USDA Forest Service

Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment


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Strategic Planning
and Resource Assessment

RP-E Rm 602
P.O. Box 96090    
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090



United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Forest Service 2003 Success Stories

Success Stories: Boise RiverSweep

[Photo]: Picture of rafters and canoers on the river.

Boise Riversweep

On Saturday, September 27, members of the USDA Forest Service’ Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Boise participated in the second annual Boise RiverSweep 2003, a massive cleanup effort of litter along the Boise River, attracting over 500 participants! This river cleanup effort began in 2002.

Dona Horan, RMRS fisheries biologist, found aluminum cans and other litter in her dog’s favorite wading spot in the river, night after night. What started as a few cans led to dozens, and then garbage bags full, until finally it was time to address the cause of the litter – tens of thousands of people floating the river each summer with some folks carelessly tossing their empty cans overboard. While there already were groups having river cleanups upstream and downstream of Boise, there was no group effort to tackle the river banks and channels within the city limits.

After sharing this story with other RMRS staff, Dona was encouraged to reach out and get other folks involved. Sherry Wollrab of RMRS won the contest for conjuring up the logo adopted by the cleanup committee.

What started as a dog walk became a cooperation among city, state, county, and federal agencies, as well as environmental groups, such as Idaho Rivers United and Ducks Unlimited. What started as picking up a dozen cans from a swimming hole became an organized flotilla of rafts, kayaks, canoes, scuba divers, and waders to clear six miles of the Boise River channel and banks!

In the 2003 Boise RiverSweep, Bruce Rieman, Charlie Luce, Scott Vuono, and James Hall floated the river and removed trash abandoned by the summer’s floaters. The teams had a light- hearted competition to retrieve the most clothing and more than 70 shoes (mostly flip-flops) were collected.

The Boise RiverSweep committee, chaired by Dona, plans to expand its mission from the annual cleanup event to include promoting good stewardship of the river through year-round education, advocacy, and action.

USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:04 CST

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