White River is like Targhee

  Dear HCN,

The revised White River Forest Plan does not sound that different from the revised Targhee Forest Plan, so it is not all that precedent-setting (HCN, 1/17/00). The Targhee Forest Plan closed 93 percent of the forest to motorized use of any kind, including all summer cross-country ORV use, eliminated nine livestock allotments, set a minuscule timber harvest of 8 million board-feet down from 75 MBF before, and closed 900-plus miles of roads in addition to 1,245 miles closed between 1990 and 1997.

Of course, the Targhee Forest also received 14 appeals of its revised plan and when the forest released the first Travel Plan based on the direction in the Forest Plan, it received 1,272 appeals. We are now on the second appeal of the Travel Plan.

When you take a hard, in-your-face line, you often get a hard, in-your-face response. Sounds like that is the direction the White River Forest is headed. Good luck!

Jim Gerber

St. Anthony, Idaho

The writer is a former U.S. forester retired from the Targhee, now the public land advisor for the Fremont (Idaho) County Commissioners.

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