Idaho Recreation Council
November 15, 2014
In attendance: Becky Johnstone, Jim Kulm, Marcus Jennings, David Galantuomini, D.L. “Mate” Maitland, Gary Scott, Tamra Cikaitoga, Tom Glass, Steve Swaun, Harold Johnson, Ron Platt, Terri Klanderud, Larry Laxson, Todd Wardle, David Langhorst, Kirk Buck, Frank Axtell, Roger Tipton, Joyce Barcus, Steve Frisbie, Joe Aldape, Randy Fisgafer, Tom Skogerson, P. Rusty Skogerson, David Claiborne, Haden Claiborne, Terry Gestrin.
The meeting was called to order by President, Jim Kulm at 10:14 AM.
Haden Claiborne presented the Treasurer’s Report. The current balance is $22,329.60. Tom Skogerson moved that the report be accepted as presented. His motion was seconded and approved unanimously.
David Langhorst, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Director spoke to the group about his wish to work with IRC, and other groups. He expects his staff to be more engaged in Travel Planning on Federal lands. A $1.5 million appropriation for IDPR is being requested from the State’s General Fund by Governor Otter. Non-resident campers will be charged $3 more than resident campers. Based on the July – September receipts, the State Park Passport program should bring in $1.2 this year. This is up from last year. Non-residents pay $40 for a Motor Vehicle Entry Fee.
Langhorst acknowledged that the ATV, UTV, snowmobile, boat tag vendor program must stay in place. They are having to deal with Coast Guard boat registration mandates. The portion of the IDPR’s 15% of those sticker fees not spent on administration of the programs will be retained in order to upgrade software and equipment. The current system has had some updates and is working. We will still have the 3-part snowmobile sticker forms to complete at the vendors. IDPR wants all stickers to be available in the same system. There are federal regulations they must comply with regarding boat stickers. It was pointed out that the snowmobile stickers are not tied to VIN numbers. Sandra Mitchell brought up that there are questions about what the Coast Guard actually requires.
There are new users, fat tire bikes, equestrians, etc. that need to be included in fee programs. The legislature doesn’t like new fees even when they are user requested. We need to develop a non-motorized fee program to maintain and develop shared and user specific trails.
There are plans in place to go to the State Legislature this session to ask that the 2% lodging tax currently going to the Idaho Tourism Council be expanded to include State Parks. State Parks that are in areas where the fee is charged in private parks will also collect the fees. Revenues are split between the Idaho Tourism Council and local Chambers of Commerce.
Easements are becoming an issue as Potlatch sells off land and recreation expands. There needs to be a fund to purchase easements. ATV groups are interested in an increase in fees if the extra amount would be used to purchase easements.
RV funds will not be appropriated by IDPR. They will continue to apply for funds under the grant program.
Legislation changes will be proposed this session to allow sales of UTV’s to out of state buyers without collection of sales tax. It is currently allowed on ATV’s and snowmobiles.
There is also a proposal to allow for the purchase of Certificates of Number for more than one year at a time.
The proposal to increase wheeled vehicles fees to purchase trail easements will be researched this year but probably won’t go to the legislature until next year.
Legislation will be proposed that will allow OHV’s on State Highways where the speed limit is less than 45 miles per hour. ITD can determine where OHV’s can cross highways. In many areas it is not possible to get from homes and campgrounds to trailheads without crossing or driving on a State Highway. Proposed legislation will allow cities and counties to determine where OHV’s can cross the highways or travel on the highways where speed limits are 45 miles per hour or less. Idaho Association of Cities have asked up to work with them. David will talk with the Sheriff’s Association to work together on the proposal. Fremont County has a good working relationship with ITD to obtain crossings. There are very few in northern Idaho. ITD has the authority to approve crossings now. Any vehicle travelling on state highways would need to have liability insurance. We are required to do that now on trails. IRC would support this legislation change.
Representative Simpson has asked for 9 months to try to reach agreement for a new Boulder/White Cloud Wilderness bill. With National Monument designation there are many unknowns. We can work with Governor Otter and the rest of our congressional delegation on any Wilderness bill that Simpson may propose. We will need strong language regarding motorized travel in any wilderness proposal. Most opposed any increase in Wilderness in Idaho, but felt we do need to be at the table during the discussion. We haven’t agreed with any of the past 5 drafts.
The Monument proposal is currently at 500,000 acres. The Boulder/White Cloud proposal was at 300,000 acres. No BLM land would be included. Fremont and Custer County ballot measures showed overwhelming support against National Monuments but Washington D.C. doesn’t care what the locals want. We can support the process but not necessarily the end product.
Ask for more motorized trails for ATV’s, UTV’s, snowmobiles, jeeps, etc. We would like to see the Her Creek trail open to Herd Creek Lake, the Hermit Mine road and the road that crosses Herd Creek open to motorized travel.
Marcus Jennings moved that Sandra Mitchell and Steve Frisbie move forward on negotiating a Wilderness bill in the Boulder/White Cloud area. Joe Aldape seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously. We have maps and language that we could live with from previous attempts.
The Sled Warrior program is raising money for access. ISSA spent $150,000 over the last two years on legal issues regarding motorized access. Everyone who rides and buys a vehicle pays a doc fee. There are 40,000 units new and used sold in Idaho each year. Doc fees are determined by each dealer. If we had a $25 doc portion on each doc fee it would raise $1,000,000 per year that could be used to maintain motorized access in the state. WE could ask dealers throughout the state to charge and additional $5 – $25 doc fee and put the funds in a 501 organization. It was suggested that we ask manufacturers to pay $25 for each new unit sold. There are currently no statewide dealer organizations. David Galantuomini moved that a committee be formed to study making a proposal for making an access fee a part of the doc fees and to study the tax implications and contractual obligations of the dealers. Steve Swann seconded the motion. The motion passed with no dissenting vote.
There is the potential for a $60,000 fine for non-profits not following the State lottery regulations at casino nights, poker runs, raffles, etc. Groups need to look at the lottery commission rules before their next fund raiser. There are 22 pages of rules and you need to obtain a permit. ISSA has a permit for 12 events. They use 4 and let clubs use the other 8. The Lottery Commission looks at each raffle bucket as a separate event. There are conflicts in the existing code as to the percent that must be given to charity.
Roger Tipton moved that IRC for a committee to investigate lottery conflicts with the existing code and correct the impacts on on-profits with Ron Platt as chairman. Dave Galantuomini seconded the motion. The motion passed with no dissenting votes.
This is one of the first Forest Plan revisions under the new rules. The 2004 Forest Plan was not done with collaboration. The Nez Perce Clearwater Collaborative has been able to work with the Forest Service to increase timber production from 10 MBF to 60 MBF and towards 100 MBF next year. They have been able to work towards consensus until they began discussing Wilderness. Agreement on Wilderness is not done contrary to what ICL and Wilderness Society are saying.
The new Forest Plan looks at animals coexisting with man as being stressed. If animals are in areas with human activity they are accepting of human activity. 4 university studies found that the biggest impact on wildlife is from 1 hikers, 2 horses, 3 motorcycles and 4 bikers.
Recommended Wilderness Areas are being managed as Wilderness without Congressional designation. This is a widespread violation of NEPA in Region 1. The Forest Service has agreed to settle. The Forest Service has to show the impacts of motorized use. 90 environmental groups are suing as interveners. Judges don’t usually listen to interveners on settlement issues.
Most of what was discussed in today’s meeting was discussed on the tour. Northern Idaho towns would like to have more ability to allow travel on state highways through towns where the speed limit is 35-45 miles per hour or less. Fremont County has had no problems working with ITD to get crossings.
Private lands have been overcut and counties are in trouble. Benewah County is suing to force the Forest Service to cut more timber.
Since 1999 COE has been working on allowing more motorized access to Dworshack Reservoir. The plan is now in place to allow 19 miles in Phase 1 moving to a total of 59 miles of legal trails by Phase 3. Land has been purchased for elk mitigation and recreational purposes. Access will be improved for motorized, non-motorized, hiking, biking and handicap trails. Trails will be UTV friendly. There is a 90’ difference in reservoir level from July to November. There will be ATV accessible campgrounds that will be accessible during low waters. July 1 – August 1 they have high numbers of campers.
10 western states are involved. Utah is moving forward pressing for the equal footing guaranteed under the Constitution to states. 62% of the state is uninhabitable because the land is federally controlled. It limits the population and number of voters a state can have. Otter does not believe this is a winning proposition at this time. Labrador is pushing for a 200,000 acre project that would shift stewardship to the states to be managed under federal guidelines.
Steve Swan – the Coast Guard will push to mandate boater safety education.
Gary Scott – Mining is working on legislation to allow recreational mining.
Becky Johnstone – the Big Creek/Yellow Pine Coalition is expanding into the South Fork area. They are looking for people that recreate in that area from Warm Lake down the South Fork to the East Fork South Fork of the Salmon River.
Steve Frisbee –
Timing was discussed. Should we meet during or after the State Legislature? Should we try to set up teleconferencing?
The meeting was adjourned at 3:04 PM