Friday, February 7, 2014

SNRA to host meeting on travel plan

Officials to review trails, roads north of Ketchum


By EXPRESS STAFF

A mountain biker cruises through the woods north of Ketchum. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is starting the process of reviewing trails and roads on SNRA lands to the north. Photo by Willy Cook

     The Sawtooth National Recreation Area will host an open house Thursday, Feb. 13, at the community Campus in Hailey to discuss its Big Wood River travel management plan project.

     The SNRA will begin evaluating public access and summer travel opportunities on roads and trails within the Big Wood River watershed. SNRA land within the drainage extends from the SNRA headquarters north, but does not include Baker Creek.

     This meeting will be an introduction to the National Forest travel planning process and will be the first of many public meetings on the topic. Representatives from the SNRA will be in attendance to answer questions and talk to the public about the project.

     The meeting will be in the CSI Community Campus’s Minnie Moore Room from 4-6:30 p.m.

     Project coordinator Robin Garwood said there are no specific issues that prompted a review of the SNRA’s travel plan. Rather, she said, the plan is several decades old, and SNRA Ranger Joby Timm decided to review it in sections, beginning with the Big Wood drainage.

     Garwood said the project will look at impacts caused by road and trail use, and consider rerouting them in places where impacts are deemed unacceptable. She said there are some unofficial roads in the area, and planners will decide whether to upgrade those roads to bring them into the system or to eliminate them.

     However, she said the SNRA has no specific plans at this time and wants to hear from the public before developing any.

     “We’re very excited about this project,” she said. “We encourage the public to come to the open house and become informed and to assist us in ensuring that this will meet the needs of the public and protect the resources of the area.”

     For more information, contact the SNRA at 727-5013.




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