River Capacity Analysis: Bruneau, Jarbidge and Idaho Owyhee
The purpose of this study is to establish a carrying capacity for the Bruneau, Jarbidge and both the East and South Forks of the Owyhee River areas. The study is sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, encompasses sixteen different rivers and streams designated as wild and scenic in the Owyhee Wilderness area in Southwest Idaho. We present the results of a 2012 recreational user survey and compare these results to other studies and data including car counts, river flow rates, campsite permits, self-issue permits, outstanding and remarkable values, and a 1980 United States Forest Service Owyhee River Study. Visitor characteristics, preferences and use patterns are compiled, integrated and analyzed. We aim to establish experiential values of recreational users and present a plan to maintain those values along with the quality of Off-Road Vehicle use and that of mixed values of the area which include limited domestic grazing. Our survey results show that the maximum capacity without degrading primary wilderness experience will be lower than the capacity that will detrimentally affect any species of concern.