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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 11 - 17, 2003

News

Salmon River Road closure forces rafters to launch upstream


The North Fork Ranger District is developing contingencies to assure float and jet boat users are not adversely affected by the current closure of the Salmon River Road. Closing of the road halted operations at Corn Creek, the launch point for 10,000 persons who float the Main Salmon River each summer. The Salmon River Road, Forest Road 030, was closed to motorized vehicles on May 30 just below Cache Bar when high water began eroding the roadway in the Kitchen Creek area. The road is not safe for motorized vehicles and is continuing to erode.

Actions are being taken to repair the road, however the extent of the damage will not be known until the water level recedes and the Forest engineers can determine the extent of the damage. In the meantime clearances with regulatory agencies and the initial prep work such as locating rock sources are occurring. "Repairing the river road is the highest forest priority at this time. It will be repaired to a usable condition as soon as possible." stated George Matejko, forest supervisor.

Plans are under way to move the river permit check station from Corn Creek to Cove Creek, approximately 18 miles upstream. This newly developed boat launch site has a public restroom and large areas available for parking and camping. All Main Salmon River floaters will be required to check in at Cove Creek prior to launching. They will be allowed to launch from Cove Creek, Stoddard, Cache Bar or other launch points of their choice.

Congestion of boats and vehicles is expected in the Cache Bar area, with boaters taking out from the Middle Fork River and the Main Salmon River trips launching. Therefore a schedule has been developed to remedy the congestion. Sunrise to 10 a.m. is reserved for launches on the Main Salmon; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Middle Fork floaters to take out; and 4 p.m. to sunset Main Salmon floaters will again be allowed to launch. With few exceptions, no Main Salmon River floaters will be allowed to leave their vehicles at the Cache Bar site. "It is just too small an area to have additional vehicles parked there for 5 to10 days," said Bill Runnoe, Main Salmon River manager.

Complete information on the contingency plan as well as pictures can be viewed on the Salmon-Challis National Forest web site at www.fs.fed.us/r4/sc. The district welcomes feedback and ideas on how to make this summer floating season a successful one with all the changes ahead.

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.