Current and Emerging Topics of Interest
Just like the world, the Hayden Lake Watershed is changing. Our commitment to manage, protect and restore the watershed is not. We would be honored to have your support as fellow stewards of this remarkable Idaho gem.
Decisions that affect the Hayden Lake watershed are made regularly by Kootenai County, local Districts and utilities. We monitor the agendas for these entities and will publish public meeting times, locations and issues for you. You will also find the HLWA Board of Director meeting location, date and agenda on the calendar. Use the link to Events at the top of the page or use the button below.
NEWS & EVENTS
What is Going on at English Point?
Heads Up - logging has begun at English Point
HLWA President Geoff Harvey received a Forest Service notice last week sent out to all those who commented on the English Point Plan. Geoff composed and submitted comments for the Association in June of 2019.
Here is what we can tell you about the project.
The Forest Service's plan is to remove, dead, dying and over-mature trees. The large trees being harvested are primarily Douglas Fir and some Grand Fir, while the Ponderosa Pine is being left. Unfortunately, mature Douglas Fir are susceptible to root rot that is already prevalent in this stand as evidenced by the pods of dead trees. This harvest is in line with the desired result being a Ponderosa Pine dominated stand. If we could have a natural wildfire regime this is precisely the stand type that would occur on this acreage.
The dead trees, save those reserved as wildlife trees for cavity nesters, will come down. However, these are of no commercial value so will await the timber stand improvement phase to be felled, put up in a firewood sale or piled for burning. A certain number of boles will be left on the forest floor as such fallen dead logs are an important part of the habitat.
Unfortunately, logging is an ugly business when in progress. However, given the constraints of management in this semi-urbanized rural area the prescription the Forest Service is following is the best alternative. If nothing is done, fuel loads will increase and should ignition occur the resulting fire would be costly indeed!
Panhandle National Forest Ranger District Notice
Portions of the English Point hiking area near Hayden Lake have temporarily closed to the public to allow for the safe operation of timber removal activity associated with the English Point Forest Health Protection project. The closure area, reflected in the accompanying order, only affects those trails south of Lancaster Road and west of English Point Road. The rest of the system remains open.
The English Point trail system, a 358-acre recreation site near Hayden Lake, is managed by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District. Providing approximately 8.4 miles of trails, including the English Point National Recreation Trail, the area is very popular with visitors and nearby residents for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and winter snowshoeing.
Following a decision in March last year, the project seeks to improve forest health in and around the popular hiking area by reducing hazardous fuels loading to mitigate wildfire danger and by thinning to improve species and age class diversity. The project also includes work to improve hiking trails and boardwalks. Copies of the project documents can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56148
The closure order will remain in effect for 90 days or until rescinded. The Forest Service plans to rescind the order as soon as timber operations are complete. They are expected to last through the end of July.
The Idaho Panhandle National Forests appreciates the public’s tolerance of these temporary closures in support of the long-term restoration benefits and trail improvements.
Years ago, the Forest Service planned its timber harvest activities in sale sizes up to maybe 1500 acres. In recent year the agency has moved its planning to much larger units. Typically, management is planned for tens of thousands of acres over many years. Such plans do not just plan the timber harvest of the area, but also road creation and destruction (decommissioning), controlled burning of forest stands, trails, and stream protection and restoration. In short, most every management action the agency can foresee over a twenty-to-thirty-year time horizon. The Honey-Badger Planning Project is just such a large area (60,000 acres) planning effort that has been in progress for three to four years
Hayden Lake Watershed Association has initiated a program to document excessive and damaging wake activity on Hayden Lake during the 2021 boating season. One of the tools we will be using requires your participation. Help us fine tune the process by trying out our report form today.
Have an incident to report?
Fill out our report form and attach photo of the watercraft if you have one...
The February 2021 Biannual Report
Twice each year we like to bring you up to date on the issues and initiatives the Association has undertaken. The 2021 winter edition of the report is here for you to view and download.
We invite you to send us your favorite photos of fauna in your neighborhood. The diversity of life here in the Hayden Lake Watershed a gift we can share with one another to lift our spirits and remind ourselves how fortunate we are to live here.
Use our Photo Upload Form to share them with the Watershed.
STAY CURRENT ON ALL THINGS IN THE HAYDEN LAKE WATERSHED
Our bi-monthly newsletter will keep you up to date on HLWA meetings and initiatives. We partner with other community groups around the watershed to have a voice in the decisions our regulatory agencies are contemplating and will publish the agency meeting times and locations.