Kaniksu Over Snow Vehicle Travel Planning

Discussion in 'General' started by idsnowghost, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. idsnowghost

    idsnowghost Staff Member

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
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  2. idsnowghost

    idsnowghost Staff Member

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Some updates, there is a meeting scheduled on May 17th for all interested parties to attend:

    A focus group has been organized with the goal of assisting the Idaho Panhandle National Forests in moving forward with the Kaniksu Over Snow Vehicle Motorized Winter Travel Plan. At a meeting in mid-April, the group worked to identify geographic areas in which:

    1.There is consensus regarding the season long open use of OSVs (over snow vehicles);

    2.There is basic consensus that use of OSVs is appropriate, but that there could be issues that need to be addressed with seasonal or other restrictions;

    3.There is consensus regarding no use of OSVs;

    Also, the group is also proceeding based upon the existing Forest Plan Management Areas and any prescribed restrictions. The group is not looking at any management area boundary adjustments or changes to management area restrictions to OSVs.

    The next meeting is scheduled for May 17, 2018 1:00 pm – at the Sandpoint Ranger District Office, located at 1602 Ontario Street, Sandpoint, Idaho. A telephone call-in number will probably be available for the meeting. Anyone interested in the travel plan or the travel plan process is invited to attend.
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  3. idsnowghost

    idsnowghost Staff Member

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Attended the meeting today via telephone. Everyone was pretty hardlined and heated in their positions. On a positive note, there was another backcountry skier present in person. Could really use more representation from the backcountry skiing community in this group. I will post future meeting information for those interested. The snowmobile clubs are well represented and seemingly most prepared.

    Here's the latest map/plan for motorized travel. Basically it follows the forest plan and excludes snowmobile use only in areas deemed non-motorized by the plan (RNAs, Recommended Wilderness) as well as the court injunction from 2006 protecting the caribou. Ideas were discussed to open all additional areas and close sections only if species of concern were sighted. Enforcement ideas were also discussed. There are no areas specifically set aside for the purpose of non-motorized recreation.

    Proposed maps as of 5/16:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/108297_FSPLT3_4300659.pdf
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/108297_FSPLT3_4300660.pdf
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/108297_FSPLT3_4300661.pdf
  4. idsnowghost

    idsnowghost Staff Member

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    New developments.. The meetings last summer were mostly a bust.

    But since we have the WWA working with us as the forest moves forward to the next phase of creating the "Over Snow Vehicle Use Maps" defining where motorized users can travel in the Kaniksu region of the forest (Silver Valley and St Joe will follow in coming years based on how this process goes).

    We're at the stage of marking out areas that backcountry skiers generally use on the Kaniksu region (North of Sandpoint generally, including Selkirk Crest, Cabinets) of the forest -- or even wishlist areas. If you know the terrain well and you'd like to participate please send me a private message. Now is the time to get in at the planning stages and be heard.

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