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Caribou-Targhee National Forest to revitalize the East Mink Creek Corridor

The following is a news release and photo from the U.S. Forest Service.

IDAHO FALLS — The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is excited to announce the launch of the East Mink Creek Recreation Corridor Revitalization Project located in Bannock County using funding under the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA).

“Each year approximately two million individuals recreate on the Forest. GAOA funding is a great opportunity to improve many of our local facilities and enhance access to these popular areas,” said Mel Bolling, Forest Supervisor.

The East Mink Creek project boundary is five miles from the City of Pocatello. This recreation corridor connects the urban interface south of Pocatello to the Bannock Mountain Range. It is heavily used year-round for recreation including dispersed camping, motorized and non-motorized trail use, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, archery, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, shooting and cross-country skiing.

“We looked at our submittal holistically,” said Wes Stumbo, Caribou-Targhee National Forest Branch Chief. “We wanted the biggest bang for the buck and to use funding in an area accessible to a variety of users and East Mink Creek fit those requirements.”

Revitalization work to occur in 2021 includes:

  • Repairing and chip sealing 5.31 miles of road up to Scout Mountain Campground through an agreement with Bannock County.
  • Improving the Kinney Creek Trailhead by adding gravel, increasing parking spaces, adding kiosks and maintaining the trail.
  • Repaving the Cherry Springs Nature Area and making sure it complies with ABA/ADA standards.
  • Recontouring the Lead Draw Trailhead, removing garbage and installing new signs.
  • Giving portions of Scout Mountain Campground a much-needed face-lift by restoring picnic tables, installing new toilets, upgrading the water system and ensuring it complies with ABA/ADA standards
  • Improving the East Fork of Mink Creek Trailhead and Trail #164 by putting in new trail bridges, refurbishing the kiosk, adding water dips and replacing culverts.

Idaho has one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation, and Pocatello is one of its larger cities seeing exponential growth. This project addresses current and out-year recreation needs and demands for its active, diverse population. Facets of the project address existing issues such as sanitation, natural resource impacts and user conflicts. The project will improve visitor access, provide an aesthetic boost to the area, and cater to a variety of recreation users.

The East Mink Creek project has a lot of community interest and provides a great opportunity for the FS to partner with the City of Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho Parks and Recreation, AuDi Campground Services and a variety of dedicated local volunteers.

“As we continue to implement the Great American Outdoors Act across the Forest, our highest priorities will be those projects that reduce deferred maintenance, are ready to implement and provide the greatest immediate benefit to the public,” stated Stumbo.

The East Mink Creek Project is just one of over 550 shovel-ready projects funded through GAOA dollars to assist federal land managers to aggressively take steps in repairing and restoring facilities and infrastructure the American people depend on when visiting their national forests and grasslands. Learn more at https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/gaoa.

For more information on the East Mink Creek Project contact Kim Obele, Westside District Ranger at 208-236-7500 or email at kim.obele@usda.gov. For questions regarding the Forest’s other Great American Outdoors Act projects, please contact Wes Stumbo, Branch Chief, at 208-557-5767 or Wesley.stumbo@usda.gov.

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