Historic Watershed Restoration Project Under Way in Idaho Panhandle


It's being called one of the largest watershed restoration projects ever implemented in Idaho, and when it's completed, 21 fish passages along more than 21,000 acres should be improved.

The name of the projection is the Moose Drool Watershed Restoration and it will key in on three miles of in-stream fish habitat in Idaho's Panhandle, according to the Coeur d'Alene Press

According to a spokesman for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, the two-year project will cost $1.8 million, and will use local contractors and subcontractors.

The project is expected to continue through early October and resume in 2015.

The Press reports that much of the heavy lifting will include the removal of an old rail bed. Crews will also decommission and obliterate some old roads in the area.

"Most of these aren't roads that are drivable in the first place," said IPNF biologist Will Young. "These were not open to motorized use anyway."

The restoration will ultimately improve stream hydrology and enhance fish habitat for westslope trout and other species.