Northeast Washington's Colville National Forest offers exceptional opportunities for hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationists, offering chances at solitude and quiet pursuit of wildlife increasingly hard to find elsewhere across the Pacific Northwest. The Washington Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has long supported permanent protections for important wild public lands on this forest, and this week submitted a letter to the U.S. Forest Service calling for increased wilderness recommendations for key Roadless Areas in the Forest's ten-year Colville Forest Plan revision.
The Colville National Forest contains more than 220,000 acres of wilderness-quality lands but less than three percent is currently designated Wilderness, the smallest amount of any national forest in the Pacific Northwest. Most notable is the absence of wilderness protections for wild country in the Kettle River Mountain Range. We believe an appropriate balance can be reached to support local communities and economies and ensure continued non-motorized access to wilderness and roadless areas, including through consistent trail maintenance, while permanently protecting northeast Washington’s wildest lands for future generations.