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South Fork of Salmon Listed as One of 'America's Most Endangered Rivers' of 2018


  • American Rivers / Daniel Patrinellis
Citing the threat of expanded open-pit mining, Idaho's South Fork of the Salmon River was named Tuesday one of America's most endangered rivers. The listing, from the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group American Rivers, ranks the South Fork of the Salmon No. 5 on the list of most endangered rivers. The South Fork's headwaters are just east of the Valley County community of Cascade and run nearly 86 miles north where it meets the Salmon River.

“The South Fork Salmon still boasts clear, free-flowing waters, and feeds the beloved Wild and Scenic Main Salmon downstream," said Mike Fiebig of American Rivers. "It’s time for the U.S. Forest Service to put an end once and for all to toxic mining near this treasured river.”

Advocates at Idaho Rivers United said in the wake of Tuesday's ranking, Idahoans should be motivated to "save their beloved river from contamination."

“All I have to do is say ‘South Fork of the Salmon,’ and people speak willingly and with conviction,” said IRU conservation associate Ava Isaacson. “People have shown through their engagement how truly valuable and important the South Fork is to them. Citizens of Idaho are speaking loud and clear, and in resounding numbers, that the South Fork is more precious than gold. Idaho is blessed with wild rivers revered around the nation, and the South Fork of the Salmon is one of the state’s best. This is a place where families go to camp and hike, where expert paddlers go to play and our amazing migratory fish go to spawn and renew the circle of life.”
See related PDF SFSalmon_MER2018_report_FINAL.pdf