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Elk City News: Revision plan to decide what rivers are ‘suitable’


Jamie Edmondson Elk City 842-2452

— I pray that everyone reading this will have a Merry Christmas and really think about the reason we celebrate this holiday. The birth of Christ was one of two major events that took place on this earth that affects all of us.

The Baptist church is celebrating the birth of Christ, first with an open house on Saturday, the 23rd from 4 – 6 p.m. at the parsonage. You are invited to share in Christmas goodies and join in singing Christmas carols.

Then, on Sunday, Christmas Eve, they are having a candlelight communion service at the church at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to come and join in. Any questions, contact Pastor Tom Moore at 208-842-2276.

There will also be a Christmas dinner at the VFW. Check the post office bulletin board for times.

Since most of you who live and work up here like to recreate on or own property on a river, you will be impacted by the following, so I thought you all might be interested in the fact that under the Forest Plan Revision process, the Forest Service Planning Rule directs the Forest to “Identify the eligibility of rivers for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Systems”. They have gone through that process and have a draft list of “eligible” rivers (87 more river segments across the Nez Perce/Clearwater NF) at the following website:

They have to go through that list and decide what rivers are “suitable”. If they do not do the suitability process, then they have to manage all the rivers listed as eligible as if they were actually Wild and Scenic rivers. See the following:


Although it takes an act of congress (literally) to designate W&S, if the USFS deems a particular segment as “suitable”, they are required to manage it to maintain its ability to be designated at some future time. All the bite but without the frosting!

Need a last minute gift?

Going to a party and don’t have anything to take? Well, there’s an answer for these dilemmas! Dec. 21 there will be a cookie sale in front of the general store from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a fund-raiser to help support the ongoing expenses of the Elk City Medical Clinic. The cookies will be in gift boxes for a $5 (or more) donation. Thanks for your support of the pie sale before Thanksgiving.

Some of the unintended consequences can include prohibitions on fishing, limiting numbers of users, mining activities, specifically dredgers, limitations placed on tributaries that flow into “suitable” segments, etc. Although a designation includes all ground within 1/4 mile on either side of the river, it reaches out from ridgetop to ridgetop because of the “scenic” dynamic.

When Washington Water Power first ran electricity up the river, there were major obstacles way back then in the 1960s that required them to run it on the hillside, not on the river. At some point, Avista will be faced with a whole bunch more expenses related to our electrical service and they aren’t going to keep eating them.

Any future economic possibilities requiring transportation up and down the river might be impacted.

Private property within the designated area will have restrictions imposed (keep in mind that some of the other 87 segments include American River, Red River, West Fork Crooked River, Southfork of the Clearwater, etc.) This includes construction, etc. on your own property.

Environmental groups are recently on record as wanting all 88 segments listed, and they have plenty of better writers. It will require action on all our parts if we’re going to inhibit this.

I will let you know of actions you can take, meetings scheduled, etc.


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