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Group Wants Public Input On Boise River 'Enhancement' Plan

Frankie Barnhill
Boise State Public Radio
A coalition of groups concerned with the health of the Boise River wants to make sure the resource doesn't become over-managed.

A coalition of groups and individuals concerned about the health of the Boise River has released an enhancement plan and wants public feedback. The Boise River Enhancement Network (BREN) says the natural resource needs serious help in four areas: water quality, fish habitat, riparian areas and the river channel itself. BREN wants cities, counties, farmers and others who rely on the river to work better together to protect it.

Idaho Rivers United is one of the organizations in the network, and Liz Paul leads their Boise River conservation efforts. Paul says the river used to meander and break into different channels that would flood the banks regularly. She says not allowing it to do those things makes it a less healthy ecosystem.

“We’re not talking about restoring the river to some kind of natural, before-man kind of condition," says Paul. "We’re not looking to turn the clock back, we’re looking to say, 'well with the kinds of parameters we have in 2015, what can be done?' " 

Paul says some rivers have been managed beyond the point of restoration, like the LA River which flows through concrete banks. She says the Boise River still has preservation possibilities, and the most important thing to do to keep the resource healthy is to keep the spots on it that are the closest to their natural condition.

BREN will be gathering public input on its plan until August.

For more local news follow @KBSX915

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