I wholeheartedly support designating Scotchman Peaks for wilderness because protecting the natural resources in this area for future generations is extremely important to me. We would be providing wilderness in North Idaho, where none exists; which would designate as wilderness only one-half percent of the 2.5 million acres that the Idaho Panhandle NF currently manages for multiple use. There are many areas on the IPNF for timber harvest and motorized recreation; but as wilderness Scotchman Peaks would be protected forever, void of roads or development, where one can hike, camp, hunt, fish and find solitude. My career and love for the outdoors has afforded me many opportunities for hiking in some of the premier wildernesses in this country; from the BWCA in Minnesota; to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado; to the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana; to the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon; and now in Sandpoint, where I’m blessed to have Scotchman Peaks in my backyard.
The Forest Service hosted hundreds of public meetings across the Forest during the forest planning process. Scotchman Peaks was discussed in detail at many meetings, with broad support from people with very diverse interests. These meetings weren’t literally in everyone’s backyard, but within a short driving distance so everyone could participate. Scotchman Peaks NEEDS to be wilderness NOW because it’s unquestionably as beautiful and pristine as the wilderness areas I’ve just mentioned! If you’ve hiked the trail to Scotchman Peak, you will know it definitely fits the bill (Wilderness Bill) and meets the characteristics of wilderness!