Watershed Network releases draft plan for ecological enhancement of lower Boise River

The Boise River Enhancement Network (BREN) has released a draft plan that recommends cooperative ecological enhancement of the Lower Boise River and will be holding public workshops on the draft on June 2 from 2 – 4:30 p.m. at 720 Park Blvd in Boise and on June 4 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at 2208 E Chicago in Caldwell. Public comment on the draft will be accepted for eight weeks.

“The lower Boise River suffers from a serious loss of ecological resilience,” said BREN Coordinating Team member and Idaho Rivers United Boise Campaign Coordinator Liz Paul. “This Plan is both a bird's eye view of the current health of the river and a proposal to work cooperatively to enhance water quality, aquatic and riparian habitat and stream channel function.”

Tim Breuer, BREN Coordinating Team member and Executive Director of the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley said, “The Boise River is a jewel that runs through the Treasure Valley and is loved by many. This Plan provides valuable information and sound guidance so everyone can work together to address high-priority challenges.”

“This draft Plan gives us the opportunity to get together and decide on the highest and best use of public and private resources to insure Boise River enhancement meets the needs of all concerned’” said Alan Winkle, BREN Coordinating Team member and Boise City Canal Company Board member. “If you’re interested in the Boise River, we want to know what you think about the draft Plan.”

The Plan was written and designed by Boise-based Ecosystem Sciences Foundation with significant input from community members and natural resource professionals.

The Boise River Enhancement Network represents a diverse group of stakeholders in the lower Boise River watershed committed to promoting the ecological enhancement of the Boise River, including agriculture, development, municipal, irrigation, recreation, environmental, the scientific community, and the public at large. The network formed in 2011.

The community-generated ecological enhancement Plan was partially funded by a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Cooperative Watershed Management Program grant. This grant program supports the formation and development of locally led watershed groups and facilitates the development of multi-stakeholder watershed projects.

"Collaboration is the key if we are going to meet the many water challenges we face across West," said then-Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor when the grant was awarded in 2013. 

The draft Boise River Enhancement Plan is available at http://boiseriverenhancment.net.