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If You Ride The Island Park Area, You Need To Read This

Published online: Nov 27, 2013 News
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There are a couple of things here. First is a press release from Forest Service requesting snowmobilers pay attention to where they're riding, particularly in the Mt. Jefferson area.

Second, open the PDF so you can see what the snowmobile community is doing to make sure this great, no, make that awesome, riding area stays open.

It really is up to us to help make sure we're riding where we should and helping police the area to make sure others are aware of the boundaries as well.

Here is the press release:

Monitoring To Continue for Winter at Mt Jefferson

Ennis, Mont. - The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest manages many special areas in southwest Montana. Mt. Jefferson located northwest of Island Park, ID, in Montana is one of those special areas. In 2009 the Revised Forest Plan (RFP) allocated the north half of the approximately 4,500 acre Mt. Jefferson area as recommended wilderness. The southern part was allocated to summer non-motorized status while allowing snowmobiling during the winter season. 

The RFP directed the Forest to monitor use of the Mt Jefferson area to assess use of the area, and to determine if the closure of the northern portion was being honored by snowmobile users. The Forest Service has been working with snowmobile user groups to support and self-police the closure. However, monitoring since the signing of the Forest Plan in 2009 indicates the snowmobile closure in the northern portion is consistently violated during the winter months.

"For the 2013-14 winter season, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF intends to allow snowmobile use of the southern portion of the Mt Jefferson area," said Acting Forest Supervisor Tim Garcia. "We will also continue to closely monitor closure boundaries which were put in place after extensive public involvement and as designated in the 2009 RFP to provide for quiet winter recreation and wildlife habitat. A decision of whether to continue to allow winter motorized use in the area will be made after this season."

For more information, contact the Madison Ranger District in Ennis at (406) 682-4253 or the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Headquarters office in Dillon at (406) 683-3900.