Public Comments

Below you will find public comments submitted to this website, updated Feb. 28, 2018. Comments older than one year have been archived.

General

 


I’m glad to give my vote for keeping the Palisades and Shoal Creek as Wilderness Study Areas if Wilderness isn’t recommended for the majority of these Federal lands. With the Palisades spanning two states and three counties, it seems unfair to all Americans for a group of people in Teton County, Wyoming to make a recommendation that could disqualify all of the Palisades WSA, 314,417 acres based on a recommendation on just 71,780 acres. The idea that the entire Palisades Wilderness Study Area could be jeopardized by a group of citizens in Teton County is wrong. I have a great respect for the committee members but I disapprove of the process. I’ve attended these meetings and find them extremely unwelcoming to public, we are allowed to speak in the last half hour of a four- hour meeting when everyone has tuned out and are ready to leave. When the WPLI was introduced to the public several years ago, the Ruckelshaus Institute explained the 1-5 finger voting procedure but seemed intent on discouraging anyone to vote with 5 fingers, this seems like a conflict of interests. I attended a meeting when the facilitator said “how can we get you to a 4?”, is this the role of a facilitator? I recently heard this voting procedure might be changing? Please keep the process transparent. I’m most familiar with the wildlands in the Palisades. In the summer when you can no longer park at Jenny Lake or other trailheads in Grand Teton National Park due to congestion, the Palisades is a quiet refuge for wildlife and people. With population projections in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, it would be a tragedy to open up this area to increased motorized recreation. Once protections are gone the door will be open for more development and loss of wildlife habitat unique to the Greater Yellowstone Area. Keep it wild.

Kim Springer

February 12, 2018

Having been a 44 year resident of Wyoming and having lived and worked in Teton County as well as my permanent home in Lander, I would like to add my perspective on the WSAs in Teton County. I don’t know if you are aware but both the Palisades and Shoal Creek WSA areas have potential and existing caves and could be significant karst landscape. The potential for significant cave in especially the Shoal Creek area is high. This has impact on the aquifers as caves are in the aquifers in many cases, especially here in Wyoming where the alpine nature of our caves makes the caves more recent and still forming. I would like to see you consider this important aspect to the areas, due to the fact that the landscape is a three dimensional structure in karst landscape more than in other landscapes.

Juan Laden

February 3, 2018

As a long time resident of Teton County, I am writing to urge that with only peripheral changes, the Palisades and Shoal Creek WSAs be designated as wilderness areas. I also support stronger protections for all currently defined roadless areas, using tools like “special management areas” or “national recreation areas” in these roadless areas to allow for more flexibility when it comes to managing types of recreation, like mountain biking and snowmobiling, that don’t negatively impact wildlife resources or the public land values in general.

Thanks very much,

Ben Read

January 10, 2018

Please register my support for as much designated wild land as possible in the Palisades and Shoal Creek WSAs.

Scott McGee

December 14, 2017

I am disturbed by this ALEC driven initiative of the Koch brothers. The origins of this process are the extractive industry masquerading as a partner to all forms of recreationists. Specifically, motorized and mechanized use. If permitted more access this paves the way for the extraction of oil, forest products and other. please wake tip to the origins of this Public Lands Initiative and know it goals, do not be a pawn for their plans.

James Springer

December 12, 2017

Please keep Teton County public lands wild. Wildlife must be protected. Excessive recreational and industrial uses that harm wildlife and its habitat should be restricted. Wilderness cannot be replicated.

Andrew Salter

December 11, 2017

If there are people trying to develop, exploit, pollute or diminish our public lands in any way, we must stop them. These are OUR LANDS. No robber barons allowed.

Jody Garland

December 11, 2017

I hope that when the team is deliberating on a recommendation some thought is given to the intrinsic wilderness values that exist in the areas being considered. It seems that the makeup of all of these teams, based on interest and human uses, will only result in carving up the land to meet people’s desires. Where do wildlife habitat, unique features, scientific value, and other purposes of wilderness come into the picture? I would also urge an overall look at areas with wilderness potential, not just the two WSAs. Thanks.

Susan Marsh

December 1, 2017

Dear Committee Members, On behalf of the Board of Advocates for Multi-Use of Public Lands (AMPL), we are pleased to submit for your consideration over 1,000 public comments in support of removing the Wilderness Study Area (WSA) designations from Palisades and Shoal Creek and protecting multi-use recreation opportunities throughout Teton, Sublette and Lincoln Counties in Wyoming, as well as Teton and Bonneville Counties in Idaho. AMPL has been collecting public comments in Teton County throughout the summer and wanted to share this valuable feedback with you. These public comments are available for your review at http://tiny.cc/amplcomments. Attached please find a letter with additional details. As advocates and representatives of the outdoor recreation community in Teton County, we would like to schedule a meeting at your earliest convenience. AMPL recognizes the Teton County WPLI Board has been tasked with making recommendations to the Teton County Commission, and that you are committed to letting that process play out, but we would appreciate the opportunity to update you on our efforts and provide background on the feedback we have been receiving. Thank you for your consideration and continued public service to our community. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sincerely,

Jesse Combs Board President, Advocates for Multi-Use of Public Lands

September 19, 2017

The Teton PLI needs to be more transparent. Right now, they are not providing important information to the public. 1. The Teton PLI needs to present an exercise on how this PLI will end. a. The voting process and how 1-5 votes work. b. Can a member block a proposal with a “5”? Explain scenarios where a blocking vote does not work and the proposal would still move to the next phase. c. Why is the Forest service so eager to make the WSA’s wilderness. What is the motive? d. Explain the options to the public on how this would end. 1. Wilderness or Mixed use proposed – everyone votes yes. 2. Wilderness or Mixed use proposed – not everyone votes yes with no blocking votes. 3. Wilderness or Mixed use proposed – not everyone votes yes with one or more blocking votes. 4. Does a blocking vote really block and kill a proposal? 5. All proposals are “blocked”, do the WSA’s retain their current designation or will the Forest Service change them anyway?

Byron Baker

August 8, 2017

The last meeting minutes are for the April 2017 meeting. When will the Teton PLI post the meeting notes for May June and July? Is this a way to keep the public uninformed?

Byron Baker

August 8, 2017

Dear WPLI board, I am writing to express my desire to see the Shoal Creek and Palisades area stay a designed Wilderness area. While I realize that Advocates for multi-use of public lands are lobbing at every mountain bike store in town, putting cards, fliers and encouraging folks to contact you to say otherwise, I disagree. I am a mountain biker, but I don’t think we need more trails to mountain bike or more areas to snowmobile. It is our wilderness designations that separate this country from most others. However we are the ones having the biggest impact on the environment. We do not need to continue to impact our surroundings in every possible way. “None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.”-John Muir

Sincerely, Carol Viau

July 16, 2017

To whom it may concern: Myself and a large group of volunteers within Teton County founded JH DIRT several years ago. jhdirt.com We have organized ourselves as a 501(c)(3) with the mission to invest in building sustainable trails while increasing motorized access on public lands. We have provided countless numbers of volunteer hours over the past several years in clearing, building and maintaining the currently open motorized trails in the Bridger Teton area including, Horsetail, Munger Mountain and Mosquito Creek. This past year, in conjunction with the Forest Service, we secured a large grant to improve and help sustain the Mosquito Creek motorized trail area. Along with this grant, we are in line to continue to donate volunteer time as well. We make an effort to police the group of riders we come in contact with and promote responsible use of the area we are fortunate enough to be able to recreate in. If we can be of any assistance in helping shaping the future use of this area, we would be more than welcome to sit down with anyone to provide our input and help preserve this beautiful area. Best regards, Kelly Akin

June 24, 2017

Hi all, Thanks for your commitment to this process; I don’t envy you the job you’re tasked with. I spoke briefly with Lisa after the program the other evening, and have one suggestion and one question for the group along the lines of our conversation: 1. To echo what Len Carlman and some others have suggested, I would strongly support the idea that the advisory committee use this process for a “bigger picture” look, and entertain making recommendations about much more than simply “what should be done w/ the WSA’s”. Now that the committee has been convened and process undertaken, with a somewhat long timeline, and the difficulties of finding consensus becoming clarified, perhaps thinking more broadly about the designations of these (and surrounding) public lands would help to bring in more enthusiasm and support for the process and investment in the outcome(s). 2. On the topic that Dan and others alluded to – “alternate” designations, or a “spectrum” of designations that may be considered, I would ask these questions and encourage you to ask them of yourselves: With no land managers on the committee (probably by design and also probably prudent), who will offer that kind of thinking? What process and resources will you avail yourselves of in determining and considering what other federal designations exist that might be appropriate for these areas, or whether perhaps this process might be an avenue through which to consider a new type of designation(s)? Do you feel that you have that expertise on the committee, or will there be some sort of invite of an individual or group to come in and strategize that with you? I would ask you to consider that the future options for WSA’s are not merely “capital W” Wilderness or release, but instead I hope that you will authentically investigate designations other than Wilderness or release. Your group may consider urging WCCA to move beyond the discussion of the title of various designations (e.g. National Conservation Area, National Recreation Area) and to instead research real examples. Perhaps it would benefit your committee, the Commissioners, the WCCA, and the public to produce a report with a matrix that lists several specific conservation units around the country, what they prohibit, and what they allow (i.e. name of unit, acreage, managing agency, state, checklist with “check” or “x” for hunting, hiking, mountain bikes, fishing, boating, snow machines, ATVs, motorcycles, oil and gas development, coal mining, camping, new road construction, hunting, hard rock mining, disposal of public land, disposal of mattresses or bodies or old car batteries, and so on). I believe there is legitimate confusion in our community, our state, and nationally about the range of designations, and as one of the questioners commented the other evening, the current politics around public lands are dangerous. Where there are opportunities for collaboration among groups who should be natural allies in conservation and can help oppose the transfer of federal lands, we should work to use those alliances to strengthen the access to and enjoyment of these special places – these goals are not incompatible with protection and conservation. Again, my thanks to you – you’ve got a tough road ahead! Mike, March 22, 2017
Being a Teton County, WY resident I was taken aback by the comment made by Wade Kaufeman of Driggs, Idaho given at the March 8th meeting at the Virginian and quoted in the Jackson Hole News and Guide… “ “Drop the WSA,” said Wade Kauffman, a Driggs, Idaho, resident who helped form Advocates for Multi-Use of Public Lands.” I doubt that the WCCA intended for individual, non-WY residents to be part of the WPLI process. Certainly, advocacy groups in which some proportion of their membership are WY residents should be allowed input into the WPLI process. But, personally I don’t believe that individual non-WY residents should be allowed to attend WPLI meetings. I would like to see WY drivers licenses checked before individuals gain entrance into WPLI public meetings. And, it’s my belief that only written or interactive-map comments by persons and advocacy groups with WY addresses should considered. All interactive map comments should be required to have the commenters name and address. Otherwise there is no accountability for the residency of the commenter. March 22, 2017
Shoal and Palisades WSA Public land used by multiple counties for various recreational purposes serve many different types of human recreational needs. This is why it is important to keep “Our Land” open for Multi-Use access to the public, rather than making only available to a few certain recreational types. To make the areas Wilderness would only compress and condense our ever populating valley’s Multi-Use Recreational needs. I’ve watched Land close and “access” for Our Multi-Use Lands close on a regular basis without validation in Teton county. In a county with frequent gridlock/traffic jams we can barely keep up with Infrastructure to support a functioning road system without back-up routes, development, and expansion. We need to have the Right to spread out and Use Our Land, not abuse. Change WSA Palisade/ Shoal to National Forest with Multi-Use Access to accommodate all types of use. After all this is a Wyoming PUBLIC Lands Initiative… Thank you

Matt Richards

March 21, 2017

I regularly mountain bike blacks canyon with friends. It is one of our favorite bike rides up near Jackson. Probably 10 times during the summer months. We also bike in the Jordan Canyon area and I know of many residents of Alpine interested in getting more mountain bike trails approved in the Alpine Palisades WSA area. The Alpine Cross Country Ski Association has also spoken with the Palisades district about grooming XCSki trails by the summer homes across from the Alpine Campground. Which we would need approval for motorized travel to do that. We treasure these areas as part of our “backyard” public lands. We love to recreate in the Palisades WSA and would prefer it NOT be designated as a Wilderness area. Thank you.

Sue Haun

March 13, 2017

These areas are our snowmobile, four wheelers hunting playgrounds please do not change usage it will destroy our economy and property values I have lived here my entire life please leave it alone!!

David Jenkins

March 12, 2017

My name is Byron Baker and I am a Director for Blue Ribbon Coalition / sharethetrails.org. I live in Alpine Wyoming and have been using the Shoal Creek and Palisades Wilderness Study areas for dirt bike and snowmobile recreation for 3 years. As an advocate for mixed use access to public lands for 17 years, I see a justifiable need to remove the Wilderness Study Area designation from Shoal Creek and Palisades WSAs. 1. The forest service has not provide evidence that these areas would benefit (in any way) from a “Wilderness” designation. 2. There is already over 80% of dedicated Wilderness in Teton County and the surrounding areas. There is no need for additional wilderness habitat at this point. 3. Snowmobiling and summer motorized recreation brings over $200,000,000.00 in revenue to the State of Wyoming. Wilderness designation stifles local economies. Wyoming needs more economic stimulus, not less. 4. There are over 30 businesses in Jackson Hole, Wyoming which benefit from Snowmobile, ATV/UTV, Dirt Biking / Dual Sport recreation visits. Many of the visitors come from all over the world to use mixed use / motorized trails in the county. 5. Over the last 30 years, the Forest Service has not documented any adverse affects caused by motorized recreation in these two Wilderness Study Areas. 6. Over the last 30 years, the Forest Service has not documented any biological/plant/water/soil damage due to motorized recreation. 7. Animals protected under the ESA have not been negatively impacted by motorized recreation over the last 30 years. 8. There have been no conflicts recorded between non-motorized and motorized recreationists. As a result, these two areas need the WSA designation removed. Many Thanks,

Byron Baker Director Blue Ribbon Coalition Alpine, WY

March 9, 2017

The closure of snowmobile access at Mosquito Creek is a huge issue this year. BC of this closure, the Philips trailhead parking lot is full every single weekend day for snowmobilers and there are usually about 5 or 6 skier cars there as well. Either ask the skiers to park elsewhere or re-open Mosquito Creek with room to park trucks. There have been several days this year where the avalanche danger would be higher in the Teton Pass terrain versus the Mosquito Creek drainage terrain…now with that access taken away, more snowmobilers, including me, are forced to take on higher risks because of the lack of access.

Steve Cole

March 9, 2017

There is absolutely no reason for any more wilderness designation in any of these areas. Wilderness discriminates against any citizen who cannot own horses due to cost and all who have physical limitations. Multiple use management allows forest managers flexibility to meet the needs of all citizens and still protect our forests. Wilderness designation locks up and discriminates against the majority of forest users. No more wilderness areas are needed in light of modern forest management practices. Local forest users absolutely disagree with these designations in these areas in southeast Idaho and western Wyoming. It is a tiny minority of environmental extremists that support wilderness designations. Please do not lock up more of our forest lands.

Brett Burton

February 21, 2017

I have grown up recreating in this beautiful area. We do not damage the environment or animal life. We never leave our tracks behind when the snow melts you would never know we were there. National forest should be saved for people to enjoy. I agree that we need to be good stewards of our resources and people that don’t respect that should be fined. But don’t punish all of us for the dumb actions of a few.

Ryan Sears

February 20, 2017

I am wondering what makes the NFS land north of highway WY 22 to Teton National Park Exempt from this Wildness Study Area?

Jacob Stark

January 19, 2017

Recent research published in December, “Effects of Recreation on Animals Revealed as Widespread through a Global Systematic Review” States that non-motorized recreation caused negative reactions in animals 1.2 times greater than motorized. Here is their quite: “Counter to public perception, non-motorized activities had more evidence for a negative effect of recreation than motorized activities, with effects observed 1.2 times more frequently. ” Time to study up boys and girls. Please do the right thing, leave this land open for all to explore how they find it best for them. Your ill-advised agenda only further concentrates motorized activities.

Ryan Boe

January 13, 2017

As recreationists, we have lost enough of our access to our public lands.

Jay Allen

January 13, 2017

I have lived in Victor, ID since 2006 and Jackson, WY for the five years before that. I love this place. I hike, run, climb, ski, float, ride bicycles on the roads and trails, walk the dogs, and generally just enjoy playing, working, eating, sleeping, and just existing in this place. In the spring and summer of 2015, I set out to explore the Snake River Range, the last expanse of mountainous terrain left for me to explore that borders Teton Valley. I ended up connecting a full 100 mile loop that circumnavigates the range using Victor as a starting and finishing point. Many trails at the northern and western edges were well-travelled, well-worn, and some even displayed varying degrees of expertly performed Forest Service maintenance. It was the southern and eastern edges that were wild. So wild, in fact, that no trail even existed anymore despite the dotted line shown on many of the maps I viewed. I spent an unplanned night outside at 8,000 feet on the side of a hillside under a fir tree one night after losing the trail coming down towards Red Creek in the Snake River Canyon. Such a wild and beautiful place, but virtually inaccessible for anyone to enjoy many of the areas that used to be accessible, but were left to be reclaimed by nature. Virtually nobody goes there anymore. Places like Thompson Peak, Quaker Flat, Spaulding Basin, Burnt Timber Canyon, Red Creek, Red Peak, Observation Peak, and North Indian Creek Pass. These trails are on the verge of disappearing completely where once they appeared to have been distinctly well-travelled. I have no issue with the WSA designation. But this large mountain range is not serving the outdoor community to its potential because much of the access has been overgrown, unmaintained, and closed off. But I feel these trails are a tremendous asset to the individuals who would otherwise enjoy them were they to become more easily passable. As this area stands now, there is virtually no use occurring in many of these spots. I am offering to spearhead an effort to re-establish these trails along this 100 mile loop. I am asking for one weekend out of the summer in which to host a 100 mile footrace around this loop route. In doing so, I can bring a short burst of low-impact foot traffic to the trail network on an annual basis as well as provide hundreds of volunteer trail maintenance labor hours each year to ensure the trails stay clear (each race participant will be responsible for volunteering at least 8 hours of trail work). The trail work will be organized through the Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forest Service offices to ensure trail standards are met and kept. I have previously approached the recreation manager at the Caribou-Targhee office and was quickly shut down to any possibility of an “official event” taking place within the WSA per the “federal guidelines” governing the WSA. I have come to learn that WSAs are managed only by their own respective offices and can determine their own unique set of rules as they deem suitable. Hence why the Handie’s Peak WSA in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado allows the Hardrock 100 mile trail run to take place within its borders every July. In short, I do believe the WSA designation does good things such as limit motorized use during the summer months. I’ve spent many miles running and mountain biking through the Big Hole Range and am constantly dismayed by the rampant motorcycle destruction that is visible throughout that range. I’ve witnessed it first hand as recently as last October as I watched two dirt bikers repeatedly tearing out across an open muddy meadow below Garns Mountain leaving a deep scar of open earth behind them. I do not wish that for the Snake River Range. But I do believe that increased foot traffic to these little known areas can provide for more recreational opportunities for those who seek them and perhaps provide an area of wilderness compared to the crowds in the increasingly crowded National Parks.

Sincerely, Trevor Garner

January 12, 2017

Hello, I have grown up enjoying and exploring this area with my family and friends on snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and mountain bikes. I have grown to love nature here and hope to show others the beauty of the area also. Making the area wilderness would deter many from including myself from using this beautiful land. Please leave it open. Sincerely, Dylan Boyce

January 11, 2017

Recently purchased a home in this area that backs national Forrest. As avid snowmobilers we would hate to see our “backyard” closed to all our favorite activities!

Jessica

January 11, 2017

I use this area often it’s great area to ride I pay taxes and should be able to ride with my kids there some day. There is 0 reason to change the designation. When it’s been like the way it is for years. Leave it alone no one is asking you to do this. There’s plenty of wilderness already. The county south of jackson already said no dice. The first meeting brought out everyone against it and not a word was said in favor. Just leave it alone. You have seen the community rally behind not shutting down more land. The heli ski community also wants it to be left alone or they lose there operations. Your going to do way more harm then good and cost the taxpayers a lot of money to patrol that area as remote as it is because people are not going to just stop using it. Enough is enough.

C sassi

January 10, 2017

I don’t see what the purpose is to close this special area to wilderness. I’ve been riding this area from Victor, Swan Valley, Sheep Creek, Indian creek, little elk, blowout, wolf creek to Alpine and the Mosquito side for many years it’s a unique area to all users of snowmobiles, mountain bikers and heli skiers. We are all getting along as a community and what regulations that already sit in place seem to be working. I’ve ridden snowmobiles all over the North West and this area is truly our last great big mountain riding area. It’s as close as you can get to riding in BC but rather your in Idaho and Wyoming. There’s already plenty of wilderness in both states so why close more areas down? We as users have much respect for the environment. Not only do people from Idaho and Wyoming use this area but people travel from all over the Midwest to come experience the adventure of riding these zones. So not only will it effect motorized users or mountain bikers but it will effect our local economy’s from shutting down more areas.

Tony Jenkins,

January 10, 2017

I enjoy 4-wheeling with my family and friends in that area and would like to see it remain as it is so we can continue to enjoy this great family activity!

Tom Tucker

January 9, 2017

Please do not restrict use of this land from motorized use.

Jeremy Mayrose

January 9, 2017

I oppose! I use this land to mountain bike, dirt bike and snowmobile. I have been able to teach my kids respect of God’s great land and much much more. I will be teaching my grandchildren the same precious values. Leave it alone.

Brad Anderson

January 9, 2017

No more wilderness! Designate multiple use. Share the land with many types of users.

Tom reifsnyder

January 5, 2017

I am commenting to oppose the wilderness designation proposal in the Big Holes. My son and I have spent many hours together in this area riding and camping. The trails are challenging and honestly, there just aren’t that many trails like Indian Creek anymore. Please do not designate this area as wilderness and lock so many people out of enjoying nature the way they choose to enjoy nature. Thank you,

Michael Anderson, January 4, 2017

What can we do to stop this? That is a fun area to enjoy year round and shutting it down to the general population for motorized travel would be a shame.

Chris Wilcox

January 4, 2017

I snowmobile in this entire range all winter long. During the summers I mountain bike and motorbike the same areas.

Justin Lower

January 2, 2017

Snowmobiles are low impact as their Trails Melt Away and we are being squeezed into less and less area every year there is already more than enough Wilderness Area.

Dave

January 1, 2017

Enough wilderness already. Leave the forest as is for all to enjoy whatever there mode of transport. The people that want the wilderness have more than enough that they are not fully utilizing. Us old folks need to have the means to get to the forest by means of snowmobiles, off road vehicles etc. also. Please say NO to this area for wilderness.

Don Snider

January 1, 2017

Being a Minnesota resident and dedicated snowmobile rider, my friends, family and I look forward to traveling out west to the mountains when the snow fly’s! I and a great number of other back country snowmobiling enthusiasts look forward to getting the chance to ride some of the best terrain and see some absolutely amazing views! Its a passion we all share and it would be greatly disappointing and a shame for all of us if we were to lose this awesome destination and not just for people who have already experienced it but for future back country enthusiasts! We make the long distance trips to go see views no one else has ever seen, to go places that would be normally impossible, its the excitement, a release from reality and extremely rewarding. I am one of many who doesn’t want to see this area disappear!!

Dylan Prestrud

January 1, 2017

Please continue to allow the traditional use of over the snow motorized vehicles on the palisades and shoal creek wsa’s,

Scott Long

January 1, 2017

We need trails to ride so that we can enjoy the outdoor atmosphere. If all recreational trails are taken away, people will only begin to do what so many do now and ride illegally on trails. Trails are for us who enjoy to be outdoors. Keep it public.

Katie LeDoux

January 1, 2017

Palisades WSA

Dear Advisory Board, I wanted to reach out to thank you for your work in protecting and preserving our public lands. I am reaching out specifically about an issue that myself and most nonresident hunters have about many of the current WSA’s and any proposal to make these lands Wilderness areas. Currently, their is an antiquated law in place which prevents non- residents from hunting without a guide in Wilderness areas. By converting the WSA’s to Wilderness areas, millions of acres of current public land will become inaccessible fo hunting by non residents. I fully support efforts to continue to manage and preserve these public lands, but I and thousands of other nonresident hunters can’t support any measure that makes it illegal for me to hunt on our public lands without spending thousands of dollars on a guide. I would strongly encourage the WPLI advisory board to work to fix this law which serves no purpose than to prop up the hunting guides in Wyoming. There is nothing to prevent me or anyone else to hunt, fish, hole or camp in these areas. The only restriction is place is the law than prevents non residents from hunting without a guide. Based on this, it is clear that the law is not in anyway in place to “protect” non residents from entering the remote backcountry. Thank you again for your efforts. If you can help to change this law, I and likely many thousands of other non-resident members of the Back Country Hunters and Anglers would support the transition of much of these lands to Wilderness where they can be protected for generations to come.

Thank you, Chuck Krueger

January 26, 2018

I was highly skeptical of this entire process, its origins and its direction from the outset, primarily because it placed any consideration of Wilderness or wildlife habitat needs absolutely last; it was foreordained to fail by design. The Ruckleshaus Institute starts out with a mandate for consensus when all the stakeholders knew that this was impossible; the Palisades WSA in particular had already become Everyone’s Mechanized Playground long before this bass-ackwards process was launched. Now that Liz Cheney has taken it upon herself to subvert the WPLI process to the best of her ability, the conservation groups of Wyoming have virtually nothing to gain by fighting for a Palisades Wilderness, despite its undeniably high wilderness qualities. What was an uphill battle has now, as of January 2018, become a fool’s errand. WWA believes the time has come to switch gears and focus our attention on the much less-impacted Grayback Ridge and Mt. Leidy areas whose value as both core and corridor habitat for elk, grizzlies, and mule deer are worth a good fight. This is Teton County’s last chance to preserve the few scraps of outstanding wildlands it has, so we hope our Commissioners will stand up for a Mt. Leidy and a Grayback Wilderness for the benefit of all Wyomingites. I vote we scrap the current WPLI process, bid farewell to the Institute, and start over with the NRCC as facilitators to launch a process that gives our incredibly precious wildlife its rightful place at the table. The WPLI process is bankrupt. We need a fresh start with a Social Sciences organization that knows how to negotiate these issues without a pre-determined outcome of failure.

Benj Sinclair

January 17, 2018

It should be noted that the Wilderness Society is threatening to sue the Bridger-Teton Forest Service if they do not get the Palisades and Shoal Creek areas turned into Wilderness. This could be fought by the Bridger-Teton forest service, however they want these two WSA’s to be Wilderness as well. The public needs to know that the B-T USFS is attempting to collude with the Wilderness Society to designate more Wilderness.

Byron Baker

September 21, 2017

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my comments regarding the Palisades Wilderness Study Area. I would like to provide my voice for the removal of the WSA. For most of my life I have actually had the pleasure of enjoying the Frank Church Wilderness. I grew up in Challis, ID and our home was only about 20 miles from the Wilderness. My pastimes include backpacking, whitewater rafting, spelunking, hunting, fly fishing and horseback riding. The Frank Church gave me opportunities to raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon, fly fish Camas Creek (a tributary to the Middle Fork), hike through the Soldier Lakes and numerous hunting trips. I enjoyed the opportunity to get away from civilization and motorized vehicles. That being said, that Wilderness is 2.4 million acres of back country in a sparsely populated part of Idaho. I have lived in Victor, Idaho for 12 years and I sincerely feel that the Palisades Wilderness Study Area has very few similarities to the Frank Church that I would consider worthy of a Wilderness. First, the proximity to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park means that there already exists pristine areas for recreation near a surprisingly densely populated area. In addition, Wyoming’s Winter Range designations already make it very difficult to utilize other areas for recreation year-round. Some of my favorite places to go are off-limits for much of the year. I am not opposed to Winter Range, I’m just concerned that I am already limited in my accessibility. Second, since the first fall that I moved to Teton Valley, Idaho I have hunted for elk and deer in the area between Palisades Reservoir and Pine Creek Pass stretching east to the Wyoming border. My primary source of access is via 4-wheeler to my favorite campsites and I hike beyond these points. Because the influx of hunters from the Idaho Falls area is crowding the lower elevations, most of us locals are forced to venture deeper and deeper into the back country to avoid the crowds. In this steep terrain, it would be almost impossible to reach these locations without horses or 4-wheelers. Lastly, I feel as if the Wilderness designation was something that was attempted by environmental advocacy groups in the “middle of the night”. I am not opposed to preservation of public lands. I feel blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful area, but it seems to me that most of the public lands in this area are already limited to motorized use already and this “land grab” is a slap in the face of the silent majority of users. Too much of this land is already restricted to multi-use and most of this area is the last vestige for motorized users – especially snowmobilers who love it much more than me. Please don’t take our lands.

John Long

September 1, 2017

Hello, I support keeping the Palasades open to motorized activity. I don’t snow mobile or heli-ski, but I do mountain bike. Mountain bikers recently had the Togwotee area closed to access, please do not let the same happen with the Palasades WSA. Keep public lands open to all uses. All of Teton County is already Wilderness. Let people have part of it to recreate in.

Thanks, Nick Bedell.

July 26, 2017

I would like to see more trails in Palisades/Jordan Canyon/S. US Hwy 89 in Snake River Canyon and even up the Greys River District be maintained for mountain biking and hiking as the area grows and to not have to travel to neighboring communities when we have so much local forest to do this in. This will help to have less drivers on the road, especially since so many tourists are traveling in the summer. Let’s also keep them separate from motorized trails. On a winter note, let’s allow grooming in Jordan Canyon for cross country skiing and skate skiing!

Joyce Ross

March 13, 2017

I have spent the last 13 years, the bulk portion of my adult life, finding peace and finding my soul snowmobiling and dirt biking in the snake river range (aka palisades study area) . Please, PLEASE keep these areas open for motorized use! We do no harm! Our snowmobile tracks help wildlife move around in the winter. Please don’t let conservationists who have little understanding of these areas and their ecosystems out the people who spend the best hours of their lives in these mountains. This decision will influence my voting for the REST OF MY LIFE, supporting those who protect motorized access and supporting all opponents of those who vote in favor of closing these areas PASSIONATELY. I too, care deeply about these wild places, please preserve our Motorized Access!!!

Jessica Cummings

March 8, 2017

The palisades area is one of my favorite places to recreate no matter the season and no matter the form of recreation (biking, camping, snowmobiling, dirt biking and fourwheeling, etc…) I am very against the land being turned into “wilderness.” As it is, motorized vehicles are very restricted in the area. Closing more and more forest will only cause over crowding and over use on all other public land making a much larger footprint in other forests and trails. Taking away the use of this land will only further impact the surrounding areas of recreation. Please contact me with updates on any upcoming meetings or petitions. I will stand up and fight for our right to use our public land.

Mike

February 20, 2017

I’m writing this note to let you know my opinion of the proposed Palisade Wilderness area. I moved to Wyoming in 1994 and bought a condo in Cottonwood Park and then got lucky and met Bob Scott who helped me buy a piece of property in Game Creek through the financial help of his mother, so I’m a land owner in Teton County. My wife was born in Teton County and has roots back to the early 1900s. The reason I moved to Wyoming from Texas was to enjoy the abundance of National Forest Service land. I’ve hiked, biked, driven, snow machined, 4-wheeled, horse ridden, snow-shoed and collected my yearly Christmas tree in the proposed Palisade Wilderness area. This is such a great area that is accessible from all sides via the county/state roads for all of the above outdoor activities. Pine Creek Pass trails, Palisades Creek, Fall Creek, the Elbow, Mosquito Creek, Wolf Creek, etc.. are such wonderful areas. To make these areas into a Wilderness restricts the usage of this land to only the fittest, what about the handicapped or the older Americans that can’t physically get there without the help of modern day America? If this area is changed from a National Forest to a Wilderness your are effectively closing it off to only a few, that is Not what America is about and is not why I moved to Wyoming 23 years ago! Please help keep the Palisades area a National Forest not a Restricted wilderness.

Kevin Meagher

January 23, 2017

Members of the Committee: As a life-long resident of Western Wyoming, I must oppose any action to increase public lands designated as wilderness areas. I have worked as a guide for years, and I can assure you that there is a proper place for wilderness designation and non-wilderness as well. We, as a populace, need to maintain the ability to use all forms of recreation on public lands. I have worked in wilderness areas, and will admit that while I enjoy the beauty and quiet, it requires much more work to maintain any reasonable camp without the ability to utilize powered tools. There is a place for this, and I feel that there is enough of it already. Further, the Palisades area has had a long history of family recreation, both motorized and non-motorized. As residents of the area, We do not want to lose that access. A motorized use area ensures that ALL the people can enjoy access, not just those that prefer to hike, or financially sustain a string of horses or other livestock. Many people would literally lose the ability to ever see our wonderful back country if motorized use should be restricted. I assure the Committee that there is a larger balance of people that will lose recreational opportunity then will gain. That is a certain fact. Those that wish to maintain wilderness areas should focus on the proper care of the areas the already enjoy. Having made these statements, I feel it important to share my thoughts on other types of forest development. While We, as citizens and residents, very much enjoy the recreational opportunities offered in motorized use areas, I do not wish to have major development on any USFS lands. For example, I commented and was active in the Wyoming Range drilling issue, strongly opposed. I was living and working there when a test drill site was permitted in Adams Creek, a tributary to Willow Creek, in the Bryan Flats/Hoback area. Non of us were happy about this at the time and I will oppose such uses today. My point is that there is a balance to be achieved, and that requires attention to both use and non-use, opportunity verses restriction. Most of the people that live here have made a substantial effort to sustain a home in a place they love for its recreational opportunities. I have, after 33 years in Teton, Lincoln, and Sublette Counties, looked for alternative places to reside in the past few years. I came to the conclusion after touring much of the Rocky Mountains that what We enjoy here is a unique balance of opportunities to enjoy our public lands. There is no place like Western Wyoming and Eastern Idaho. I strongly urge the Committee to oppose any further restrictions on public land use. We have a reasonable balance now, I implore you not to upset that careful relationship.

Regards, Jim C. Pigg Etna, WY,

December 31, 2016

Please do not designate Palisades area as wilderness. My friends and family often enjoy this area though mountain biking, dirt biking and snowmobiling. Teton pass is where I learned to ride downhill bikes. My Uncle drives from Pennsylvania each winter to snowmobile the Indian Creek area with me. This is a beautiful area that many may never have seen but for the fact it has bike and motorized access. Designating this area as wilderness would limit outdoor enthusiasts from being able to enjoy its beauty and scenery. Thank you.

Jason Walsh

December 31, 2016

Shoal Creek WSA

I support allowing snowmobile use in the winter to continue in this area. I do no support making this a wilderness area. There are ATV/UTV trails that skirt this area and I support keeping these trails open for ATV/UTV use. I would support considering creating trail loops for ATV/UTV use to discourage any off trail use.

Kathy Raper

August 2, 2017

I’m writing this note to let you know my opinion of the proposed Shoal Creek wilderness area. Last year my family discovered the Upper Fisherman Creek area and fell in love with it. The Fisherman Creek area runs into the proposed Shoal Creek Wilderness area. We so much enjoyed using our 4-Wheelers and snow machines in this area we are constantly trying to figure out when we can go back there, which is every other weekend now. We will be camping there this summer and taking our horses and 4-wheelers for rides in this beautiful and accessible area. If this area is switched to Wilderness we will not be able to fully access it. Being almost 50 years old I fear if it is turned into Wilderness I will only have a few yeas of access. What about future generations, if it is turned into a Wilderness area it will restrict it to only a few. Please keep the Shoal Creek area Forest Service so All willing Americans can experience this Wonderful area.

Kevin Meagher, January 23, 2017

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