Skiing operation will get its permit
| November 12, 2010 8:00 PM
COEUR d'ALENE - The Bureau of Land Management today plans to offer a special recreation permit to Backcountry Experience Inc., which does business under the name Peak Adventures.
The permit would allow the commercial snowcat skiing and snowboarding business to operate in the Latour Peak area.
The permit area includes about 3,200 acres of public land in the St. Joe Mountains, located south of Cataldo.
According to BLM field manager Kurt Pavlat, the owners of Peak Adventures requested a permit to use 13,000 acres of public land at Latour Peak, Rochat Divide and the St. Joe Baldy area.
The smaller permit area is being authorized by BLM to reduce potential conflicts between the ski operation and wolverine denning that might occur in the area.
Peak Adventures will be limited to using designated roads in the area, which also are open to the public. The permit will not allow any cross-country travel by snowcat or snowmobile.
Pavlat said, "In accordance with our 2007 resource management plan, all motorized vehicle use, including snowmobiles, is limited to designated routes. This will further reduce the potential for conflicts with wolverine and cultural resources in the area."
Pavlat said the permit will be issued for the 2010-2011 ski season only, and the agency has no plan at this time for authorizing a permit for this use in the future.
He said, "There are several resource considerations that must be taken into account whenever a commercial use of public land is proposed. We must follow our land use plan, identify and resolve conflicting uses, and determine what uses are appropriate and compatible."
Carey Stanley, who owns Peak Adventures with her husband, Ryan, said a one-year permit "makes it challenging for us to invest in the business."
She said it looks like the permit being offered would have the business operating in areas the couple are not familiar with.
She said they plan to meet today with the BLM to discuss the permit being offered.
The Stanleys acquired Peak Adventures in the fall of 2009, from Steve and Terri Matthews. The Matthews operated in the St. Joe Mountains for 17 years.