Conflicts between campers and floatboaters have prompted a proposal to build a new launch site at Casino Creek and the Salmon River.
But before the concrete is cast, the U.S. Forest Service is seeking public input on the location.
In 1996, Sawtooth National Forest supervisor Bill LeVere proposed a floatboat launch site at the Mormon Bend Campground. A 1995 environmental impact statement sank that idea. It revealed conflicts between campers at the Mormon Bend Campground and the boaters waiting to put in at the historically well-used site. It also identified Mormon Bend as a good salmon spawning location.
After further study, the Forest Service proposed a launch site at Casino Creek, six miles downstream of Stanley and about one mile upstream from Mormon Bend.
The proposed floatboat facility would include a paved access road and parking for up to 20 vehicles. A concrete ramp and low retaining wall with raft tie rings will be built into the river. Bulletin boards, rustic fencing for riverside protection and native landscaping to screen the site also will be built, said Forest Service project team leader Deb Bumpus.
Initial input on the proposal has been mixed.
Randy Hess, owner of White Otter Outdoor Adventures, supports the Casino Creek site because it will reduce conflict with campers at Mormon Bend.
“We’ve had enough problems with the whole salmon issue. … I don’t want to make anyone mad at us for any reason,” Hess said.
Erasmo Paolo, managing director of The River Co., would like the Forest Service to establish a new floatboat facility, but not at Casino Creek.
“There are other campsites up and down the river, but Mormon Bend is the very best site remaining for floatboat access,” Paolo said.
He said the Casino Creek site will add a mile of “boring, calm water” for expert floatboaters who want to run rapids.
xxxx BOAT LAUNCH The proposed floatboat facility would include a paved access road and parking for up to 20 vehicles. A concrete ramp and low retaining wall with raft tie rings will be built into the river.
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