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Scotchman Peaks area recreation

| November 13, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

For the past 20 years we have been able to enjoy riding our snowmobiles in about a 1,000 acre parcel of the 88,000 Scotchman Peak areas. Yes, it is a desolate roadless area with very little resource. Given the terrain it is nearly impossible to ever log or develop this area.

In addition to wildlife, hiking, backpacking, hunting and photography opportunities, the Scotchman Peaks also offer awesome snowmobile riding. I must disagree with Mr. Clark, because this area is very suitable for snowmobiling. I would love for my children and grandchildren to be able to use the area for the way that I have for the past 8 years. If it is designated as Wilderness it is a right that is taken away from all snowmobile riders and future snowmobile riders.

I do agree with Mr. Doug Ferrell it is a great piece of land. I speak for myself and other snowmobile riders when I say we would also like to keep it that way, so why change it. It is inaccessible approximately 8 months out of the year by any means other than hiking. Although the other 4 months out of the year, given the amount of snowfall in the area, it is almost inaccessible by any means other than snowmobile. This is one of our best snowmobiling areas within a 100 mile radius from my experience.

Our small riding area in this designation has been marked as an unlikely habitat for the goats during winter months. In the 88,000 acres the goat population has increased throughout the years that we have been enjoying our recreation, Fish, Wildlife and Parks have even increased the harvest number of goats here.

As for Mr. Clark, probably the most successful mountain goat hunter in the Lincoln County, he is the "go to" for help with successfully taking a mountain goat in this area, although he is concerned with the goats being effected by snowmobiles. This is a public area not a personal protected hunting ground. Why can't we keep sharing this area between hundreds if not thousands of people?

I ask myself how this will be an asset to the community, it will greatly effect two businesses in our community in a very negative way. In which these two businesses for more than 20 years have supported our community in great ways. The area has been managed well and taken care of by all users: hikers, snowmobile riders, hunters, skiers, so why do we have to take it away from one group of users? Lets keep it usable for everyone.

Andy Remp

Libby