Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator
On July 28, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Walla Walla District in opposition of the Lucky Peak Lake View Trail, proposed by the South West Idaho Mountain Biking Association.
The proposed trail would run through the Boise River Wildlife Management Area (BRWMA), a critically important wintering habitat area for 5,000 – 7,000 mule deer and 1,200 elk. The BRWMA also supports populations of wild turkey; upland game birds including chukar, gray partridge, California quail, dusky grouse, ruffed grouse, mourning doves; and a diversity of other wildlife species. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) expressed serious concerns surrounding the impact that the proposed trail would have to wintering big game, in addition to habitat fragmentation, wildlife disturbance, invasive plant species introduction, erosion, increased fire danger, and hunting and fishing activities.
The existing management conditions on the BRWMA have struck a balance between the best interests of wildlife and the needs of various user groups through purposeful human access management. Guided by the BRWMA 2014-2023 Management Plan, IDFG has determined that in order to minimize the effects that hiking, biking, running, mountaineering, dog walking, and other non-wildlife-based activities have on wildlife, no new non-motorized routes or access points will be developed on the BRWMA.
Due to the potential negative impacts that the Lucky Peak Lake View Trail Proposal poses to wildlife and its habitat, CSF encouraged the USACE to support the “Alternative 1 (No Action Alternative)” of the current Environmental Assessment. It is the opinion of CSF that the proposed changes to the existing conditions on the BRWMA are overly risky to the current homeostasis.
CSF has been collaborating with other national organizations in the outdoor sporting community, bringing attention to the likely negative impacts of the proposed trail system and encouraging their participation in the comment period. Public comment for the Lucky Peak Lake View Trail Proposal ends on August 20, 2020.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?