June 3, 2022 update by Will Neal

HLWA and USFS form a Hayden Creek Watershed Working Group

The Honey Badger Project does not address critical issues in the Hayden Creek watershed. Sedimentation is entering the creek at an alarming rate from FS437. The USFS agrees that attention to the watershed is overdue. Members of the work group took a field trip recently. Read what they found below.

May 3, 2022 update by Will Neal

HLWA Continues to Engage with the USFS

The Honey Badger Project public input period is closed and the USFS has moving forward with their plan. However, the Hayden Lake Watershed Association will continue to work with the them on critical issues in the watershed we believe were not addressed in the final Honey Badger plan.


Honey Badger Introduction

Click Map to Enlarge

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.

Honey-Badger is important to those of us concerned for the welfare of Hayden Lake, because 63% of Hayden Lake’s watershed is managed by the Forest Service and all that acreage is being planned for in the Honey Badger Project.  It should not be lost on any of us that the quality of Hayden Lake depends on the proper management of its watershed from whence its waters flow.  The HLWA has tracked this project since its announcement by the agency and has provided input at every step.  You may review our comments and concerns in the documents provided below and see the materials supplied by the Forest Service to which we have reacted.

It might be simple to comment that the Forest Service should just leave the lake’s watershed alone.  Yet we must understand that the forest ecosystems that populate the watershed are not static, but are themselves in constant long-term flux.  The natural long-term behavior of our mixed coniferous forests is to grow from massively burned over areas, producing initially young fast growing sun loving trees, but as time progresses slower growing, more shade tolerant, more disease susceptible, and greater biomass stands develop.  Left to its own devices such forests eventually encounter a dry year and one or many ignition sources that create stand replacing wild fires. Such fires recur roughly every 300 years in this area. The 1910 fires legendary in this part of the Northwest are the best-known example of one of these stand replacing conflagrations.  Fire history information tells us the forests of Hayden Lake’s watershed suffered their last stand replacing fires in the 1750s.  Our lake’s watershed is near due.  So we manage it wisely through management efforts charted by the Honey Badger planning to forestall such an event or we face a massive conflagration that we surely affect the lake over many years.

Comment on FSR 437

Suggested Talking Points (08/25/2021)

  • Disappointed Forest Service is not considering addressing the problems in this corridor in the Honey-Badger Plan
  • During snowmelt and rain events this poorly located road contributes sediment to lower Hayden Creek that is transported to Hayden Lakes North Arm (See video). Further sedimentation is not desirable for this already challenged area of the lake.
  • The gun range is unmanaged and wide open to abuse. All manner of targets are shot up, some containing hazardous materials
  • Mud bogging, overly wide road treads and illegal traces create additional sedimentation to the lake during runoff events
  • These issues should be addressed by the Forest Service, but the Honey-Badger Decision puts them off to a separate process subject to the priorities of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
  • These problems should be part of Honey Badger planning and implementation and not be put off, because we have no confidence they will be addressed in a timely manner.

Send To:

  • Ranger Danial Scaife
    • daniel.scaife@usda.gov
    • Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District
    • 2502 East Sherman Avenue
    • Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
  • Kerry Arneson, NEPA Coordinator
    • kerry.arneson@usda.gov
    • Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District
    • 2502 East Sherman Avenue
    • Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
  • Carl Petrick, Forests Supervisor

Learn More About Honey Badger