NOTE FROM THE FUND
While uncertain times surround us and we are all adjusting to the new normal, it is our hope, just like the seasons, that things will change for us all soon. Here, at the Snake River Fund, we want you to know that we are continuing on, promoting safe and responsible recreation alternatives.
Just a week ago, only a few hardy souls were venturing out to the Snake River for recreation, a dog walk or just fresh air. Then suddenly as we all started social distancing, people are getting outside and taking solitude in activities many on our Snake River. In light of social distancing, the Snake River Fund has opened the Wilson and South Park boat ramps for the season and should open Astoria Boat Ramp Wednesday, March 25th.
True to our mission we are committed to providing public access to the Snake River watershed. We encourage you to get out with your family, experience the wide-open space of the Snake River, wet a line in search of a cutthroat trout, enjoy the return of our migrant bird species, and remain thankful that we are surrounded by nature’s glory. Time on and by the river can be transformative, we hope that it helps you during these uncertain times.
RECENT PROJECTS AND PUBLIC ACCESS EFFORTS
Snake River Fund’s Commitment to Stewardship of and Public Access to the Snake River Watershed
Recently, the Snake River Fund in partnership with Teton Conservation District, Trout Unlimited and Wyoming Game & Fish Department held a series of Bioengineering and Streambank Stabilization workshops. Experts panelists from Stream Mechanics, Washington Department of Transportation, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and Natural System Design were brought to Jackson to deepen our local knowledge regarding the best management practices for streambank stabilization in the Snake River headwaters. On Monday, March 2nd, the Teton County Board of County Commissioners held a workshop which was attended by nearly 30 county department staff, agency personnel, and the general public. If our elected officials continue to learn lessons from the past and increase their knowledge base regarding best practices, our community and waters will be better off. We are grateful for their participation.
That afternoon, workshops dove deeper into best management practices, bioengineering and streambank stabilization, and alternatives to the historical use of riprap and hard armoring of banks. Over 60 engineers, agencies personnel, realtors, developers, landowners and general public attended. The format allowed for workshop presentations, a panel discussion and audience participation. At least 23 participants were awarded continuing education credits towards their professional development. That indicates that this educational outreach will pay dividends in good stewardship in the future. The Snake River Fund expresses a sincere thank you to our partners, the panelists and the audience for their participation in these thoughtful workshops.
Public Access Projects: Moose Landing, Wilson Boat Ramp and South Park Landing are open for the 2020 season. The Snake River Fund would like to thank the individuals and businesses who donated funds or volunteered their services to help us open these areas for public access. The Snake River Fund used your donated funds to plow the access sites and open the public restrooms for the season. We are eagerly awaiting the opening of other ramps as soon as conditions allow. Stay tuned on the Snake River Fund social media channels for updates.
Alpine Boat Ramp: The Snake River Fund is currently fundraising for and spearheading a collaborative effort with the Town of Alpine, Lincoln County, Caribou-Targhee National Forest and Wyoming Game & Fish Department to improve the conditions and user friendliness of the Alpine Boat Ramp. Heading into the summer of 2020, a new cooperative management agreement is in place to enhance this Snake River and Palisades Reservoir access site. The Snake River Fund is collecting both public and private funds to install a dock at Alpine. This will make the site safer for all recreational visitors. We need to raise $40,000 to fulfil the community wish of having a public dock. Your financial support is greatly appreciated, please donate to the Snake River Fund to help us improve this public access in Lincoln County.
In the near term, as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Snake River Fund has scaled back our immediate public education and outreach efforts. However, we are moving forward with Summer 2020 programs understanding that the evolving situation will cause us to be fluid in scheduling. Here are some events to mark on your calendar for:
Women’s Only Swiftwater Rescue Course | June 26 & 27: This course is cohosted and underwritten with support from the Jackson Hole Babe Force, Teton County Search & Rescue Foundation & Artemis Sportswomen. Registration information coming soon.
Family Raft Flipping and River Rescue workshop | July 18: Come practice basic raft safety techniques with your family. We will practice swimmer rescues with throw bags, raft flipping, being under a flipped boat, getting out from underneath a capsized watercraft in a controlled environment. These clinics will be open to the public and take place at R Park. Details coming soon. Instructed by Black Fox Rescue Institute.
PUBLIC PROGRAMS AND OUTREACH
Angler Wader Swimming and Driftboat Re-Entry Clinic | July 25: Have you ever been worried about what it would be like to have an unexpected swim while wearing waders? Have you ever come close to or fallen out of a driftboat? We will practice helping a swimmer back into a driftboat. Spoiler Alert, both activities are hard to do. Come practice at R Park before you hit the moving river environment. Instructed by Black Fox Rescue Institute.
Snake River Fund Friends Float & BBQ | August 3: Join the Snake River Fund Board and staff for a float down the Snake River, BBQ dinner, silent auction and evening of comradery. Float, dinner and transportation provided. More details coming soon.
Snake River Days Camp | August 10 -14: Snake River Fund and Teton County-Jackson Parks & Recreation Department host our annual camp for middle school aged children. This introduction to paddle sports and the Snake River watershed is complemented by use of touring kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboard, rafts, fly fishing and one overnight camp out.
The Snake River Fund encourages you to enjoy your time and be safe on the river this early season, practice social distancing, and to remember that we are lucky to live and recreate along the banks of the Snake River and its headwater tributaries. We are grateful for your support.