Success on the Salmon! Western Rivers Conservancy recently completed an exciting project on Idaho’s “River of No Return,” one of the West’s most iconic rivers and its longest migration pathway for salmon and steelhead. We conserved 1,284 acres spanning a spectacular viewshed above the river and guaranteed the popular Pine Bar Recreation Site will remain open to the public. The project also conserves a series of high-gradient creeks that flow into the Salmon River and nourish habitat for the river’s imperiled fish.
Completion of this project comes with conveyance of the land, which WRC acquired in 2012, to the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM will now steward the property for the sake of the river’s unique fish and wildlife and to ensure that access to Pinebar remains unfettered and compatible with conservation.
The project also conserves prime winter range for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain elk and mule deer and year-round habitat for black bear and mountain lion. The property’s steep grasslands are believed to shelter Spalding’s catchfly and MacFarlane’s four o’clock, two federally-listed plants that are endemic to Oregon and Idaho. The property also supports sensitive species like peregrine and prairie falcon, mountain quail and western toad.
Photo: Salmon River, Tim Wood.