Middle-Fork, Idaho

Middle Fork of the Salmon, Idaho.

Idaho's Middle Fork is one of the nation's premier whitewater rivers and the demand for a permit is huge.

Summary

The Middle Fork is a heavily used river badly in need of updates to management policy.  To protect wilderness values the agency should limit the number of flights outfitters can make into wilderness airstrips supporting their float trips.  The agency should also equalize maximum allowed party size between commercial and public user groups, reduce maximum party size, and place a limit on the maximum number of watercraft allowed per trip.

Folllowup

Actions like placing a ceiling on the number of flights allowed into Indian Creek and reducing maximum party size will come only through a strong voice of concern from the public user groups.  Confronted by the political clout of the outfitters, the Forest Service will never instigate such action on it's own.