We Need Your Help

The Salmon-Challis National Forest is embarking on revision of  their forest plan. Once finished, this will be the framework that determines how this area is taken care of for the next 20-plus years. Between now and March 31, we’re asking you to send the national forest your thoughts about the places you love most on this landscape.

Where Is the Salmon-Challis National Forest?

The Salmon-Challis National Forest is the heart of Idaho, important for the people who live nearby and for folks across the Gem State. The Salmon-Challis offers world-class wildlife, clean water and outdoor recreation opportunities that are the envy of America. At the same time, the Salmon-Challis has natural resources that help drive local jobs and make Idaho stronger. This vast, 4.3 million-acre forest includes iconic places such as the Pioneers Mountains, Borah Peak, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the Pahsimeroi Valley and the Wild and  Scenic Salmon River. The largest communities surrounding the Salmon-Challis forest include Salmon, Challis, Stanley, Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey, Arco and Mackay.

What Is a Forest Plan?

A forest plan is similar to a city or county comprehensive plan that helps guide land use and development. In the same way that a town, county, or city is planned to designate where particular uses (such as industrial and residential uses) may occur, national forests plans identify areas intended for specific uses such as timber harvest, primitive recreation or rare plant protection. Just as a county’s comprehensive plan might prohibit the construction of a commercial facility in an area that has been identified for residential use, a forest plan could identify an area as not suitable for motorized recreation so that a motorized trail system could not be approved in that area. Carefully balancing multiple uses is an important part of forest planning to protect resources, support sustainable uses, and maintain healthy ecosystems.

Why Is the Salmon-Challis Forest Revising Their Plan?

Revisions to the 1988 Salmon Forest Plan and the 1987 Challis Forest Plan are overdue. A lot has changed-including the consolidation of the two forests in 1998. Once revised, the plan will serve four primary functions:

  • Create continuity of purpose by establishing an integrated vision for the plan area that endures through leadership and staff changes and lays  out desired conditions and strategies to achieve them;
  • Set the context for how the plan’s vision fits into larger physical, sociopolitical and socioeconomic landscapes;
  • Create operational rules and regulations, similar to an operating manual, for activities in the plan area; and
  • Establish a process for evaluating progress and changing approaches as necessary.

Learn more about the revision process.

Here’s How You Can Help!

Please take a few minutes and write a letter or email to the Salmon-Challis National Forest letting them know what you value most about this landscape. In writing your message, consider the questions  below. This is an opportunity to ensure the places and things you love most about this area are preserved long into the future. Please send in comments before March 31.

Here are questions to consider in  writing  your letter:

  • What are  specific  places where fish, wildlife or native plant presence is abundant and/or important to you?
  • Are there areas you would  someday like to see designated  wilderness, wild and scenic rivers or receive  other special designation?
  • Where are your favorite places to visit? What do you enjoy most about these places and what are the activities you like to do there?
  • Are there any places or issues you are concerned about on this forest?
  • Are there additional facilities you would like to see?
  • Any other thoughts or concerns you have?

Email  your comments to:


or mail to:

Attn: Josh Milligan, Team Lead
1206 S. Challis St.
Salmon, ID 83467