In the fall of 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a federal rule to protect nearly 9,000 miles of Idaho’s rivers and streams as “critical habitat” for endangered bull trout. Because bull trout require cold, clear streams, the health of this species indicates the health of the rest of the stream ecosystem. By designating critical habitat areas for bull trout, we can protect healthy streams for other fish and aquatic species. Designation doesn’t affect private landowners unless they plan to impact a stream and need a federal permit.
ICL works continuously to closely monitor mining proposals and other forest activities to ensure that water quality and bull trout habitat are protected.
Healthy rural economies rely on healthy fish and clean water. That’s why we think that bull trout habitat is an important aspect of wildlife protection and the future of rural Idaho.