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7Nov/04Off

ALERT: Payette National Forest Travel Management Plan

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SAWS Action Alert

McCall, Idaho

Payette National Forest Travel Management Plan – Proposed Action

Comments on proposed action deadline: December 7, 2004

The Payette National Forest has included in its travel plan a proposed action that 6,014 acres be closed to snowmobiles for 3 ½ months per year, and that 11,394 acres be closed permanently, for a total of 17,408 acres.

Send comments to:

      Travel Plan Revision
      Forest Supervisor
      P.O. Box 1026
      McCall, Idaho, 83638

FAX comments may be sent to 208.634.0744
Email comments may be sent to sdixon@fs.fed.us

All Forest Service documentation on the proposal is located here.

For detailed comment information on this plan, please go to this SAWS web page and download the document written by the Idaho State Snowmobile Association (ISSA).  This document contains many good comment points to use in your submittal to the Forest Service.  SAWS strongly recommends you read the whole document, and suggests you use as much of the information as you wish.  It is especially important that you put some words about your own experience in your comments so they are not counted as a form letter.

Snowmobilers are for shared use across the board, but unfortunately in this case, the skiers are not.  There will be most likely closures as a result of these plans.  That is why it is imperative that we propose realistic alternatives to the proposed closures in order to arrive at the best possible outcome.  Our realistic alternative in this case is to only be willing to accept any closure if another area of equal or greater acreage is opened.  Proposing that no closure be implemented with no further explanation will do more harm than good to our community.

The following are brief summaries of the proposals that affect snowmobilers:

Closures:

 6,014 acres in the Goose Lake / Granite Mountain area are proposed to be set aside for Brundage Ski Resort to operate their snowcat operation between January 1 and March 15.  The ISSA is proposing the north boundary of the closure be moved south to the drainage that empties in the center of Goose Lake on the west side.  There is a graphic in the ISSA document that illustrates this and other proposed closures.

1,795 acres are proposed to be permanently closed in the Bear Basin area.  This is not acceptable, as this area is used by people new to our sport, and for access to the forest trails by residents.

9,599 acres are being proposed as a permanent closure in the Lick Creek area.  This is also unacceptable because most of it falls outside the four-mile portal requirement for backcountry skiers defined by the Winter Recreation Forum.  This is simply unreasonable.

Openings:

It is being proposed that a large section of the forest be re-opened to motorized winter recreation.  There is no current or past documentation to warrant continued closure, therefore no justification exists for these areas to remain closed.  When submitting comments to the forest service, it would be most effective to tell them you support all the openings proposed by the Idaho State Snowmobile Association.  The area is approximately 200,000 acres.

Final ideas for comments: 

  • I strongly support Webster’s definition of the word compromise – “A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.”
  • 459,793 acres, nearly 30% of the Payette National Forest, are now closed to motorized winter recreation.
  • I support the revisions to the areas proposed for temporary and permanent closure to motorized winter recreation as submitted by the Idaho State Snowmobile Association ONLY if area of equal or greater acreage of existing closure to winter motorized recreation is to be re-opened.
  • I strongly support the re-opening of existing closures to motorized winter recreation in management areas 7, 10, 11 and 12 as submitted by the Idaho State Snowmobile Association.

Please send this alert to anyone you know that supports access to public lands.  These lockouts have got to stop.

Thank you all for your interest in and dedication to protecting YOUR right to ride.

Scott
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

Copyright © 2004 Snowmobile Alliance of Western States. All Rights Reserved.

Permission is granted to distribute this information in whole or in part, as long as Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS) is acknowledged as the source. If you are not yet a member of SAWS and you would like receive these alerts, please sign up on our web site at http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org.

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If you are not a member of these organizations, please consider joining them:

Idaho State Snowmobile Association (SAWS member)
http://www.idahosnowbiz.com/

Blue Ribbon Coalition
http://www.sharetrails.org/

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