Whitefish conservation plan affirmed. Plan approved by F&G Commission is specific to Big Lost River subspecies. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

The Big Lost River does not drain to the ocean or any other river. It sinks out on the Snake River Plain (actually it is almost always dried up by diversions long before reaching its sinks).

Because of its isolation, a sub-species of mountain whitefish has evolved, and it needs protection because of a multitude of threats (what is good for the whitefish will also be good for trout). Idaho Fish and Game Commission has adopted a plan, but it is unfunded and it needs the cooperation of the US Forest Service and BLM to work (such as keeping cows out of the hard pressed river and its headwater forks and their tributaries). In other words, don’t hold your breath.

The Western Watersheds Project wants more affirmative action to conserve the whitefish. They earlier petitioned for protection under the ESA as an endangered, not threatened species. Here is their petition. In the petition is a lot of information about the Big Lost mountain whitefish.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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