It was discouraging to read about efforts to derail building the long-sought public path from Redfish Lake to Stanley. Dave Boren wants it rerouted to the perimeter of the 1,781 acres he recently purchased. He contends this is a more environmentally sensitive and user-friendly plan. This is bogus.
First, the U.S. Forest Service fully vetted environmental concerns—the idea formed in the 1990s, an easement was purchased in 2005 for $500,000, studies were conducted (fully compliant with the stringent National Environmental Policy Act) and it was part of U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson’s heavily negotiated deal to get the Boulder-White Clouds region designated as wilderness areas. Mr. Boren was fully aware of the easement when he purchased.
Second, the route he proposes would run along Highway 75, which means that users of the path will be watching cars go by rather than seeing the mountains.
Mr. Boren’s other actions raise questions about his sensitivity to the area. He tore down a ranch house that was compatible with the surrounding area to build a huge residence in a primary view plane off Highway 21.
The SNRA is one of Idaho’s public gems. No one who goes there, however rich, should see it as their private playground.
Dick and Debra Pratt, Stanley