March News

Check out the latest Newsletter from the Pioneers Alliance.

You can read the newsletter here.

Economic Recovery Effort in Carey

On March 15, Ben Alexander, of Headwaters Economics, presented the initial findings for  Ideas for Economic Recovery: Carey, Idaho, to the Carey City Council and interested public. This study has been conducted by Ben and Carey community members and was supported through the Pioneers Alliance. The study included a review of recent economic trends and issues facing the community, and was largely based on interviews with community leaders, local business people and local residents.

The interviews and discussion sessions helped identify several major economic challenges such as “old guard mentality”; unaccommodating attitude toward business; bedroom community characteristics; lack of opportunities and services; and an uninviting main street.  The opportunities identified by the project included the potential for creating a positive and problem solving atmosphere; being more business friendly; town beautification; capitalization on location and much more.

Those at the meeting were eager to continue to work to create a strategic plan and specific goals.  A meeting to continue the discussion is scheduled on March 29th at 7:45 p.m. following the BLM Travel Plan meeting at Carey City Hall.

BLM Travel Management Plan

The Shoshone Field Office of the BLM has announced they intend to prepare a new Travel Management Plan for lands north of Highway 20 outside of Carey and has begun a public scoping process soliciting comments from the public on the process.  The planning area consists of over 230,00 acres of BLM-managed public land, including 660 miles of existing roads and trails lying north of Highway 20.  Boundaries include Chimney Creek on the west and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Fish Creek on the east.

The current plan designates the majority of the planning area as ‘‘Open” to off-highway vehicles (OHV), meaning OHVs can travel cross-country. The planning area will be evaluated to consider and identify areas as ‘‘Open,’’ ‘‘Limited to Designated Routes,’’ or ‘‘Closed’’ to OHV use. A ‘‘Limited to Designated Routes’’ designation would result in motorized and possibly mechanized vehicles being limited to designated roads and trails, while a ‘‘Closed’’ designation precludes OHV travel altogether.

The travel management plan will also make decisions regarding future facilities, such as parking areas and trailheads and future trail construction corridors on public land. If you are interested in any of these issues, please attend the informational meeting at 7 p.m. on March 29, 2011 at the Carey City Hall to learn more from the Shoshone BLM about the process.

The Latest on MSTI

The latest newsletter on MSTI reveals that the proposed route of a new Northwestern Energy 500 kilovolt electronic transmission line through the Pioneers-Craters landscape has officially been taken off the table. Northwestern Energy’s proposal was a warning shot to all of us who care about maintaining large wildlife populations, working farms and ranches, a diversity of ecosystems, and access for hunting and recreation in this area.

This decision was reached thanks in no small part to the grassroots efforts of the Pioneers Alliance, who in 2008, organized public meetings, contacted state and federal agencies, as well as elected officials and submitted comments on the proposal.

Read the MSTI Newsletter here.