Sawtooth Air strip

The proposed airstrip would be located about 15 miles south of Stanley, across from Fourth of July and Champion creeks. The applicant’s property is outlined in yellow.

The Custer County Board of Commissioners will hear on Aug. 25 an appeal of Michael and Amanda Boren’s conditional use permit for an airport at the Hell Roaring Ranch in the middle of the Sawtooth Valley.

The Custer County Planning and Zoning Commission voted May 6 to issue a conditional-use permit for a private airstrip 15 miles south of Stanley. The appeal was filed by the Friends of the SNRA, a group of Custer County landowners who live in proximity to the Hell Roaring Ranch.

Opponents of the proposal, including members of the Blaine County Board of County Commissioners, argued that planes flying in and out would disrupt the natural environment of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Critics also claim that the Borens appeared to have already constructed the air strip on their property prior to obtaining permission from county officials.

Proponents have said the airstrip could prove useful in emergency situations.

The P&Z issued the permit to Boren under the condition that he could not expand the airport in the future. The commission approved the strip for “limited” personal and emergency use, though it did not place specific limits on the number of flights.

The appeal will be heard on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. The hearing will take place at the Challis Community Event Center at 411 Clinic Rd. in Challis. All public testimony will be taken, according to the public notice for the meeting.

Comments on the appeal will be received through Aug. 18, until 5 p.m. by e-mail to jclemenhagen@co.custer.id.us or by mail to the Planning and Zoning Administrator, 801 Main St., Challis, ID 83226.

For full coverage, stay tuned to the Idaho Mountain Express.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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