Field reports: Comments sought on Farragut restoration
STATE PARKS – A more natural view could be in the works to greet visitors to the popular Jokulhlaup lookout in Farragut State Park.
The Idaho Fish and Game Department is planning to restore the view shed and the adjacent ponderosa pine habitat on property the agency manages at Farragut State Park and Wildlife Management Area.
An open house to discuss the project is set for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Idaho Fish and Game Regional Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., in Coeur d’Alene.
The project includes removing trees and brush from 5 acres near Blackwell point. Shade-tolerant trees and dense brush would be removed from approximately 8 acres of Ponderosa pine forests.
Water trail survey on PDO River
BOATING – Officials pondering the Pend Oreille River Water Trail Concept Plan are seeking comments through the month in an online survey available along with details and maps at porta-us.com.
The plan, three years in the making, would help develop and promote water access, activities and tourism on a 70-mile stretch of the river from the Newport area down to Boundary Dam.
More than 20 state, federal and local agencies and groups have been involved.
Judge signs off on forest protections
NATIONAL FORESTS – A federal judge recently signed off on an agreement between conservation groups and the U.S. Forest Service to update protections for rare and obscure species that depend on old growth forests to live.
U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour in Seattle signed the agreement, which restores protections the Bush administration had dismantled to increase timber production on northwest federal forests.
The protections, known as the survey-and-manage rule, require the Forest Service to look for rare species ranging from lichens to great grey owls before planning timber sales in old-growth forests.
Recreation top use on Idaho BLM land
PUBLIC LANDS – A new study shows recreation and the industry that supports outdoors activities is outpacing traditional uses such as grazing and mining Bureau of Land management lands in Idaho.
The results are from a study on the U.S. Department of Interior’s economic effects in Idaho. Idaho includes nearly 12 million acres managed by BLM.
The report finds that recreation accounts for six times more jobs than grazing and timber industries, and three times more than energy and minerals.
BLM Deputy State Director Jeff Foss says ranchers still drive many rural economies. But he says from a statewide perspective recreation is tops.
The BLM spends about $81 million annually to manage grazing and timberland, compared to $68 million on recreation management.