Posts tagged: Clearwater National Forest
PUBLIC LANDS — In the making for several years, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to consolidate the Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests into one administrative office and create a new headquarters for the merger in the small, timber town of Kamiah.
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced the decision Monday, culminating more than eight years of study and planning. Agency officials say the merger could save up to $2 million annually by combining administrative positions and ending duplication of services between the two forests.
Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell said despite the new headquarters in Kamiah, the agency would continue to have a presence in Grangeville and Orofino, cities that once served as home bases for the two forests. In Grangeville, he said there could be 50 to 60 people continuing to work out of that office, the Lewiston Tribune reported .
Read on for more details.
PUBLIC LANDS — The Blue Ribbon Coalition and the Idaho Snowmobile Association filed a lawsuit against the Clearwater National Forest for its travel plan that bans motorcycles, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and mountain bikes in the Great Burn wilderness study area on the Idaho-Montana border, according to a story by the Idaho Statesman.
“Only Congress can designate wilderness. We cannot stand idly by and watch them change the long-established system for managing these treasured lands.”
—Sandra Mitchell, public lands director of the Idaho State Snowmobile Association.
“I see this as full frontal assault on wilderness. They are making essentially the argument that the Forest Service doesn’t have the power to protect wilderness character as a multiple use of public lands”
—Brad Brooks, deputy regional director of the Wilderness Society in Boise.
NATIVE PLANTS — The huckleberry bush, the most revered shrub in the Inland Northwest, is getting less respect as berry pickers succumb to greed.
Practices are getting so bad, the Forest Service has issued a media release warning that recently observed practices — such as CUTTING OFF A BUSH SO BERRIES COULD BE MORE EASILY PICKED — are against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
It's safe to say most huckleberry plant abusers aren't among the families returning to their favorite huckleberry hot spots generation after generation. None of these people wants to damage plants and reduce the harvest of future years.
However, many people may not realize the senseless and improper use of rake-like huckleberry pickers also damages the berry bushes.
Meanwhile, read on for more information on the latest damaging practices reported by the Forest Service.
OFF-ROADING — The popular Fish Lake Trail #419, located 15 miles south of Hoodoo Pass, near the Idaho-Montana state line, has closed temporarily to motorized traffic, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest officials announced today.
Wet conditions forced the closure to prevent motor vehicles from causing damage to the trail and fragile high alpine meadows on the lake’s western edge.
Forest officials will reopen Trail #419 as soon as the waterlogged trail has dried out, firmed up and is once again suitable for recreational use.
For updates: Clearwater National Forest Information Desk, (208) 476-8267.
PUBLIC LANDS — Most rentals for cabins and fire lookouts on national forests and parks are reserved on a national reservation system that allows the public to book dates no more than 180 days in advance.
Check out the National Recreation Reservation Service online or call (877) 444-6777 for a complete list of facilities, to check available dates or to make reservations for most federal facilities nationwide.
Click here for details on an exception to the national reservation system: the lottery for reserving the Red Ives Cabin on the St. Joe River.
Indeed, if you're making plans for prime time this summer, it's time to get your act together if you hope to reserve a night in a popular room with a view.
Read on for specific information regarding cabins and lookouts in the Clearwater National Forest, including Kelly Creek areas.
NATIONAL FORESTS — Reduced recreation funding on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will keep the Lochsa Historic Ranger Station from opening its doors this summer, according to a report by the Lewiston Morning Tribune.
The log structure on the Lochsa River, about 48 miles east of Kooskia, depicts life at remote Forest Service ranger stations in the 1920s and ’30s. It is normally open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and staffed by volunteers.
Rick Brazell, forest supervisor, told the Tribune the site is a victim of the severe cuts to the recreation budgets for the two forests.
“It is either close that or close campgrounds,” he said. “It’s an interpretive site which is very good to have, but it’s not a destination site where people spend days.”
Read on for the rest of the story by Tribune outdoor writer Eric Barker:
See details in a blog post by Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman.
PUBLIC LANDS — About 200 miles of trails and more than 1 million acres of the Clearwater National Forest will close to motorized users under a new travel management plan released Wednesday.
See all the official forest documents on the travel plan here.
Meanwhile, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests also is revisiting its forest management plan. See today's S-R story.
Read on for the report on the Clearwater forest plan proposal from the Lewiston Tribune.
TRAILS — A popular Bitterroot Mountains destination for ATVers up from the North Fork of the Clearwater River has been closed to motorized traffic temporarily because of lingering snow and wet conditions, the Clearwater National Forest says.
Fish Lake Trail 419, located 15 miles south of Hoodoo Pass near the Idaho-Montana state line, is closed to motor vehicles to prevent damage to the trail and fragile high alpine meadows on the lake’s western edge, where ATVers like to congregate.
The trail is still snow-covered in many places, said Adam McClory, the Clearwater's North Zone recreation staff officer. The dispersed campsites located near the lake are also under snow.
McClory said that Forest officials hope to reopen the trail in mid-August.
PUBLIC LANDS — A Clearwater National Forest Service crew leader and 23 volunteers from the North American Pack Goat Association made major improvements to an Idaho stretch of the Lewis and Clark National HistoricTrail last weekend.
The organization established in 2001 to promote packing with pack goats, cleared brush and wind-felled trees from 2 ½ miles of Clearwater Forest’s Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, between Small Prairie Camp and the Dollar Creek Bridge.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail runs 3,700 miles from Wood River, Ill., to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.
Info: Northwest Packgoats in Weippe, Idaho.
FISHERIES — A man with his eyes on proposed development in the Clearwater National Forest issued an alert this week in the Letters to the Editor section of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Read on if you're a fan of the westslope cutthroat trout that lure fly fishers to Kelly Creek.
NATIONAL FORESTS — Federal stimulus funding will continue to be a big boost for the Clearwater National Forest infrastructure this year, but contruction could cause some headaches for camper and anglers headed to Kelly Creek and other areas in the North Fork District.
“This is going to be a challenging summer to get around on the North Fork, for the public as well as the Forest Service,” said Heather Berg, North Fork District ranger in Orofino. “I would hate for someone to drive a long distance to find their way blocked by one of these projects. I want to get the word out now, and I encourage folks to plan ahead. Be sure to call Forest offices for current information.”
Read on for details and scheduled construction.
NATIONAL FORESTS — Susan Shaw, a Forest Service manager of planning, lands and minerals in Tennessee, has been named the new district ranger for the Clearwater National Forest's Palouse Ranger District headquartered in Potlatch, Idaho.
Shaw has worked for the agency in several locations as a forester, environmental coordinator, timber and silviculture officer, fish and wildlife officer and manager of cultural and historic properties.
A district press release said Shaw enjoys windsurfing, whitewater rafting, skiing on water and snow, reading, and remodeling houses.
NATIONAL FORESTS — Officials with the Clearwater National Forest are floating a plan to buy a big chunk of private timber land in the upper Lochsa River basin as one way to curry public favor for a land exchange with a private company.
The proposed purchase is one of several options outlined in an environmental impact statement issued by the agency this month on the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange.
Get ready for public open house meetings: