PUBLIC LANDS -- The U.S. Forest Service has completed a 2.25 mile reroute of Forest Road 1935000 (Middle Branch of LeClerc Creek) north of Newport and east of the Pend Oreille River as part of a larger road relocation and restoration project to benefit water quality and fish habitat.
The re-routed section of road begins near the new bridge crossing of the Middle Branch of LeClerc Creek and has been relocated away from the bottom of the drainage in order to improve the riparian and stream habitat. The old section of road is currently being decommissioned and is no longer open to motor vehicle use. The decommissioning of the 2.6 miles of road along Middle Branch LeClerc Creek includes the removal of fish passage barriers at 4 locations, restoring the stream channel at each of those four stream crossings as well as floodplain re-establishment and re-contouring the road.
Read on for funding sources and details.
This project has been funded through a grant from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board under the support of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Many entities have contributed to and supported this project including the Kalispel Tribe, who sponsored the project and provided monetary assistance; Stimson Lumber Company who is the road cost share cooperator; Pend Oreille PUD, who completed much of the stream restoration work; Pend Oreille County who completed previous stream restoration work downstream of this project; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife who provided technical support for the design; and individuals from various agencies with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and local individuals with the Citizen’s Advisory Group (CAG), all of whom reviewed and approved this project.
Benefits of this project include assisting with the recovery of bull trout in this watershed and addressing limiting factors to native fish such as high summer water temperatures, limited distribution of riparian vegetation and erosion from streambanks and the adjacent road surface.
Info: Newport Ranger District, 509-447-7300, or Sullivan Lake Ranger District, 509-446-7500.