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Devilmanak

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Dec 13, 2007
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Donnelly, ID
Posting this here because of a lot of you ride here. And out of this lot.

The following is being posted to Facebook, snowmobile forums, and other websites, so not all local, but it applies to every snowmobile enthusiast in the US, as it can happen anywhere.
As sledders, we are losing access at an alarming rate.
As snowmobilers, we pay a yearly fee for every snowmobile that we ride on groomed trails in Valley and other Idaho counties. This fee pays for the grooming and upkeep of the trails that we use.
Almost every winter groomed snowmobile trail in Valley County, ID. is a road or trail in the summer. (Some winter trails are cross-country and only put in after snow.) Every one of the summer roads has private property somewhere along it, and the owners are aware that once grooming starts, the roads are OFF LIMITS to wheeled vehicles.
Tamarack Falls is a Donnelly (McCall) area snowmobile trailhead. A couple of years ago a person bought property approximately a 1/2 mile up the road from the trailhead, knowing full well that the road is closed to wheeled traffic in the winter.
He has since been illegally driving a chained truck up and down the groomed trail, damaging the grooming that we have paid for as legal users.
I rode my sled down the trail today, and saw (after investigation, long story short), that he hired a local excavation business to take a D9 dozer and clear all of the snow off the of the groomed trail from the trailhead to his house. All that is left is torn up and dirty ice. The operator pushed snow on both sides into the trees so that there is no way that a snowmobile can pass.
After one light thaw at low elevation (Tamarack Falls trailhead is at 5000 feet), the area will be melted to mud. This may happen next week, it is a local cycle. Not only will the groomer not be able to get above this person's house to groom the hundreds of miles of trails above, but we will have to ride our sleds through a half mile of mud to get to the snow trail. There is private property on one side of the trail, and impassable hillside on the other. No way to bypass.
Evidentally, this was approved by Idaho Valley County Commissioners. Nobody that I have spoken with can understand why.
I was told that the only current recourse for this mess is to write to all three Idaho Valley Commissioners and express our opinions and concerns as snowmobilers. It seems that many are unhappy but few are willing to take a stance, which is why I am writing this. We need to step up and be heard.
If it is allowed for a private person to hire a business to have a snowmobile trail destroyed, when will it stop? If someone in Secesh wants to hire someone to plow the road so that they can drive their truck to their cabin in the winter, will that be allowed?
I would encourage people to write to Idaho Valley Commissioners Elting Hasbrouck, Gordon Cruickshank, and Dave Bingaman to express their concerns. All three will be contacted through the following email:
commissioners@co.valley.id.us
We need to speak out as the positive entity that we are as snowmobilers. The money we bring to the area is HUGE. Interesting read:
http://www.extension.uidaho.edu/publishing/pdf/BUL/BUL0844.pdf

Again, please write and share any concerns. Even if you are not local. Again, it can and is happening everywhere.
commissioners@co.valley.id.us
 
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