Friday, May 25, 2018

"Who Gives a Damn if Yellow Pine Burns?"

"Who gives a damn about Yellow Pine?" 
Actual written words of a Payette National Forest employee. 
The Payette National Forest and their employees have been very vocal about "Paying Big Sur land prices" and deliberately letting Yellow Pine "burn to the ground" in an effort to drive rural residents out of the forests.








High ranking Payette National Forest management,  including then forest supervisor Suzanne Rainville, have told residents in public meetings: "maybe you shouldn't live in the backcountry anymore if you can't hike the six miles into Cinnabar".

Other officials,  like Joe Harper told county commissioners that "we [Forest Service] are closing the roads anyway,  and if you don't like it: sue me!"

Even AFTER Valley County sued the Payette National Forest for excluding taxpayers from public discussions,  required by NEPA and other federal laws, the Forest Service shuns public opinion. And high ranking Payette National Forest employees like  Sue Dixon write things like "NEPA isn't a democracy" in referencing how the Payette National Forest doesn't care about how the public wants our lands managed.

Namely: ending locking-it-all-up-to-watch-it-all-burn Forest Service management policies. 

It is very clear that the Payette National Forest management team "doesn't give a damn where Yellow Pine is!" (Their words. Not mine). Nor do they "give a damn" about Valley County, Adams County, Idaho County, the State of Idaho or any other person or entity who disagrees with their locking-it-all-up-to-watch-it-all-burn agenda.

Scott Amos 





Notice of Intent to Sue Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest is deliberately excluding taxpayers from public discussions on social media.
A federal judge has ruled that Donald Trump cannot block people on his Twitter feed and other social media accounts because those belong to the office of the President,  and ultimately the American people themselves.

However, the Boise National Forest does not believe that they are held accountable to the same laws which the President of the United States must follow.

They block anyone of right-leaning political views who disagree with Forest Service lock-it-all-up-and-watch-it-all-burn policies.

Today, I served written notice to the Boise National Forest Supervisor that we will not stand for the Forest Service silencing our voices of concern for how our public lands are managed.



If you feel that the Boise National Forest has wrongfully silenced you on social media, please send a brief description of your concerns to Amos2500@yahoo.com

Here is a copy of the letter I sent the Boise National Forest Supervisor today:

 Notice of intent to sue.
On or about August,  2017, I was blocked by the US Forest Service Boise National Forest Facebook page from discussing issues listed therein.
A recent landmark decision by a federal court stated that President Donald Trump cannot block people on his Twitter feed, because that feed belongs to a public office. And not the President as a private citizen.
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-24/trump-twitter-blocking-ruling-is-bad-for-free-speech

The Forest Service is a wholly owned public entity, which means that the entirety of Facebook posts, Twitter and other social media accounts belong to taxpayers such as myself. And NOT to any one public servant or public entity.


If the Forest Service has not unblocked ALL users on said social media outlets within 30 days, I and several other concerned citizens intend to file a complaint in federal court to address grievances with your office for excluding taxpayers from public discussions.

Sincerely,
Scott Amos
208.297.0634

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Epitome of Condescendion

Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom says that if you don't agree with the unlawful manner in which the Forest Service is closing roads, it is because you are either too stupid, or too "anti-government" to understand what a glorious job that the Forest Service has been doing.

                      Above photo shows historic Stibnite structure unlawfully burned to the ground by the Payette National Forest 

Below are email exchanges between high ranking Payette National Forest management team members which paint a bleak picture as to how stupid they think the general public really are.

Forest Service considers any written information that doesn't agree with their pre-written narrative to be "negative".

Jim Egnew, Mineral Resource Specialist for the Payette National Forest, in a communication with the Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom, deliberately misspells a patron's name. Calls him "wingnut". Violating the Hatch Act, using a federal position of power and authority to attack a taxpayer because of their political beliefs. Keith Lannom didn't discourage his management team from disparaging a citizen's political beliefs, and later actively engages in attacking citizens based solely upon their political views. 

     Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello refers to me asking the Payette National Forest to comply with NEPA and other federal laws as "customary rhetoric". He dismissed the offer to privately fund the bridge across Sugar Creek and never created a gofundme account like he led me to believe that he would. 

Seems Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello is very good at promising to "collaborate" with people to their faces, then go behind their backs and do the opposite as was agreed upon, as displayed in this letter from the landowners at Cinnabar. Anthony Botello promised to work with them to obtain a special use permit for Sugar Creek Road, then had the road blocked with boulders and oblitertated all while telling the public "the road is in better condition than ever before".

Why did the Forest Service waste $9,000 in taxpayer money, improving a road, only to then obliterate it and render it impassable?


After obliterating Sugar Creek Road, installing boulders and gates to lock the landowners at Cinnabar out, as well as the public, Anthony Botello drafted a letter blaming the landowner at Cinnabar for the closure of Sugar Creek Road. Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom repeated that lie in his official response to US Senator Mike Crapo who conducted a Congressional Inquiry into the closure of Sugar Creek Road by the Payette National Forest. The above letter, and many more like it from the landowners, directly asked the Payette National Forest to stop blaming them for the closure of Sugar Creek Road. The blame game from the Forest Service continues on in spite of such letters. 


The lies that the Payette National Forest continue to spew didn't sit well with the patrons of this blog or the general public. Many who wrote letters of concern over the closure of Sugar Creek Road to the Forest Service. All of those letters were ignored. Keith Lannom and his management team admitted to stalking dissenters on social media, and openly attacked them as "anti-government" and "wingnuts". Which is interesting, since many people who follow this blog actively work for the Forest Service and other government agencies, but disagree with the manner in which arrogant Payette National Forest personnel talk down to the general public, or disregard federal laws which must be followed by the Payette National Forest when closing roads to the public. 



Afterall, if you think that the Payette National Forest should follow NEPA and other federal laws, Keith Lannom says that you "aren't interested in facts". His minister of propaganda Brian Harris says that makes you "anti-government". Payette National Forest Minerals Resource Specialist Jim Egnew says that makes you a "wingnut".

Now I understand what the Payette National Forest means by "collaboration": agree with us, or we will simply stalk you on social media until you become smart enough to see that we are perfect, glorious and infallible. No public input welcome or needed. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Keith Lannom Admits to Using Illegal Travel Plan

I finally got a chance to review the letter Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom sent to Senator Mike Crapo in response to a high number of concerned citizens calling for a Congressional Investigation of his office.

You can download that letter here: 

Keith Lannom Letter to Senator Mike Crapo 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WWmUtmtdXQAmL44T3PJcF-FdaV1hbDN-/view?usp=drivesdk

Also: Citizens call for Congressional Investigation of lawless conduct of Keith Lannom:
http://usfspayettenationalforest.blogspot.com/2018/01/formal-letter-to-senator-mike-crapo-01.html?m=1



I have never heard of "the paper of record" defense from the Forest Service before. Must be similar to the "we declared it closed a long time ago" argument that the Payette National Forest is notorious for using in the rare chance they invite the public to their road closure sessions they call "travel management".

Cinnabar, Idaho. Keith Lannom ordered Sugar Creek Road closed without public comment, which is a violation of NEPA and other federal laws. Lannom then falsely blamed the landowner for the closure of a RS-2477 historical public right-of-way. 



The "we want to collaborate" argument Lannom uses holds little water while the Krassel District Ranger tells rooms full of concerned citizens "we are closing the roads anyway,  and if you don't like it: sue me!" 
Nor does it hold water when the Forest Service conspires behind the backs of the collaborative, blocking Sugar Creek Road and other roads before the collaborative even had chances to offer alternatives to road closures. 

Private citizens, including myself, have offered time and again to raise funds to build a bridge across Sugar Creek. Even offering the use of mobile equipment we own and donated time.

Anthony Botello and Keith Lannom have flatly refused to look at those alternatives and insist on closing roads (such as Sugar Creek) while declaring that they were magically closed in the past, but fail to show the legal documentation it takes for the Forest Service to close a road. Such as emergency closure order for public safety, a Travel Management Plan where NEPA included public comment periods were followed,  etc. (As Keith Lannom points out, the 2007-2008 Travel Plan was ruled invalid by a federal court of law).

It is concerning to me that the Forest Service would continue to follow a management plan already ruled invalid by a federal judge.

But then again: if Keith Lannom or Anthony Botello believed that they had to follow the same federal laws everyone else must play by: we wouldn't be having this discussion. 

Just my two cents.....

Scott Amos 
208.297.0634

Friday, January 26, 2018

Forest Service Proposes Revising NEPA Process

Letter sent to nepa-procedures-revision@fs.fed.us



Thank you for considering my comments regarding revision of the NEPA process. 



First and foremost: the NEPA process doesn't work when you have renegade forest rangers who deliberately exclude the public from the process altogether.


Such as the Payette National Forest closing Sugar Creek Road without holding a single public comment period required by NEPA and other federal laws, before unilaterally declaring it closed, gating it, and obliterating large portions thereof.



Senator Mike Crapo intervened after Valley County successfully sued the Payette National Forest for violating federal laws. Crapo helped institute a Collaborative. 

Payette National Forest management initially agreed to adhere to the Collaborative,  but then went back to destroying roads before the Collaborative even had time to review them.

Showing the world that the Payette National Forest is not interested in serving the public. Only their agenda for locking it all up to watch it all burn. 

That is why I have joined 12 members of the Collaborative and dozens other community members in calling for a congressional investigation into the Payette National Forest management and their lawless behavior, disdain for public interests.

Sincerely, 

Scott Amos 


208.297.0634


----- Forwarded Message -----

To:
The Honorable Senator Mike Crapo 

From:
Scott Amos 


208.297.0634

Senator Crapo, 

I and those cc'd (or bcc'd) would like to thank you for your continued efforts regarding issues involving the leadership of the Payette National Forest. 

The Collaborative you helped institute was a positive step forward in what has always been a confrontational relationship between the Payette National Forest and Valley County, plus the communities encompassed therein. 

However, it has come to my attention that the Payette National Forest leadership has abused the trust of the Collaborative, and has not been adhering to guidelines which they initially agreed to.

Furthermore, a lawsuit ending in 2014 against the Payette National Forest by Valley County and concerned members of the community found that the Payette National Forest blatantly violated NEPA and other federal laws. 

The lawsuit was ended on the terms that the Payette National Forest would follow NEPA, and assign Cooperative Agency Status to Valley County. 

The Payette National Forest went back on promises they made, by destroying Sugar Creek Road and other RS-2477 rights of way  without any opportunity for public scoping comments from either the Collaborative or members of the affected community. 

The attached letter is a formal response to the blame-game letter Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom sent you back in September. 

I believe that the actions of Keith Lannom and Anthony Botello warrant further investigation by the Office of Inspector General and Office of Special Counsel, in that the aforementioned were made aware of their actions exceeding the authority granted to the Forest Service by Congress. Especially since a federal court declared such. Which has not stopped unlawful road closures by the Payette National Forest. 

I would like to formally request that a Congressional investigation be instituted into the lawless conduct of Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom, and Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello.


Thank you again for your time and efforts regarding this matter.

Please accept this email as my electronic signature. I will be mailing or hand delivering a paper copy to your office in the coming days.

Scott Amos 


208.297.0634

P.S.: I formally request that any responses to this letter also be sent to Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank and those listed as cc'd in the attached letter.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Formal Letter to Senator Mike Crapo - Congressional Investigation Request

To:
The Honorable Senator Mike Crapo 

From:
Scott Amos 
XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
XXXXX

Senator Crapo, 

I and those cc'd (or bcc'd) would like to thank you for your continued efforts regarding issues involving the leadership of the Payette National Forest. 

The Collaborative you helped institute was a positive step forward in what has always been a confrontational relationship between the Payette National Forest and Valley County, plus the communities encompassed therein. 

However, it has come to my attention that the Payette National Forest leadership has abused the trust of the Collaborative, and has not been adhering to guidelines which they initially agreed to.
Download letter from the Collaborative here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/197-zkuJTh4FiYAt4bN2yxW3w7ExMeqoz/view?usp=drivesdk


Furthermore, a lawsuit ending in 2014 against the Payette National Forest by Valley County and concerned members of the community found that the Payette National Forest blatantly violated NEPA and other federal laws. 

The lawsuit was ended on the terms that the Payette National Forest would follow NEPA, and assign Cooperative Agency Status to Valley County. 

The Payette National Forest went back on promises they made, by destroying Sugar Creek Road and other RS-2477 rights of way  without any opportunity for public scoping comments from either the Collaborative or members of the affected community. 


The attached letter is a formal response to the blame-game letter Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom sent you back in September. 

I believe that the actions of Keith Lannom and Anthony Botello warrant further investigation by the Office of Inspector General and Office of Special Counsel, in that the aforementioned were made aware of their actions exceeding the authority granted to the Forest Service by Congress. Especially since a federal court declared such. Which has not stopped unlawful road closures by the Payette National Forest. 

I would like to formally request that a Congressional investigation be instituted into the lawless conduct of Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom, and Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello.


Thank you again for your time and efforts regarding this matter.

Please accept this email as my electronic signature. I will be mailing or hand delivering a paper copy to your office in the coming days.

Scott Amos 
XXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX
XXXXX

P.S.: I formally request that any responses to this letter also be sent to Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank and those listed as cc'd in the attached letter.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Senator Jim Risch Letter About Forest Service Illegal Activities

US Senator James Risch pens angry letter to Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue over illegal actions by the US Forest Service.

Namely, that the Forest Service, especially the Payette National Forest, is violating federal laws by locking people out of the wilderness, which is the exact opposite of Congress' intent when it passed the Wilderness Act.

Click for larger image 



Airstrips and certain backcountry roads were to remain in place to give the public access to newly designated wilderness that had been set aside from economic development.

Senator Risch claims that the Forest Service is causing "resentment" and "negative" public sentiment by locking taxpayers out of the wilderness, which Congress intended for the enjoyment of all.

The US Forest Service has been instead treating wilderness as an elite playground that only upper management of the Forest Service may visit, especially places like Cabin Creek and Chamberlain Basin.

 In recent years, those places have become luxury resorts for elite members of the Payette National Forest who find themselves lucky enough to be flown in to the remote locations for private fishing and hunting excursions....all at taxpayer expense.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rules Are For Thee, But Not For Me

Thomas Jefferson said "tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government, but ILLEGAL for the citizenry".

Nowhere is this more blatant than the current lock-it-all-up-and-watch-it-all-burn management policies the US Forest Service follows.

Very little effort was made to contain the Chetco Bar Fire on July 12th when it was first detected.

Had it originated on private or state land, it would undoubtedly have been extinguished. If for no other reason than to prevent massive fines from the Forest Service, had it spread to public lands.

The facts from the case are showing a high degree of negligence on the part of the Forest Service, yet not one Forest Service official is in danger of losing their job.

No restitution is being paid to the eight families who lost everything. Or the 8500 homeowners forced to evacuate and abandon their livelihoods for much of the duration of the fire.

Maybe if the Forest Service had to play by the same rules as the rest of us, they wouldn't be so quick to lock-it-all-up-and-watch-it-all-burn.

Or, maybe if we turned management of federal lands over to state control where it belongs, thousands of people wouldn't be displaced by wildfires on the scale that the Forest Service likes to let them grow to.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Keith Lannom Blames Landowners for Sugar Creek Road Closure

I thought I would respond to Keith Lannom's false claim that he would love to give the public access to Sugar Creek Road, but the landowner is stopping him.

Besides the fact that the landowners at Cinnabar have written a dozen letters saying that they WANT public access to Cinnabar to remain open, the Forest Service has a history of land-grabbing, or stealing access from landowners through the court system in the rare case when the Forest Service wants public access through private property.

Keith Lannom, Payette National Forest Supervisor lies and blames the landowner at Cinnabar as being the primary reason for the Forest Service closing Sugar Creek Road. 


The landowner, in his 12th response, calling Keith Lannom's assertions "false". Numerous emails have been sent to Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom asking him to stop blaming the landowner. Numerous emails have been sent to Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom asking him to look for ways to work WITH the landowner to restore public access. Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello also blames the landowner at Cinnabar anytime a member of the public asks why he ordered the closure of Sugar Creek Road. 

A year earlier, the landowner at Cinnabar sent Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello a letter stating he "wanted the public" to "have access to Sugar Creek Road". However, Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello continues to regurgitate the same old lies anytime the public asks why the Payette National Forest closed Sugar Creek Road without holding a single public comment period, violating NEPA and other federal laws in the process. 



Keith Lannom blaming the landowner for the closure of Sugar Creek Road in his response to US Senator Mike Crapo on September 25th, 2017 after dozens of letters from the landowners stated they want Sugar Creek Road open to the public: is unprofessional, deliberately misleading and a calculated untruth. Furthermore, the Forest Service has a history of simply "taking" public easements.


THE FOREST SERVICE IS NOTORIOUS FOR SIMPLY TAKING PRIVATE LAND WHEN IT SUITS THEM

Such was the case involving  the Wonder Ranch and Indian Creek Trail #328 in Montana, where the Forest Service claimed "adverse possession" over private property because a public trail over private property once existed, when the landowner once agreed to letting the public access public lands through private property.


The U.S. Forest Service targets cooperative landowner in Montana.

https://www.perc.org/articles/arrogance-us-forest-service





The landowner had asked to move the trail away from his home for privacy, even offering to pay for it. However,  the Forest Service wasn't happy with that offer, sued the landowner to retain ownership of the existing route, and won against the landowner in federal court.

Where it suits the Forest Service to retain access to their personal favorite camping spots, they have no problem fighting and winning for public access through private property.

When it suits Keith Lannom, Payette National Forest Supervisor to shift blame onto someone else, he says that he would love to grant the public access to a road in Cinnabar that has been a public right of way for over 100 years.....if only the big mean evil private property owners would let him.

 Which is more childish than the time my son, an only child, blamed one of his stuffed animals for making a mess of his room. He was only three at the time. Keith Lannom is supposed to be an adult who takes responsibility for his words and actions.


Scott Amos
208.297.0634

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom Forced Response to Senator Mike Crapo Inquiry

Sign and gate Payette National Forest blocked Sugar Creek Road with. Keith Lannom, PNF Supervisor, failed to show this image to Senator Mike Crapo in his official response. 

*Click photo for larger image*  

Forest Service placed sign on South Fork of the Salmon River claiming millions of tons of sediment and debris from forest fires "helps" fish and wildlife. While trying to make the argument that "12 tons" of sediment from the Sugar Creek Road "hurts" fish. Proof that sediment, which is a vital part of fish nesting grounds, is more of a political weapon the Forest Service uses, than a concern to them. 

Mud flowing into Profile Creek  (tributary of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River, downstream from Sugar Creek Road). This mudflow was caused by fires in 2007. More than a million tons of sediment from this one mudflow have entered the river downstream from Sugar Creek. Thousands more wildfire induced mudflows dot the moonscape left behind by the 850,000 acre Cascade Complex fire the Forest Service refused to fight in its initial stages.

 The Forest Service has made ZERO EFFORTS to stop this mudflow, contaminated with arsenic and mercury. But has created a public relations nightmare for itself by destroying access to Sugar Creek Road, for the stated purpose of stopping "12 tons, annually".

Pure and simple politics. The Payette National Forest doesn't really care about keeping our rivers clean, unless it provides an opportunity for locking the public out of the forests. 



In his official response to an inquiry from Senator Mike Crapo, into the closure of Sugar Creek Road, Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom either deliberately omitted several facts, or simply doesn't care enough to find them. Which seems to be increasingly common among an agency where his high level staff, such as Sue Dixon, openly state that "NEPA isn't a democracy".

In fact, the Payette National Forest skipped NEPA altogether when closing Sugar Creek Road and hundreds of miles of public access to public owned lands....which is a clear violation of NEPA and other federal laws.

Sugar Creek Road is a perfect example of the Payette National Forest overstepping, abusing and misusing the power and authority granted to it by Congress, as I will explain in the paragraphs below.

This is an open response to the written response Keith Lannom sent to Senator Mike Crapo.  You can download that flawed and inaccurate  response here:
http://tinyurl.com/CRAPO-SUGAR-CREEK

Complaint #1.  The Forest Service violated section 212 of the 36 CFR and held ZERO public comment periods before unilaterally declaring Sugar Creek Road closed to the public some time in 1996-1997.


As stated in the Forest response “36 CFR 261.50 ( c) (5) requires orders to “Be posted in accordance with 36 CFR 261.51”.  The posting requirements in 36 CFR 261.51 are summarized as posting a copy of the order in offices of Line Officers who have jurisdiction and displaying the prohibition in such locations and manner as to bring the prohibition to the attention of the public.”  The Forest letter also states: “Between 1996 and 1998 the road was closed.”

 During the 1996-1998 time period I was a resident of Yellow Pine, which is the closest permanent community to the Sugar Creek Road.  I can submit under oath no such posting as described in 36 CFR 261.51 was done and I was a frequent visitor to Cinnabar.  Furthermore, I have discussed this with other residents during this period and they are willing to sign a similar oath.

I find the following statement in the FS response as a very very disturbing answer to Complaint #1.  “We have been unable to find the records related to the decision to change the management of the Sugar Creek Road sometime between 1996-1998”.


During the 1996-1998 time period the Forest Service had accepted that the National Environmental Policy Act and subsequent CEQ rules applied to actions such as closing federal roads.  Thus any closures should have been accomplished under NEPA rules in effect at that time.  NEPA has always mandated extensive public involvement and a structured process that is well documented.  Losing all evidence of a NEPA process does not seem possible.

In addition, I cannot accept the answer provided of no records because in the past the Forest Service has referred to a Special Order signed by David Alexander in September 1997.

 This document is part of the official record of the 2007/2008 TMP Lawsuit (FS017350).   The order was to establish road status Forest-wide, and replaced six existing Special Orders.  This non conventional use of CFR 261.50 to establish road status Forest-wide clearly identifies all Roads on the Krassel RD as being those on the McCall and Krassel Districts Map, 1995 Edition.

 This reference, I believe, is to the 1995 Visitor Map, although it may have referred to a different McCall/Krassel District Map that I have in my possession, that is undated, but does reflect the same status as the 1995 Visitor Map, namely that Sugar Creek Road is open.

Complaint #2 has a typo error (alluding to the MVUM) but was intended to address the general problem of misleading and confusing direction provided to the public relative to road closures on the Krassel Ranger District of the Payette National Forest with focus on the Sugar Creek Road.


The following is a list of various actions and publications available to the public regarding the Sugar Creek Road.



Backroads Guide not shown on map
in the early 2000 years.

This guide was not intended to
reflect road status as established
through CFR & NEPA process.

The Guide states: ‘…this publication is
Only a general guide.  The 1995 Forest
Visitor/Travel Map show more information
Such as closed roads”. Why Keith Lannom chose to use it for reference in showing the legality of closing Sugar Creek Road is confusing, at best.

During the 2003-2007 period the
legal status of Sugar Creek was
frequently questioned and the
Backroads Guide was the justification.

 No CFR or NEPA analysis was
ever produced for the BC\YP area
even though Forest Officials stated an
underlying action had been accomplished.

During the Lawsuit over the 2007-2008
TMP the Backroads Guide was never
mentioned by the Forest Service
as a basis of establishing road status.


2000 BNF Visitor Map Unimproved Road
2007 PNF Travel Management Plan Not a designated
(This plan was found invalid Road
in District Court on 2/11/2014)
2010 BC/YP Travel Management Plan Not a designated
(This plan was found invalid Road
in District Court on  1/5/2015)
2007 PNF Visitor Map Unimproved Road
(This map states, “This map depicts
the present day open road and trail
system”
2012 BNF Visitor Map Road not maintained
for Passenger Cars
2013 PNF Visitor Map Dirt Road Suitable
for Passenger Cars
2017 The remedy for resolving the Closed as of 7/8/17
lawsuit mandated an all new NEPA
analysis & re-evaluation of all
road status, but allowed the
current MVUM to be implemented
to avoid chaos.




Complaint #4.  The real purpose of the Storm Treatment and Ford Rehabilitation was to illegally and physically close the Sugar Creek Road.


As documented in the Forest Service response immediately prior to this work the public was using the road even with installation of gates and barricades, but no citations were issued, probably because in 2016 the road had never been legally closed.

  The Forest Service used(or MIS-used) the categorical exclusion intended for projects that don’t substantially alter existing road use (such as replacing a culvert or other minor maintenance).

It was obvious from the start the real objective was to make the ford totally impassible by all but a military tank.

I was not aware of the project prior to the construction, but members of the Senator Crapo initiated BC/YP collaboration were briefed on the project and some of those briefed did comment.

At my request, Chris and Lois Schwarzhoff shared their comments.  The following was part of the written comments by Chris and Lois Schwarzhoff supplied to the Forest Service prior to the project being accomplished:


 “Based on the descriptions of actions to be taken it appears the proposed project is really an action to functionally close a road that has not been legally closed, and follows the same objective as placing large boulders in the road earlier this year.  This would be in direct opposition to long standing laws and regulations relating to processes to be followed to legally close roads.”  

Their prophecy turned out to be dead on.  It is interesting the completed construction report of this  project included lots of pictures fixing the road, but none of the final ford that physically completely closed the road to all normal vehicles.  All of this activity is truly ironic in that the Forest Service certainly has an easy and low cost option to legally close roads following 36CFR 261 in cases of emergency or dire need. Instead of following THOSE processes, the Forest Service pretends to act as if "the landowner" or "the public" wanted the road closed, which is a complete and deliberately deceptive move by a shadow agency which prefers to operate outside of any legitimate, legal framework. 





Friday, September 15, 2017

Letter to Idaho County Commissioner Brandt

Commissioner Brandt,

I recently read an article in the Idaho County Free Press where you expressed your disdain for the way the Payette National Forest is sitting on their thumbs, regarding the Highline Fire. 



I am admistrator for a site called Idaho vs USFS, which seeks to chronicle incidents of waste and abuse,  especially by the Payette National Forest.

I thought you might be interested in the following conversation I had with Brian Harris, official Payette National Forest spokesman. 


Apparently, the Payette National Forest believes that the [85,000] acre[and rapidly growing] Highline Fire doesn't even make smoke, because it is "natural caused" and "burning inside the wilderness".
It hasn't contributed to the dirty air we are forced to breathe, and it's actually "good" for endangered species getting incinerated by the Highline Fire, because it is mostly in the wilderness, and is "natural".

Of course the Payette National Forest deleted the entire thread shortly after group members of Idaho vs USFS pointed out how ignorant the Forest Service sounded....

But it gives insight into how dyed-in-the-kool-aid, high level Payette National Forest team members think(or don't), just the same.

Quite frankly, there is a  rapidly growing segment of the public which is beginning to get tired of Forest Service lock-it-all-up-and-watch-it-all-burn management policies. That, and not being able to see the sun or mountains at least four months every year while the Forest Service uses taxpayer money to buy more of our forests, just so it can sit back and lock it all up, to watch it all burn. 

Sincerely, 

Scott Amos 
Outdoor enthusiast and sensible forest management advocate. 

208.297.0634