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Idaho Panhandle National Forests

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Idaho Panhandle National Forests
RevettLake.jpg
Revett Lake in Idaho Panhandle National Forest
LocationIdaho-Montana-Washington, United States
Nearest citySpokane, WA
Coordinates47°43′N 116°13′W / 47.717°N 116.217°W / 47.717; -116.217
Area3,220,000 acres (13,000 km2)
Established1912
Governing bodyU.S. Forest Service
WebsiteIdaho Panhandle National Forests
Winter on the North Fork of the St. Joe River
Winter on the North Fork of the St. Joe River

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests are a jointly administered set of three national forests located mostly in the U.S. state of Idaho. In 1973, major portions of the Kaniksu, Coeur d'Alene, and St. Joe National Forests were combined to be administratively managed as the Idaho Panhandle National Forests (IPNF). The IPNF consists of more than 2.5 million acres (10,000 km2) of public lands in the panhandle of north Idaho, with small areas extending into eastern Washington (4.7%) and western Montana (1.2%).[1] The northernmost portion of the IPNF share a boundary with Canada. The Forest Supervisor's office is located in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho with district office's in Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, Priest River (Priest Lake Ranger District), Fernan and Smelterville (Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District), and St. Maries and Avery (St. Joe Ranger District).[2]

Geography

Elevations on the IPNF range from 2,100 to 7,600 feet with as much as 80 inches of precipitation at high elevations. The IPNF is characterized by several mountain ranges including the Selkirk Mountains, Cabinet Mountains, Purcell Mountains, Coeur d'Alene Range, and Bitterroot Range, interspersed with large lakes such as Lakes Coeur d'Alene, Pend Oreille, and the upper and lower Priest. Major river valleys consist of the St. Joe, Coeur d'Alene, Priest, Pend Oreille, Clark Fork, and Kootenai.

Wildlife

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests contain a wide variety of wildlife. White-tailed deer, mule deer, raccoons, elk, grizzly bears, moose, black bears, coyotes, timber wolves, skunks, cougars, marten, beavers, river otters, bobcats, minks, and wolverines are often seen by visitors.

Bird species include ravens, wild turkey, blue jays, California quail, numerous species of grouse, osprey, golden eagle, bald eagle and numerous types of owls. The rivers and lakes in the Panhandle hold some of the best fishing locations in the world.

Wilderness areas

There is one officially designated wilderness area within the IPNF that is a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Salmo-Priest Wilderness lies partially within the Priest Lake Ranger District of the IPNF and extends into the neighboring Colville National Forest. Four roadless areas are currently proposed for wilderness totaling 146,700 acres (590 km2)[1]:

  • Salmo-Priest Roadless Area (Idaho Portion)
  • Selkirk Crest
  • Scotchman Peaks
  • Mallard-Larkins

Recreation

The IPNF manages for a diversity of recreational opportunities, and there are extensive trail networks for stock, OHVs, hiking, and winter snowmobile and cross country skiing. Over 1,400 miles (2,250 km) of trails are maintained for hiking and 800 (1,290 km) miles for ATV use. Notable trails include the Pulaski Tunnel Trail[3], which explores the history of the 1910 fires and the firefighters who battled them, and the Route of the Hiawatha, a 15-mile (24-km) rails-to-trails route which includes the 1.7 mile (2.7 km) Taft Tunnel.[4] The Emerald Creek Garnet Area provides an opportunity to collect star garnets and is one of only two places in the world where these gems can be found.[5]

Photos

The St. Joe River at Red Ives
The St. Joe River at Red Ives

References

  1. ^ a b U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2013. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Revised Land Management Plan - Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Region.
  2. ^ "Ranger Districts of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests". Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Pulaski Tunnel Trail". Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Route of the Hiawatha". Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Emerald Creek Garnet Area". Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Retrieved 16 January 2020.

Further reading

  • Ferguson, D.E. and A.C. Zack. (2006). Establishment record for the Wellner Cliffs Research Natural Area: Priest River Experimental Forest, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Bonner County, Idaho [RMRS General Technical Report GTR-170WWW]. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

External links


This page was last edited on 29 March 2020, at 22:34
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