Smaller parties for floaters, a mandatory packing out of waste and other regulatory changes are on hand for visitors to the Hells Canyon Recreation Area.
Although the U.S. Forest Service is still embroiled in a lawsuit challenging its Snake River management plan for the area, some parts will take effect this summer.Beginning in May, the agency required boaters on the stretch from Hells Canyon Dam to Pittsburg Landing to use carry-out systems for human waste. Pit toilets along the wild section are being removed.
The Forest Service regulates river users during the summer beginning the Friday before Memorial Day and ending Sept. 10.
The size of private float parties launching from the dam will be trimmed to 24 and eight boats from the 30-member limit before.
Camping is allowed in designated areas only, with a limit of three days and two nights per site upstream from Pittsburg, and four days and three nights downstream.
Other changes include no-wake zones for all administrative and developed sites, boat registration numbers and a ban on use of outboard motors on non-commercial rafts from Pittsburg upstream.
Chain saws will be banned. No cutting or burning of live or dead wood gathered along the river is allowed.
The agency has removed three sets of navigation markers in a five-mile stretch upstream from the Kirkwood Historic Ranch to Sheep Creek, the historic end of navigation in the canyon.
"We want the scenery and the recreational opportunity all to match," said Woody Fine, deputy ranger at Clarkston, Wash.