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10Jan/08Off

ALERT: Clearwater National Forest Travel Planning – Scoping Phase

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SAWS Action Alert

IMMEDIATE ACTION required - Comment Deadline: January 11, 2008

Send Comments to:

Lochsa Ranger District, Kamiah Ranger Station
Attn: Lois Foster, Interdisciplinary Team Leader
Rt. 2 Box 191
Kamiah, ID 83536

Email: comments-northern-clearwater@fs.fed.us 

ADDENDUM\UPDATE info:

Very detailed maps are now available here:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/clearwater/Projects/TravPlan/Maps.htm 

This is an update to our previous SAWS Alert for the Clearwater National Forest Travel Planning Scoping Phase that was sent out to our Montana, Idaho and Washington SAWS members just prior to the Christmas holiday.  

SAWS would like to thank the Missoula Snowgoers Snowmobile Club for taking such an active role in providing additional information to help you prepare your scoping comments.  Please be aware your comments offered during scoping will have an impact on the direction the Clearwater team takes.  It is important your comments are made now.  A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) will be published for comment by summer 2008.   When this occurs, we will know exactly what the team is proposing and will be able to make additional comments at that time. 

Comment letters need to be individualized as form letters are recognized to be only one comment, no matter how many copies are received by the Forest Service from separate individuals. Please also remember whether you submit your comment electronically or in hardcopy form, that you include your name and address.  

Here are some suggestions for what to include in your comment letter.

Also keep in mind that SAWS does not support any additional snowmobile closures in this forest, but for the scoping period you must be site specific to the areas you currently snowmobile. 

Ask that all areas that have historically included snowmobile recreation continue to do so. Areas that will be at highest risk are those that currently border wilderness, recommended wilderness or areas adjacent to closed NF for whatever reason (areas such as Surveyor and Hoodoo).  Specify to not close motorized recreation areas recommended for inclusion in the wilderness system. In general these areas include Hoodoo, Surveyor, Beaver Lakes, Crooked Fork and the Great Burn area. 

Specifics from map information to include in your comments:

  • TOM BEAL, T36 R13E, T35N R13E  (mention the Walton Lakes area-eastside)
  • BEAVER RIDGE AREA, T37N R16E - the area they want to close was in the original Selway Wilderness proposal and was dropped off. They are now trying to add it back in. If anyone knows the history of this there might be a solid argument for keeping it open.  This was another area rangers seemed surprised to learn is used by snowmobilers.
  • ELK SUMMIT, T35N R14E, T34N R14E
  • All of WILLIAMS LAKE including BLACKLEAD MT, T39N R13E, T38N R13E, T38N R14E
  • SURVEYOR, T40N R13E, T39N R13E (It is worth noting that the LOLO Forest already provides snowmobilers a corridor through a proposed wilderness area to access the Surveyor area within the Clearwater Forest.)
  • HOODOO, T42N R11E, T41N R11E

If you have other specific points, both in Montana and Idaho, which are currently used to access a riding area in the Clearwater mention it.  A few identified areas thus far are two on the Montana side of the border - Hoodoo, accessed from Trout Ck and Surveyor, which is accessed off of Fish Creek Rd.  The third access point is from Shotgun Ck which is in Idaho, which is accessed from the Lochsa Lodge. 

If you or anyone you know rides the Blacklead Mtn. please make sure you mention it, Clearwater rangers were not aware that snowmobilers use the area. Blacklead Mtn. area is not bordered by an existing wilderness or proposed wilderness.

Elk Summit is not expected to be completely shut off as previously shown due to a misprint on the website. A corridor along the road will most likely remain open.

*****Update From ISSA-regarding January 10th meeting*****

The following message is from Sandra Mitchell of the ISSA. ISSA is hosting a meeting on Thursday January 10, 7:00 p.m. at the Quality Inn in Clarkston, WA in the Canyon Room. The purpose of the meeting is to determine snowmobilers' comments that will be submitted as soon after the meeting as possible. We have been assured by the Clearwater that our comments will be accepted. 

Janine Stewart
Montana State SAWS rep
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

Copyright © 2007 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/ 

 Check out the Original SAWS ACTION ALERT information regarding the Clearwater National Forest Travel Plan scoping process for additional links and details: http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org/07/alerts/SAWS_ACTION_ALERT_-_CNF_TP_Scoping.htm

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