200705700 - Potlatch River Basin Conservation Easement

Sponsor: Potlatch Corporation

Budgets: FY07: $4,008,000 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Short description: This proposal is for the sale of a conservation easement covering riparian areas in the Potlatch River basin owned by Potlatch Corporation.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable

Comment:

This proposal is for the sale of a conservation easement covering riparian areas in the Potlatch River basin owned by Potlatch Corporation, to protect against development. There are policy concerns here that the ISRP cannot address. The one-page proposal does not provide adequate detail for the ISRP to make a recommendation in its present form. Details are lacking on the linkage of this project to the Clearwater Subbasin Plan or other regional planning documents that would identify this action as a priority item. Similarly absent, are discussion or alternative approaches to achieve conservation buffer / riparian zone protection on the Potlatch lands. The idea seems admirable. The proposal's map is helpful. It shows the widespread, largely headwaters distribution of the riparian corridors involved. Some aspects of the proposal need elaboration. Objectives include protection of 100ft on either side from development. This protection is not as robust as it could be (200ft on either side is usually recommended). One of the action-objectives is to keep the designated acreage "in forest land use in perpetuity." Exactly what constitutes "forest land use," and how will that use affect fish and wildlife? Will large woody debris-producing trees in the riparian zone be harvested? The proposal goes on to say in next sentence that "[i]n addition, Potlatch will implement best management practices in these areas that exceed the requirements of the Idaho Forest Practices Rules." What are those best management practices?

State/province recommendation: Not fundable

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment: Project not prioritized