- The Over-Snow Trail Grooming Environmental Assessment (EA) on the Payette National Forest is being released for
public comment this week. The document is available for comment for the next 30
days and analyzes the ongoing winter over-snow grooming program specific to
groomed routes on the PNF in cooperation with Valley County
and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR).
The agreement supports and maintains trail grooming in
Valley, Adams and Idaho
Counties. The agreement
has been authorized on the Payette since 1995. Valley County
is the lead county behind this program and assumes the responsibility for completing
the grooming work under the direction of the Cost Share Agreement and annual
operating plan. The Cost Agreement is for a 5-year period.
The EA is available for viewing on the Forest’s
webpage at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=37513.
The Forest works with IDPR and Valley County to groom snowmobile trails within the Payette National Forest.
The EA analyzes three alternatives. Alternative 1 would not authorize
grooming on the Payette
National Forest. Alternative
2 would authorize approximately 225 miles of trail grooming, similar to what
has been authorized in the past, with an additional 12 miles of trail that
would be groomed on the Council Ranger District. Alternative 3 would authorize
approximately 261 miles of trail which would include the existing groomed
system, the new trails in the Council area and new trails around the Lost
Valley Reservoir area. The EA discusses all three Alternatives in detail.
The current Cost Agreement with Valley County
and IDPR expired in April of 2012. Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom signed a one season
extension for this agreement to continue through the 2013 over-snow grooming
season on the Payette
while the analysis in progress is completed. Once fully completed, the Forest
would enter into a new agreement with both IDPR and Valley County
to groom whatever is authorized in the final decision yet to be determined.
For any further information on this project you may contact
the Payette National Forest Recreation Program Manager Jane Cropp at (208) 634-0757.