June 22, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pam Smolczynski, Trout Unlimited, (208) 938-1110 x14
Hana West, U.S. Forest Service, (208) 392-6681
Abandoned Minelands Workshop and Tour to be Held Saturday in Idaho City
Trout Unlimited and Partners Kick Off Major New Project
IDAHO CITY – Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Forest Service and West Central Highlands are kicking off a major new restoration project on Mores Creek, in the Boise River Watershed.
The kickoff will occur on Saturday, June 24th, at Ray Robison Community Hall, 206 W. Commercial Street, Idaho City.
The field day will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will include an overview of the history of mining in the Idaho City area and a discussion of restoration opportunities and strategies. The tour will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Mores Creek restoration site, which is located two miles upstream of Idaho City at the Granite Creek turnoff from Highway 21.
The workshop and tour will be attended by dozens of local citizens as well as representatives from TU’s Ted Trueblood Chapter, Idaho Conservation League, Wilderness Society, Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, and West Central Highlands Resource & Development Council.
Mores Creek was dredge-mined from the late 1800’s to the mid-1900s, effectively disconnecting the stream channel from its natural floodplain. Piles of dredged materials along the stream prevent natural channel migration, and the lack of streamside vegetation allows the sun to beat down on the stream. This has caused stream temperatures to rise significantly, hindering the native bull trout, redband trout and mountain whitefish populations.
Thousands of miles of streams in the American West face similar problems. Trout Unlimited is already working with public and private partners in Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Montana to address the legacy of hardrock mining and improve water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife downstream.