ALERT: Payette National Forest / Inventoried Roadless Areas

SAWS Action Alert

Comment Deadline: September 15, 2005

Comments to be sent to:


      FAX: (208) 382-7107

   Valley County Board of County Commissioners
   Roadless Comments
   P.O. Box 1350
   Cascade, Idaho 83611

Below is an alert from the Idaho State Snowmobile Association (ISSA).  There are some additional important points to be made so that all of us can provide informed comments to the Valley County Board of County Commissioners.

Of the inventoried roadless area (IRA) in the Payette National Forest, two particular IRA’s in the forest fall under the category for recommended wilderness designation.┬á They are the Needles (91,900 acres) and the Secesh (115,400) for a total of 207,300 acres.┬á They are divided by Lick Creek Road, with the Needles IRA being south and east, and the Secesh IRA being mostly north.┬á These areas have carried the recommended wilderness designation since the 1988 forest plan was released.

Some of you that were SAWS members in 2004 will remember that the Payette National Forest requested comments for their latest travel plan revision.  SAWS members were sent an alert asking for their support of a proposal from the ISSA, crafted cooperatively with SAWS and other Idaho snowmobilers. 

In that proposal we requested that the Payette National Forest open over 100,000 acres to snowmobiling, all of which falls within the Needles and Secesh IRAÔÇÖs.┬á The basis for this request was that the original designation as recommended wilderness and subsequent closure were based on bad science.┬á While in the short term we would like to see this area reopened to snowmobiling, the ultimate goal is to have the recommended wilderness designation for this area removed. SAWS stands completely behind the ISSA proposal for reopening of this area to snowmobiling, and we are certain that objective and good science would support this position.

Here is a link to the original alert to refresh you memory: 

ISSA Alert

Valley County Board of County Commissioners (Board) invites all interested persons to participate in the public process for management of Valley County's Inventoried Roadless Areas.

The one-size-fits-all, Washington, DC-based-approach of the 2001 rule ignored local experience, input and impacts.  This effectively tied the hands of local land managers as they try to manage diverse forests with varying needs. Now, local users of the national forests have the opportunity to correct that situation.

Valley County Board Commission Chairman Phil Davis chairs the sub-group seeking comments on the Payette National Forest's Inventoried Roadless Areas. Valley County will work with Adams, Idaho and Washington Counties to facilitate public comment. Fred Lawson, Chairman of the Boise County Board of County Commissioners chairs the sub-group for the Boise National Forest Inventoried Roadless.

The starting point for the discussion is the current roadless management direction in existing forest plans. Comments must be site-specific and substantive. In addition, they must clearly list the forest name, the management unit as defined in the current forest plan, what change the commenter desires and why.

Valley County will be using specific forms for public comments, available at two open-house meetings. The first will be August 15 at the McCall Senior Center from 4:00 pm to 7:00 p.m. The McCall Senior Center is located at 705 North 1st McCall Idaho.

The second open house will be held August 18 at the Valley County Court House from 4-7 p.m. The courthouse is located at 219 Main Street, Cascade Idaho.

Individuals who cannot attend the meetings can request forms from Lee Heinrich, Valley County Clerk. All requests for forms must include the name and address of the person making the request. Requests for the approved form can also be acquired by calling the Office of the Valley County Clerk, (208) 371-7100, or requesting the form by fax at (208) 382-7107 or by email at Requests made by mail should be sent to:

    Valley County Board of County Commissioners
    Roadless Comments
    P.O. Box 1350
    Cascade, Idaho 83611

Valley County will be accepting comments through the close of business September 15.

We have been given a great opportunity.  Everyone interested should get involved by submitting substantive comments. Public comments on the roadless areas of Valley County are critical to ensuring local input on future management policies of roadless areas on our national forests.

Respectfully invited,

F. Phillip Davis, Chairman

Valley County Board of County Commissioners

Please send this alert to anyone you know that supports shared access to OUR public lands. 

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

Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

Protecting the right to ride for the owners of 247,864 registered snowmobiles (2004) in the western United States.

Copyright ┬® 2005 Snowmobile Alliance of Western States. All Rights Reserved.

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