Earlier this year, Idaho Fish and Game partnered with PotlatchDeltic to allow public access to 567,002 acres of private land for recreational activities, but some residents are reporting that gates are still closed on roadways leading to those areas.
Those who wish to access the land shouldn’t be alarmed by the closed gates says Idaho Fish and Game’s Regional Wildlife Habitat Manager Norm Merz.
He mentioned that whether gates are open or closed to vehicle traffic does not necessarily determine whether that area is open or closed to foot traffic.
“All that’s saying is non-motorized use,” Mr. Merz said. “There is a map with the areas that are accessible to hunters and hikers on the Idaho Fish and Game website. If the area that’s gated is on the public accessible part then you can still walk around the gate.”
He said that areas that are open to public recreational activities is highlighted yellow on the map, and areas that are highlighted in red are closed to any public use.
“Anywhere with yellow, people have access to walk there on foot,” Mr. Merz said.
Mr. Merz added that if PotlatchDeltic completely closed a public accessible area then they would post it at the location stating that vehicles and those on foot are not allowed in that area.
He said PotlatchDeltic will fully close an area they are harvesting in or doing any other kind of maintenance work.
He added that the regulations and rules document stipulates that PotlatchDeltic has the right to temporarily close certain areas to public access at any time, and that PotlatchDeltic may limit the kind of recreational use in certain areas.
The list of regulations and rules state that public safety is a concern when PotlatchDeltic is doing work in designated areas.
“The access is regulated by the land owner,” Mr Merz said.
He said that those who do plan to use ATV’s or other off road vehicles on any PotlatchDeltic owned roadways will need to have a permit to do so. Permits can be purchased on PotlatchDeltic’s website.
A map of accessible areas and the rules and regulations for use on PotlatchDeltic can be found on the Idaho Fish and Game’s website at idfg.idaho.gov/access/potlatchdeltic.
For more information call the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Panhandle Region office at 208-769-1414.