Reserved Salmon River Camps

Salmon River
Corn Creek, ID
June 12, 2002

The Salmon National Forest plans to institute a campsite reservation system for boaters floating the Main Salmon from Corn Creek during the high use season, beginning June 20, 2002. "All permitees will request campsites beginning 3:00PM the day before launch," according to the Corn Creek river ranger. "If there is a conflict, we will flip a coin next morning to determine the winner. The system is new to the Main, but similar to the campsite reservation system that has been used on the Middle Fork of the Salmon for some years. It was in response to outfitter complaints about smaller (non-commercial) river trips taking large camp sites that the outfitters say are required for the larger outfitted groups.

"This makes our non-commercial trips more difficult to plan while on the river" said Doug Ross, perspective non-commercial Salmon River floater. "We may be forced to alter our trips to accommodate the outfitters schedules. We don't need big camps, but is this fair to do-it-yourself boaters who have to compete with each other in a lottery to win a permit while commercial guests simply wrote a check?"

"They talked about reducing group sizes from the current 30 person maximum" said Ed Link, owner of North Fork Guides, who runs small commercial trips, "but there was too much opposition from the outfitters."

Michael Greenbaum, longtime river advocate, noted one of the reasons offered for this decision is that assigned campsites will reduce, if not put an end to camp jumping....if the North Fork Ranger District wished to stop camp jumping, they could stop it on a dime tomorrow by making it a serious violation of a special use permit and threatening to pull the permit of any outfitter caught camp jumping.

Do you have comments on this issue? You can mail them to:

Supervisors Office
Salmon National Forest
PO Box 729
Salmon, ID 83467