Big Wild Bi-Weekly June 28, 2012
As we head into July, we wanted to bring you up to date on some important wildland news. In this issue we will alert you to recreation proposals on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, our concerns over the Little Slate Project, the withdrawal of Exxon/Imperial Oil, an upcoming summer field trip, and the launching of our new web site.
The Forest Service is soliciting comments for the Weitas Creek Bridge Project. This bridge crosses the North Fork Clearwater near the confluence with Weitas Creek. You may recall that the bridge was deemed unsafe and subsequently closed after inspection spring 2011. The agency is now considering repairing the bridge, replacing the bridge with a new one, or demolishing the bridge all together. The comment period closes on October 1st, but if you want to contact the agency before then email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have an action alert for you later. Learn more.
The Forest Service is conducting a Recreation Facility Analysis (RFA) on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests (they are combining) to determine which recreation facilities are important to the public and what the associated costs are. Of chief concern, is the agency’s attempt to allocate things such as backcountry lookouts as developed recreation sites, opening up the door for private concessionaires to manage them if they are deemed to expensive to maintain. Read our action alert.
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and FOC recently filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the Forest Service concerning a timber sale in the headwaters of Little Slate Creek, which is just to the west of the Gospel-Hump Wilderness. The area contains critical habitat for Canada lynx, bull trout, steelhead, and spring/summer chinook. All species are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We will keep you informed if we go to court.
It’s official; Exxon/Imperial Oil has informed the Montana Department of Transportation that they are no longer interested in pursuing permits to transport hundreds of megaloads up US 12/200. While that decision may change in the future, this is a clear indication that YOUR grassroots efforts have forced the oil giant to truck their equipment elsewhere in the immediate future. And the “test-run” module that has been parked at Lolo Hot Springs for over a year now is being dismantled. Congratulations and thank you for your efforts! Read more:
The Palouse-group Sierra Club and FOC are co-sponsoring Palouse Prairie & Earthworms on Tuesday July 10th on Paradise Ridge in Moscow. Come out and play with us after work, 5-8pm, as we hike, explore, and discuss the endangered native Palouse ecosystem, the recent finding of what university scientists feel is a Giant Palouse Earthworm, and the native fauna and flora of our beloved region. Call for carpooling (208) 882-9755.
The Great Old Broads for Wilderness are hosting the Weitas Wilderness Broadwalk from August 2-6 at the Wilderness Gateway Campground. We are thrilled to be working with them. Learn more.
And by the time we send out the next Bi-Weekly we hope to have launched our new web site. After six months of work, we are incredibly excited to share this with you. The URL address will be the same. Working with Buffalo Girls Productions has been a joy.
Wild Summer Days,