Two recreation proposals at Greys River Ranger District
Portable toilet installation and 3-day snowmobile hill climb. Deadline for comments is November 30, 2017
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
November 3, 2017
AFTON, WYOMING – The Greys River Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest is seeking public input on two current recreation-related proposals. One is the addition of a new vaulted toilet facility and the other is a one-time recreation event permit.
The proposed new vaulted toilet facility is being considered for a previously hardened location approximately thirteen miles up the Little Greys River Road, # 10124. Currently, the only existing toilet facility along the approximately 25-miles of open roads in the drainage is within a fenced area at McCain Guard Station, at the extreme northern portion of the upper forks of the road system. This guard station is available for public rental, so when general forest recreationists want to use that facility, conflicts can arise. The proposed location would be more centrally-located to the majority of the dispersed campsites just below the upper 'Y' where #10124 and #10047 diverge, at an old heli-spot and former roadway (#10124A) where the ford washed out years ago (T36, R116, S6). This location is also near the #10334 network at Blind Trail, popular with firewood collectors and motorbike enthusiasts exploring Telephone Pass. Visitors enjoying these day-use activities may not be associated with any self-contained camping units, so with increased numbers of recreationists in the drainage, sanitation facilities are clearly a desired improvement.
The proposed recreation event permit would allow for the continued use of the Phillips Canyon area in Grover Park for its February 2018 three-day snowmobile Hill Climb. This event has been held on the national forest for approximately twenty years now, and provides a positive economic boost for local communities during a slower season. The local volunteer organization, Star Valley Ridge Riders snowmobile club, is the host and project proponent that would hold this permit. Because this area has a number of special designations, including critical wildlife winter range and municipal watershed protection emphasis, event design criteria have been developed over the years to address a variety of potential resource concerns.
Given the volatile changes in amounts of snow on the hill from year to year, and even across a single winter, the requirement for an average of at least eighteen inches of snow prior to the event start can present a challenge. Last year barely met that depth requirement, and soil damage had to be treated. Several years ago, the snow slid off the face of the slope used for the event, and the location had to be moved to the ski area outside Cokeville, which was a less exciting location for participants, and farther from Star Valley businesses. Packing the hill earlier has been allowed under special permit waivers for the past two years, and the activity does appear to be effective in retaining snow.
Questions on the two proposals can be directed to Sid Woods at 307-886-5327. For inclusion in the permitting decision, please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to December 1, 2017.