,Alf - No logs go downriver from above S. Maries any more. The river hasn't changed though, except more and more of the hayfields have been cut into river lots, lots of lots, and more and more of the banks get rip-rapped or barbed to hold them in place - although actual natural river bank is harder to find, in places they're rip-rapping meadow ground that's a long way from where the bank used to be. Water skiers use the river constantly all summer, all the way to St. Joe City, and they cause much of the erosion. The river is navigable, the Coast Guard just couldn't "navigate" the political pressure from Benewah County's commissioner, so they abandoned the river. They just used the narrowest reading of the law, and hoped no one would notice.
Over here in Idaho's panhandle, on the St. Joe River, we've seen the Coast Guard pull back from its responsibilities even to "navigable" waters. To save itself political flack, the Coast Guard decided that the St. Joe was no longer "navigable" past St. Maries, dropping about twenty miles of river up to St. Joe City, a small community that used to have a busy waterfront for all manner of craft "back in the days". The river along this stretch is still used by water skiers, etc. and is certainly "navigable", but the Coast Guard decided to pull back on the grounds that it no longer supported "commerce" beyond St. Maries (like the big steamers still pull in there?). The Joe was settled west to east, up the river by boat, and all travel was by water or foot till the railroad came through. The road came later.
The problem for the Coast Guard started when a jet boat bunch skipped #10 on the one-page Idaho form for water event permits ( #10 is the only section of the form in bold. It lists 4 issues that require a Coast Guard permit as well, and the St. Joe River between St. Maries and Calder scored a hit on all 4 points.) The boat bunch got caught out, and after the Governor and our US congressmen got involved, they got to race anyway, AS LONG AS THEY COMPLIED WITH A FULL EIS BEFORE THIS YEAR'S RACE. They would never have passed the EIS because the Joe has highly erosive banks, but, instead, the Coast Guard just slithered away last Dec., without mentioning it to the public, on the grounds that that stretch of the river was no longer used for commerce!
It was blatent politics, with no regard for the river itself (above Calder the river becomes Recreational and then Wild under the wild and scenic rivers act). The Joe is now unprotected by ANY public agency between St. Maries and Calder, except county law, and as it was county politicians who achieved this end, that means totally unprotected. Not what the Clean Water Act intended, but what was wrought by the second and third court rulings. Beyond disgusting!
Oh Ricki, Ellen, Debra and Cj, your comments demonstrate why rural folks not only don't take you seriously, and even get their backs up in response. All hunters and trappers are ravening beasts with constant blood lust and the urge to kill, kill, kill???? Not a one of you knows anybody who hunts, do you (except maybe a loathed trophy hunter or two), since you also obviously don't live rural or semi-rural. All the hunters I know hunt for meat, but then the hunters I know live in or near the woods. Your strident belief in the murderous nature of all hunters and trappers is right up there with the folks who believe all liberals are out to destroy the country, or that every single teapartier is racist - ludicrous blanket statements that defy reality.
When Ms. Stone and her teams started introducing wolves into Idaho, they looked for suitable wolf habitat, but they obviously didn't check for a history of wolves in all the places they considered "suitable". The St. Joe River is a prime example. Comments from Lewis and Clark, early history by the first settlers show no wolves. This is not lush country, and it is obvious to folks how well wolves settled in - all too well. Cougar (native to the Joe) are being squeezed out of their normal large ranges, the whole ecosystem has been disrupted, and all species, predator and prey alike, are being affected. I only speak for the Joe, because that's where I am, and that's where I observe what's going on around me. Granted, the Joe is a special case, because the Joe is a very special river. But the panhandle as a whole is timber country. No ranchers here - and pretty soon not a whole lot of game either, unless we're successful in reducing wolf numbers.
Bet if he's not guilty, a lot more teens will be murdered with impunity.
As you said, the law is up for renewal . . . but with the republicans in control of the House, don't count on anything but more "pay to play" legislation - the economy comes first! And we're broke! Privatize! Money, money, money! The repubs want it! They gotta have it! That's all America cares about anymore.
Whew, you got all that anti-predator stuff out of this article? I read about some folks trying to ranch in ways that makes the land productive with less damage, and involve college students in the project, to everyone's benefit. You are for barbed wire over smooth? Against water conservation? Big on feedlot beef? Or, wrong partners for your purity tests? Get a grip.
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