Weiser - Little Salmon Headwaters CFLRP

Restoration through Community Based Collaboration

The Weiser-Little Salmon Headwaters CFLRP is a landscape scale approach at managing an area of over 970,000 acres across three ranger districts on the Payette National Forest.  The WLSH CFLRP proposes a combination of timber harvest, restoration, and recreation improvement activities that would improve watershed conditions and promote the development of ponderosa pine forest habitat. The Weiser-Little Salmon Headwaters CFLRP was selected in February 2012 as one of 10 new projects nationally to receive annual funding from the CFLR Program for a period of eight years.  This annual restoration budget will accelerate the rate of restoration on forested lands including both terrestrial wildlife habitats and aquatic habitats, and contribute to local job retention and creation.   

The Goal of our WLSH CFLRP are:

  • Restore ponderosa pine dominated forests to historic stand structure and function.
  • Improve wildlife habitat for white-headed woodpeckers by restoring forested landscape to within historical range of variability.
  • Improve habitat for other wildlife species (such as Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (NIDGS) as appropriate.
  • Restore fish habitat connectivity.
  • Reduce road related sediment.
  • Improve floodplain function.
  • Restore upland and riparian vegetation.
  • Maintain and promote large tree forest structure, early seral species composition and forest resiliency.
  • Reduce the risk of wildfire to local communities.
  • Encourage woody biomass utilization.
  • Provide local economic benefits.  Contribute to economic vitality of the communities adjacent to the Payette National Forest.

The WLSH CFLRP project is a collaborative effort working with the Payette Forest Coalition (PFC), a local collaborative group.  The PFC is comprised of stakeholders from a broad range of local interests including the environmental community, forestry groups, the timber industry, motorized and non-motorized recreational groups, tribes, and county and state government agencies.  The goal of the PFC is to recommend objectives and guidelines for projects on a landscape scale that would restore forest vegetation conditions, improve habitat for white-headed woodpeckers, reduce the risk of wildland fire, and improve the economic conditions of the local communities.  

See links below for more videos that highlight our restoration efforts.;


Collaboration Leads to Forest Restoration V3 -8:26 mins
Collaboration Leads to Forest Restoration V4 – 5:06 mins


Now in its seventh year working with the WLSH project, the PFC remains committed and active in learning about the WLSH CFLRP program and providing project design recommendations for large scale landscape restoration.  The energy and commitment is growing as the Coalition sees more projects being implemented on the ground and an acceleration of restoration throughout the WLSH CFLRP landscape. The PFC website is: www.payetteforestcoalition.org

 WLSH Project Area

Does this work make a difference when wildfire enters a treated area?  Yes it does!  Click here to see how the Mesa Wildfire reacted when it met the Mill Creek-Council Mountain Landscape Restoration Project in the Cottonwood Creek drainage during the height of the 2018 wildfire season.



Accomplishments through 2018






Acres Treated annually to sustain or restore watershed function and resilience



Acres of Forest vegetation established



Acres wildland/urban interface high priority hazardous fuels treated



Acres of forested fuels treated outside the wildland urban interface



Acres of forestland vegetation Improved



Volume of Timber Sold (CCF/MBF)

9,655 CCF/4,389 mbf

203,089 CCF/92,314 mbf

Highest priority acres treated annually for noxious weeds



Miles of stream habitat restored or enhanced



Miles of high clearance system roads receiving maintenance



Miles of passenger car roads receiving maintenance



Miles of roads decommissioned



Number of stream crossings constructed or reconstructed for aquatic organism passage



Green tons from small diameter and low value tree removal for bio-energy production



Acres of water or soil resources protected, maintained or improved













































Currently, work is focused on completion of a draft EIS for the 4th project (Huckleberry Landscape Restoration project on the Council Ranger District), and the draft EIS on the 5th project (Granite Meadows Landscape Restoration Project on the New Meadows and McCall Ranger Districts).  The PFC continues to monitor and support implementation of the first three projects.  The quality of the PFC recommendations is extraordinary.

Projects within the WLSH CFLRP Area:

Project 1 - Mill Creek - Council Mountain Landscape Restoration Project - implementation.

Project 2 - Lost Creek - Boulder Creek Landscape Restoration Project - implementation. 

Project 3 - Middle Fork Weiser River Landscape Restoration Project - Record of Decision signed in December of 2017.

Project 4 - Proposed Huckleberry Landscape Restoration Project.  FEIS and Draft Record of Decision published on March 6, 2020.

Project 5 - Granite Meadows Landscape Restoration Project.  Public Scoping period is closed.  This project is under NEPA analysis.

The WLSH CFLRP program brought several community benefits from implementation of these projects.  The projects have generated increased jobs in Adams County and created stability to the timber volume offered each year by the Forest.  Thanks to the project area contracts, the local Evergreen mill was able to sustain 35 full time jobs over the past several of years, and added a second shift to handle the volume of timber from Forest lands.  These projects are contributing to improvement of forest and watershed health, and fish and wildlife habitat through thinning, road improvement, riparian enhancement, management of invasive species, and fuels treatment-community fire protection.  

Photo shows member of the PFC at the project site.


Through the CFLR program, the Payette National Forest is able to partner with the Idaho Conservation Corps (ICC) to hire college interns, and use ICC crews to get work done on the ground.  

For FY18, the Payette National Forest hired 17 interns. Some worked as engineering technicians learning and working on road maintenance and biological technicians doing weed control on the west side of the Forest. Forestry Technicians were hired as timber and silviculture technicians to work within our CFLRP boundary and large landscape projects.  Other intern technicians were hired in heritage, fisheries and watershed management. The Payette National Forest continues to build this successful partnership program and increase the amount of internships available. The Forest strives to provide opportunities to individuals for field experience, but also help them build a foundation for a future career in natural resource management.

ICC crews (non-interns) completed a fencing project, fire line construction, wildlife surveys, and pre-commercial thinning and layout within the WLSH CFLR area. The ICC provided the Payette National Forest with seasonal crews from early June through October.  These crews completed work including layout of 460 acres of noncommercial thinning (NCT) on the Middle Fork Weiser River (MFWR) project for the WLSH CFLRP. In support of the Forest fuels program, the crew aided in fire line construction for a prescribed burn designed to help the endangered Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel and in layout of future treatment areas. The ICC crews also completed a high priority fence project in the MFWR project area that included fence repair and fence removal. The two crews worked together to complete the three-mile fence improvement project during the Mesa Fire when access to the MFWR project area was restricted.

Photo shows members of the public on tour at a project work site.