be at the forefront of preserving threatened roadless wildlands and wild rivers, advocating for the recovery of imperiled native fish and wildlife populations, and keeping Wilderness wild.
With your help we have protected many places and many species over the years. The following is a partial list of those accomplishments:
- Participating in the effort to stop the infamous Cove/Mallard Timber Sales in roadless land contiguous to the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. This campaign, which eventually resulted in stopping the majority of the damaging road building and logging, was a major reason for the Forest Service adopting policies, although still inadequate, to protect the remaining roadless wildlands throughout the national forest system.
- Successfully preventing logging and road building in the Fish & Hungery (North Lochsa Face), White Sand, Weitas Creek, Kelly Creek, Pot Mountain, Meadow Creek, and Mallard – Larkins Roadless Areas. Logging was also prevented in roadless land contiguous to the Gospel – Hump Wilderness, which conservationists have proposed for Wilderness.
- Successfully working with allies to protect the Frank – Church River of No Return Wilderness from helicopter intrusions by the Idaho Department Fish & Game.
- Successfully working with allies to protect the Selway – Bitterroot Wilderness from the unnecessary expansion of landing strips by the Forest Service.
- Successfully working with allies to minimize salvage logging in the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Clearwater and Selway River drainages.
- Successfully working with allies to keep the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers corridor from becoming an industrial corridor for Big Oil.
- Protecting water quality in the South Fork Clearwater through timber sale appeals and litigation, and appeals on suction dredge mining. Protecting water quality in key tributaries of the North Fork Clearwater from suction dredge mining. Protecting water quality and fish habitat in Lolo Creek through timber sale appeals and litigation, and appeals on suction dredge mining.
- Successfully working with allies to keep the unroaded backcountry free of motorized vehicles through appeals and litigation – much work still needs to be done.
- Successfully working with a broad coalition to stop the proposed (multiple proposals) Upper Lochsa Land Exchange.
- Working in coalition with other organizations to protect Canada lynx in the region.
- Working in coalition with other organizations to convince the US Fish & Wildlife Service to review the wolverine for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Meet our staff.