Rocky Canyon Ruckus


It looks like there might be some trouble brewing at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs. According to this forums post, the Boise National Forest has plans to dismantle the improved pools.

Here's the post:

I have had a very disturbing conversation with the district ranger Boise National Forest, area around Crouch. Includes these hot springs. They told me that these rebuilt pools are going to be "dismantled" because there was no permit issued for the building of them. I have written a letter with a copy to his boss. District Ranger attn: John Erickson 1805 Hwy 16 Rm #5 Emmett 83617. His boss is Boise National Forest attn: Ceilia Seesholtz at 1249 Vinnell Way suite 200 Boise 83709 . Above the Social Security office just west of the Wal Mart on Overland. We need H E L P and more people to protest the destruction of these awesome pools. But the pools are still awesome, and today "election day" we had them all to ourselves, with only 3 vehicles on the road!

My thoughts, based on past/present visits and submitted hot springer trip reports:

Before the pools were improved:
  • (-) The terrain was more dangerous to navigate. The best pools to soak in were located near the top of the source; a slick, steep climb.
  • (+) The pools were natural in design, (-) save for tarps used that deteriorated and entered stream systems (tarps have fungi that cannot naturally be broken down, fish eat it, animals eat - then we eat it).
  • (-) Poor pool construction meant poor water flow; pools often contained stagnant water.
After the pools were improved:
  • (+) The overall level of trash at the hot springs and pullout has been dramatically reduced.
  • (-) There is an increased potential for overuse and abuse, which typically leads to vehicle vandalism and other assorted problems that occur at some of the more popular easy-access public hot springs. However, Rocky Canyon is somewhat off the beaten path in regard to typical easy-access classified soaks.
My question to the forest service is why Rocky Canyon? There are many other improved soaking pools in the Boise National Forest that I doubt have permits and are notorious trouble-makers. If you target one, don't you have to go after them all? Maybe I'm missing something.

What are you thoughts? Should Rocky's pools be dismantled or preserved?

[where: Crouch, ID]

A Victory for the Environment and Wildlife

I'm generally not very political these days... except when it comes to the environment. That, I understand better than the many other faucets of our quagmired yet multi-dimensional political system. What I do know, is that many of our current politicians have continuously levied attacks against the environment for no better reason than to make money. Not for the country, not to serve the people, but either for themselves or for political gain. The expense? A few more thin slices are cut from America's last piece of public land pie.

The evidence is overwhelming here in Idaho; the state with the most open space in the lower 48 - the only state not covered by the nationwide Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Even despite the economic viability of fishing, hunting and backpacking - and the combined outcry from these groups; Idaho's roadless land remains virtually unprotected. Keep in mind, less than 2% of all land in the US is roadless (Source: Wilderness Society). That means Idaho and Alaska are about it. I don't know about you, but I'll take summer in Idaho over rainy, cold, mosquito-infested (yet absolutely beautiful) Alaska anytime.

Living in the reddest state of the US has proved enlightening. Aggravating too. Urbanization of Economics depicts that the reason why people live in Idaho is primarily singular - they come for the wilderness. It also teaches that cities (economies) are nothing without a core group of people - the working middle class. But yet, this evidence eludes many. Our political leaders tend to support causes that promise them big business in the future by use of methods that go against what sustains cities to begin with. I'm not saying I want to see Idaho all blue or all red, just a bit more balanced.

Growing your business in Idaho, be you a politician, small business owner, corporate worker or Joe the Plumber, should utilize methodology that supports what makes Idaho - Idaho. Grow in a way that conserves, preserves, promotes and protects Idaho wilderness - instead of making the easy choice to support methodology that undermines the reasoning of why people choose to live in Idaho.

It seems, that once you've lived in a frontier state like Idaho, it's easy to forget that the other 48 states don't have roadless forests, open desert and intact ecosystems that aren't swarming with people and problems. In some states, they just plain don't exist.

Even now, the day after the election, there is hope. Environmental organizations are scrambling to embrace a new forthcoming administration, one that favors protecting the environment in hopes of protecting our future.

That gives me hope.

More info. on Idaho Roadless Rule

Defenders of Wildlife Election 08 Wrap-Up Video:

2008 Election Wrap-Up from Defenders Action Fun on Vimeo.

NWF Bagby Hot Springs in Oregon Video


Bagby Hot Springs in Oregon Field Guide featuring the Northwest Forest Conservancy (NWF)

View Bagby Hot Springs on

A Few Quick Updates

Eastern Sierra Hot Springs Goodness

CaliCampBug has a great post up of her latest visit to a few northern California geothermal gems on her stellar blog 'California Camp Bug'. Featuring amazing pictures and corresponding trip report. View the post

Idaho's Roadless Forests in NYT

Idaho is the only state that is not covered by the national Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Read the article

Boise Larry Lynx Creek Trip Report and Pics

Here's a great hot springs trip report on the elusive Lynx Creek Hot Springs, located a few miles hike from the backcountry mining town of Atlanta. View the trip report

MSN Hot Springer Now on Multiply

Notorious hot springer Kim has migrated his hot springs content to Multiply. Visit her new site
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