As part of our mission, the NFF offers neutral facilitation services for collaborative efforts that benefit National Forest System lands, and on the Sawtooth National Forest we're facilitating the 5B Restoration Coalition.
Five years have passed since the Beaver Creek fire and subsequent flood events wreaked havoc on private and public lands in Idaho's Wood River Valley. With the help of the 5B Restoration Coalition, the Wood River Valley has taken actions to restore heavily damaged public lands and build resilience within the community.
The 5B Restoration Coalition or 5BRC (named to reflect the license plate code for Blaine County, ID) has worked to collaboratively develop priorities, build stronger private-public partnerships, and encourage community stewardship for sustainable outcomes. The 5BRC is working to apply the region's best thinking across sectors, developing creative and effective solutions that will generate both community and ecological resilience for future natural events.
Who is the 5B Restoration Coalition?
- Individual Community Members
- Sun Summit South
- Sun Valley Economic Development
- Sawtooth Backcountry Horsemen
- Blaine County Recreation District
- Bureau of Land Management
- Idaho Conservation League
- Blaine County Commission
- U.S. Forest Service, Sawtooth National Forest
- Wood River Trails Coalition
- Facilitator: National Forest Foundation
"The goals of the project were to reduce sediment loading in the creek, restore healthy fish and wildlife habitat, and improve public access and trails."
A Watershed Restored
The flagship project for 5BRC has been the restoration of Deer Creek. Almost 70% of this drainage burned during the Beaver Creek Fire. Subsequent rains triggered substantial debris flows that blocked the river channel, damaged the road, and obliterated trails.
5BRC partners worked with Blaine County to create a restoration package that included an investment of $496,300 toward Deer Creek restoration needs from Blaine County's Land, Water, and Wildlife program, a levy funded effort. 5BRC partners and the National Forest Foundation pledged additional privately-raised funds to allow the $1.9 million dollar restoration package to more forward.
The goals of the project were to reduce sediment loading in the creek, restore healthy fish and wildlife habitat, and improve public access and trails. Key restoration actions included the following:
- Relocation of the public access road above the floodplain
- Stream and floodplain rehabilitation
- re-connection of side river channels
- installation of large wood structures (for fish) and improved culverts
- re-vegetation of hillsides with native plants and white bark pine
- removal of noxious weeds
- re-construction of recreational trails and bridges
Additional 5BRC Accomplishments
- Re-establishment of the Wood River Community Insectary, treatment of noxious weeds using bio-control on the Sawtooth National Forest, and addressing dog waste pollution on public lands - lead partner: Environmental Resource Center - $11,000 investment
- Treatment of invasive weeds on trails in Oregon Gulch and Adam's Gulch - lead partner: Idaho Conservation Corps - $21,600 investment
- Reconstruction of three miles of the Alden Gulch Trail - lead partner: Idaho Conservation Corps - $17,000 investment
- Support for a trails coordinator to organize trail crews, complete trail restoration and maintenance, and inform the public about trail condition - lead partner: Blaine County Recreation District - $10,000 investment
- Support for backcounty trail work in the Little Wood watershed - lead partner: Idaho Trails Association - $4,500 investment
- Construction of 1.65 miles of new single track trail to provide connection between Deer Creek and Greenhorn drainages - lead partner: Wood River Bike Coalition - $27,950 investment
- Support for repairing and renovating the Pioneer Cabin - lead partner: local contractors - $10,000 total investment
- Purchase of ten campfire rings for dispersed camping sites in the Deer Creek drainage - lead partner: national vendor - $2,150 investment
- Design and construction of Deer Creek drainage trailhead signage - lead partner: Quigley Map Studio and local contractors - $10,000 investment
- Support of backcounty trailwork in the Little Wood watershed - lead partner: Idaho Trails Association - $2500 investment
- Repair of trails damaged by the Beaver Creek Fire and subsequent flooding - lead partner: Idaho Conservation Corps - $41,600 investment
- Constructed the Greenhorn Pavilion - lead partner: local contractor - $30,125 investment
Announcements and Media
The next meeting of the 5BRC group will be help in January, 2019. Details to come.
- Up Deer Creek, Without a Squabble - Idaho Mountain Express - Oct. 12, 2018
- Pioneer Cabin, Deer Creek Areas in Forest Service's Spotlight This Summer - Eye On Sun Valley - June 9, 2018
- Trailkeepers Aims to Put Boots and Shovels on the Ground - Eye On Sun Valley - June 7, 2018
- Forest Service Crews Do the Impossible on Deer Creek Road- Eye On Sun Valley - Sept. 19, 2017
- Deer Creek Rising From the Ashes - Eye on Sun Valley - July 26, 2016
5BRC Meeting Records & Reports
5B Restoration Fund
The National Forest Foundation has established the 5B Restoration Fund to support on-the-ground priorities of the 5B Restoration Coalition in the Wood River Valley, which will be conducted through local community partners.
To give to the 5B Restoration Fund, visit www.nationalforests.org/give and enter promo code 5B. Gifts will be used to advance 5BRC priorities in the Wood River Valley.
Questions about the 5B Restoration Fund?