For over a decade we’ve worked to permanently protect the wildlands of the Columbia Highlands for people and wildlife. Now there’s a new opportunity to designate much needed wilderness in northeast Washington, including on the wild Kettle Crest at the core of the Columbia Highlands.
Please submit a comment to the Forest Service today calling for increased wilderness recommendations for roadless areas and other sensible protections on the Colville National Forest.
The Colville National Forest is taking public comments on its Land and Resource Management Plan Revision through July 5. Plan revisions can include wilderness recommendations and other important wildlands protections. We need your help to ensure that vital wild areas on the Forest are protected!
The Columbia Highlands region is especially important because it connects the Cascades and the Rockies for animals on the move, like Canada lynx. Hikers, skiers, hunters, and others also find splendor and solitude, providing important economic benefits for local communities.
But only a tiny fraction of Colville National Forest has been permanently protected as congressionally-designated wilderness. These wildlands face widespread motorized recreation, potential uranium mining, and other threats.
By acting today, YOU can help protect these special places.
We’re urging the Forest to recommend wilderness designation for these roadless areas: Profanity, Bald Snow, Hoodoo, Abercrombie-Hooknose, Salmo-Priest Adjacent, Thirteenmile, and Quartzite. Along with the Plan Revision’s other provisions, these designations offer the right balance of conservation, recreation, forestry, and other forest uses.
Click here for a map of these roadless areas and the Columbia Highlands.
The Forest has drafted several alternatives to be considered as Management Plan updates. We most like Alternative P for its goals of restoring ecological resilience, reducing damaging roads, and increasing use of fire as a restoration tool. But Alternative P falls far short in protecting large old trees, watershed health, and the wild Kettle Crest. Instead of Kettle wilderness, it currently proposes the toothless administrative designation of Special Interest Area (SIA) for this cherished wild place.
We strenuously oppose the weak SIA designation, and insist instead that the agency recommend wilderness designation for all deserving roadless areas on the Kettle Crest, including at least the Profanity, Bald Snow, Hoodoo, and Thirteenmile roadless areas.
Please submit your comments to the Forest Service to support northeast Washington wilderness today! You’ll be standing strong for a wild future in the Columbia Highlands.
Suggested comments to the Colville National Forest:
Dear Forest Supervisor Rodney Smoldon,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Colville National Forest’s Land and Resource Management Plan Revision. The Forest and its roadless areas are important to me and many other Washingtonians, and they provide a home for many fish and wildlife species. It’s important to protect and conserve the Forest for future generations.
Despite its vital habitat and connectivity values for wildlife and cherished recreation areas, only a small fraction of the Colville National Forest is currently protected. Wild roadless areas on the Forest should be protected in perpetuity for future generations of people and wildlife. They conserve critical habitat, preserve wildlife connectivity, support outdoor recreation, and benefit local economies. I urge you to adopt conservation and wilderness measures to ensure a wild, healthy future in northeast Washington.
Please recommend the following wild roadless areas on the Colville National Forest as wilderness: Profanity, Bald Snow, Hoodoo, Abercrombie-Hooknose, Salmo-Priest Adjacent, Thirteenmile, and Quartzite.
The wild roadless areas of the Kettle Crest are of paramount importance and must be protected as wilderness. I oppose the proposed Special Interest Area designation because it is toothless and too weak, and request wilderness recommendations for all deserving roadless areas on the Kettle Crest, including at least the Profanity, Bald Snow, Hoodoo, and Thirteenmile roadless areas.
I most like Alternative P for its goals to restore ecological resilience, reduce damaging roads, and increase use of fire as a restoration tool. But Alternative P falls far short in protecting large old trees, watershed health, and wilderness quality lands, and in other areas. As part of the Forest’s Land and Resource Management Plan revision, I urge you to adopt Alternative P after adding explicit safeguards for large old trees, improving aquatic habitat protections and habitat connectivity, and adding the wilderness recommendations noted above.
Thank you again for accepting public comments on this important issue.