local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page

 last week

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs
Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of August 6 - 12, 2003


Parks and Rec moves ahead with ATV trail

Local representative votes against funding

Express Staff Writer

At its April meeting in Post Falls, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation’s governing board voted 5-1 to offer itself a matching grant totaling $86,250 for use in establishing a 250-mile all-terrain-vehicle loop that would connect Challis to Arco.

Board member and Sun Valley City Councilman Latham Williams objected to the funding and said the proposed project, as planned, is too big and understaffed.

Though the initial project has already been scaled back from 460 miles by eliminating spur trails, Williams suggested beginning with a smaller trial project that could later be increased in scale.

He also said improved off-road recreational opportunities like the Parks and Recreation plan should be accompanied by closures of other areas, "particularly in those areas like Copper Basin that are most sensitive."

According to the meeting’s minutes, Williams offered the only discussion on the topic before a vote was taken to allocate a package of grants, including the $86,250 for the ATV project.

ATV use in Idaho is booming. In the five years preceding 2001, off-highway-vehicle registrations rose from 27,700 to 55,100. Today there are more than 70,000 registered in Idaho.

Parks and Recreation managers said the proposed "demonstration project" is designed to help Parks and Recreation employees monitor and evaluate potential management strategies for ATV use in Idaho.

In general, the western half of the 250-mile loop would proceed south from Challis through the dry foothills of the White Cloud Mountains to the White Knob Mountains, west of Mackay, and continue south over Antelope Creek Pass into Bureau of Land Management range land west of Arco.

From Arco, the loop would circle the southern end of the Lost River Range to Howe, and then proceed up the Little Lost River drainage over the Hawley Mountains to the Donkey Hills and the Pahsimeroi River drainage. West of May, the ATV loop would cross the Pahsimeroi Mountains to reach Challis.

The land within the loop’s perimeter could encircle the entire states of Delaware or Rhode Island.

Williams said the scale is too much.

"We need to start with a smaller pilot project, perhaps a loop around Mackay, and evaluate the resource impacts, enforcement needs and customer issues before considering an expansion beyond the pilot project," Williams said at the April meeting, according to meeting minutes.

"As a department, we need to push ATV education forward faster, especially given the significant growth in ATV use that Idaho has experienced in the last decade," he continued. "We need to make ATV education classes more numerous and convenient, and we need to consider asking the Legislature to make ATV education mandatory in a manner similar to water education."



City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.