Clearwater Basin Collaborative
“Collaboration breaks barriers. Collaboration brings people together to find common solutions. I salute the hard work of the Forest Service and members of the collaborative work group that have brought us to the point we are today.” — Senator Mike Crapo
On May 29, 2008, after years of conflict regarding the management of national forests in north-central Idaho, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo convened a diverse group of individuals and challenged them to collaborate to find solutions to divisive natural resource issues. Since its inception Clearwater basin Collaborative members have worked on a multitude of projects and issues with the Forest Service. In May 2013 the Collaborative developed a long-term “Agreement and Work Plan” that articulates their intent to address specific issues through administrative and legislative actions over time.
The purpose of the CBC is to develop collaborative solutions that promote active forest management, fish and wildlife habitat restoration, recreation, economic development and land/water protection within the Clearwater Region of Idaho. The CBC identifies the following as priorities to the Clearwater Basin and as such have formed subcommittees to oversee the efforts in each of these areas.
A forest plan sets out the management and guidelines for a forest over the duration of the plan. The Forest Plan subcommittee is an important vehicle to set policy guidance on the forest for the coming decades. Therefore, it is a CBC top priority to engage in and guide management action in a direction desirable for the health of the forest. The proposal is a science based approach and the subcommittee endeavors to represent the diverse interests in the Clearwater Basin to find consensus or majority support for the many issues addressed in the scope of a forest plan.
Our belief is that a robust all-season recreation program on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is critical to a vibrant economy in north-central Idaho. The Agreement and Work Plan focuses on motorized recreation, specifically a “legislated” north-south motorized trail, and funding for an appraisal, easements, and improvements. We are also committed to development of non-motorized recreation opportunities as well.
The Clearwater Basin Collaborative is a diverse group of individuals dedicated to working collaboratively to find solutions and provide recommendations regarding natural resource management issues. Their collective vision is to enhance and protect the ecological and economic health of the forests, rivers and communities within the Clearwater Basin.
Today, healthy forests, economic stability, and maintenance of living-wage jobs go hand in hand. The CBC’s Rural Economies Subcommittee has been working on a number of projects to increase economic and community stability now and into the future. Rural counties with high percentages of federal lands are struggling to fund schools, roads, law enforcement and search-and-rescue operations. CBC agrees to work for a legislative solution for more equitable and stable payments system as well as explore other opportunities for economic health in the Basin.
CBC supports designating certain areas as Wilderness, Wild & Scenic Rivers and Special Places. Reaching consensus within the full Working Group continues to be our goal as we integrate the needs of counties, timber industry, motorized users and other interests into a final legislative proposal for selected areas of interest.
Wildlife Habitat Restoration
The Clearwater Basin, tucked away in a remote part of Idaho has always been rich in salmon, goats, lynx, wolverine, and a whole suite of other associated species. CBC members unanimously agreed on the value of anadromous fisheries and aquatic habitat, elk and back-country in the Basin. Protecting these resources for the ecological, social and economic health of the Basin is a foundation of the Collaborative’s work. Specifically the charge is to develop a holistic strategy of restoration for all wildlife in the Basin that considers the biological, social, economic and political aspects of the issues.
“Working to enhance and protect the economic and ecological values of the Clearwater Basin”
Clearwater Basin Youth Conservation Corps
Born out of the successful collaboration between the Clearwater Basin Collaborative and the Nez Perce -Clearwater National Forests, the Clearwater Basin Youth Conservation Corps program is now a thriving youth summer employment program with over a dozen funding partners and participation from nearly all of the local land management agencies and organizations. The mission of the Clearwater Basin Youth Conservation Corps (CBYCC) is to expose youth to natural resource career opportunities and facilitate the development of practical problem-solving skills while participants work alongside program and technical specialists on projects that restore aquatic and terrestrial habitat and promote healthy rural communities. The CBYCC is a Paid youth program offering local youth an opportunity to experience the outdoors in a workplace setting while also providing a fun learning environment and exposure to traditional skills.