For the week of July 1 thru July 7, 1998  

Changes for Sawtooth Wilderness go into effect

As a result of the Sawtooth Wilderness plan, approved in September 1997, several changes for the use of the wilderness area are now in effect.

The main changes involve the requirement for a self-issued permit, lower group and stock size limits, mandatory fire pan/blankets and new regulations for stock and dogs.

"The changes that are going into effect at this time are not a new decision," said Bill LeVere, Sawtooth National Forest supervisor. "We have finally completed processing the appeals that were received regarding my September 1997 decision. Now that the appeals process has been completed, we are ready to implement the new [plan]."

The following new changes are in addition to regulations already in effect:

  • Group size: May 1-Nov. 30: Limited to 12 people and 14 head of stock; Dec. 1-April 30: limited to 20 people and 14 head of stock.

  • Campfire closures: Alice/Twin Lakes, Toxaway/Farley Lakes, Alpine Creek, Goat/Warbonnet Drainages, the Scenic Lakes area on the western side of the Wilderness.

  • No campfires off-trail between July 1 and Labor Day.

  • Fire rings are no longer allowed. Campfires must be in a fire pan or on a fire blanket.

  • Dogs not allowed in the Goat/Warbonnet Drainage

  • All dogs must be on a leash from July 1 through Labor Day.

  • Stock: Goat/Warbonnet and Alpine Creek drainages are closed to all pack and saddle stock; horses are not allowed overnight at Edith Lake; all stock must be tethered when traveling on trails and are only allowed in campsites while loading and unloading equipment; grazing of stock on the eastern portion of the Wilderness is not allowed.

  • No permanent fixed anchors for rock climbing.

LeVere said a number of problems on the ground indicated that changes needed to take place to protect the wilderness area’s resources.

He said the more than 1,000 campsites, almost without exception, had signs of vegetation loss, scarring from campfires and tree damage.

"Our objective in developing the new management plan was to clearly define management objectives that will ensure the wilderness is maintained to the conditions described in the 1964 Wilderness Act," LeVere said.

Visitors to the wilderness areas can contact the Sawtooth National Recreation Area office in Stanley at 774-3000 for a complete list of use regulations.


Possessing or lighting fireworks is illegal on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service and the state of Idaho.

"Even though fireworks are legal on privately owned land, we want to caution people about setting off bottle rockets, cluster bombs or other high flying fireworks that could end up on adjacent public lands," said Andy Payne, BLM fire management officer.



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