Letters From the West

Forest Service closes Bear Valley road temporarily

The U.S. Forest Service will temporarily close a section of forest road 579 from May 14 through June 6, or until the road surface has dried.

The road is the main route into Bear Valley and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.  The closure begins at Idaho 21 and continues northwest to the Bruce Meadows airstrip in the Bear Valley area.

The road is being closed for snow plowing operations providing limited access to reforestation operations. At least 6 inches of snow will remain on the road surface, so it melts slow and protects the road surface from damage.

Reforestation efforts from the 2006 Red Mountain burn have been underway since spring 2010 where seedlings have been planted on 1,687 acres. The Boise National Forest Lowman Ranger District plans to plant an additional 1,078 acres in spring and 70 acres in the fall.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West