Heli-skiing scoping notice

From an email received from Save Our Canyons.

Speak up for the Wasatch!

Unfortunately, the issue of heli-skiing in the Wasatch has emerged once again. Wasatch Powderbird Guides (WPG) is up for a special use permit renewal, with their current permit set to expire 9/1/2010. Save Our Canyons is dismayed with the potential for WPG to have at the Wasatch yet again. Backcountry use is increasing, at an all time high, and the conflict between the user groups continues to escalate, yet the Forest Service continues to entertain heli-skiing as an appropriate and viable use of our public lands.

The Salt Lake Ranger District has issued a scoping notice inviting the public to comment on the permit renewal. WPG has been an outfitter & guide operating under special use permits since 1973. The new permit would include the same conditions and terms as the current permit; however, there are some changes that would be administrative in scope.

The new permit would be issued for 10 years rather than the normal 5 years and would be categorically excluded from further NEPA analysis. In a previous Record of Decision it was stated that it is uncertain whether heli-skiing will remain a feasible recreation opportunity in the Wasatch, due to increased numbers of backcountry users.

We NEED YOU to submit your thoughts and concerns regarding the WPG permit renewal!

The urgency is here; let the Forest Service hear your thoughts on the best use of your public lands and hope they make the right decision.

Use this link to view the scoping notice.

Submit comments to Melissa Hearst, Salt Lake Acting District Ranger 6944 So 3000 East, Salt Lake City UT 84121, fax 801-733-2684, or via e-mail at comments-intermtn-wasatch-cache-saltlake@fs.fed.us.

For information about THIS PROJECT and commenting, please contact Carl Fisher, Executive Director of Save Our Canyons, at carl@saveourcanyons.org or at 801-363-7283.

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