I want to correct the record on a recent letter I read about Mike Boren, who is requesting a conditional-use permit at his Hell Roaring Ranch. Mike is simply seeking this permit to make the grass pasture that he occasionally uses to land small aircraft available for emergency use—all well within his private property rights and his rights in running his farm and ranch operations across Idaho. Again, we are talking about an irrigated pasture; there has not been nor will there be any construction associated with this use and request. The approval of the permit would not increase the aviation activities in the area—it is simply allowing emergency services to use his pasture in an emergency.

The argument concerning the risk of pollution that could run into the Salmon River is ridiculous. I don’t see how a low-use private grass pasture located a safe distance from the river affects the spawning fish more than the thousands of cars that cross the nine bridges between the headwaters and Stanley. Not to mention the river is connected directly to the headwaters from that point and the Smiley Creek airstrip is 116 feet from the river at its closest point.

Mike and his family have deep roots in Custer County going back generations. He loves and respects nature and maintains his ranch with the best land management practices that have only improved the fish and wildlife values of his land. Custer County should base its decision on the facts, and approve the conditional-use permit, which would benefit Sawtooth Valley residents and visitors.

Craig Smith, Bellevue

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