Bonner County District Judge Susie Jensen recently upheld the Shoshone Board of County Commissioners’ decision to deny a petition for road validation concerning a section of West Fork Pine Creek Road – a main access road for the popular Rollercoaster trail located in northern Idaho near Coeur D’Alene. The closure of this route has cut off an entire community from cherished outdoor recreation adventures.

Here are the key points:

  • The petition, filed in 2022 by Paul Loutzenhiser and the North Idaho Trailblazers, aimed to validate a road section that intersects private property before entering lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
  • Despite two public hearings in 2022, the Board of County Commissioners denied the petition.
  • The debate during the hearings centered on the road’s historical use and whether it qualified as a public highway, a crucial argument for the petitioner.
  • According to Idaho code, public roads can be established through public use or by the order of county commissioners. Records indicate that the road was established by the county in 1909, and there’s no record of Shoshone County ever vacating or abandoning it.
  • The petition for validation primarily seeks to secure access to the “Roller Coaster,” a section of the trail with off-road obstacles on BLM land, ensuring it remains open to the public.

The North Idaho Trailblazers announced on November 27, that they have appealed this closure to the Idaho Supreme Court.

The BlueRibbon Coalition, together with our members, has been supporting the North Idaho Trailblazers in this legal fight. Your involvement is essential in our collective efforts to ensure continued access to this important trail. While this route is beloved by the locals, we have heard from members from across the country who enjoy using this trail.  

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