On Sept. 29, Boise Parks and Recreation dedicated the new Willow Lane boat ramp. The ramp allows nonmotorized, trailered drift boats, dories and large rafts access to the river. It’s an important emergency access for police, fire, rescue and flood control. It is a great amenity for our community.
This river access has been a long time coming. The Boise River Resource Management Plan, created by a committee of citizens and professionals in 1999 and updated in 2014, recognized the need. There was no access for trailered, nonmotorized boats. The fishing community, particularly the Boise Valley Fly Fishers, worked diligently, and the Willow Lane boat ramp is a result.
For now, the takeout is at Garden City’s Westmoreland Park. This is an unimproved access, but it’s possible to get a drift rig out of the river here. Garden City and the river recreation community should work together to improve this access.
One concern looms large for our rapidly urbanizing river. Boise has an ordinance prohibiting motorized recreation on the river. Ada County, Garden City, Eagle and Star do not. City and county codes should be updated to keep the Boise River quiet and nonmotorized.
Tom Chelstrom, Boise