Clearwater Basin Collaborative focus on conservation and restoration efforts

LEWISTON, ID - A team of regional groups is working together day in and day out to protect and enhance the land, water and communities in our area.

Our Veronica Miracle gets a look at their work from the sky, and learns more about what the Clearwater Basin Collaborative is accomplishing.

It's been five years in the making. Many individuals from the Clearwater Basin Collaborative have worked countless hours to create a land management and restoration plan that meets the needs of many different agencies.

"This is remote, very important critical, habitat," said EcoFlight Executive Director Bruce Gordon.

Bruce Gordon of EcoFlight was our tour guide Friday. The nonprofit group partners with the CBC and other conservation groups to give aerial tours of the wilderness that they work so hard to protect.

"We just flew over some of the most beautiful area that I've flown over in the United States and I've been doing this for over thirty years," said Gordon.

As we fly over the Selway-Middle Fork area, Conservation Associate Jonathan Oppenheimer of the Idaho Conservation League explains that common ground has finally been met between conservation groups, the Nez Perce Tribe, local communities and timber groups on how to manage the land.

"To put people to work in the woods through active management as well as the waters and the landscapes of the Clearwater basin that are so important to the rural," said Oppenheimer.

The work is far from over for the CBC however reaching an agreement on how to move forward with conservation and restoration is the first step.

"Whether it's fire management, whether it's fish and wildlife, we want to look at the whole landscape and the whole basin and try and figure out what can we do to make a difference on the ground," said Oppenheimer.

The Selway-Middle Fork Project received $40 million in funding in 2010 from the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program over a ten-year period.