Status: In Progress


Location

The Prichard Creek project area is on private property owned by Idaho Forest Group extending nearly the length of Prichard Creek from the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River confluence upstream to the Prichard Creek headwaters near Thompson Pass. The communities of Prichard and Murray are near the project area and the land surrounding the project area is largely public land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Background

Prichard Creek provides important habitat for native trout and wildlife, but the area has been significantly degraded by past mining practices. A large, in-stream floating dredge turned over about five-miles of the Prichard Creek floodplain from 1917 through 1926 and left behind large dredge piles of rock. Historic mine and mill sites upstream contaminated some areas with metals. The stream’s physical processes, riparian vegetation, hydrology and aquatic habitat were degraded with some stream reaches drying up during portions of the year. However, Prichard Creek also provides cold water, excellent off-channel habitat in the lower reach and has immense potential once restored.

Plans

Idaho Forest Group is currently putting nearly 2,000 acres into a conservation easement (1,023 acres of riparian habitat and 921 acres of forested uplands) that will be held by Kaniksu Land Trust. This will ensure long-term protection of the stream and its floodplain and create long-term security for the future restoration work.

A restoration plan will be developed to guide restoration activities that will restore native vegetation and enhance stream habitat. This project entails collecting necessary information about the drainage and creating a large-scale, multi-phased restoration plan for the entire project area.

Benefits

The ultimate goal is to add complexity and connectivity within the channel and with the floodplain of Prichard Creek. This will improve habitat for all life stages of westslope cutthroat trout and other aquatic organisms. Another goal is increase vegetation within the riparian area. 10.5 stream miles will be improved and provide habitat for native trout. The restoration of this property will also bring recreational and education opportunities to the public.

Contact

Alan Harper
Idaho Forest Group
4447 East Chilco Rd.
Athol, Idaho 83801
208-762-2908
abharper@idfg.com

Sponsor

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
(208) 769-1422

Partners

Idaho Forest Group
Trout Unlimited
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Kaniksu Land Trust
Bureau of Land Management
Idaho Department of Lands
Shoshone County
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation

The hydrology of Prichard Creek was significantly altered by historic dredge mining.

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