Yes. Would like to hear a report as well for both fish and campsite conditions. Our trip a few weeks back got canceled when they shut down access due to the third fire. Between Cookie and myself we have passes for a couple weeks post Labor day.
More thoughts on the fire issue:
I'd not claim to be a serious old timer on the river, but experiences date back to about 1976. I'll admit that fire is part of our ecosystem, but also feel we've allowed things to get out of hand. My earliest memories along the river have pictures of tall sage brush, green grass to the shore, some great shaded campsites beneath old alders, lizards in abundance, a lot of people, and upland fires but few extensive burns along the corridor right to the rivers edge.
Over the years grazing was removed from the lower 90+ miles, and many know we had some amazing alder recovery. We also have had a couple floods that took the alders out, but within two or three growing seasons they again expressed themselves.
Today, we are having fires sweeping through extensive reaches of the corridor and consuming all to the river's edge. These burns are not leaving any sort of riparian vegetation to filter the sediment that comes down slope with the first post fire rains. I think part of our river bank/fire issue today is that we have cured 4-foot tall standing forage, measured in tons per acre, right to the rivers edge from Warm Springs to the mouth. Basically a long fuse from about mid-June to mid- September just waiting for ignition year after year. Even now it's more of a problem as the vegetation is converted from perennial bunchgrasses to a continuous carpet of cheat grass.
As a partial solution, I'd propose the management agencies return to some sort of controlled grazing program along the river to knock back the tonnage of fine fuels. Perhaps a program where stretches of a mile or so are grazed by cattle, horses, or herded goats every other or maybe every third growing season. Herded sheep are out due to health concerns for upland bighorn. Such management would provide some income for the animals' owners and create fire breaks that might limit flames to runs of only a mile or so along the stream. With proper management, the alders and their reproduction could be sustained.
Just my thoughts on one potential tool. I know there are some that would have a calf if they spotted a cow sipping water from the stream, but there can also be some ecological benefits to their presence.
Have a good one and do contribute some thoughts to solving our problem
Last edited by OkieDokie; 08-15-2018 at 03:36 PM.
Reason: Additional thoughts.