House committee OKs wilderness trail resolution
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A resolution urging federal forest officials to declare the trail system in the Frank Church-River of No Return wilderness a disaster area is making its way through the house.
The non-binding resolution also asks federal officials to make maintenance of the popular trail system a priority or make it easier for volunteer groups to do the job.
The committee unanimously approved the measure Thursday, sending it to the House floor.
Horsemen groups and outfitters say the 2,500-mile trail system in the vast wilderness area has suffered from neglect, wear and tear and trees obstructions caused by trees felled by fire and wind.
U.S. Forest Service representative Andy Brunelle says the agency and volunteers cleared hundreds of miles of trail in 2012, but recent federal budget cuts have reduced maintenance efforts.