Linda serves as the Recreation, Wilderness and Trails Program Manager on the north zone of the forest. She came to the Bridger-Teton National Forest in 1991 and gained experience working on wilderness stewardship plans. From 1995-2000 she led the effort to update the ‘87 Snake River management plan on the Jackson Ranger District. At that time there was a lot of congestion, conflict and a few river-related fatalities had occurred. She focused on improving management around capacity and allocations for outfitting and other special uses. In 2009, she was asked to work on the visitor use aspect of the planning process for the Snake River Headwaters and she worked with the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council to coordinate developing “capacity” methodology with the IWSRCC. Linda’s goal for the headwaters to improve capacity for monitoring through local stewards and citizen science. She believes having an engaged public is critical for protecting the many values of the river.
Dave grew up running rivers and has seen them from many angles since his childhood. He has experience in commercial guiding, working on policy in Washington, D.C., consulting, serving as a board member on several organizations and has been working as a river manager for over 20 years now. These experiences make him an intentional communicator who balances the interests of many stakeholders. Dave's goals for the Snake River headwaters include maintaining healthy streams, continuing education among user groups and securing boundary approvals.
Brian grew up enjoying many rivers in the Southeastern United States before he moved out west to pursue his education. He completed a graduate program at Portland State University where his research involved the WSR’s in Oregon. He joined the Bridger-Teton staff in 2003 where he utilized his background in geography, fisheries, hydrology and GIS. When the Snake River Headwaters were designated in 2009, he was happy to apply his expertise to the planning process. Brian believes the future of the river depends on preservation of the cold climate refugia that provide habitat for an outstanding fisheries resource and play a critical role in the surrounding ecosystem and those downstream. He also highlights the importance of building a strong monitoring program that provides enough data for trend analysis and can help river managers adapt to climate change.
Dave: “The water in some of our streams is becoming much warmer, definitely an effect of climate change. In fact, we’ve measured temperature in tributaries above 70 degrees by the end of the summer. If it’s deemed too stressful for fish to be preyed upon by humans, this trend very well may trigger the need to close a river to fishing."
Dave: "In 2016 we started to see a green line along the river. We called in the Department of Environmental Quality and Public Health contacts and started taking water samples. It turns out that it was a native algae bloom that expanded because the water levels are lower and warmer on that segment of the river now."
There are so many opportunities for recreation on the Snake River Headwaters and users enjoy both traditional and new uses each year. As visitors try new activities and increase in number, the lack of clarity and provisions in the Snake River Headwaters CRMP for monitoring visitor use is creating challenges.
For this reason, the focus for visitor use management in the Snake River Headwaters is adaptation. Even if data is sparse or informal, every bit counts. When making visitor use management decisions without robust data, interviews with local river runners who visit remote parts of the headwaters can provide valuable insight on what activities are happening in locations that are harder for FS staff to get to. Counting vehicles at parking lots, digging up old records from filing cabinets, setting up trail counters or talking to outfitters can all contribute to a clearer picture of use on the river.
There are many agency-provided land use planning resources. Utilizing public-facing GIS portals such as a NEPA Planning web-map developed by Brian Goldberg on BTNF which helps show the private sector what additional review is needed in specific areas for grazing, oil, gas, and timber projects. He also suggests considering potential shifts in the river corridor when establishing boundaries.
The River Management Society is the nation’s organization of river management professionals: a listserv and archive of questions and responses are included as membership benefits at https://www.river-management.org/listserve Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
IMG1 - Alpine Canyon, Snake River by Tim Palmer IMG2 - Buffalo Fork of the Snake River by Tim Palmer IMG3 - Linda Merigliano, Recreation, Wilderness and Trails Program Manager, Bridger-Teton National Forest IMG4 - David Cernicek, Wild & Scenic Rivers/Special Uses/Partnerships/River Ranger, Bridger-Teton National Forest IMG5 - Brian Goldberg, Resource Information Manager, Bridger-Teton National Forest IMG6 - Granite Creek Fisherman by Linda Merigliano IMG7 - Riprap at Pack Bridge on North Buffalo Fork of the Snake River by Tim Palmer IMG8 - Green algae by David Cernicek IMG9 - Lunch Counter Rapid, Snake River by Max Mogren IMG10 - Alpine Canyon, Snake River by Tim Palmer IMG11 - Snake River Headwaters Map, Snake River Headwaters CRMP IMG12 - Hoback River Bridge by Wyoming Department of Transportation IMG13 - Fishermen by Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School IMG14 - Woody debris, Hoback Basin by Tim Palmer