Scotchman Peaks Proposal must be Thoroughly Vetted First
I question those cross-country skiing Scotchman Peaks alluded to in Mr. McKiernan’s Article of November 24th. After viewing snapshots of Scotchman Peak, Vertigo Ridge, Spar Peak, Jonathan Crag or Sawtooth Mountain (Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Map 2013) I question the ability to even reach those destinations in the winter let-a–lone cross-country ski them… most of this is in Montana anyway?? This map verses the FS map version of boundaries seem to morph into different configurations, at will/convenience! So, what is going on bait and switch?
Mr. Hough’s article December 15th brought into focus several issues which have been very well guarded form the general Clark Fork area public:
- The scope of the wilderness which has been reported at different times as 88,000 acres, 33,000 acres and now supposedly 14,000 acres?
- The Wilderness Act restrictions on mechanical equipment use; rules for fighting forest fire; search and rescue of injured/incapacitated citizens.
- The boundary’s which are, again; supposedly 300 feet from FS road 419 do not reflect what is shown on the maps I was given by Sandpoint Forest Ranger Walker. As a matter of fact I pointed out it showed the boundary on the road and he indicated that would have to be changed; apparently it has without informing the public.
As for the Ecoflight flight plan it may have been filed for 7000 feet but I was standing in my yard when it went right across/over Webb Canyon and it was loud…engine at full throttle to gain altitude, maybe?!
The Goat problem didn’t exist until the FSPW improved trails and advertised to get participant supporters to use trail 65. I agree the problem IS the bad behavior of people, but that behavior IS being indirectly orchestrated by the FSPW effort to bring more people to Scotchman Peaks. Human nature will not change with a few months of ‘trail ambassadors’…just look at what goes on at Yellowstone National Park!
Verifiable boundaries must be put into place for physical viewing, by the public, along FS Road 419 setback and the setback from all private property to the proposed Wilderness. Don’t just list in acres, but show the boundary 88K or 14K acres has no more meaning to the average citizen than a million or billion dollars. GPS coordinates are also meaningless…FLAG IT! This issue needs thorough vetting before any proposed Senate Bill is considered by Congress.
Public meetings must be held to inform the public. Senator Risch should facilitate his own Clark Fork area town hall style meetings. We need to see the, verifiable, final map proposed, what the bill states and what the use restrictions are, and who/what mandates them!