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]


Matt Weyen said...

I second your thoughts. These hot springs are fantastic and pose less threat to the environment than one four wheeler... maybe four wheelers and big trucks in the area should be dismantled?

CaliCampbug said...

Hmm, that's my first thought too. Why Rocky Canyon? It doesn't seem logical to go after these springs when there are others that have more issues. What's going on here? Are there issues with the springs that are not given light publicly? Vendetta of some sort? I'm trying to understand.

Kate said...

I think this would be a huge loss. Aside from the effort that has been personally invested by the gentleman the built the pools over the last three years(I met him while there in September), this is a pristine spot with very little trash, and the pools blend nicely with the surrounding hillside. The only reason I can think that this spring would be targeted is the fact that it is such a major infrastructure change.
Is this just a principle issue around the lack of permitting?

Matt Weyen said...

Hey, want to check out Jump Creek sometime? Email me at gmail with my blog name.

Hot Springs Guy said...

Thanks Matt, CampBug (aka Teakettle Junction) and Kate for chiming in. You guys are great! I'm hoping to make some headway on the situation the next few days and find out what the current status of the situation is.

And Matt, I'm always down to hike around. I'll shoot you an email when I've got some time.

Megan said...

Has there been any update on this situation? I am coming back to Idaho from school in a month or so and Rocky Canyon is one of my favorites! Lets hope they don't do anything silly!

Arne said...

Any permanent installation is a "facility." If someone were to be injured in using it, the USFS would get sued. It doesn't matter that it is safer than before. These things, no matter how well constructed, probably fall under the "attractive nuisance" category, built without a permit, EIS, etc, etc. Yes, I can think of another one down the road that is "permanent" and has had way more problems, but it depends on whoever is in charge of the area.

theHSG said...

Here's the update! Doesn't look good for the pools!

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