Silver Creek Outfitters has filed to join Blaine County in its legal challenge to parking restrictions in the Flying Heart Ranch subdivision north of Hailey, according to court documents.

A judge in the 5th Judicial District is scheduled to hear the motion to intervene next week. If approved, Silver Creek will be able to represent its business interests in the case.

With a permit to guide on the Big Wood River, the company’s employees “interact, almost daily, with the individual easement users who will be affected by an adverse ruling,” its attorney, Sam Linnet, wrote. That perspective is “unique,” Linnet said, and separate from “the County’s generalized interest in protecting public access.”

The county didn’t object. Its attorneys welcomed the addition in a response filed with the court last week.

“The County will zealously advocate for public access rights,” lawyers Christopher H. Meyer and Preston N. Carter of Boise-based firm Givens Pursley wrote. “However, the county is not in a position to advocate for Silver Creek Outfitters’ unique and specific access rights for business purposes.”

Through its attorneys, the Flying Heart Ranch Owners’ Association did object, calling Silver Creek’s involvement “neither appropriate nor necessary,” since it doesn’t own property in the area, and the riverside pedestrian easements used by fishermen aren’t in question.

Rather, the conflict centers on roadside parking—specifically, whether the public can leave cars on Aspen Lakes Drive, a private road on an 80-foot county right of way platted through the Flying Heart subdivision. In June, the homeowners association posted no parking signs along the route. Prior to installing the signs, Flying Heart residents said river-goers mistreated the area, littering and trespassing on private property near the Big Wood.

In September, the county asked the court to remove signs banning parking in the easement. It’s also seeking to recoup legal costs, plus the maximum civil penalties under Idaho’s public nuisance statute, $100 for each day the signs have been posted.

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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