Viewpoint: Allowing motorized use in Hoodoo will ruin habitat
Montana Backcountry Alliance
The Hoodoo Roadless Area (HRA), located in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, is one of the wildest swaths of land in the lower 48. It contains critical habitat for sensitive species like wolverines, mountain goats, and lynx, and is a precious resource for quiet winter recreation in an increasingly noisy world.
In their recently released draft plan, the Forest Service has proposed to open almost 40,000 acres of the HRA to motorized use.
This increase in motorized activity will not only validate the illegal use that has been occurring for years, but will have very real impacts on habitat quality for species already stressed by shrinking and declining winter habitat.
There are many other landscapes where motorized winter use is already established and snowmobile use will not further compound impacts on remaining quiet places.
We firmly oppose the proposal to open these acres of the HRA to snowmobiling, and instead urge the Forest Service to maintain the HRA as a refuge for wildlife and quiet winter recreation.
This proposed plan will affect the management of the forest for decades, and there is still time to act by submitting an objection to the Forest Service by January 29.
Zac Cheviron, Leah Samberg, Adam Switalski, Cassidy Randall, Derek Goldman, Chris Kussmaul are board members of Montana Backcountry Alliance