Upper Snake Field Office

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Snake River

Designated 1985
Medicine Lodge RMP
20,351 acres


sunrise on the South Fork of the Snake River

South Fork of the Snake River from canyon rim above

       88 miles of river on public lands flow through some of the most valuable terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitat in Idaho.  
       Unique geologic features and rare plants complete the ecology.

The South Fork features one of the most extensive cottonwood riparian-wetland ecosystems in North America and is one of the last well-developed ecosystems of this type in Idaho.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifies this area as the highest-quality cottonwood riparian zone in the western U.S. 

The entire stretch - but the South Fork in particular - is a high-quality Yellowstone cutthroat trout fishery.  Brown, lake and rainbow trout also inhabit these waters.  Along the banks and on instream islands, bald eagle, elk, moose, mule and whitetail deer, and dozens of bird species find food and living space.  Fly fishermen working the Henry's Fork will likely also see trumpeter swans, moose, blue heron and muskrat.

yellow-billed cuckoo (photo SOURCE: wikimedia commons)


Utah valvata snail (Photo CREDIT, Idaho Power)


Ute's ladies' tresses 

« The ACEC's special-status species

     Yellow-billed cuckoo | Coccyzus americanus
     Utah valvata snail | Valvata utahensis
     Ute's ladies' tressesSpiranthes diluvialis 

    More than 300,000 people visit 
    the area each year to enjoy world-class 
    fishing and floating, and experience 
    the great American outdoors.  »

panorama of South Fork, Snake River

raft launching at Conant boat ramp on the South Fork, Snake River

The Snake River Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) shares the same boundaries as the ACEC.  Recreation in the SRMA is managed under the Snake River Activity/Operations Plan.

Management protections

The BLM Snake River Activity/Operations Plan ensures that recreation does not damage or degrade fragile resources.

In a 20-year partnership with willing landowners and land conservation groups, the BLM has permanently protected from future development more than 18,000 acres of land within the ACEC.