A permit has been issued by the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources to Tom Long of Cascade Raft & Kayak - an outfitter on the Paytte. We need public input on this. There has not been any public input yet, so here is a good place to start. And spread the word.
I'm extremely opposed this. One person should not get to decide to make river stream modifications. Staircase is a great rapid - probably my favorite class IV in Idaho. I ran it 20 times just this year. Opening the left channel will make it dangerously close to a class III - we already have plenty of class III's on the Payette. Nobody should be able to craft their own rapids. I think the stated reason for obtaining the permit is that this is a public safety hazard. There is a clean line down the center of the rapid that completely avoids the rock in jeopardy. I rarely run the left entry in staircase, but even when I do, I've never had trouble navigation around this feature.
We (the boating public) need to take a stand. This could set a horrible precedent. What's next? The rock that forms "seymour hole" in slalom? Then onto the NF Payette- making it just a steep canal?
Speak up, spread the word.
Cascade Raft & Kayak
Cascade Raft and Kayak - Idaho's premier whitewater rafting
I think the immediate need is to convince the outfitter to not proceed. The permit is already issued, so I'm not sure how far we can get without legal action with Dept of Water Resources. However, I think it may help to voice your concerns with them so that this type of recreational river modification permit is not obtained in the future without public comment.
FYI - this is a cross-post from idahowhitewater : Idaho Whitewater