By Joyce Edlefsen
Ashton, Idaho - After a few years of preliminary
work, the Ashton-Island Park Ranger District has come up with a proposal for
changes in management of off-highway trails and use in the ranger district.
The agency is seeking comments, concerns, ideas or issues
people may have regarding the proposal.
Comments are requested by Dec. 10 to be included in the
review period known as "scoping."
The proposal affects areas open to cross-country OHV travel.
It also designates OHV trails that connect to the forest transportation system.
The agency says changes are needed "to provide a safe and
sustainable travel system that reduces resource impacts, improves public
safety, improves access and improves the ability to enforce travel
What the proposal would do is designate about 37 miles of
OHV trails. Of those, about 11 miles of forest roads currently closed to public
motor vehicle use will convert to OHV trails. About 25 miles of user-created
routes will convert to forest trails, which will require reconstruction. And,
about 1 mile of trail will require new construction.
The proposal would close two designated areas, "F" and "D"
on forest maps, to cross-country OHV travel. That change will involve an
amendment to the forest plan.
In the West End area of
Island Park Reservoir, the proposal would open the area to OHV cross-country
The proposal would provide for clearing, grading and
graveling two parking areas and installing information bulletin boards in each
ATV parking area-trailhead. Six cattle guards would be built to accommodate ATV
use under the proposal.
The district's proposal would allow for decommissioning
about 15 miles of forest roads and closing and rehabilitating about 77 miles of
user-created routes that are not part of the forest transportation system. The
closures would be by building or placing barriers such as jack fence or rock
boulders or by scattering slash. Routes with heavy soil compaction would be
scarified to allow vegetation to grow back.
For specific information, click here.
To be most useful, comments should be received by Dec. 10
and should address specific concerns regarding this proposal.
The agency expects to release an environmental document
analyzing effects of the proposal in March. It's proposed for implementation
Maps will be available for review at the Ashton and Island Park
offices Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or they may be viewed or
downloaded from the web site listed
Written comments should be sent to Island Park OHV Trails,
attention Brandon Burke, P.O. Box
858, Ashton, ID