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Letters To The Editor

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Editorial Policy: Letters to the Editor may be up to 250 words in length. A handwritten signature (unless emailed), address and telephone number must be included. Letters must be received by no later than Monday at noon. Letters should pertain to a local issue and not be libelous or distasteful. Letters may be edited for content and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Clearwater Progress.

Letters to the Editor Print E-mail

It’s tough to understand USFS

     I find it ironic and disturbing that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is asking local residents to support a $150,000 Idaho State Parks Grant for wooden walkways at Fenn Pond along the Selway River at the ranger station. Moreover, they began the project without full funding of a project that has not been properly maintained for years.

     Years ago, as the logging was ground to a halt, I heard endless statements that recreation was the future. Now, in reality, the feds shut down Dworshak Park and Idaho State Parks took over, though state resources are miniscule comparatively. The USFS trails program is underfunded and they are considering privatization for local campsites. There is no federal money for recreation, though there is federal control.

     However, ironically, the USFS has money for the “decommission” of old roadways, which are so overgrown they are impassable. What does decommission mean?

     Recently near Syringa, the USFS paid a private contractor to bring in heavy equipment and widen the old 10-foot-wide overgrown roads to a 30-foot-wide path that looks like something out of the movie, Ferngully. The trees were laid down such that no ordinary hiker could get up one of the local’s favorite trails. The contractor put in a new recreation trail, which too is nearly impassable.

     During this summer’s Johnson Bar Fire, several of these old roads were easily opened to provide for firebreaks. The USFS should just leave these roads as they are, so they would be available as firebreaks for the Syringa area forest-urban interface.

     It is ironic too, that Heather Berg’s letter to the editor in regard to Fenn Pond, tells people that if they have questions or concerns to call her. Each time I call the USFS, I leave voice mails that go unanswered. I sent a letter volunteering to help improve the new Syringa trail on Nov. 18, 2014. I have not received an answer.

Glen Scott Swearingen


Editor’s Note: Mr. Swearingen reported that District Ranger Seth Cole contacted him about his letter on Dec. 8.

Compliments and complaints of USFS

     I will have to compliment the USFS on the three logging jobs behind my house, as far as tree spacing and the general look of the land it looks good but several things hit a sour note, consequently I believe that they had two things in mind.

     #1 They closed all the secondary roads which in turn denied all motorized access which includes everyone who cannot walk and must have a motorized vehicle to enjoy the forest. I thought this was multiple use public land or is there no such thing as multiple use land anymore? However we must pay our taxes or go to jail. Somehow this does not seem fair to me, pay your taxes yet get nothing in return. By closing the roads they also denied emergency vehicle access which includes fire engines to put out forest fires.

     #2 They put all skid roads back to the original slope and then filled them with old logs and trash, what could have been a firebreak just became a conductor as the logs will burn leading the fire across the trail.

     If a fire gets started, which it will eventually, the area is designed to burn uncontrolled unless they can get a helicopter which might not be available. What I have seen of fighting a fire from the air is a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars. When if the roads were open it could probably be done by a fire engine with a lot less money spent. However the USFS and other forms of our government are designed for one thing: waste taxpayers’ money and line their own pockets.

     Yes the USFS is our forest and our local economy’s worst enemy NO EXCEPTIONS!

Leonard Wallace

New Meadows

Wolf Problems? Print E-mail

The following list of numbers is offered for anyone who experiences problems with wolves. 


Suspected Livestock Predation

Call USDA Wildlife Services, 1-866-487-3297 or contact Justin Mann, local Wildlife Specialist at 208-869-3297. Personnel will be dispatched to investigate.


Frequent Wolf Sightings

Contact the Nez Perce Tribe, Curt Mack at 208-634-1060. They will gather and record information, then provide advice.


Report Sighting of a Wolf

Go to Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game website to fill out a wolf report form: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/


Health and Human Safety Concerns

A wolf may be killed if life and human safety is at risk. Contact Idaho Fish & Game at 208-799-5010 or call Nez Perce Tribe at 208-634-1061 or 911 Sheriff dispatch. All wolf kills will be investigated.


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