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USFS should pay its fair share of solid waste fees

Letter: Glen Scott Swearingen Kooskia

In line with Mr. Ottoson’s Dec. 3 story, I point out the garbage dumpsters in the Middle Fork of the Clearwater Corridor have several problems.

First of all, the U.S. Forest Service will not allow for the construction of fences around them because of the “Wild and Scenic Rivers” congressional designation. Second, bears mandate the dumpsters have covers. Unfortunately, the design of these lids and the height of the un-recessed dumpsters mean many people cannot open them. Once they are open, a normal sized garbage bag won’t fit through.

During the winter the problems are not bad, but during tourist season the dumpsters fill up in one day. The U.S. Forest Service mandates visitors, “Pack It In, Pack It Out.” And the tourists do. They pack it to the nearby dumpsters paid for by the local residents. This leaves the area residents, who pay the solid waste fee, nowhere to dump their garbage.

The U.S. Forest Service is the largest landowner in Idaho County. They should build a transfer station in the scenic river corridor and pay their fair share of solid waste fees. It is another case of the USFS seeking funds from outside the agency to accomplish their mission (as has the Bureau of Land Management and the Nez Perce Tribe). It is double taxation.

Glen Scott Swearingen



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