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ISSA Intervening In Forest Travel Management Plan

Published online: Mar 23, 2012 News
Viewed 28 time(s)

By SAWS

Headquartered in Boise, ID, the Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA), a group dedicated to "human powered" winter recreation and strongly opposed to snowmobile use, recently failed to persuade the Forest Service to require snowmobiles be addressed in all National Forest Travel Management Plans. Things didn't go their way and now they have turned their attention and deep pockets towards the courts.

As written, the 2005 Travel Management rule states that each National Forest can choose not to include snowmobiles as a separate use designation in its Travel Management Plan. WWA claims that the Forest Service is violating Presidential Executive orders 11644 and 11989 (1972 Nixon and 1977 Carter), which deal with off-road vehicles on public lands. WWA maintains that snowmobiles "must" be managed in every forest's Travel Management Plan. In other words, snowmobile use must be labeled with a designation. These designations would include wording such as, "no change," "small changes, pro-motorized," "neutral," and "big changes, pro-non-motorized."

This would result in Forest Travel Plans across the country being rewritten and rehashed out and in our current political climate you can be sure that the end result will definitely be additional net loss of snowmobile acreage in many forests. If this precedence is established in Idaho it will spread like wildfire nationwide.

The Idaho State Snowmobile Association (ISSA), in conjunction with the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA), has decided to intervene in this lawsuit. SAWS has offered to be listed on the lawsuit as an intervener as well. This lawsuit has the potential to reach the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals before it's satisfied. This fight will cost ISSA a large amount of money to defend. SAWS will be contributing $5,000 to ISSA's Snowmobile Defense Fund.

The most beneficial way you can help at this time is to make a donation to ISSA. All funds received will be put towards this fight. Keep in mind that even though this issue is originating in Idaho, it affects ALL snowmobilers, in EVERY national forest. Checks may be made out to ISSA, and sent to:

Royal Kingsley

Idaho State Snowmobile Association
Snowmobile Defense Fund / Winter Wildlands Intervention
10400 Overland Road #384
Boise, ID  83709

Further reading:

Idaho State Snowmobile Association (ISSA):

http://www.idahosnow.org/idaho-state-snowmobile-association-news?mode=PostView&bmi=802327

American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA):

http://snowmobilers.org/press_release_article.asp?prid=122

Idaho Recreation Council (IRC):

http://www.id-rc.org/news/the-winter-wildlands-alliance-is-at-it-again

Island Park newspaper article:

http://www.idahosnow.org/idaho-state-snowmobile-association-news?mode=PostView&bmi=801864

Courthouse News:
http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/02/41894.htm

Winter Wildlands:

http://www.winterwildlands.org/news/archive/Groups_Petition_Forest_Service_to_Remove_Snowmobile_Exemption.pdf