Treasured Landscapes Sites

Lightning Creek Restoration

Idaho Panhandle, Idaho

LightningCreek 1

Phenomenal fishing, unscathed wilderness and pristine water make Lightning Creek on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest more than a place worth exploring. It’s a place worth protecting. 

Tucked into the Cabinet Mountains of the Northern Rockies, Idaho’s Lightning Creek easily lives up to its namesake. Wild flooding and dramatic summer thunderstorms wreak havoc on the Lightning Creek watershed and the surrounding area year after year.

The creek collects water from the sharp peaks of the glacially sculpted Cabinet Mountains, said to be one of the wildest mountain ranges left in the lower 48. Receiving an average of 90 inches of precipitation a year, Lightning Creek is the wettest area in Idaho. Due to the steep slope and amount of snow and rain, legendary floods have plagued the watershed and National Forest, not to mention the small town of Clark Fork.

In 2006, devastating flooding severely damaged access and use of popular trails as well as wildlife habitat and the overall health of the watershed. Seeing the need for a restoration effort, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) has designated the Lightning Creek watershed a Treasured Landscape restoration site.

Support Idaho Pandhandle National Forest

Together with local partners and the Forest Service, we will restore whitebark pine - an important food for grizzly bears and Clark's nutcracker -- and reduce sedimentation and blockages in the creek to enable passage of fish and other aquatic organisms. As part of this effort, we are providing neutral facilitation for the Panhandle Forest Collaborative to build local capacity for long-term stewardship and community engagement in the National Forest.

February 2, 2015 - The NFF is applying for a grant through the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation’s Recreational Trails Program to restore Morris Creek Trail #132 on the IPNF. The project is open for public comment.


Treasured Landscapes - Idaho Panhandle
Click on the icon to the right to download a PDF of the Treasured Landscapes project area on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.