A wilderness snow course

TitleA wilderness snow course
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1972
AuthorsDelk, R.
Conference Name40th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 40th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1972
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationPhoenix, Arizona
KeywordsSnow survey economics, Wilderness areas

The Holbrook Snow Course, located in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area, Flathead National Forest, Montana, has become the focal point of controversy concerning the use of motorized vehicles in wilderness areas. Travel to Holbrook was by fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter from 1951 through 1969, and beginning on March 1, 1970, by Forest Service personnel traveling to the area on skis. This paper discusses the Wilderness Act of 1964 (PL-88-577), which requires use of ‘primitive’ means of travel, and its relation to wilderness snow courses. Problems and hazards encountered during the ski trips are discussed. The importance of the snow course and the value of the wilderness resource are evaluated. A plan to move the course to another site in an attempt to consolidate administrative uses in the wilderness area is also presented. This plan has resulted in a problem of data correlation which has not yet been resolved.