A huge thank you to U.S. Sen. Jim Risch who introduced a bill earlier this month to protect 13,900 acres in north Idaho as wilderness.
The Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act of 2016 would protect approximately 13,900 acres in the rugged range of mountains above Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River. Its low-elevation boreal and old-growth forests support a unique diversity of plants and Canada lynx, wolverine, mountain goats, moose and grizzly bears. Ancient cedar forests grow in the area’s scenic canyons, and recreational trails lead to stunning alpine vistas high above the valley bottoms.
The area is already off limits to timber harvest, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and mountain bikes. So access to the area would not change because of the legislation. If enacted, this would be the first wilderness designated in the Idaho Panhandle.
Support for Scotchman Peaks wilderness dates to the late 1970s. But in 2005, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks formed specifically to organize community support for wilderness designation for the area. Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness have gathered more than 6,700 signatures of individuals who support the proposal. In addition, the proposal is supported by the Bonner County Board of Commissioners, Idaho Forest Group, and the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.
Join us in thanking Sen. Risch for introducing the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act and ask Sen. Mike Crapo, Rep. Raul Labrador, and Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter to support the bill.
Sen. Mike Crapo
Sen. Jim Risch
Rep. Raul Labrador
Gov. Butch Otter