As of Tuesday, December 5, 2017
I see in the local newspapers where the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests have adopted a travel plan and some wilderness areas. Some of the other forests have already done this. To me, this is nothing more than power and control over the general recreational public, mainly the senior citizens who developed the forest to what it is today. They and the handicapped cannot use it except in certain areas as they require ATVs or side-by-sides to enjoy the forest, and motorized vehicles are prohibited except in these certain acres. The Forest Service says that we are destroying too much wildlife habitat. Yes, full-sized motorized 4x4 vehicles in the hands of inconsiderate drivers definitely damage the forest and land; however, most senior citizens care for the lands, and in most cases after a rainstorm you can’t even tell where they have been; if you can see where they have been they have made an excellent hiking trail.
In regards to wilderness areas, all that is a signed paycheck for Forest Service people to monitor it. As an example, the Highline Fire started July 28, 2017. A U.S.F.S. spokesman said, “The fire could have been easily put out, but fire officials chose not to do so.” “The Highline Fire in an area that previously burned in 2000 where there are now piles of dried wood from that fire three to four feet tall.” “What the fire is doing is cleaning up that mess, creating a young stand of lodgepole pine or hopefully ponderosa.” “Elk and deer habitat will be replenished in an area that was too dense to support animals before.” These quotes were taken from the Aug. 24, 2017 issue of the Star News.
All the fires I have seen that burnt in the 35 years have grown back to either nothing, brush or lodgepoles so thick you can’t even walk through them. This is not prime deer and elk habitat. They destroyed the game habitat when they let the 2000 fire burn.
However, according to the Sept. 21, 2017, issue, it only cost $2.6 million to watch this fire burn.