Stewards and Enthusiasts
of the Lochsa Backcountry
Giving back to the land is our mission… fighting to keep public lands accessible is sometimes our cause. Unfortunately, there are wealthy groups out there who try their best to restrict public land use. Many want to blame the U.S.F.S. or other agencies in charge, but we actually find it is less often the agencies and more often private interest groups lobbying in Washington D.C. WE are NOT that kind of a special interest group. Rather, Team Lochsa is dedicated to working with federal, state, and local organizations to find ways to improve access and opportunity in our substantial and beautiful public lands. We look to provide facts and offer a strong, substantive argument for keeping lands open. Often times that includes compromise. Sometimes it means holding our ground.
There are closure scenarios in almost all of the extreme mountain sports from skiing, bicycling, whitewater to motorsports. Here is an example of Team Lochsa’s position as it relates to snowmobiles in the high country.
- 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 early, “proposed wilderness” decisions were made.
- It should be the responsibility of the governing agencies 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, the local businesses and the economy affected.
- Many lands proposed for closure in the past years are some of the few areas left in the United States that this sport can thrive.
- There is no known animal impact in these deep snow regions due to incredibly high snowpacks 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 due to the high depth of snow in these regions. Often tacks blow away the same day.
- Other snow users (skiers/snow showers, etc.) are not bothered in these regions by snowmobiles. These regions are too far away for other use unless brought in by snowmobiles.
- Organized sledding clubs like Team Lochsa and Sled Patriots, (the biggest users of those lands during the high winter season) are stewards of the land, donating money and their time to agencies, (all seasons). We do backcountry road and trail clearance, facility restoration, forest clean-up, campground openings/ maintenance, search and rescue, firefighting, and other volunteer assistance as part of our “Giving Back” motto and commitment. We are environmentalists as much as any other group might claim.
The Lochsa drainage situated in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest and butting up to the Lolo Nation Forest is headquarters for our Club. 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 of our wonderful public lands and forests. We are very pleased with how the agency has reached out to the community and given hours of their time to understand the evolution of public land uses. A big thank you to those in the Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest who lead those initiatives.
To learn more or be a part of this mission reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or donate to our 501 C3 non-profit and join us!