Friday, March 8, 2013

Silver Creek restoration plan up for hearing

Commissioners to deliberate on merits of project


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

Picabo Livestock owner Nick Purdy and The Nature Conservancy are joining forces to gain approval for a major restoration of Silver Creek that they say will create a healthier stream.

Purdy and representatives of The Nature Conservancy will come before the Blaine County commissioners Tuesday, March 19, to discuss the joint venture.

Purdy stated in his application for a stream alteration permit that he plans to remove almost 16,000 cubic yards of sediment from the wide and shallow stream, restoring depth and streamflow.

He stated that he plans to build a diversion dam to aid the flow of sediment through the area, but will incorporate features to allow fish to pass through the dam.

The sediment removed from the stream will be used to build banks to create wetlands by constricting the flow of water. The wetlands areas will be planted with native grass species. Purdy stated that he has used this method in other stream restoration projects with success, and expects similar success with this project.

The Nature Conservancy is planning a larger-scale project upstream of the Picabo Livestock project, with similar features. The organization stated in its application that its goals are to reduce the temperature of the stream, making it better trout habitat, and to promote healthy sediment flow through the area by removing sediment and creating wetlands using a method similar to Purdy’s.

Materials from the applications are available at www.co.blaine.id.us. The hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey.


Kate Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com




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