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BOISE -- A new whitewater park on the Boise River is thriving while to the north, backers of a similar proposal for the Spokane River in eastern Washington say they're still eager to get started after years of struggling to achieve their vision.

Boise city parks spokeswoman Amy Stahl told the Spokesman-Review the rapids now luring throngs of kayakers, surfers and boogie-boarders didn't happen overnight. Stahl says the $3.6 million project was 12 years in the making.

In Spokane, plans to develop a whitewater park were developed in 2004 and more than $1 million was raised. But the proposal for the Spokane River has since encountered holdups, including the city's 2009 decision to conduct a fish study.

Backers say they remain enthusiastic and working to revive support for the idea.

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