Losing Snowmobile terrain comments needed

Hello,

I wasn't sure if this is the right thread.

I just wanted to inform our snowmobile community about the loss of approx 7 miles of road (East HWY20) access in favor of automobile BC skier access. I do both ski and snowmobile and have been historically using this wintertime closed section of HWY20 since 1987.

The Forest Service in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Transportation is proposing to build a snow park at the current highway 20 Silver Star Creek gate parking area.

Doing so will close aprrox 7 miles of road East of the gate for snowmobile use starting at Early Winters near Mazama, Wa. on west to the SilerStar gate.

This section off HWY20 currently accesses several snowmobile power opportunities at Cedar Creek road and Kipchuck campground as you enjoy other road side powder shots.

The WSDOT has in the past plowed to the Silver Star Gate until the snow becomes too deep and a snow blower is required. I've also seen a loader up at the Silver Star parking lot moving snow trying to extend the parking season up there.

If the Snowpark happens, will all access to HWY20 be blocked during a big storm while more vital roads are being cleared?

And will the road be properly maintained to the new snow park? Currently, while our much respected WSDOT crews try to keep the road open to Silver Star, the road often becomes a 1in sheet of ice because the road is driven on with deep heavy snow while crews are plowing more vital roads.

We've also had a near-miss auto head on collision when only one lane was plowed.

And there is one avalanche path that has slide and reached the road east of the SIlver Star gate.

Personally I do not want to loose our historical culture that was established in this area over the last 40 years. I do not want to see a snow park at the Silver Star Gate.

Any snow park needs to be placed at the Early Winters Forest Service Junction with private land and State Land.

But my opinion only counts for one person and I'd like to know what your opinion is. It does not appear that public comments will be solicited for this project by either the WSDOT or the Forest Service.

Please send comments to:

WSDOT:
GouldW@wsdot.wa.gov

FS Methow Valley District Ranger:

chris.furr@usda.gov
 
Last edited:
Hello,

I wasn't sure if this is the right thread.

I just wanted to inform our snowmobile community about the loss of approx 7 miles of road (East HWY20) access in favor of automobile BC skier access. I do both ski and snowmobile and have been historically using this wintertime closed section of HWY20 since 1987.

The Forest Service in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Transportation is proposing to build a snow park at the current highway 20 Silver Star Creek gate parking area.

Doing so will close aprrox 7 miles of road East of the gate for snowmobile use starting at Early Winters near Mazama, Wa. on west to the SilerStar gate.

This section off HWY20 currently accesses several snowmobile power opportunities at Cedar Creek road and Kipchuck campground as you enjoy other road side powder shots.

The WSDOT has in the past plowed to the Silver Star Gate until the snow becomes too deep and a snow blower is required. I've also seen a loader up at the Silver Star parking lot moving snow trying to extend the parking season up there.

If the Snowpark happens, will all access to HWY20 be blocked during a big storm while more vital roads are being cleared?

And will the road be properly maintained to the new snow park? Currently, while our much respected WSDOT crews try to keep the road open to Silver Star, the road often becomes a 1in sheet of ice because the road is driven on with deep heavy snow while crews are plowing more vital roads.

We've also had a near-miss auto head on collision when only one lane was plowed.

And there is one avalanche path that has slide and reached the road east of the SIlver Star gate.

Personally I do not want to loose our historical culture that was established in this area over the last 40 years. I do not want to see a snow park at the Silver Star Gate.

Any snow park needs to be placed at the Early Winters Forest Service Junction with private land and State Land.

But my opinion only counts for one person and I'd like to know what your opinion is. It does not appear that public comments will be solicited for this project by either the WSDOT or the Forest Service.

Please send comments to:

WSDOT:
GouldW@wsdot.wa.gov

FS Methow Valley District Ranger:

chris.furr@usda.gov
Just thought that I would update news on this. I posted about this issue on our local community internet bulletin board and it was very soon removed after a few helpful comments were posted.

I inquired to the owners as to why my thread was taken down completely and I was informed that several of the bulletin board Forum members had complained behind the scenes that my comments were bordering on slander.

This tells me that there is a political element to the decision of locating the snow park 6 miles further up the road as opposed to its original proposed location. It turns out extremely wealthy people (mostly vacation homes) live near the original proposed snow park location and there is a resort area that caters to wealthy helicopter skiers near there so that may also be a factor.

Currently, without an official snow park, we park along the highway where it enters the National Forest just before the road closure point, which is near the original proposed snow park.

I think we snowmobilers are perceived as trashing up the neighborhood, even though the private money interests chose to locate their homes and businesses near public land. I even received a nasty note on my truck recently that I was not welcome to park my truck (with loading ramps) in a public land parking lot that accesses cross-country skiing and the closed hwy.

On the BB, I had posted that at a private meeting with the local Forest Service District Ranger last year, he commented to me that the forest service is engaged in trying to increase recreational opportunities on the National Forest. Fair enough.

However, I had posed the question: since when did automobile BC skier access Recreation become a priority over snowmobile Recreation that has an established 40+ Years of historical use in that area?

And remember, I also BC ski as well as snowmobile and believe that historical BC skier use terrain should also be protected. Our local off road snowmobile community agrees and does not use the local's historical BC skier terrain. I believe our community is a model on how it should it done where both users groups, which also share common goals and interests get along just fine.

But the newly arrived weathly class want what they want and often get it by using behind the scenes tactics to shut down the conversation.

By accusing me of slander, they are engaging in that very practice.

I envision a time when that whole 40 mile stretch of winter time snowmobile access will be shut down in favor of BMW SUV access.

Please send your comments. Even if you don't use the area, it's still your land and we all have a right to say how that land should or should not be used.

Thanks
 
Last edited:
Jan 20, 2009
346
72
28
Northern Utah
I don't know the area, but it's certainly infuriating to read about. Similar things happening in Utah. In some instances government condemning private land abusing eminent domain rules to steal private property to appease those who would turn it into resort havens for the wealthy. It's disgusting.
 
A local who lives in Mazama Wa. (area near original proposed snow park) recently counted the number of full time residents vs. vacation home owners in that area. That number is 20% full timers and 80% vacation homes owners.

While the local culture welcomes all those who desire to have a home here, many new arrivals bring their exclusionary agenda with them that unfortunately includes a lack of respect for the existing local culture as if we are here to service their wants and needs, preferably from people living in the next town down the road.

I agree, it's reprehensible, which is why I call it out and why I took my HOA to small claims court when the board president used our HOA dues money, contrary to existing restrictive covenants, to clean up his vacation home lot and several neighboring properties for fire safety on the grounds that it benefits the whole community.

Sorry for the rant.





"Gentrification is a general term for the arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district's character and culture. The term is often used negatively, suggesting the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders."

"Gentrification is a housing, economic, and health issue that affects a community’s history and culture and reduces social capital."

 
Last edited:
Premium Features