February 23, 2005

Crapo Applauds Selection Of North Idaho Watershed Project

Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Watershed chosen for Presidentâ??s Watershed Initiative

Washington, D.C. - The Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Watershed has been selected for President Bushâ??s Watershed Initiative 2003. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo expressed his congratulations on the selection which was limited to 20 sites nationwide. This initiative provides a total of $15 million to be divided among the recipients in amounts ranging from $300,000 to $1 million. The grant total has not yet been determined, and the project must still complete an application process. â??This opportunity to apply for a grant award demonstrates the success of local environmental management efforts in Idaho, said Crapo. â??The Tri-State Water Council, through collaborative efforts with government, industry, environmental groups, and tribal government, as well as public education programs, has brought to national attention the habitat loss and alteration, nutrient enrichment, pathogen and invasive species problems of the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Watershed. The grant money would address these problems and help the council achieve its goal of sound water policy for the watershed.â??According to the EPA, the Tri-State Water Council reported that it will use grant funds to increase participation in a voluntary nutrient management program, stream and habitat restoration projects, conduct a benthic algae study, and institute a comprehensive monitoring system to analyze and report trends. â??Weâ??re thrilled that weâ??ve ranked so well nationally,â?? stated Ruth Watkins, Executive Director of the Tri-State Water Council. â??The funding support will allow us to move forward on some critical programs.â?? The Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Watershed, home to a diverse wildlife population and many types of aquatic and forest plant life, encompasses 26,000 square miles in Western Montana, Northern Idaho, and Eastern Washington. The Clark Fork River supplies approximately 85 percent of the water to Lake Pend Oreille, and the Pend Oreille River, which flows out of the lake, supplies 10 percent of the water flowing into the Columbia River. Lake Pend Oreille is 128 square miles and 1,171 feet at its deepest. # # #