The Clearwater Basin Collaborative has released their “win-win” proposal for protecting lands in the Clearwater Basin. The only problem is, the proposed legislation will do more harm than good, if carried out! Here’s why:
- The proposal could allow the Idaho Fish & Game Department to “manage for fish & wildlife populations” in new designated wilderness areas–code word for landing helicopters and using other motorized/mechanized equipment. This language is contrary to the 1964 Wilderness Act.
- The proposal could allow outfitters to maintain existing structures and/or camps in newly designated wilderness, grant outfitters veto authority over the Forest Service in whether or not a structure/camp ever needs to be relocated, and would pay outfitters for maintaining trails on the national forest. The 1964 Wilderness Act prohibits commercial services and makes a narrow and limited exception for services like outfitting. This proposal does just the opposite.
- The proposal will support a North-South All-Terrain Vehicle Route between Avery and Elk City. We have serious concerns about what this means.
- There are approximately 1.5-million acres of roadless wildlands in the Clearwater Basin. Besides the potential toxic language in future legislation, only 1/5 or 300,000-acres will receive wilderness designation. Paltry to say the least.
- A significant increase in logging of roaded areas on the national forests, like Clear Creek.
Stay tuned for further analysis of this so-called “win-win” proposal.