Scott Stouder: Idaho hunters must protect their public lands before it's too late

Scott Stouder is a field coordinator for Trout Unlimited in Idaho. He lives in Riggins where steelhead fishing on the Salmon River and the short salmon seasons are very important.

Stouder is warning of Idaho’s development-oriented position of the Bush roadless area policy.

Stouder’s piece in today’s Idaho Statesman. 







  1. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    I think Scott makes some good points and is a great ally in the political debate to preserve Idaho’s cherished roadless areas. However, I’m not so sure that Gov. Risch’s petition is all that bad (though I don’t think it is all that good, either). I’ve read it and even though it uses a lot of different terminology, it does not appear vastly different from existing forest plans. In a discussion with OSC chief Jim Caswell, he even said that the differences in the Governor’s plan and existing forest plans were in the 1000s of acres (forgive me for I don’t know the details on these – that may in fact be significant, but from an acreage perspective, is isn’t). Granted, they make no recommendations for Wilderness, but did anyone really expect them to? Caswell admitted that the big W word was left out of the petition on purpose.
    I agree with Scott that I don’t think the process that was used was the best, but I do think that some involvement from the counties is not bad. I just think that basically leaving the process up to the counties probably went too far in devolving this issue of national significance to local interests.
    My point is that I don’t think the petition is likely to solve the conflict, but I don’t think it is likely to be a vehicle for development of roadless lands, either. I’m certainly interested in getting other peoples’ perspective on this…

    I think you are probably right. I read Gov. Risch’s petition to the Bush Administration, and I thought he pretty much ratified the existing forest plans. The threats to these roadless areas from timbering is there in the longer run, but not immediate. The situation in energy states like Wyoming is serious, however, right now.
    Ralph Maughan

  2. Robert Hoskins Avatar

    While this is a fine statement of purpose for protecting roadless areas, perhaps TU could do more by actually working to organize hunters and anglers to support roadless areas. I haven’t seen it yet. TU made a big deal about its Public Lands Initiative two years ago and hired what it called at the time “roadless organizers” to work with hunters and anglers to protect roadless areas. Now they’re called “coordinators.” I know what an organizer is, but what the hell is a coordinator? It sounds like bureaucratic mish-mush to jme. It appears that the Public Lands Initiative is merely a media campaign, with lots of appearance but no action at the grass roots, which is where the action is, and needs to be if roadless areas are to be protected. That’s a shame; what a waste of money.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It sure makes a difference when hunters weigh in on the conservation side of these issues.

    That’s why I think they is such a great effort by anti-conservation interests to get hunters divided from non-hunters–to get them worried about diversionary matters.

  4. A.J. Avatar

    While I do not know who or where Mr. Hoskins lives or what he is about. I feel I must comment here to correct some of his comments regarding the fine folks who work on the PLI. I do know that TU roadless “coordinators” have been really busy organizing grass roots campaigns in states such as Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California. Having worked myself in grassroots hunting camps for the past 20 years. I do have first hand experience and knowledge that getting any hunter to show up at a meeting or write a letter in itself is at the same level as climbing Everest. I cannot speak for other states as I have no first hand knowledge of these . But the states that I do follow are very active at the grass roots level.

    I therefore believe Mr. Hoskins…that you are mistaken or not aware.!

  5. Robert Hoskins Avatar

    To A.J. I am rarely mistaken and I am extremely aware of what’s going on–or what is not going on. I live in Wyoming and I am still waiting for action by the “fine folks” at TU to begin grass roots organizing. We are currently undergoing a tremendous challenge with the revision of the Shoshone National Forest Plan in this part of the land, and many of the roadless areas are up for grabs. Where’s TU? I haven’t seen them. Maybe they’ve written off Wyoming. The Backcountry Horsemen, on the other hand, are right in the middle of the fight.

    Having been a board member of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation about a decade ago, I am perfectly aware of how hard it is to organize hunters. However, media campaigs won’t do it, especially in this state.

    So my comments about TU stand. All talk, and no walk. Maybe it’s you who needs to pay attention.

  6. A.J. Avatar

    Tired of waiting for someone else to do all the work are we.

    Ohhh… hmmmm????

    TU hired Tom Reed over you maybe??

    Maybe a little sour grapes about the situation?

    If TU isn’t doing anything in Wyoming to your satisfaction you then have the opportunity to “grassroots” organize hunters on anglers in the fight to save Wyomings wild lands.

    Well what are you waiting for?

    I don’t get paid to advocate either? So quit your whining!

  7. Robert Hoskins Avatar

    To A.J. First of all, perhaps you can use your real name. Only cowards hide their identity on these posts. You clearly are a coward and a first class asshole to boot. Second, I’ve worked hard advocating for roadless area protection in the Shoshone, spending much personal time in the field, coffee shops, and restaurants trying to convince hunters and anglers that wilderness and roadless are are good for them. All on my own dime. That works a lot better than printing glossy reports that no one reads. The fact is that TU mislead people about the nature of the PLI and what it was going to do. I consider that dishonest. If you don’t think so, then you’re dishonest too, and are of no value to the grassroots effort that is necessary to turn this around.

  8. AJ Avatar

    To Robert:
    I guess I must be a 1st Class A–hole because “you are are rarely mistaken”

    BTW I have handed out hundreds of those nice glossy booklets that show where the real habitat is. They are a real eye opener. )to most folks that can read)

    Nice try troll!!

  9. Scott Stouder Avatar
    Scott Stouder

    I just saw this exchange and thought I should comment on matt bullard’s comments regarding the Idaho Petition and its close resemblance to the existing forest plans. The orginal reason for creating the orginal 2001 roadless rule was to protect our last existing roadless lands because, with a few exceptions, the existing forest plans were “not” doing that. They still are not doing that. Although, the language may seem inoculous and the peitition itself may seem like “not much of a threat” at first glance, if the Idaho roadless petition does emulating existing forest plans it begs the question: Why does the Governor think it necessary? Especially given the recent 9th circuit court decesion that says the 2001 Roadless Rule has to be adhered to. On the whole, this petition will open up more National Forest land in Idaho than current NF managment plans. And, now, as it’s being submitted under the Administrative Procedures Act, if it’s accepted, and passes the rule making process, it wil supercede the various NF Travel Management Plans regarding ORV use. It will open up all Idaho’s 9.3 million acres of roadless to motorized use. ‘Course addition ORV use areas will have to pass the rule making gauntlet, etc. etc. But -bottom line – that’s what this petition will do. My whole point is that hunters and anglers (especially hunters) are being complacent about watching as our last, best places slowly diminish and then disappear. The comment: “Well, it won’t happen anytime soon” is a perfect example of that attitude. We can’t afford to continue to watch our best hunting habitat and opportunities continue to erode. We’ve done that for so long we’re accustomed to it and think it’s inevitable. It’s not, but before we can stop that trend we have to change our attitude of simply shrugging our shoulders and grimacing. We have to jump out of the pot of complacency that we’re so used to being in and turn the heat down on our last wild places. Either that or we’ll just sit in the pot until the boiling water has destoryed us.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan