Forest Service Wants To Route 630 Truckloads Of Logs Over Ada Streets

After the Ada County Highway District Commishes turned down a request April 11 from the Forest Service to route 630 truckloads of logs through Hidden Springs or Boise’s North End, the Federal Agency appealed to the next level–Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.
In a MAY 20 LETTER to the ACHD, Bieter lobbied on behalf of the USFS, detailing the importance of a “Forest Health Project” at Bogus Basin and the economies of running 630 loads of logs along ACHD roads with top choice being along Cartwright Road and Hidden Hollow.

It sounds like after Dad turned them down they went to Mom for a second try. The GUARDIAN was hard pressed to understand the Team Dave involvement at all since every aspect of the project was outside the authority of Boise City.

–The project involves an agency of the United States Government (Forest Service).
–All of the 3,000 acres of the timber sale are within neighboring Boise County.
–The proposed routes (“haul roads”) are all under the authority of the ACHD.

Primitive roads within Boise County and within the forest boundaries are available to the logging operation leading directly to Highway 55, but the USFS and Bieter say needed improvements would cut into forest rehab budgets from the timber sale revenues.

The ACHD Commishes said they would not allow public streets to be used as “haul roads” for a logging operation. Bieter did not mention any potential conflicts between giant logging trucks and bicycles using either Cartwright or Bogus Basin roads.


Comments & Discussion

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  1. Everything gets appealed to the City Council and always seems to get approved. Why have a P&Z, Historic or a Highway district when we have the “experts” in City Hall.

    Mayor Bieter is overstepping his authority on this issue. Hopefully ACHD does the right thing.

    Looks like some monkey business to me!

  2. Logging yes, Tiny minimal use private airstrip, no. And neither is any of their business.

    They went to the city because they know Bieter controls ACHD.

    Just curious, where is the nearest sawmill? Why are the Nornders not chaining themselves to trees? I recommend watching for spikers in that area now that they announced it the world.

  3. There’s a precedent for allowing logging trucks to use ACHD roadways with speed limits, jack-brake prohibition & possibly weight & length restrictions.
    Back in 1997-8, ACHD granted a similar request with such restrictions.
    Trucks routinely haul big, heavy loads from the Table Rock quarry down Shaw Mtn. Rd. (often violating the compression-brake ordinance) and through town.

  4. It’s interesting that the Forest Service doesn’t get the “chain of command.” As far as I know there is no “next level” after ACHD other than the courts. It would be like appealing to the BLM to change a USFS decision.

  5. My assumption is the City supports the project since the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is the playground for many Boise residents and the health of the forest and removal of dead or dying timber would reduce the possibility of a wildfire, which could have an economic impact on the ski resort and quality of life in the greater Boise area.

    Not sure he is overstepping his authority, versus lobbying for what he thinks are City’s interest, or maybe the logging company/industry made a contribution to his campaign.

    Why this was interesting to me, has nothing to do with the issue at hand, but am I the only one who has fallen prey to “word definition creep”?

    Example: When I read the mayor’s letter he states to make the road to horseshoe bend passable for logging trucks will reduce the net proceeds available for forest rehabilitation making the project “unfeasible”.

    That struck me as odd, that essentially less profit from timber operations makes the project unfeasible.

    I have come to believe unfeasible to be a synonym with impossible, but that is not the case. Unfeasible means not easily or conveniently done.

    When the mayor said the road change made the project unfeasible, I sympathized with the project. Had the mayor said the road change made the project not convenient or not easy, I would have less sympathy for the appeal.

  6. And how many beer trucks, soda trucks, Evian trucks and Wal-Mart trucks travel ACHD roads daily?

    Some moving van stopped in the left lane of Main between 9th and 10th the other day, back door open, loading and unloading like they owned the street. How about tour buses blocking Front or Capitol at The Grove Hotel? Or 9th Street behind the Knitting Factory?

  7. This is a tough issue. Is the axel weight heavier than a garbage trucks? Probably not. If it is a concern about damaging our roads, then no. If it a concern about conflict with users, it is matter than can be worked out before hand. The truck drivers are going to be more wary than drivers using their cell phone buzzing around the North End.

  8. Clancy….
    you are spot on, monkey business indeed, and like any good space chimp in the goofy-zoo i hereby throw my last banana at the king himself, may he have a slip and slide on the issue….this one…not a real slip and fall, just another deepdive on team dave, the rush to approve, the john wayin’ days are over…the dragon from the south, east, north, and west seem to want dave and his terra-non-firma to go falling down….court beckons from an honest and clean territory.

    logjam, parking strategies…abuse in the ranks… just rank.

    call in the experts. if the will come….flush. see you when in smells better at city hall.

    lost millions to ol dave and cowboy butcher…. yeah, sunset.

    then sunrise. clean your house boise…protect the people on the roads,on their bikes…that was what dave sold you – #1 #1 #1…

    not a dime was returned.
    see you in Fed Court Dave…Chris too…. p-YOU.

  9. Thank you ACHD…. stand your ground.

    Our roads,sacred ground.

  10. ACHD would “not allow public streets to be used as ‘haul roads’ for a logging operation.”

    But hauling loads of cement and steel to build tall buildings downtown is perfectly fine.

    Dump trucks loaded with dirt going to and from new subdivisions is normal.

    Giant empty buses traveling in downtown is okay.

    A semi trailer loaded with petroleum traveling around to the many gas stations in town is perfectly harmless.

    Instead of focusing on the material and reason, let’s consider the weight per tire. What are those numbers?

    If ACHD has fails to provide a route for industry- they FAIL overall.

    At some point it could be an absolute necessity to haul timber from the Boise Front… then what?

    EDITOR NOTE–As we understand it, there is a “haul road route,” over the back side of the mountain to Highway 55 near Horseshoe Bend. USFS didn’t want to spend the money to upgrade it for log trucks, instead proposing 630 trips through Boise.

  11. To me it appears USFS goofed by asking permission. After all, with all the construction going, moving vans, delivery vans etc, what’s the beef? Seriously, we have probably hundreds of concrete trucks, sand trucks, asphalt trucks running all over the place, but a logging truck? Hell No! Makes no sense to me. I guess we could just let it all burn and put another nail into the fight for state control of public lands.

  12. More info for anyone interested

    page 22 and 23 here has the haul route info–

    A little better explanation from ACHD would be nice. But then, who cares? Denied!

    Hopefully the routes do go through Boise County and Boise County gets rewarded nicely $ for the result- for example, hiring locals to do the required road maintenance- but that would require some thought from USFS.

    Log it, graze it, or watch it burn. It all costs money!

    EDITOR NOTE–In our discussion with ACHD staff no one mentioned the merits of the project. The only concern they had was using ACHD roads instead of retaining the entire project within Boise County. ACHD denied the request saying the alternative haul roads through Horseshoe Bend were a better choice.

  13. Yossarian_22
    May 28, 2016, 9:15 am

    I grew up in my earliest years on 7th Street. I remember yuge logging trucks bringing timber down 8th Street in the summertime. They went real slow and no one cared. Things have changed and I don’t think anyone would even consider 8th Street as a passable route for logging these days. If they use Cartwright then that means Harrison or Hill Rd will be seeing these rigs. I wonder if those folks are screaming yet. Why can’t they use Dry Creek Rd to Hwy 55? Would be nice to have rail as an option but coulda, woulda, shoulda.

  14. JustaWondering
    May 28, 2016, 11:19 am

    Has any one considered that this is to support Boise’s overreaching Ridges to Rivers long range plan. Must Boise County always be used and abused by the politicos and flatlanders? Camping, dumping of trash, excrement with toilet paper and campfires left burning is now normal.

    In this case the FS is attempting to improve the forest that the City can see to the north and looking to provide additional Recreational Access and expierences for the public.

    What happened to “Our Boise Foothills” an Interagency Foothills Management Plan?

  15. No one notice the typo in Team Dave’s letter: breaking. Should be ‘braking’.

    Get a new proofreader, Dave.

    EDITOR NOTE–As one who has no proof reader, I vote we give him a pass on that one.

  16. Perhaps we wicked flatlanders should just stop spending money in Horseshoe Bend or Idaho City. I didn’t realize we were such users and abusers.

  17. Significant improvement of the Harris Creek road from the summit to Horseshoe Bend would be a good thing – for recreationists as well as loggers.

    About the mayor’s typo: Every writer should have an editor.

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