FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Ranger District, Sawtooth National Forest, is proposing two separate projects in the Soldier Creek and Salt Creek drainages. The projects are as follows:

  • Free Gold Trailhead — develop a new parking area for 10 vehicles, install a vault toilet, fence the area from cattle, construct a bridge across Free Gold Creek to access Phillips Creek Trail, improve signing and provide an information board. This parking lot would be constructed just inside the boundary of an Inventoried Roadless Area.
  • Couch Summit snowmobile parking — increase the existing parking lot to accommodate an additional 10 vehicles with trailers, fence the parking lot from cattle and improve the signing
  • Soldier Creek Trailhead — create a new transfer camp-style recreation facility at the confluence of the north fork and south fork of Soldier Creek, develop parking area to accommodate 10 vehicles with trailers, install a vault toilet, fence off the area from cattle, construct a bridge across north fork of Soldier Creek and create a half-mile of new trail from parking lot to existing alignment of the North Fork Trail (non-motorized trail). Construct unloading ramps, several horse corrals, four defined camping sites with fire rings, improve signing and provide an information board.
  • This project also proposes construction of a winter trail to connect the Couch Summit parking lot to the junction of the north fork and south fork of Soldier Creek. A new trail bridge would be constructed over Soldier Creek. This trail could be groomed in the winter to alleviate crowding in the Soldier Mountain Ski Area parking lot.

The purpose of this project is to aid in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the 2012 Sawtooth National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. Key considerations in this management area are to improve water quality, enhance snowmobile recreation, sustain Soldier Mountain Ski Area and enhance summertime recreation as viable income generators for the residents of Camas County.

Providing comments by March 22 will allow time for input to be considered during analysis. A decision on this proposal is expected by the middle of September 2019.

Mail comments on issues related to the proposed operation to: USDA Forest Service, Sawtooth National Forest, Fairfield Ranger District, P.O. Box 189, Fairfield, ID 83327.

Email comments to comments-intermtn-sawtooth-fairfield@fs.fed.us with a subject line of “Soldier Creek Recreation Improvements” or “Salt Creek Warming Hut.”

For questions regarding these proposals, call Steve Frost or Jennifer Stevens at 208-764-3202.

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