Blaine County And Army Corps Working On Plan To Restore Big Wood River

Feb 5, 2018

Blaine County and the Army Corps of Engineers are working on a plan to restore the Big Wood River to a more natural state. Part of the proposal includes making a new, detailed map of the waterway.
Credit Blaine County Sheriff / Facebook

After last year’s historic flooding in the Wood River Valley, Blaine County Commissioners are weighing plans to alter the river and restore it to a more natural state.

Blaine County and the Army Corps of Engineers have each contributed $10,000 to fund efforts to come up with a longterm plan for the Big Wood River.

At a recent public meeting, the manager of the Blaine County Floodplain, Kristine Hilt, explained a document called the “Big Wood River Corridor Plan.” She described it as a way to comprehensively look at the watershed.

According to Hilt, the overarching goals of the plan are to restore the Big Wood to a more natural state and reconnecting it to its floodplain where possible.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports mapping the river in two dimensions is a major facet of the plan. Creating a two-dimensional map would allow officials to calculate the velocity of the water from several points. A plane would also fly over the river and use lasers to get high resolution topographical data. The new information would be used to assess flooding and erosion hazards. 

Blaine County officials say forming a working group or committee would be helpful in steering the planning process over the next year.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio