Idaho Fish and Game will be working in partnership with the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests to provide increased hunting and fishing access in North-Central Idaho’s forest service lands. The multi-year project is funded by matched access and trail funding from each agency as well as funding from the Great American Outdoors Act.
The projects will consist of trail and trail bridge maintenance across the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest and, additionally, three hunter and angler access sites. Two of the access sites are popular and well used by both hunters and anglers along the Salmon River corridor; the other is a popular fishing pond that needs to be upgraded to be more accessible.
Funding from Fish and Game and other partner agencies makes these projects possible, and state and federal agency employees work together with partners and volunteers to accomplish the work on the ground to benefit hunters, anglers, and other recreationists across the forest.
“We continually hear from sportsmen that access is a huge concern for them,” said Don Jenkins, Regional Wildlife Habitat Manager with Fish and Game.
“Partnering with the Forest Service to address deferred maintenance on trails, using funding secured through fees associated with license sales, has helped open miles of access for sportsmen,” Jenkins added. “Maintenance of these important trails for sportsman access has been a high department priority for many years. It is a huge deal to see these projects come to fruition. We appreciate the shared vision and collaboration of the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest.”
The first half of the trail maintenance plan will focus on clearing and repairing 154 miles of trails — 130 of non-motorized, wilderness trails across the North Fork, Moose Creek and Red River Ranger Districts and 24 miles of mixed non-motorized and motorized in the Palouse Ranger District.
The project also aims to repair two pack bridges that will link roads to hunting and fishing areas along the north fork of the Clearwater River and Kelly Creek. Crossing waterways can be a hazard, and the maintenance will aid hunters and anglers trying to cross these waterways on foot or with pack stock.
The plan’s three angler and hunter access projects consist of adding fishing platforms at Five Mile Pond Campground, a boat ramp parking expansion at Carey Creek and restoring the boat ramp at Spring Bar along the Salmon River.