Friday, October 30, 2009

Agencies launch aerial patrols near Challis to monitor hunter compliance with road, trail closures

Head's up OHV hunters, the public agencies charged with enforcing motorized road and trail closures during hunting season are watching you.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management, Challis Field Office, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in Salmon worked together to conduct aerial patrols during deer hunting season to check on compliance with motorized road and trail closures.

No citations were issued as a result of the patrols, which were educational in nature, agency officials said.

The BLM has an approved travel plan for the Challis region, and the Salmon-Challis National Forest recently approved its travel plan, but the appeal period was still open when the patrols occurred. The aerial patrols focused on hunting areas closed to motorized use where violations have occurred repeatedly in past years, officials said. These areas included the upper Pahsimeroi River area, Little Lost River, East Fork of the Salmon River and Lost River drainage.

The Challis Messenger reported on a meeting with the Custer County Commissioners, in which agency officials talked about the aerial and ground patrols. Click on the images posted on this blog to read the article from that meeting.

No further aerial patrols are expected to occur in the Challis area this year. Agency officials said that aerial patrols have been used in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest area several times in the past.

Feel free to comment about the aerial patrols in the comments section below.

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