Lookout Pass Winter Users

Greetings Winter Users of the Lookout Pass Area:

In recent months, two proposals have been presented to the Forest Service for specific winter recreation uses in the area around Lookout Pass—in particular from Copper Lake, on the Montana side, to Stevens Peak, on the Idaho side. One proposal is for an expansion of the Lookout Pass Ski Area, and the other proposal is for a designated area for backcountry skiing in the Stevens Peak area.

We have decided it would be beneficial for the Idaho Panhandle and Lolo National Forests to work together to gather information from users of this area, which we have named the Copper-Stevens Area.

Recreation currently within the Copper-Stevens Area (see enclosed map) include some developed alpine skiing, a portion of a much larger groomed snowmobile trail system, cross country and backcountry skiing, as well as motorized and non-motorized summer activities. Before we proceed with consideration of the two proposals mentioned above, the Lolo and Idaho Panhandle National Forests would like to hear from groups and individuals who use the area and have an interest in how the area is managed, especially as it pertains to the development of the area for additional winter recreation. Your name has been given to us as someone who has an interest in or uses this area in the winter, or has expressed an interest when visiting with one of the Rangers.

To help us gather this information, we have contracted with SuzAnne Miller, from Dunrovin Research, to facilitate an information gathering process. In this letter you will find a map of the Copper-Stevens Area. Please take a moment to show us how you use the Copper-Stevens Area by drawing directly on the map:

Write the word PARK with an arrow on the map pointing to where you park your vehicle during your winter recreation in the area;

Draw a line to enclose any specific area you use for winter recreation and label the area with the type of recreation you do there (e.g. backcountry skiing; snowmobiling; snowshoeing; etc.) and the number of times you generally visit the area each winter;

On the back of the map, please provide us with your comments. We are particularly interested in your interactions with other users of the area, the importance of the area to your winter recreation habits, and any specific concerns you have about the area.

Please mail your map to SuzAnne Miller at Dunrovin Research, P. O. Box 822 Lolo, Montana 59847. Be sure to put your name and a phone number and/or email address on your map so SuzAnne can contact you with follow-up questions. Upon receipt of each map, Dunrovin Research will contact participants by telephone to verify their responses and to ensure an accurate understanding of their interests. The responses will be synthesized into a single map depicting use, access, and areas of interest and a report summarizing the information will be prepared. These will be presented at a meeting to be held on Wednesday, February 9th at 4:00PM Pacific Standard Time, or 5 PM Mountain Standard Time at the Historic Savenac Nursery, which is located along I-90 at Milepost 16 in Haugan, Montana. At this meeting we will also hear briefly about the two proposals that have generated this information gathering process. You do not need to attend the meeting to be heard and can obtain a copy of the summarized report if you would like one.

You can be of great help to us through your participation. If you know of others who would be willing to share their winter recreation use information with us, please have them contact SuzAnne Miller at Dunrovin Research to obtain a copy of the map. They can reach SuzAnne by U.S. Mail at the above address, or by email at dunrovinresearch@gmail.com; or by telephone at (toll free) 877-373-7745 or (local) 406-273-7745.

All maps and information must be returned to SuzAnne by January 25 so she has time to compile information and contact you if any follow-up is necessary. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to receiving everyone’s thoughts about how they use this area during the winter season.

For further information about this request or the information gathering process, please contact Sharon Sweeney, District Ranger, Lolo National Forest at 406-822-4233 or Kimberly Johnson, District Ranger, Idaho Panhandle National Forest at 208-783-2363.




  /s/ Sharon Sweeney
Acting District Ranger

Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District

Idaho Panhandle National Forests

District Ranger

Superior Ranger District

Lolo National Forest

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