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Comments sought on IDPR grant proposals

KIFI

JEROME, Idaho (KIFI) — The Sawtooth National Forest seeks public comments on several proposed projects for which the forest is seeking grant money from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Each year, the State of Idaho awards funds raised through the sale of a variety of boating, recreation, and off-road vehicle stickers to public land agencies through a grant application process. Public support of these projects is a consideration of funding.

The following Sawtooth National Forest projects are up for grant funding consideration:

  • Bear Creek Transfer Camp Improvements – This Recreation Vehicle Fund grant request would allow staff to replace fire rings, picnic tables, site markers and to add new metal utility tables to each campsite.  A new information board, directional signage, road maintenance and a graveled-surface parking area would improve the camping experience and improve recreational vehicle access. Contact for this project is Steve Frost, who can be reached at 208-764-3202, via e-mail at steven.frost@usda.gov or by mail sent to Frost’s attention at Fairfield Ranger District, P.O. Box 189, Fairfield, ID, 83327.
  • Fairfield Ranger District Motorized Trails – This grant request would allow staff to conduct early season trail maintenance and tree removal on over 300 miles of trails to ensure they are readily available for public use. Funding would also facilitate trail tread repairs, brushing, short trail re-routes and other heavy trail maintenance on our motorized and non-motorized trails. Specific heavy trail maintenance would be performed on Willow Creek Trail #018 (Centennial Trail). Funds would also be used to help continue maintenance and educational patrols into the fall hunting season. Contact for this project is Steve Frost, who can be reached at 208-764-3202, via e-mail at steven.frost@usda.gov or by mail sent to Frost’s attention at Fairfield Ranger District, P.O. Box 189, Fairfield, ID, 83327.
  • Fairfield Ranger District Snowmobiles – This Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund grant request would allow recreation staff to replace two snowmobiles used to manage the snowmobile recreation program on the district.  Sleds would be used for winter patrols for registration compliance, search and rescue, warming hut maintenance, and to manage groomed trails and open riding areas.  The current snowmobiles have exceeded their useful life. Contact for this project is Steve Frost, who can be reached at 208-764-3202, via e-mail at steven.frost@usda.gov or by mail sent to Frost’s attention at Fairfield Ranger District, P.O. Box 189, Fairfield, ID, 83327.
  • Ketchum Ranger District Heavy Trail Maintenance – This Recreation Trails Program grant request would fund heavy trail maintenance on 184 miles of the approximately 400 miles of motorized and non-motorized trails and their associated trailheads on the Ketchum Ranger District. There has been a documented increase in use on many major front-country district trails, and the trail crew has diligently serviced the needs associated with this increased impact. However, as a result of the increased use, the trailhead infrastructure and backcountry trails have not received their regularly scheduled maintenance. Funding these actions will mitigate resource damage, address safety concerns, enhance visitor education efforts, and increase trail opportunities. Contacts for this project are Zach Poff at Zachary.poff@usda.gov or Justin Blackstead at justin.blackstead@usda.gov.
  • Ketchum Ranger District E-bikes – This Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund grant request would fund two e-bikes and a two compatible trailers for use by the Ketchum Ranger District Trail Crew on the district’s 230-mile motorized trail system, which is currently maintained on foot. The e-bikes would allow staff to more easily improve access to motorized trails, providng for greater trail connectivity and significantly increasing the productivity of the Ketchum Ranger District Trail Crew. The addition of e-bikes would also be used to support volunteer involvement in trail maintenance. Contacts for this project are Zach Poff at Zachary.poff@usda.gov or Justin Blackstead at justin.blackstead@usda.gov.
  • Ketchum Ranger District E-bikes – This Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund grant request would fund two e-bikes and a two compatible trailers for use by the Ketchum Ranger District Trail Crew on the district’s 230-mile motorized trail system, which is currently maintained on foot. The e-bikes would allow staff to more easily improve access to motorized trails, providng for greater trail connectivity and significantly increasing the productivity of the Ketchum Ranger District Trail Crew. The addition of e-bikes would also be used to support volunteer involvement in trail maintenance. Contacts for this project are Zach Poff at Zachary.poff@usda.gov or Justin Blackstead at justin.blackstead@usda.gov.
  • Sawtooth Avalanch Center Snowmobiles and Trailer Replacement – This Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund grant request would be used to replace an aging snowmobile and snowmobile trailer. Avalanche center forecasters would use the equipment for public motorized-user outreach, avalanche education, maintaining remote weather stations, and collecting field data to produce daily backcountry avalanche forecasts, warnings, and public safety products. Contact for this project is Ethan Davis, who can be reached at 208-622-0095, via e-mail at ethan.davis@usda.gov,  or by mail sent to Davis’ attention at Ketchum Ranger District, P.O. Box 2356, Ketchum, ID, 83340.
  • Law Enforcement Snowmobiles – This Off-Road Motor Vehicle Fund grant request would be used to replace two snowmobiles used to enforce ski boundaries, wilderness areas, and registration stickers – one for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and one for the McCall Ranger District of the Payette National Forest. The current snowmobiles have exceeded their useful life. Contact for this request is Patrol Captain Jade Sumsion, who can be reached at 208-423-7558 or via e-mail at steven.sumsion@usda.gov.
  • Skyline Trail Heavy Maintenance and Trailhead Improvement – This grant request would fund heavy trail maintenance on the 14.9 mile-long single track motorized Skyline Trail in the Albion Mountains. Maintenance would include brushing, repairing tread, and replacing and installing directional signs, new trailhead entrance signs, and a new information and topo map boards at trailheads. Contact for this project is Daniel Fischer, who can be reached at 208-677-8304, via e-mail at daniel.fischer@usda.gov, or by mail sent to Fischer’s attention at Minidoka Ranger District, 2306 Hiland Ave, Burley ID 83338.
  • South Hills Heavy Maintenance and Trailhead Improvement – This grant request would fund heavy  trail maintenance on 40 miles of single-track motorized and 34 miles of 50-inch-wide all-terrain vehicle trails in the South Hills, specifically on the Cassia Division of the Minidoka Ranger District. The work completed would include brushing, repairing tread,  and adding width-limiting barriers and new all-terrain vehicle-width crossovers. Staff would also replace and install directional signs, new trailhead entrance signs, and new information and topo map boards. Contact for this project is Daniel Fischer, who can be reached at 208-677-8304, via e-mail at daniel.fischer@usda.gov, or by mail sent to Fischer’s attention at Minidoka Ranger District, 2306 Hiland Ave, Burley ID 83338.
  • South Hills/Pettit Campground Improvements – This grant request would allow staff to replace the two 1950s-era vault toilet restrooms with contemporary concrete vault toilets. The grant will also pay to repair several picnic table, replace site markers, replace the campground entrance signs, and install an information/registration board. Contact for this project is Daniel Fischer, who can be reached at 208-677-8304, via e-mail at daniel.fischer@usda.gov, or by mail sent to Fischer’s attention at Minidoka Ranger District, 2306 Hiland Ave, Burley ID 83338.
  • Sawtooth National Recreation Area Motorized Trail Maintenance – This Off-Road Motor Vehicle grant request would allow staff to address deferred maintenance on 100 miles of motorbike and all-terrain vehicle trails in the White Cloud, Smoky, Boulder, Sawtooth, and Salmon River Mountains. Work would include removing trees, brushing, signing, improving drainage, repairing trail tread, and repairing broken structures. Contact for this project is Caitlin Frawley, who can be reached at 208-774-3032, via e-mail at caitlin.frawley@usda.gov, or by mail sent to Frawley’s attention at Sawtooth National Recreation Area, 5 North Fork Canyon Road, Ketchum, ID. 83340.
  • Queens River Loop – This Recreational Trail Program grant request would be used to for maintenance on the trails comprising the Queens River Loop in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Additionally, the project will include maintenance on 60 miles of diverse-use motorized and non-motorized trails in the Sawtooth Mountains. Work will involve removing downfall, brushing, signing, improving drainage, and reestablishing trail tread.  Contact for this project is Caitlin Frawley, who can be reached at 208-774-3032, via e-mail at caitlin.frawley@usda.gov, or by mail sent to Frawley’s attention at Sawtooth National Recreation Area, 5 North Fork Canyon Road, Ketchum, ID. 83340.

Comments on these projects should be directed to project proponents listed in each project summary. Comments are most helpful if received by Jan. 16. 2023.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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