Who is responsible for caring for the Boise River? Of course, we all are. But the City of Boise recognized years ago its special responsibility for the great natural resource and amenity that flows through the city. In 1999 the Boise Department of Parks and Recreation (BPR) initiated the Boise River Resource Management and Master Plan. It was adopted at the end of 1999 by the city council. It was the first local government effort in the Boise River valley to manage the riverside resources and demands on them.
Now the plan is being updated and the ideas and concerns of citizens about the Boise River through the city will be considered during the planning process. A steering committee of 21 people representing a broad range of interest groups and agencies has been appointed to help the department review the existing plan and to update it into a new plan that will guide the department in how it manages in the future the resources and recreation use and other challenges along the river.
The current plan explored the resources and management challenges in six topic areas: Public Safety; Recreation; Wildlife, Fisheries and Riparian Zone; River Bank Stabilization, Treatments and Hydrology; Water Quality, and Mitigation. Policy and technical recommendations were made for each section and they will be reviewed and updated in the current process. Other topic areas may be added. The primary goal of the first plan and the update, is to protect and enhance public safety, health and resource preservation associated with recreational use of the river and its riparian area.
There will be two public open houses and at least 11 steering committee meetings before the end of 2013. Although there will not be a public comment period at each steering committee meeting, the public is welcome to attend. Most of the meetings will begin with an educational presentation or presentations about the resources and demands on the river and the narrow strip of land and riverside parks under the city's jurisdiction.
The planning area extends from Barber Dam downstream to approximately a quarter mile east of Glenwood Bridge, about 10 miles. BPR owns riverside parks, the Greenbelt, and has management responsibility for a 70-foot setback from the 6,500 cfs flow line of the river. The importance of the 6,500 cfs line emphasizes that the Boise River is a controlled river, with flows regulated by how much water is released for irrigation or held behind the dams for flood control. The flow measurement is made by a gage near the Glenwood Bridge and 6,500 cfs is considered bank full.
To make comments and suggestions on management of BPR's land within the Boise River corridor, send us an email.