March 2013

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Boise Reception 
April 13, 2013 
Riverside Hotel, Boise 
Henry's Fork Day 
June 15, 2013 
Last Chance, ID

IDFG Annual Fisheries Report
Idaho Fish and Game has released their 2013 Fisheries Report, which highligh
ts their work on the Henry's Fork. 
Flows Below IP Dam Drop Slightly   
The river flow out of Island Park Dam was dropped from 410 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 360 cfs after the drought management planning meeting the last week of February. Storage levels in the reservoir are slightly behind schedule and necessitated the flow reduction to ensure adequate irrigation water this summer.
Upper Basin supply March 2013
Courtesy of NRCS; March 1, 2013 

We are past the normal critical cold weather periods and high flows earlier this winter should have carried young rainbow trout through the frigid January temperatures. Lower flows in March and April should cause no negative impact to fish.


The Henry's Fork watershed would benefit from a batch of early spring storms to preserve the currently marginal snowpack. If the storms fail to materialize, the next best thing would be a cool spring that would maintain high elevation snowpack. Rain falling at the lower elevations during the proper times would also help out the farmers and ranchers.       


HFF advocates for flows to support wild trout through a federally-mandated drought water management planning process. 

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New State Water Plan Approved With Wide Support

The Idaho State House Resources and Conservation Committee approved a new State Water Plan (SWP) on Thursday, March 7. This new plan written in 2012 was vetted across the state by the Idaho Water Resource Board. While not perfect, it is a significant improvement over the last plan, updated 16 years ago.  


In the eyes of conservationists, the 2012 plan does not do enough to ensure adequate minimum stream flows in Idaho, and it focuses on new surface storage as the primary method to meet future water needs in the state. On the other hand, it has substantial reference to the importance of fisheries, riparian areas, species of concern, and recreation in Idaho. The SWP is part of the foundation that allows various stakeholders to negotiate and collaborate on water management.

The SWP's references to fisheries, riparian areas, species of concern, and recreation, as well as those to climate change, were stripped from the plan in a last-ditch effort by a sub-group of the committee to pass their own revision of the State Water Plan. Republican Rep. Ken Andrus said he received 150 emails urging him to vote NO on this counterproductive version of the SWP. Thankfully, it failed and the original 2012 version passed. Thanks to those who provided comments on this plan!

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Land Swap for Development Unlikely    

A presentation by proponents of the proposed Trails to Yellowstone Project on February 6, 2013 failed to provide any further detailed information and demonstrated broad public opposition to projects of this nature in the Island Park community. The Trails to Yellowstone Project was dubbed a "cruise ship on dirt" by the Island Park News last September.   


As currently envisioned across from the Elk Creek Station, the project hinges on a land swap of 560 acres with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Caribou-Targhee Forest Supervisor Brent Larson has said they would not accept a land swap proposal without support from the local community and elected officials, which appears unlikely.
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About HFF  
The Henry's Fork Foundation is the only organization whose sole purpose is to conserve, protect, and restore the unique fisheries, wildlife, and aesthetic qualities of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River.
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