A Big Wood River Assessment update

It’s been nearly a year since the Big Wood River Geomorphic Assessment was completed and, thanks to your help, we’ve started making progress on restoring the health of our river.

The assessment was completed as part of the Big Wood Home Rivers Initiative (HRI), and was commissioned by the Land Trust, Trout Unlimited and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The study assessed the health of the Big Wood River from North Fork down to Magic Reservoir and was done by the well-respected Biota Research team from Jackson, Wyoming.


The Bow Bridge in winter by Ed Northen.

The study revealed that over 50% of the river has been altered by people, with the most prevalent impairments including channel degradation and incision, los of proper floodplain functioning, and sedimentation build up. The results of these issues negatively impact the Big Wood’s fish species, the safety of banks for wildlife and various plant species, and the overall health of the region’s largest aquifer. (Please check out this blog to read the full report or its general summary.)

The study established seven priority areas and the Land Trust has begun working on what are arguably the two most important: the stretches by Bullion Bridge in Hailey and at Colorado Gulch.

Design work for the “Bridge to Bridge Project” has been laid out, so now we’re working on the next step in the process—raising the funds to compete the work—and we could use some help.


Colorado Gulch by Lisa Huttinger.

Thanks to folks like you and your family, your friends and neighbors, we were recently able to acquire the 150 acre Colorado Gulch property. It’s a huge step in the right direction. We’ve also had some success raising funds for work on the upper Bridge to Bridge stretch, by the Draper Wood River Preserve and Lions Park. But we still have more work to do to raise the funds for the project before we can roll up our sleeves and start working on the river itself.

If you would like to help or donate to the Big Wood River restoration from Bullion Bridge to Colorado Gulch, please go to our Donate page or call us at 208.788.3947.

Thanks for your help. Your actions will make a big and positive difference for the Big Wood River and our community!

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