Stewards and Enthusiasts
of the Lochsa Backcountry
Giving back to the lands is our mission, fighting back for the lands is needed at times.
Unfortunately there are groups out there who don’t want PUBLIC use of the Lands. Most folks want to blame the Forest Service or the agencies in charge, but we actually find it less often the agencies and more often wealthy private interest groups, etc in Washington D.C. that try to run our federal bureaus for their interest. We don’t do that, but we do stand up for and fight for the people who take care of these lands and enjoy using them. Team Lochsa is dedicated to working with federal, state and local organizations in finding ways to not close more land to the public. We look to provide facts and offer strong, substantive argument for keeping lands open. Often times that includes compromise. Often times it means holding our ground. To learn more or be a part of this mission, join our club and get involved as we hit those walls and bumps that seem more prevalent these days than ever.
- The sport of “Hill Climb” snowmobiling is at an all-time high in popularity and growing exponentially each year.
- The technology used in this sport has improved considerably over the years so that the sport is being adopted by women, men and children of all ages and with a variety of skill levels.
- The popularity of this snow sport, the improvements in technology and emissions, local businesses that are partially dependent on the continuance of this sport, did not exist when the original, “proposed wilderness” decisions were made.
- It should be the responsibility of the U.S. Forest Service to reevaluate the new and actual growing public use of these lands and weigh decisions on the impact closure will have on the sport, the public affected and the local businesses and economy affected.
- Many lands proposed for closure in the past years are some of the few areas in the United States that meet our sport requirements, complexity and challenge.
- We see no animal impact in these deep snow regions AT ALL due to incredibly high snow packs where this sport takes place (12 to 20 feet + ).
- There is no proven negative impact to watershed, ground, or forests from snowmobile hill climb sporting do to the high depth of snow this region. We rarely go back the very next day and find any of our tracks.
- Other snow users (skiers/snow showers, etc.) are not bothered in these regions by snowmobiles. We have never seen other use parties in those regions unless we brought them….which would mean they would piggy back on one of our sleds.
- Organized sledding clubs like Team Lochsa, are not only one of the biggest users of those lands during that season, but also stewards of the land, donating money and their time to the US Forest Service for back country road and trail clearance, (wind fall), lookout and other facility restoration, forest clean up, campground openings/ maintenance and other volunteer assist, including search and rescue.
- We are environmentalist as much as any other group might claim.
Team Lochsa has been and will continue to be very active with the collaboratives being led by the USFS as it relates to the future state our wonderful public lands and forests. The Lochsa drainage situated in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest and butting up to the Lolo Nation Forest is headquarters for our Club. These areas are under review currently for Forest Plan Revisions and considerations. We are very pleased at how those sessions have been managed by the USFS leadership team, (particularly in the Clearwater/Nez) and pleased with the conclusions outlined in the Alternatives document recently published by the USFS. This is a good read for anyone who has interest in the future of those lands and related access.