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Boulder-White Clouds Council
Post Office Box 6313
Ketchum, Idaho 83340

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Current News & Issues: Trails & Recreation


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April 2003, May 2003

Salmon-Challis National Forest

Source: Salmon and Challis National Forest, 50 Hwy 93 S, Salmon ID  83467

Phone 208.756.5100.
Web Site


Forest-Wide Roads Analysis

On February 6, 2003, the Salmon-Challis Forest released its Roads Analysis Report  for 96 Forest Service roads totaling 1,066 miles. The report is a result of a 2001 Forest Service Road policy which requires National Forests to complete science-based analysis before road management decisions can be implemented.

The report’s Executive Summary states:

Twenty percent (210 miles) of the road miles analyzed present a high risk to aquatic resources, terrestrial wildlife, watershed condition, or user safety. Twenty-one percent (226 miles) present a moderately high risk; 22 percent (235 miles) a moderate risk, 23 percent (244 miles) a moderately low risk, and 14 percent (151 miles) a low risk to resources and user safety.

The report goes on to say:

The risk assessment provides useful information for future watershed and project analyses. Applying .... recommendations can provide more efficient and effective road maintenance, reduce road related environmental effects, mitigate safety concerns, and provide appropriate access for national forest use and administration.

Roads or road segments scoring the highest for resource and safety risk values “means a higher priority for investment of time and funds to mitigate the risk and accommodate uses. The report has Risk Rating Tables for Aquatic Ecosystems, Terrestrial Wildlife and Watershed Resources. A safety scale is also given which “can be related to the road itself, or by the way people drive the road.”

The 27 page report is available on the Salmon-Challis National Forest Web Site or from the headquarters in Salmon.

Although only one road in the Boulder-White Clouds is mentioned in the report (North Fork Big Lost River), the report is interesting for anyone that spends time on the Salmon-Challis. The top scorers for Resource Risks/Safety:

  • Road #055 Morgan-Panther Creek, 10.41 miles (Score 14)

  • Road #055 Morgan-Panther Creek, 44.40 miles (Score 15)

  • Road #069 Buster Lake,  6.5 miles (Score 14)

  • Road #198 Cape Horn Creek, 3.04 miles (Score 13)

  • Road #013 Lemhi Pass, 3.79 miles (Score 15)

  • Road #021 Williams Creek, 8.73 miles (Score 16)

  • Road #030 Salmon River 9.78 miles (Score 14)

  • Road #030 Salmon River, 7.42 miles (Score 13)

  • Road #076 Moccasin-Napias Creek, 6.12 miles (Score 16)

  • Road #079 Dahlonega Creek, 8.61 miles, (Score 16)

  • Road #112 Yellowjacket,7.11 miles (Score 16)

A route that didn’t make the top 11, but is well known to Central Idaho recreationists is Road #135 Copper Basin, 17.64 miles (Score 12). Copper Basin is rated a high priority for Aquatic Resources concerns and safety. Another popular forest road #551, Boundary Creek, 11 miles (Score 10) is the main access for Middle Fork River float departures. Boundary Creek road was given a medium-high priority rating for safety and Aquatic Resource concerns.

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