Draft Decision Notice Released for the Rapid River Travel Management Project

Release Date: Jun 23, 2022

New Meadows, Idaho, June 23, 2022 -  The New Meadows Ranger District of the Payette National Forest announces the release of the draft decision notice (DN) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the Rapid River Travel Management Project. This marks the beginning of the administrative review (objection) period for the project.

The project area is located approximately fifteen miles northwest of the town of New Meadows, Idaho in Adams County. The project’s responsible official, New Meadows District Ranger Dana Harris, has selected the non-motorized use alternative that was analyzed in the environmental assessment as the selected alternative for the draft DN. The selected alternative will designate 25.7 miles of existing National Forest System trail as open to foot and horse traffic only, including sections of trail within the Rapid River Wild River corridor to comply with Wild River regulations. Mechanized and motorized use will not be allowed on the trails designated as open to foot and horse traffic only, except for certain management activity exceptions as allowed at under the regulations, such as chainsaw use to by Forest Service employees to clear trails. The trails affected by the decision include portions of Rapid River Trail 177, North Star Trail 183, Indian Spring Trail 184, Echols Ridge Trail 187, Black Lake Creek Trail 188, and Cub Creek Trail 362.

The decision is essentially an administrative change, as the decision does not include any other activities other than the designation of trail use on existing trails. The sections of trail included in this decision have been managed as non-motorized use since 2010 because of a settlement agreement that prohibited motorized use of the trails until further review could be completed.

"I appreciate the public involvement and carefully considered all comments as we align management direction and retain the unique experience in Rapid River. The next step will be to work with motorized users to find the right place on the New Meadows District to enhance the single-track motorized experience,” shared Harris.

The draft DN and FONSI provide more details on the selected alternative and decision. These documents, along with other project documents, are available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=36507. Questions regarding the project can be directed to Dana Harris at 208-514-5809 or dana.harris@usda.gov.

Objections on the draft DN and FONSI will be accepted for forty-five days from the publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record, the Star News, which is anticipated to be published on June 23, 2022. The legal notice provides details on how to submit an objection. A copy of the legal notice is available on the project’s webpage.

A final decision on the project will not be made until after the objection process has been completed.