Land News


Snowmobilers have fought long and hard to keep the South half of Mount Jefferson open to snowmobiling but the fight isn’t over.

When the Forest Service attempted to eliminate our use during the administrative process— we fought back and we won.  When Congress tried to pass a Wilderness Bill that included Mount Jefferson, we fought back and thanks to Senator Risch, we won.  When the environmental industry filed a legal challenge, which put us back in the Administrative Process, we fought back and we won.

We now face yet another challenge and again our determination and commitment will be tested.

Included in the Forest Plan was wording that allows snowmobiling in the south half of Mount Jefferson to continue if there are no incursions into the north half that is non-motorized.  We tried education but it didn’t stop the jerks who ignored us and proceeded to ride into the closed section.  Three years ago, working with the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Fremont County, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the Idaho State Snowmobile Association, and the Montana Snowmobile Association, we hired enforcement officers and it worked!

The problem is we have run out of money to fund our enforcement officers.  The county, IDPR, and the Forest Service simply cannot continue to contribute.   If we want to continue to ride in this nationally renowned world-class high mountain snowmobiling area, it is up to the Snowmobile Community to raise the funds needed!

Any amount will help and every dollar will be used on the ground to pay law enforcement personnel.  Please contribute today!



Mt Jefferson

ISSA GoFund Me Account

Idaho's Billion Dollar Motorized Recreation Industry

Idaho’s motorized recreation industry is BIG business, contributing nearly $1 Billion combined in equipment, fuel, food, lodging, and more. There is an additional $543 million value added through employment. Because of these activities you add an estimated $543 million in value added increases.

Idaho’s Billion Dollar Motorized Recreation Industry

Local taxes, benefits, and labor income see a contribution of well over $250 million. The outdoor recreation industry is among the nation’s largest economic sectors from the smallest rural town to the largest city. This economic powerhouse creates billions in spending and millions of good paying jobs.

When we invest in the foundation of recreation economy, our public lands, waters, and mountains produce a compounding return in the form of healthier communities, healthier economies and healthier people. Motorized outdoor recreation is a powerful force!

Our public lands and waters represent the best of America. With recreation now part of the US GDP ($646 billion total spending, 6.1 million jobs and $80 billion in tax revenue*), it is more important than ever.

The outdoor recreation economy depends on access to public lands, which contribute to the growth of our economy and ensure we have beautiful places to recreate.

*Source: Outdoor industry Association, Nov 2016

To read more click HERE.


By Sandra Mitchell

Public Land Update… Sandra Mitchell

  • Working with users and counties in Adams, Idaho, and Boise county on RS 2477 Roads
  • Continue our efforts to reopen a 13.1-mile groomed snowmobile trail in the Fairfield District.
  • The Great Burn, in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, was closed because Region 1 decided to manage Recommended Wilderness Areas as Wilderness which is contrary to the law.  This area provides the best backcountry riding in North Idaho.  The Forest is currently in Forest Planning.  ISSA has worked closely with the agency, and we are somewhat optimistic sections of the Great Burn will be reopened. This is a long process, and, in the meantime, there is an effort to designate the area as Wilderness. Snowmobilers are participating in that process, and we WILL NOT LOSE THE GREAT BURN TO WILDERNESS!
  • ISSA is committed to keeping Mt. Jefferson open for snowmobiling.  The Beaverhead Deer-lodge Forest attempted to close it in Forest Planning, but we convinced them not to.  That decision by the Forest bought them a lawsuit, ISSA intervened on behalf of the agency, and we prevailed.  Then Senator Tester introduced a wilderness bill that include Jefferson.  Because of the efforts of Senator Risch, the good Senator from Montana removed Jefferson.  Opponents of snowmobiling continue to work to get Jefferson closed to snowmobiling, but we are committed to keep it open.  Each year, ISSA contributes to the salary for enforcement, and it has made a difference.
  • The Fernan Parking lot, which provides the best early and late snowmobiling in Kootenai County, has been closed.  ISSA working with the local club is doing everything possible to see that it is reopened
  • Fremont, Valley, Boise counties among others are struggling with the use of large 2 track vehicles on groomed trails.  ISSA is working with the counties to find a resolution.
  • Working with many collaborates across the state to ensure that snowmobiling is properly represented. Also, continuing to be involvement with the Forest Planning Efforts in the Nez Perce Clearwater and Sawtooth National Forests
  • Working with Deputy Chief Chris French, DC, on the project entitled “Reimagine Recreation”.

I am not making any of this up! It ever gets stranger. In the “Preparing for Alternative Development” document that was given out last week, within the Recommended Wilderness Section, it says that summer/winter motorized uses are not allowed, bicycles and other mechanized forms of transportation are not suitable, however, wheeled carts (mechanized) for transport (including game carts) are suitable for the private user but not outfitters and guides, and motorized mechanized equipment (such as use of chain saws to clear trails) may be used to facilitate access of the area by the public. Seems contradictory and arbitrary!

There have been many times during this process when I have felt totally defeated. Then I remembered one of those annoyingly cute sayings that you see on T-shirts or bumper stickers and my discouragement turned to just disappointment. The saying is “It is better to fail at something that will ultimately succeed than to succeed at something that will ultimately fail.” I know, and you know, that there is no legitimate reason to not allow snowmobiling in the Great Burn. We will eventually prevail and return fair play and common sense to the Great Burn. So, in the meantime, I can live with these losses and the disappointment because I know we will ultimately succeed. There is of course one requirement for success and that is tenacity—we cannot give up. This is our fight and our responsibility. We know what is wrong and why it is wrong so we must continue to press the issue because you can bet, no one else will. So, give disappointment its’ due and then let’s get on with it!