Monday, December 31, 2012

SWPA is Year 2012's Top Story

Salmon Whitewater Park Association (SWPA) members and supporters gathered at the Odds Fellows Bakery the evening of New Year's Eve to celebrate a successful Year 2012 and prepare for more progress in 2013.  SWPA was able to schedule Salmon as one of the tour stops for the The Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival which celebrates the human powered experience this year.  A festive New Year's Eve was enjoyed by all.

(Editor's Note:  SWPA reports that about 130 people turned out and $2,100 was raised New Year's Eve to support the whitewater park.  SWPA Project Coordinator Breann Westfall said, "We had a great turn-out at the film fest fundraiser. We had beer donated by Bertrams, the Odd Fellows Bakery made awesome pizza, there were great raffle prizes including a paco pad and Smith sunglasses, and we had really good films to watch from Winter Wildlands Alliance. It was great night. This is the second year we had a film fest on New Year's Eve, and we think we'll keep doing it since it works out well to get everyone downtown and ready to have a good time on New Year's Eve.")

We here at Salmon River Idaho would like to take the opportunity in this Editorial to congratulate the SWPA Board, association members and community supporters for their dedication  to creating a whitewater park in downtown Salmon, Idaho.  We are 1000% enthusiastic backers of this idea and will continue to report each new step forward toward making the whitewater park a reality.

We believe the construction and operation of a whitewater park in Salmon was the single biggest news story happening in Year 2012 along The Salmon River from Stanley to North Fork.  Certainly, IDFG continued to make well-deserved headline news with much-needed improvements to river access.  Likewise, salmon and steelhead fishing seasons dominate the annual news cycle. Big forest fires such as The Mustang and The Halstead will forever hog the headlines when they burn.  Yankee Fork Restoration efforts are definitely a newsmaker, too.  However, in looking back over our first year covering this 150-mile stretch of The Salmon River, there's really no other story as compelling as the groundswell movement to make the whitewater park a reality in Salmon, Idaho.

All anyone has to do is look at other communities that have such parks to see the awesome economic and social impacts these river facilities generate.  We can think of no better place for a whitewater park than the location identified in SWPA's plans.  Talk about "location, location, location," this spot has it all.

The whitewater park will be a genuine boon to the Salmon City economy in many ways, perhaps even beyond retail, lodging and restaurants.  It's entirely possible such a whitewater park could even be a spark to the Salmon real estate market as well.

We like to joke with our friends that if we won the Powerball, the very first thing we would do is pay to get the whitewater park up and running ASAP.  It sure can't come a day too soon for us!

As Year 2012 comes to a close today, it's really great to think of the SWPA folks getting together to watch films, eat pizza, share holiday greetings and continue to build their enthusiasm for the whitewater park.

We salute SWPA and wish you The Best of Success in Year 2013!  Thank You for working so hard to create such a great gift for your community.  Your dedication to this project is an inspiration for all of us.

Happy New Year, The Editor








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