STANLEY — The expected influx of visitors to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse overlaps with the spawning season for threatened Chinook salmon.
Popular camping areas are adjacent to critical spawning habitat, and the potential of substantially greater numbers of recreationists poses a threat to the spawning salmon, Sawtooth National Forest officials said. So for an eight-day stretch, they’re closing three roads and two areas in the SNRA to motor vehicle access.
These closures are in effect Aug. 16-Aug. 23:
The Upper Valley Creek area, bounded by NFS Roads 304A, 304, 621 and 682 on the north, west and south, and Valley Creek on the east. NFS Roads 304A and 621 remain open to motor vehicle travel.
The Hell Roaring Creek area, bounded by NFS Road 315 on the west and north; by the Salmon River and private property on the east; and, on the south, by a line running east-west along the north property line of adjacent private property. NFS Road 315 remains open to motor vehicle travel.
NFS Road 304, from its junction with NFS Road 304A to its terminus.
NFS Road 682, from its junction with NFS Road 621 to its junction with NFS Road 683.
NFS Road 222, for about 0.5 miles, beginning at the south side of the Buckhorn Picnic Area, which will remain open, and ending at the point that the route turns north and begins to climb a hill.