We just sent our letter off to the U.S. Forest Service calling for a winter closure of a road on 4th of July Pass so that quiet ski and snowshoe hiking can continue without motorized disruptions.
We submitted a letter to support a Special Use Permit proposal from Panhandle Nordic Ski Club which calls for the Forest Service to close roads 614 and 918 to motorized winter travel. KEA originally submitted comments to the Forest Service in April 2009 supporting winter closure of FSR 614 in favor of non-motorized winter recreation.
From our letter:
Allowing motorized vehicles to travel FSR 614 in winter is fundamentally incompatible with the predominant and traditional non-motorized winter uses in that location. Motorized uses ruin cross country ski tracks, disrupt attempts to groom ski trails, and introduce unwanted noise and exhaust fumes. Cross country skiers and snowshoe hikers seek and need quiet Forest Service roads to enjoy their sports. More generally, motorized uses are also disruptive of wildlife habitat and can cause trail damage lead to erosion and watershed impacts. Still, motorized winter sports enthusiasts have an abundance of trails located north of I-90 and elsewhere in the Coeur d’Alene River District.
Anyone interested in commenting should sent a quick note to the NEPA Coordinator, Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2502 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814. Comments are due by February 25th.