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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 5 - 11, 2002


Salmon River access first of several Sawtooth projects

Express Staff Writer

A crew of Sawtooth National Recreation Area personnel and a small band of volunteers worked Friday to build a kayaking takeout and angling access site on the Salmon River near Sunbeam.

The new trail, which gently traverses a steep hillside, replaced a dangerous and rocky path that was pioneered by repeated use over the years. It climbs from the Salmon River in the Warm Springs Narrows to a large pullout at mile post 206.6 on Highway 75.

SNRA River Ranger Will Smith works on a new kayaker and angler access trail near the shores of the Salmon River, downstream of Stanley. Express photo by Greg Stahl

"We’re going to make it a gentle slope with good stability," said River Ranger Will Smith while positioning some boulders as steps. "The old trail is really steep and dangerous."

In addition, the new trail will help prevent erosion, Smith said.

SNRA Deputy Area Ranger Lisa Stoeffler said the trail construction was one of many tasks slated in a Salmon River corridor environmental document issued in 1996.

As part of that environmental impact statement, the SNRA is also planning projects this summer at Mormon Bend boat launch, and Sunny Gulch and Basin Creek campgrounds. Basin Creek will be closed this month to be reclaimed as a wetland. This is the largest of the projects anticipated in the EIS.

"The restoration of Basin Creek acknowledges a miscalculation made decades ago, according to SNRA officials. Over time, the Forest Service developed campsites in a wetland and within the floodplain of Basin Creek, atop 700 cubic yards of fill.

"All the features for a healthy floodplain and wetland are still there, simply buried under the roads and campsites," SNRA fisheries biologist Mark Moulton said.

Sunny Gulch campground, about 7 miles down river from Stanley and popular with anglers, will be expanded by 26 new campsites.

The Forest Service also plans to rehabilitate trails and shorelines and install vented toilets, which employees affectionately call sweet smelling toilets (SSTs).

Several campsites west of Stanely are slated for rehabilitation at Trap Creek, Elk Creek, Sheep Trail and Park Creek Overlook.


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.