Big Wild Bi-Weekly January 13, 2012

Dear Wildlanders,

With the holiday season come and gone, it’s back to work for all of us. In this issue, you will receive information regarding the just released Clearwater National Forest Travel Plan, a reminder to submit public comments for the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange, an update on the Wolf War being waged in Montana and Idaho, and why the battle to keep megaloads out of the Clearwater Basin is not over.

Years in the making, the Clearwater National Forest just released their plan to manage off-road vehicle use on the national forest. To our disappointment, places like the Weitas Creek Roadless Area and the Pot Mountain Roadless Area are not fully protected from motorcycles and four-wheelers. Weitas Creek is a premiere candidate for Wilderness designation, and should therefore be closed entirely to motorized abuse. We plan on filing an administrative appeal.

If you have not weighed in on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange, you still have time. The deadline for comments is February 16th. Please use the below link to view the document and send your comments: http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/node/1114.

Stop the Swap is an excellent source of information too: http://stoptheswap.net. Western Lands Project has also been involved in monitoring this land exchange: http://www.westernlands.org.

Over 350 wolves have been senselessly killed in the states of Montana and Idaho since federal delisting, with 2/3 of them being slaughtered in Idaho. We are still waiting for a decision from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding our lawsuit to get wolves back under federal protection. In honor of those wolves that have succumbed to the bullet or the trap, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance recently held a candlelight vigil in Coeur d’ Alene and garnered some much needed media attention. Click here:

http://cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_2570ff28-4233-52e1-895c-ac97….

And Dr. Catherine Feher-Elston did a very good job in dispelling myths about wolves during a recent radio interview. Click here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theresachaze/2012/01/12/until-you-walk-the-….

With a multi-billion dollar expansion getting ready to take place in the Alberta Tar Sands, the equipment has to come from somewhere. If that somewhere is South Korea, then Exxon/Imperial Oil could possibly decide to ship another batch of megaloads to the Port of Lewiston. With more questions than answers, we need to remain vigilant in our quest to protect the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Clearwater and Lochsa River from becoming a permanent industrial corridor. Use this link to read the latest development in the lawsuit against the Montana Department of Transportation:

http://missoulian.com/news/local/parties-present-cases-in-missoula-count….

The lawsuit between Idaho Rivers United and the Forest Service is also on the docket for 2012. Use this link to learn more: http://www.idahorivers.org/protectrivers/wild_scenic.aspx?page=hwy12.

Go Wild in 2012,

Brett

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