Emergency Consultation Finished in 30 days; Bull Trout and Road Repairs Compatable


The Boise National Forest initiated emergency consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service July 23 regarding affects to threatened bull trout shortly after the July 19 lightening strike that started the Hot Creek Fire. The Service conducted a compressed Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation on the effects of a proposed road project 30 days.

This emergency consultation focused on fire suppression activities as well as Burned Area Emergency Response activities after the fire was controlled. On August 3, 2003, an intense rainstorm directly over the Hot Creek Fire area resulted in debris torrents and deposition of rock and soil at the mainstem Middle Fork Boise River confluences of Bear Creek, Lake Creek, and Steel Creek. The primary access road to the historic mining town of Atlanta, Idaho flooded and washed out at several locations. The Service incorporated the Forest Service's desire to reopen the Middle Fork Boise River Road to emergency vehicle travel into the ongoing emergency consultation initiated for the Hot Creek Fire.

The Atlanta Highway District quickly recognized that the temporary repairs conducted by the Forest Service would not assure long-term travel of the Middle Fork Boise River Road. The highway district proposed clearing debris in the river, armoring the roadway with riprap, and elevating the road surface.

The Atlanta Highway District completedlong-term road repairs by the end of November 2003, just prior to the onset of severe winter conditions and heavy snow accumulations.

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