The Board of Health and Welfare has submitted a preliminary report to the Idaho Legislature outlining possible actions they may take in protecting the water quality of the state's first nominations for Outstanding Resource Waters.

Chairman David Mead said the board will act next month on proposals to provide the state's highest level of water-quality protection for Priest Lake, French Creek and its tributaries and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and 27 of its tributaries.The outstanding resource designation would prevent any deterioration in water quality but would allow existing activities as long as no long-term degradation is caused.

The status report, filed Dec. 31, says the board will consider options on each of the three nominations and issue a final report to the Legislature in mid-February.

In considering the nomination of French Creek and its tributaries as an outstanding resource, the board will reject or accept the designation completely. French Creek is located in Idaho County.

In the case of Priest Lake in northern Idaho, the board will consider recommendations to reject the nomination, accept the outstanding resource designation for lower Priest Lake only or develop a state-funded management plan.

Recommendations on what action to take with the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and its tributaries were varied.

The board will look at several alternatives, including approving or rejecting the nomination entirely.