From the September 1998 Idaho Observer:

Feds Design Control of 180,000 Boundary County Acres?

Strategic USFS Road "obliteration" could serve fedgov land grab agenda

BONNERS FERRY_The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) insistence upon "obliterating" of the first five miles of the 27-mile long Boundary Creek Road may serve the purposes of a hidden agenda by the federal government to eliminate public access to nearly 180,000 acres of land in Idaho's northern most county.

According to third generation Boundary Creek native Guy Patchen who currently lives in Coeur d' Alene, "If the Forest Service obliterates Boundary Creek Road from the gate to where the creek joins with Smith Creek as they intend to do, all they will have to do is place a locked gate at Smith Creek Road and they will control all access to the area from Trout Creek to the south, Upper Priest River to the west all of the way to the Canadian border."

A quick study of the 1991 USFS map to the left proves that Patchen's concerns may be valid.

The Forest Service closed Boundary Creek Road to the public in 1994 because, "We saw the chance that people would get hurt," said USFS RS 2477 Roads Expert Dave O'Brien.

The USFS has since become concerned that to repair the road would compromise the habitat of the endangered bull trout. Patchen, 39, feels that is absurd because, "I have been fishing Boundary Creek since I was a kid and have never seen a bull trout above the 3 1/2 mile point in the creek."

According to Patchen, District Ranger Elaine Zieroth has even admitted that there are "physical boundaries which limit the habitat of the bull trout on Boundary Creek."

According to several witnesses intimately familiar with every creek and peak, road and trail on the area, there are three grizzly bear units of 100 square miles each in the area and that the USFS has discontinued maintenance of trails that it has maintained since the agency was commissioned by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.

"The USFS claims that it does not have the resources to maintain trails and keep them open to the public, but it does have the resources to supply all of its employees with their own, brand new Blazers," commented Patchen who feels that the mission of the Forest Service has changed -- and not for the better.

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