Recreation

As part of Avista’s federal licenses to operate our Clark Fork and Spokane River hydroelectric projects, we plan annual activities to protect and enhance recreational opportunities along these river corridors in Washington, Idaho and Montana. Major recreation enhancement activities associated with our Clark Fork Project License have been ongoing for 11 years, since the Clark Fork Settlement Agreement was signed and the license issued in 1999 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In 2010, Avista continued to implement the Recreation Resource Management Plan for the Clark Fork Project in close collaboration with the Terrestrial Resources Technical Advisory Committee. (For more information on the TRTAC, see our Clark Fork Project FERC License.) Implementation of the plan ensures safe, high quality recreation opportunities within the project. The TRTAC has agreed upon the goal of continuing to preserve the rural and rustic character of the reservoirs. As part of the plan, we improved facilities at fourteen recreation sites including:

  • ADA-accessible trail construction at Triangle Pond, North Shore Campground and at Finely Flats Recreation Area;
  • Construction of rustic hiking trails at Vermilion Bay and Thompson Falls State Park;
  • Campsites improvements at the North Shore Campground;
  • Installation of three new restrooms at Triangle Pond;
  • Pilgrim Creek Park Frisbee golf course improvement and addition of two new spring playground toys;
  • Installation of new long life picnic tables with concrete legs at the Frog Pond and Vermilion Bay Boat Ramp;
  • Completion of a parking lot at Water Hill Trail Head (Vermilion Bay) and the Blue Slide Boat Ramp;
  • Bottom barriers to suppress Eurasian water milfoil at seven public boat ramps and maintenance to the existing concrete logs at two public boat ramps;
  • Installation of dry hydrants next to existing boat ramps in collaboration with volunteer fire departments in Trout Creek and Noxon, Montana; and
  • Installation of new docks at Finely Flats Recreation Area and Vermilion Bay Boat Ramp.

Avista sites hosted several special events in 2010, including hydroplane boat races at Noxon Reservoir and a blues festival at Noxon’s Pilgrim Park. Avista participated in the Boater Safety Program with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks again this year and provided boater safety fliers to many reservoir visitors. Avista hired the Montana Conservation Corps to work on recreational site improvement over a two-week period for Avista, County, State, and US Forest Service facilities. In 2010, the second year of the Spokane River Project FERC License, Avista developed and submitted our Spokane River Recreation Plan to FERC. This plan provides for ongoing recreation activities throughout the 50-year term of the project license. As part of this plan, in 2010, Avista provided funding to area recreation and land management agencies, including the City of Coeur d’Alene, the Bureau of Land Management, Kootenai County, the State of Idaho and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe for improvements at Lake Coeur d’Alene identified in settlement agreements, including:

  • Installation of outside showers at Coeur d’Alene City Park;
  • Improvement of Blue Creek Bay Day Use Area;
  • Boat Ramp extensions at Rocky Point and Chatcolet and Sun Up Bay;
  • $20,000 to improve navigation on Lake Coeur d’Alene with new navigation aids; and
  • $40,000 for debris removal (logs, loose docks, barrels) at Coeur d’Alene Lake.