Field reports: Clearwater plan limits motorized use of trails
FORESTS – About 200 miles of trails and 1 million acres of the Clearwater National Forest will close to motorized users under a new travel management plan released Wednesday.
Approved by Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell, the plan forbids cross-country travel by most motorized vehicles and requires all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and other vehicles to travel only on roads and trails designated for their use.
The Mallard-Larkin Pioneer Area and the Great Burn Roadless Area, which were recommended for wilderness protection under the Clearwater’s 1987 Forest Plan, will be closed to all mechanized vehicles including bicycles. Several backcountry trails on the North Fork District will be closed to motorized use.
The trail closures, which have been expected for more than two years, mainly affect single-track trails used by motorcycle riders in places like Pot Mountain, Weitas Creek and Cayuse Creek. But the rule adopted by Brazell includes some long, single-track loops in the backcountry that will stay open to motorcycles.
The ban on off-trail cross-country travel is part of a national rule that does away with the practice on nearly all land managed by the Forest Service.
Brazell said he expects the plan will be appealed by some user groups.
Glacier National Park gets postage stamp
PARKS – The U.S. Postal Service is featuring Logan Pass in Glacier National Park on an international rate postage stamp to be issued Jan. 19.
The image shows Logan Pass, on the park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. Melting snow banks reveal a meadow against a backdrop of Glacier peaks.
The 85-cent stamp is part of the Postal Service’s “Scenic American Landscapes” series.
Meetings explain Panhandle Forest Plan
FORESTS – The Idaho Panhandle National Forests has scheduled open houses to help the public understand the draft forest management plan it released for comment last week.
Forest officials say the proposed plan covering a wide range of issues from fire management to roadless areas was shaped by science, collaboration, laws and input gathered at 30 public meeting and more than 140 public community-based work groups.
Meetings are set for 5 p.m.-7 p.m. as follows:
Coeur d’Alene, Tuesday, Fernan Office.
St. Maries, Wednesday, St. Maries Ranger District Office.
Smelterville, Thursday, Silver Valley Office.
Bonners Ferry, Jan. 17, Bonners Ferry Ranger District.
Priest Lake, Jan. 19, Priest Lake Ranger District Office.
Sandpoint, Jan. 23, Sandpoint Ranger District Office.
Woodpecker show set
BIRDS –Ghost Bird, a documentary about the search for the ivory-billed woodpecker will be presented Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Spokane Audubon Society meeting at the Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave.