Wilderness Water's a Winner
A new report from The Wilderness Society reveals that the purest water from our national forests comes from protected wilderness areas.
While it's something that many of us may take for granted, a new report from The Wilderness Society finds that the purest water from our national forests comes from protected wilderness areas.
According to the report, wilderness designations like Idaho's Frank Church-River of No Return, Selway-Bitterroot, Gospel Hump, Hells Canyon, Sawtooth and the Owyhee River Wilderness Areas more effectively protect clean water than any other designation.
Nationally, the report found that 80% of streams in designated wilderness are functioning properly, compared with 64% in roadless areas and only 38% in all other national forest lands. The assessment was based in large part on a new Watershed Condition Framework that the Forest Service developed. A handy map viewer is available.
According to the Forest Service, at least 72 Idaho communities depend on streams and rivers for their water supply, most of which originate from our national forests. One thing the report underscores is that, as Idaho continues to grow, it is far more cost effective to protect our pristine watersheds than it is to install expensive water filtration systems.