LETTER: More to the story
I am writing this letter in regard to the article written by staff reporter Josh McDonald about the BOCC Hearing regarding the validation of a section of West Fork Pine Creek Road.
After reading the article, I wasn’t sure that Josh and I were at the same meeting. Josh stated in his article that the Silver Valley residents at the meeting who were opposed to the petition, and I am quoting, “had concerns over noise, traffic, pollution, potential fire hazard, and the simple reason of not wanting other people up there.” Although some of these reasons were given, Josh failed to list some very important legal, financial and environmental objections that were presented.
• Four people stated that the original petitioner, Paul Louzenheiser, was not a resident of Shoshone County. Therefore, as the law (Idaho code 40-203A) states, he should not have been allowed to file the petition in the first place.
• Three people pointed out that the county would have to survey and acquire land from the public, starting at the Ross Gulch Road up to the county line. This would be a major expense to the taxpayers.
• Two people noted that the original road no longer exists as it was built. Due to floods over the years, the creek bed has now become the road through this area.
• At least three people in the meeting stated that in 2007, a travel plan was developed by BLM and Hancock Lumber Company. This plan established a non-motorized vehicle area, due in part to environmental concerns such as driving vehicles in the creek. Also, it provided a new road system up Langlois Creek with seasonal access to the upper regions of the Pine Creek drainage.
• In addition, three people told of a similar situation up the East Fork of Eagle Creek which ended up in a lawsuit, making its way to the 9th circuit court, ultimately costing the county and the taxpayers approximately $50,000.
• Finally, two people pointed out that the potential for lawsuits by environmental groups would be a very strong possibility.
It is difficult for me to believe that Mr. McDonald could have missed all these points that were made by so many people, while completely covering the points made by the opposing attorney.