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WWP Acts to Protect Chinook, Steelhead, and Bull Trout in the Frank Church Wilderness

Online Messenger #227 (view with pictures, as displayed in Email)


Western Watersheds Project has filed litigation to protect critical habitat for threatened Chinook salmon, Bull trout, and Steelhead on the Camas Creek Allotment of the Salmon-Challis National Forest in central Idaho.

View Camas Creek Allotment in a larger map

The Camas Creek Allotment is located in central Idaho and includes lands within the Frank Church River-of-No-Return Wilderness.

Both the Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout populations on the Camas Creek Allotment are of particular importance to the recovery of their respective species given the absence of hatchery influence. The Camas Creek Watershed is a critically important reservoir of genetically pure wild populations of Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout.

For years, cattle grazing on the Camas Creek Allotment has degraded water quality where these important native populations of Chinook, Steelhead and Bull trout spawn.

To make matters worse, cattle have been allowed to wade and wallow in Camas Creek and its tributaries directly impacting fish eggs and redds (nests) during fish spawning in violation of the Endangered Species Act’s prohibition against “take” of threatened and endangered species.

Research demonstrates that one trampling event can kill a majority of fish eggs in each nest – potentially thousands of fish killed by each trampling event. One year, Forest Service researchers on the Camas Creek Allotment photographed cattle wading through a redd.

Thanks to Kristen Ruether and Laurie Rule at Advocates for the West for representing us in this important litigation!

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