The Warm Springs Tribe has acquired Austin Hot Springs. This change of ownership will bring changes to the area and its management. Their plans for the area have not been finalized at this time.
Discussions so far point to extensive habitat restoration work to repair the effects of mismanagement in the past. Evidentially salmon in the winter favor this hot springs area for the growth of the little fry and fingerlings over winter, and they will be reestablishing blocked and filled-in sidechannels, which will greatly increase winter salmon habitat. Plantings in disturbed areas are likely.
They intend to limit public use of the area which is bad news if you are one of the many who enjoys soaking there. They do not want to block people from using the area. However, they want to remove decades of rock placed to divert the river away from the springs by users. This will return the river to rapidly flowing right over the hot springs and make that nice hot soaking hole not be one.
So it sounds great for salmon and the land itself but not so good for those who want a free hot springs just off the road.
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