As fall brings colder weather and snow, Friends of the Clearwater (FOC) hosts its Annual Meeting and Potluck including FOC Board elections. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be a virtual on-line meeting this year. Read below for more information.
Join us for the virtual Annual Meeting and Party on November 6 at 7 PM. There will be some presentations of 2020, an awards ceremony, a slide show made up of photos of the Clearwater country from Friends of the Clearwater members and supporters, and a toast at the end. If you would like to join, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 208-882-9755 and we will send you the online link. If you want to have your photo of the wild Clearwater or surrounding public lands and national forests included in the slide show please submit jpegs to email@example.com by October 28 and put Annual Meeting Photo in the subject line. We will try to accommodate every photo that is submitted in the presentation. If you are a member of FOC, but have elected not to receive US Mail from FOC, contact the FOC office (208)-882-9755 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to have a Board of Directors ballot mailed to you.
Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse
Friends of the Clearwater (FOC) has been chosen to participate in this year’s Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse, which is an alternative to buying gifts. Instead, you can gift a donation to an organization, like FOC, and a card will be sent to the recipient of your gift. Due to COVID-19, there will be a drive-up market on December 5 at the Latah County Fairgrounds, much like the drive-ins of old. The online giving portion of the market begins on November 27 and ends December 12 at www.agmpalouse. The mission of the Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse (AGMP) is to “give residents of the Palouse meaningful alternatives to holiday gift giving and an opportunity to support local nonprofits.” Stay tuned for FOC’s holiday card—all proceeds from our cards go directly to us. Learn more about the AGMP and other participating groups at www.agmpalouse.
The Forest Service Threatens Wildlands with New Proposed E-Bike Policy
You can weigh in by October 26
The Forest Service is proposing an update to the Forest Service Manual that could expand use of electric bikes, or e-bikes, on national forest lands. Currently, the Forest Service correctly considers e-bikes as motorized vehicles, but the proposal would set up e-bikes as separate categories of motorized vehicles. It makes no sense to add a separate classification system for e-bikes unless the agency anticipates making amendments to or revisions of travel plans to allow e-bikes where no motorized modes of transportation are currently allowed.
Recent research suggests that the speed and silence of mountain bikes threaten wildlife more than hikers or horseback riders. It is more of a concern with e-bikes, which can go farther and faster because of the electric motor. As such, the proposal has the potential to significantly impact the environment, so the agency should be analyzing such a proposal under the National Environmental Policy Act, rather than through a Forest Service Manual change.
Please ask the Forest Service to withdraw this proposal. Comments are due 10/26. The way to comment is via the agency’s clunky CARA system, the link is below.