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Large scale watershed restoration in Idaho panhandle | Environment

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Large scale watershed restoration in Idaho panhandle
Large scale watershed restoration in Idaho panhandle

The Idaho Panhandle National Forest announced some big improvements to the Moose Drool Watershed Project this year. The project will improve 21 fish passages, 3 miles of in-stream fish habitat and supplement in-stream woody debris with more than 1,000 pieces.

This project is the largest of its kind ever to take place in north Idaho, improving water quality and fish habitat while providing jobs for the local economy.

Significant work on this project will begin this summer and is expected to continue through early October. Contractors will complete the project in summer 2015.

Ongoing work includes rail bed decommissioning and removal, decommissioning of impassable roads, road and trail reconstruction and in-stream improvements.

Forest visitors in the area should be away of several temporary road and trail closures as a result of the work:

  • Solitaire Saddle road 1550 between the junctions with 1560 and 258 (appx. 3.6 miles)
  • Trail 1525 between junctions with trails 6728 and 1560 (appx. 4.2 miles)
  • Trail 1560 between junctions with trail 794 and road 258 (appx. 9.7 miles)
  • Trail 1590 between junctions with roads 258 and 1532 (appx. 6.5 miles)

The 21,600-acre Moose Drool Restoration project is located within Kootenai County, Idaho, approximately 15 miles north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The area includes the headwaters of the Little North Fork Coeur d’Alene River from the drainage divide at Prospect Mountain, down-stream to the Hudlow Creek tributary. Restoration activities are designed to improve hydrologic function and enhance fish habitat for native westslope cutthroat trout and other aquatic species by reducing road densities, fixing or removing failed/failing road crossings, improving aquatic organism passage, and increasing large wood in riparian areas to improve fish habitat.

For more information about this project please contact Will Young at the Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District (208) 769-3053 or visit their website

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