Public urged to weigh in on new Boise River management plan

Credit: Troy Colson/KTVB

Public urged to weigh in on new Boise River management plan

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 4:42 PM

BOISE -- There are plenty of people trying to beat that heat by enjoying the Boise River.

Besides a good way to cool off, the river is a big driver of business and tourism for the community.

It's been years since the Boise Parks and Recreation Department put together a comprehensive management plan for the Boise River. And while that plan helped steer them to the creation of the new wildly popular Boise River Park, leaders think it's time for a major update, and they want your input.

On a typical Summer day, you'll find the new Boise River Park packed.

In fact, officials and recreators say you'll find people in the whitewater park, almost year-round.

"You get a lot of people coming out here, especially when it gets really hot," Corbin Duer of Boise. "So, you get a bunch of kayakers, surfers all just having fun, and everyone's really nice about it."

Duer, and his friend from Brian George, visiting from San Luis Obispo, Calif., were just a couple of the people enjoying the Boise River Thursday.

"You're surfing a fantastic wave around beautiful scenery. The whole city is gorgeous," said George. "It's hard to compare, but maybe moving here is in the future."

Boise Parks and Recreation is looking at completely updating the management plan for not only the Boise River, but the parks and the land beside it.

Tom Governale is Boise's Superintendent of Parks. He says the river management plan guided them to improve the whole river in a variety of ways, including creating this whitewater park, reclaiming eroding banks and improving safety, because the plan covers everything from wildlife - to access - to water quality.

"Those are the topics within the plan that are going to be readdressed," said Governale.

Why does it all need to be readdressed? The original plan was put together in 1999. Obviously, the river, the city around it, and the number of people trying to recreate on or near the river, has changed a lot since then.

And through open houses, the city wants the input of some of the thousands of people who enjoy the river.

"We encourage people to come out and give us input on the plan," said Governale. "It's a plan for the future. We need peoples' ideas and thoughts, and what they see as far as the use, what their concerns are and how they can help us solve those issues."

There is a 21-person steering committee putting together this plan and having public meetings.

They won't be taking public input at those meetings, however, be taking public input at their open houses like one in Boise Thursday.

It was being held at the Idaho Fish and Game offices at 600 South Walnut in Boise. The meeting runs until 7 p.m.

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