North Fork Teanaway Snowmobile Groomed Trail Extension
Martin Kaatz contacted me about a current proposal in the Wenatchee NF to extend the groomed snowmobile trail about 3.5 miles farther up the North Fork Teanaway River road. This would mean grooming would be maintained up to about Camp Yahoo (DeRoux Creek). Comments on this proposal are being taken now, and there does not seem to be any specific decision date.
Here is the proposal, from page 15 of [url=http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/planning/sopa-two-2003.pdf
North Fork Teanaway Snowmobile Groomed Trail Extension The Kittitas County Snowmobile Grooming Council is the proponent of this project. The proposal is to extend the existing groomed snowmobile route on Forest Road #9737, North Fork Teanaway Road, to mile point 8 in the vicinity of Camp Wahoo at Eldorado Creek in sec. 14, T22N, R15E, WM. Currently the route is groomed from the Teanaway Sno-Park near 29 Pines Campground to the Beverly Creek Campground in sec. 19, T22N, R15E, WM. This proposal would add approximately 3.5 miles of groomed snowmobile route.
Location: Teanaway Watershed, North Fork Teanaway
Multiple sections, T22N, R15 & 16E, W.M.
Scoping Began: 1/2003
Project Status: Comments are being requested to determine
the issues and concerns relative to this proposal and if it is
determined to proceed, the appropriate level of analysis.
Estimated Decision: N/A
Estimated Implementation Date: N/A
Contact: Steve Carter (509) 674-4411
Additional contact info from Martin:
The overall winter recreation contact for the district is Tim Foss.
You could also contact the district ranger Catherine Stephenson:
email@example.com. She is quite sympathetic to non-motorized users.
The particular contact to respond to the proposed extension of snowmobile grooming is:
Stephen C Carter, Forestry Tech
Wenatchee National Forest
Cle Elum Ranger District
509-674-4411 ext. 252
fax # 509-674-1530
Martin has given me permission to post his letter to the NF about this proposal:
Date: May 25, 2003
Cle Elum Ranger District
Cle Elum Wa, 98922
Following are my responses to proposals to extend snow grooming in the Cle Elum District as described in the "WNF Schedule of 2003 Proposed Actions".
I oppose the extension of 3.5 miles of snowmobile grooming in the N.Fork Teanaway.
1. Evidence of the ease with which snowmobilers currently are able to reach the edge of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and often illegally enter it is seen annually by the observance in late spring of an abundance of snowmobile tracks near and within the wilderness area. A May 21, 2003 report of a tour to Fortune peak states: "An otherwise fairly tricky [ski] route up through the trees was made easy by abundant snowmachine tracks, which seemed to fill every available open lead up through the trees." Another report this spring referred to snowmobile tracks at Longs Pass.
2. Extending grooming in the N. Fk Teanawaywould make it even easier for snowmobiles to impinge on the proposed enlargement of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area that includes L. Ann.
3. Compaction of snow by grooming on the N. Fk road already delays early spring vehicular access to the trailhead for Ingalls Lake and nearby routes.
4. Grooming also adds to the opportunity for snowmobiles to travel at higher speeds thus endangering snowshoers and skiers.
5. It appears to me that current grooming offers ample opportunities for travel into the N. Fk and its tributary valleys for snowmobilers who seek relatively pristine areas and challenges. For snowmobilers who mostly stay on the road, there is little to be gained for the snowmobile experience by adding 3.5 miles of grooming.
6. Is it possible that there may be negative effects posed by snow compaction delaying the rate of melt and hence the timing or the nature of spring runoff and flooding?
I also oppose the extension of 5.5 miles of snowmobile grooming in the East Kachess area.
1. If snowmobilers seek travel off road for the pleasures and challenges of backcountry travel, current snowmobile grooming in the French Cabin Creek drainage provides ample opportunities for them to travel into adjacent valleys and bowls.
2. Making it easier for snowmobiles to loop through the upper French Cabin Creek area would extend the period during which they currently do so. Currently the upper French Cabin Creek area is one of the few relatively pristine areas in the Cle Elum River basin accessible to back country ski tourers in the spring.
Finally, a better use for additional funds that might be allocated to extended grooming would be to use the funds to enhance the access and size of current snoparks or to add to the number of snoparks.
Martin also sent me this additional info about groomed trails which access the general area between the NF Teanaway and Cle Elum Rivers:
The Beverly-Bean basin is designated as a voluntary
non-motorized area. Snowmobiles are not permitted within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Permitted grooming also extends up the S. Fork Fortune Creek Road #3150 off of the Cle Elum River Road #4330 for about 5 miles.
Permitted grooming extends to about the S. edge of S. 2 near the
end of French Cabin Creek Road. There also is grooming to the end of #4312 road below Thorp lake and the spur #112 off of #4312 that ends below the Thorp Lookout.
As you can see there appears to be more than ample "back country" grooming available in the Cle Elum District. I am told that currently there are more than 500 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the Cle Elum District of the WNF!