Mount Jefferson continues to be in danger of becoming a wilderness area.  If you haven’t heard, the BlueRibbon Coalition and other snowmobile groups have been working to keep Mount Jefferson open for a long time. The new Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest planning process resulted in a compromise solution that kept most of the popular snowmobile areas open. This compromise represents a hard-fought and, sadly, uncommon victory for the snowmobile community.  Then the anti snowmobile groups have convinced Senator Jon Tester from Montana to not use that compromise.   

According to Sen. Tester's staff, the intent of the bill is to mirror the Forest Plan and actually opens up snowmobiling areas. Yet, the closure of Mt. Jefferson is a substantial deviation from that plan. The bill would close what the snowmobile community fought so hard to keep open.


Montana Senator Jon Tester’s “Montana Forest Jobs and Recreation Act” is in the U.S. Senate now as bill S. 1470.  Snowmobilers, businesses, etc. were shocked by the wilderness designation found in Title II, section 201 of that bill (beginning on page 42), seeking to designate as wilderness 4,465 acres of Mt. Jefferson; 23,256 acres of the Centennial Mountains; 35,120 acres of the Lima Peaks; and, 29,580 acres of Italian Peaks.  You can see the proposed land designation map at: 


Everyone is being asked to write a letter or call our Idaho Senators expressing our concerns. See our website for examples of letters you can send and a map showing where these lands are located. Look at the BlueRibbon Coalition website: for more information.  This group and others are dedicated to preserving public lands for the public.  This site will show you what to do. Senator Crapo’s website and contact information is:; Senator Risch’s website and contact information is:


Here are examples of letters sent by others to our Idaho Senators that you are encouraged to copy and mail yourselves:

Letter to S. Crapo on Mt. Jefferson on wilderness.pdf

Letter to S. Risch on Mt. Jefferson on wilderness.pdf


Again, all of us need to write or call our Idaho Senators on Mt. Jefferson to ensure it keeps open (and all other areas), and be continually diligent in the efforts to preserve our public lands.


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