WWP learned this morning (6/5) that Gloria Flora, the former Supervisor of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, was seriously injured in a head-on automobile accident near Helena, Montana on Sunday June 3, 2001. Ms. Flora's injuries include broken ribs and a broken leg as well as other unspecified injuries. She is now recovering in St. Peter's Hosptial, 2475 Broadway, Helena, Montana 59601; telephone: (406) 444-2259 (surgical ward).
Gloria Flora has achieved a deserved conservation reputation for first ending mineral leasing in the front range in Montana and then for resigning her Supervisor's position on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada to protest the attacks on Forest Service employees by right-wing "wise use" as well as county and state supremacy groups who became notorious for promoting the Jarbidge Wilderness Road Closure issue and the infamous "shovel brigade".
WWP suggests readers might wish to send get-well cards and messages to Gloria Flora at St. Peter's Hospital in Helena.
Western Watersheds Project and the Committee for Idaho's High Desert have agreed to a stipulated settlement in WWP's Otter Creek water diversion lawsuit. The litigation was brought seeking to end an unscreened and unmeasured irrigation diversion which de-waters Otter Creek, an occupied bull trout stream, in the Salmon-Challis National Forest near Challis, Idaho. The agreement stipulates that the water right holders, Verl and Tuddie Jones, will not divert any water from Otter Creek unless and until a screening and measurement device is in place which will ensure up and downstream fish passage year-round in Otter Creek. This settlement follows on the heels of an almost identical legal settlement on the Mahogany Creek diversion located on BLM lands in the Pahsimeroi Valley. WWP will continue to press for the ending of low value stream de-watering diversions in critical habitat for ESA listed fish species.
Western Watersheds Project and the Committee for Idaho's High Desert mailed out 75 letters to water rights holders on the main stem of the Lemhi River in Lemhi County, Idaho in late May. These 60 day notice letters notify water users that they may be sued under the Endangered Species Act for "take" of listed chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout if their water use results in the dewatering of the Lemhi River, one of the most important spawning areas for these listed fish species. Because central Idaho including the Lemhi River watershed is experiencing a major drought this year, the likelihood of de-watering the Lemhi River near the town of Salmon, Idaho is greatly increased this summer since the existing water rights on the river's main stem far exceed drought flows.