The Sawtooth National Forest is seeking public comment on proposed projects for which the U.S. Forest Service is seeking grants from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

    Each year, the state provides funding for public-land agencies through a grant application process. The funds are raised through the sale of boating, recreation and off-road vehicle stickers. Agencies applying for the grants are required to provide matching funds or in-kind contributions.

    Zach Poff, recreation programs manager with the Ketchum Ranger District, said some of the projects could still go forward without the grants, but many would not.

    “In these times right now, our funding is very limited,” Poff said.

    The Forest Service stated that to be most helpful, comments should be submitted by Jan. 16. 

    The projects are:

Ketchum Ranger District trail work

    This phased three-year project would fund heavy trail maintenance on 34 multiple-use trails, totaling 173 miles. The goal is to reduce the backlog of heavy maintenance projects. Heavy trail maintenance would include reconstructing drainage features, replacing water bars with rolling grade dips, rehabilitating braided (parallel) sections of tread, realigning short trail sections out of riparian areas and full benching sections of tread that have sloughed.

Ketchum Ranger District Little Wood trails project

    This grant would be used to fund youth crews to perform heavy maintenance on trails within the Little Wood drainage with emphasis on the Skyline Trail to Little Copper Trail and on Porcupine Trail.

    Submit comments on Ketchum Ranger District projects to Zach Poff at zpoff@fs.fed.us or 208-622-0087 or Renee Catherin at rcatherin@fs.fed.us or 208-727-7095.

SNRA motorized trail projects

     Funds will be requested to address heavy maintenance needs on 100 miles of motorbike trails located on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Work would involve building an ATV bridge over Valley Creek to replace a broken bridge on the Valley Creek Cut-off Trail. Other work would involve removing trees and other obstructions, brushing, signing, improving drainage, repairing trail tread and other repairs and improvements.

    Submit comments to Jay Dorr at 208-727-5011, via email at jdorr@fs.fed.us, or by mail to Sawtooth National Recreation Area, 5 North Fork Canyon Road, Ketchum, ID 83340.

White Clouds trails projects

    Funds would address heavy maintenance needs on 160 miles of motorized and nonmotorized trails. A hazardous section of Warm Springs Creek Trail in the White Cloud Mountains would be reconstructed in a safer location. Other work would involve signing, brushing, removing trees and other obstructions, improving drainage, repairing trail tread and other trail structures.

    Submit comments to Jay Dorr at 208-727-5011, via email at jdorr@fs.fed.us or by mail to Sawtooth National Recreation Area, 5 North Fork Canyon Road, Ketchum, ID 83340.

Grand Mogul Trail bridge

    Funds would be used to replace a bridge over Redfish Lake Creek on Grand Mogul Trail near the inlet to Redfish Lake and to relocate the trail to access the new bridge. The old bridge was destroyed by high water in 2017 and removed.

    Submit comments to Jay Dorr at 208-727-5011, via email at jdorr@fs.fed.us or by mail to Sawtooth National Recreation Area, 5 North Fork Canyon Road, Ketchum, ID 83340.

Redfish Lake Outlet Trail bridge

    Funds will be requested for the replacement of an existing aged vehicle bridge (slated to be converted to pedestrian this summer) with a new pedestrian/bicycle trail bridge that fully spans Redfish Lake Creek near the outlet of Redfish Lake.  This project would replace aging infrastructure with a narrower, fully accessible and modern structure.

    Submit comments to Braidy Richins at 208-737-3289, via e-mail at bkrichins@fs.fed.us or by mail to Sawtooth National Forest, 2647 Kimberly Road East, Twin Falls, ID 83301.

Fairfield Ranger District, Baumgartner Campground improvements

    This fourth and final grant request for Baumgartner Campground will slurry-seal asphalt throughout the campground. Recent improvements have added new asphalt or replaced aging sections of old pavement.  This process will repair and seal cracks and apply a surface treatment to replenish the pavement and provide a uniform black slip-resistant surface.  This final coat will help to protect these investments.

Fairfield Ranger District trail grant

    This grant would allow early-season trail maintenance and tree removal on more than 300 miles of trails, facilitating trail tread repairs, brushing, short trail reroutes and other heavy trail maintenance on motorized and nonmotorized trails. Heavy trail maintenance would be performed in the Beaver Creek drainage to repair damage from last year’s high runoff, and used to help continue maintenance and educational patrols into the fall hunting season.

Fairfield Ranger District, replace ATV

    This grant would be used to buy one ATV to support trail maintenance and construction on the 100 miles of ATV and jeep trails on the Fairfield Ranger District. The ATV would be used as a tool for decreasing time to access worksites, carry trail maintenance supplies, pull a rock rake and to support the Department of Parks and Recreation’s trail cat program when it is working on the district.  

    Submit comments on Fairfield Ranger District projects to Steve Frost at 208-764-3202, via e-mail at srfrost@fs.fed.us or by mail to Fairfield Ranger District, Box 189, Fairfield, ID, 83327.

Email the writer: gmoore@mtexpress.com

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