Road Closure Meeting With the Payette National Forest Highlights

By Scott Amos, Letter to the Editor, Yellow Pine Times, May 25, 2010

Folks from Big Creek and I did attend the meeting with the Payette National Forest office in McCall today. Much material was gathered which was not otherwise available to the public. It shows that the USFS believes there is only one job in Yellow Pine related to tourism and 40 government employees reside in the Yellow Pine area.

I started to offer the loan of my calculator to the PNF, but figured with their government budget they should have plenty. Then I thought they may have not been sufficiently task trained in the operation of calculators. I held a brief class with present PNF employees and counted five businesses in and around Yellow Pine. I even used a visual aid, my fingers on one hand, but it was like explaining differential calculus to a kindergartner. I really got a lot of blank stares when I explained some of the five businesses in fact have MORE than one employee, and one employee does not run, operate, and maintain all five businesses simultaneously. Therefore, I will offer a class free of charge to any PNF employees who are interested in operating, maintaining, and understanding calculators. They can even be clean and green solar calculators, if they prefer.

Clearly being alone in the woods for long periods of time with the hazardous fumes from our incinerated forests has affected the understanding they once had of calculator operations and basic math. Deciding one employee in tourism was too hard a concept, we did not dare talk about the 40 missing government workers with no Yellow Pine mailing addresses. That material will be offered in subsequent advanced government mathematics which is too advanced for introductory classes and could not be offered due to time constraints in explaining it to the students.

RS2477 Roads

From this point the discussion has been deemed to go to appeals. We briefly discussed RS2477 roads, but the PNF thinks we should spend lots of federal, state, and county money to find out that which we’ve already agreed upon as valid; i.e. yes many of the roads the county claims as their right of way ARE county RS2477 roads, but you, I, and the folks who don’t spend as much of the government money as we can aren’t qualified to settle the debate. Sounds like only a highly paid federal judge can read the documents we currently hold [presented by highly paid government lawyers] and say “yes, sounds like you’ve got a valid point.” Even though the PNF agrees the county has a valid point in claiming RS2477 jurisdiction.

The West Side Road to My Property

The representative present today stated on behalf of Suzanne Rainville, Forest Supervisor, that the roads (including my driveway) that she deemed “unworthy of public comment” would be “closed by de facto.” In other words, the roads the public wasn’t allowed to comment on will likely be obliterated, removed, and destroyed, even though some of them may qualify for protection due to their historical value under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1963.

The NHPA states:

(1)(A) The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to expand and maintain a National Register of Historic Places composed of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.

and that

(B) Properties meeting the criteria for National Historic Landmarks established pursuant to paragraph (2) shall be designated as “National Historic Landmarks” and included on the National Register, subject to the requirements of paragraph (6).

The National Historical Preservation Act of 1963 can and does include roads. Look up Historic Route 66 [here].

My driveway, Smith Creek Road, Three Mile Road, Hennesey Meadows Road, the Old Thunder Mountain Road, the Frog Pond Road, the Road Adjacent to the Frog Pond, and the Road Across from the Trail to Buckhorn Lake, are all historic and significant, especially to local residents. According to Yellow Pine legend and some maps dug from their dusty tombs these historical roadways are much older than the Route 66.

Just a thought.


Note: see also Yellow Pine Road Workshop Planned [here], Payette Road Closure Appeal Meeting [here], and Boise NF and Payette NF Post-2007 Fire(s) Photos [here].

26 May 2010, 10:03am
by Just Another

The Payette National Forest, in their environmental impact study for the Big Creek and Yellow Pine Travel Plan, declared that closing roads in Valley County would have a significant affect on businesses, “with the exception of Yellow Pine.” In fact, their study, conducted by Clem Pope, declares “there is only 1 job in Yellow Pine directly related to tourism and that would be affected by the coming road closures.”

All the businesses in Yellow Pine depend on tourism. In already hard economic times, here is a list of businesses which will be directly affected by the road closures. I have numbered them to aid Payette NF employees to help count, kind of like a “counting game.”

1. Wapiti Meadow Ranch
2. Zena Creek Ranch
3. Alpine Village
4. The Yellow Pine Lodge
5. Murph’s RV Park and Mary’s little white cabins
6. The Yellow Pine General Store
7. The Corner Bar
8. The Silver Dollar Grill
9. The Yellow Pine Tavern (presently for sale but who will buy it if there are no tourists?)

9 1/2. Small seasonal businesses that depend on tourists, such as the shuttle drivers during river rafting season and folks who work seasonally cleaning cabins, etc.

10. The two local outfitters are also seasonal tourist-based businesses.

11. if and when rebuilt, the Big Creek Lodge (gotta get gas in YP to get there!)

A couple of cents worth.

signed: Just Another Yellow Pine Resident who doesn’t want our town “regulated” into oblivion, like Cabin Creek and so many other communities forced out of business by the USFS.



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