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Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Program

Beyeler Ranches Beyeler Ranches LLC Iron Creek Ranch Iron Creek Angus Ranch Mulkey Ranch Mulkey Ranch Olson Ranch Olson Ranch
Salmon, ID

Jan Phillips and her late husband, Clyde, worked day and night in the summer of 2007 to convert their flood irrigation system to pivots and remove a century-old barrier to spawning salmon on Iron Creek. "It was daylight to dark for months, literally working in the trenches," she says.

But the project had almost instantaneous results.

"The next year, we came over to here by Iron Creek, and there were salmon spawning in the creek," Phillips said, her eyes sparkling with the excitement of the moment. "They flipped their fins all over the place and made this horseshoe-shaped place to lay their eggs. It was really fun to watch."

"We were excited that we'd be able to make a difference and bring the fish back," says Phillips, who runs the Iron Creek Angus Ranch on the banks of the Salmon River near Salmon.

Jan Phillips is one of more than 75 ranchers in the Upper Salmon River Basin who are participating in efforts to restore fish habitat for endangered salmon, steelhead and resident trout. The Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Program has completed more than 120 projects overall since the early 1990s. The Iron Creek restoration project is one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in the basin, involving more than 11 local, state and federal agencies.

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