By Lyndsie Kiebert
Bonner and Boundary counties are working together to spread awareness of responsible motorized winter recreation practices after Stimson Lumber brought attention to property damage in an area where the company allows access.
“Due to resource damage from motorized use occurring on Stimson Lumber Company land, the threat of closing access to motorized travel has become more of a reality than an inconceivable notion,” according to a Nov. 27 media release from the Bonner County Commissioners Office. “With the cooperation between Stimson, IDL, Bonner County, Boundary County, and the East Bonner Snowmobile Advisory Board an agreement was made to continue access through their land (for now) with restrictions.”
The area in question is known as Highland Flats, a popular snowmobiling destination in Naples.
“In the Highland Flats area, access to endowment and public lands is provided on roads through private Stimson Lumber Company timberland. Entering Stimson land is a privilege,” said Boundary County Commissioner Dan Dinning. “Stimson land is working land, where timber and the land itself is vital for business. Off-trail snowmobiling can cause significant and expensive damage to young tree plantations.”
Dinning said it is vital for snowmobilers to always know whose land they’re on, carry maps, stay on groomed trails unless they’re absolutely sure off-trail riding is allowed, report riders who are breaking the rules, and to always pack out what they pack in. Following such guidelines will assure recreational opportunities in the Highland Flats area remain available, Dinning said.
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