Feedback Wanted on Accessible Trail Plans

The US Forest Service is seeking public comments about a new accessible trail planned for the Sawtooth National Recreation area, located northwest of Ketchum, Idaho.

The project focuses on making the first mile of the primitive Murdock Creek Trail wheelchair-accessible. Planned access upgrades include two bridges over Murdock Creek, widening the existing trail to 36-inches, constructing 5 foot X 5 foot passing spaces every 1,000 feet and removing surface obstacles such as rocks.

The goal is to provide barrier-free access while at the same time preserving the wilderness character of the area. It will allow wheelers to travel into the back country and camp out under the stars.

Of course the US Forest Service wants to do it right, and to that end they are seeking public comments on this proposal. You can send them by e-mail to ecannady@fs.fed.us or by snail mail to 5 North Fork Canyon Rd., Ketchum, ID 83340, attn: Murdock Creek Project.

Why bother to submit comments? First and foremost to let the US Forest Service know that people out there support this project. And of course if you have some expertise in the design of barrier-free trails, your ideas may help with the completion of this project.

So whether you?re an avid outdoor enthusiast or someone who has just dreamed about being able to hike and camp in the back country, drop the folks at the US Forest Service a short note saying that you support their efforts to make wilderness areas accessible to everyone.

Remember, every comment counts. The deadline is February 21, so get busy.