Of course, this idea fell on deaf ears, unlike his ideas for hatcheries and his practice of planting non-native fish all across the U.S. I have worked to help descendants of Livingston Stone's rainbow trout from his hatchery on the McCloud River in California to have better habitat on a tiny stream in Missouri where descendants of his fish still carry on today. To put it mildly, his influence still persists today, if only his idea of national salmon parks would have caught the same fire as his hatcheries push.
Idaho's many salmon and steelhead streams still hold the potential for Stone's 1892 dream. The habitat for salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and its tributaries and many other streams that have been protected by wilderness designations or by the rugged terrain in which they travel through still hold the promise as salmon and steelhead refugia or as Stone would say national salmon parks, much like national parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite.
But just like any national park, our salmon park would need a highway for its main attraction and Idaho's salmon and steelhead have one overriding obstacle to their own recovery and that is primarily their migratory habitat. And the greatest threat to our salmon and steelhead recovery remains the four lower Snake River dams that would have to be breached for our salmon and steelhead to recover.
Very little would need to be done to designate such parks after the four lower Snake River dams are breached. I would argue that the thus far unsuccessful effort for a Secesh/Needles Wilderness designation would definitely be one way we could further strengthen our salmon parks. This proposal is hardly known in the mainstream, but it would further protect a lot of tributary habitat and some mainstem habitat along the South Fork of the Salmon River, which too could be its own national salmon park, should the four lower Snake River dams be breached.
Imagine salmon runs in Idaho as they were when we first arrived to settle this frontier. Imagine salmon and steelhead runs that rival runs in Alaskan streams. All of this is possible if we restore the migratory habitat and do a few other things to protect the great rearing and spawning habitat we already, or should I say, still have in Idaho today.