McCall, ID - The Payette National Forest (PNF) proposes to issue a one-year Over-Snow season special order that would continue the restrictions to over-snow motorized use currently in effect, with three proposed changes.
The proposed changes are:
· Granite Mountain: 6,127 acres to be closed to over-snow motor vehicle use from Jan. 15-March 30 for the 2012 season.
· Hitt Mountain: 764 acres to be opened to over-snow motor vehicle use for the entire 2011-12 winter season.
· Squaw Point: 1,234 acres to be opened to over-snow motor vehicle use for the entire 2011-2012 winter season.
The PNF Recreation Program invites the public to a meeting at the Supervisor’s Office from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2011, to share information and discuss the proposal with forest recreation specialists and managers.
Jane Cropp, Recreation Program Manager, will make a short presentation about the proposal at 6:30 p.m.
451,200 acres are currently closed to over-snow vehicle use. The modifications above would adjust the number of total acres closed to over-snow motorized use to 455,329 acres for the 2011-12 winter season. This figure does not include the acres within the Payette National Forest portion of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, which are closed by law to over-snow motorized use.
The Forest worked with the Winter Recreation Forum, a McCall-based group representing motorized and non-motorized winter recreation enthusiasts, to draft a recommendation for the Payette Forest Supervisor to consider. This special order is a result of those recommendations.
The Supervisor’s office is located at 800 West Lakeside Avenue in McCall, ID. Please call Jane Cropp at (208) 634-0757 for information about the upcoming meeting or the proposed special order.
Here is a copy of the agreement:
Winter Recreation Forum Agreement—Granite, Slab, 76, Squaw Point and Hitt Mountain
Members of the Winter Recreation Forum (hereafter called the Forum), after careful deliberation, have come to agreement upon the following management direction for winter recreation travel within the Granite Mountain Area. The Forum intends that this agreement, in its entirety, will be implemented by the U.S. Forest Service, Payette National Forest (PNF) utilizing an administrative order. The Forum further intends that the administrative order will be renewed annually by the PNF and the Forum until its new Winter Travel Plan is implemented.
· The attached aerial photo image shows the boundaries of the area the Forum agrees to have seasonally dedicated as a special use snowcat and backcountry skiing area, closed to motorized access (snowmobiling) during those periods when the snowcat skiing operation is active. The remaining area, including Granite Bowl and the Twin Lakes Bowl, is to be open to shared use for both motorized and non-motorized winter recreation travel.
o Brundage Cat Skiing will establish a new groomed trail adjacent to and to the north of the Boulevard for use by snowmobiles and will maintain it as required when runs are made by their groomer. This trail will alleviate possible conflict between snowcat and snowmobile traffic.
o The areas will be closed to accommodate snowcat skiing from January 15 to March 30. Outside that time frame, the area will be opened for shared use.
o The boundaries of the snowcat and backcountry skiing area will be reviewed and adjusted as needed on an annual basis with consensus from all active and present members of the Forum.
· The areas known as Slab and 76 will remain open for shared use for both motorized and non-motorized winter recreation travel. Members of the Forum agree they will continue to support such shared use and will not support modification of shared use status or exclusive use by any groups for Slab or 76 in the future.
· Hitt Mountain and Squaw Point will be opened for shared use for both motorized and non-motorized winter recreation travel.
· Costs associated with enforcement, including signage and maps, and other actions deemed necessary by the Forum will be borne by the Forum or other forms of funding that becomes available through the reasonable best efforts of individual or collective Forum members.
This agreement shall remain in place at least until the Forest has completed its Winter Travel Plan.