Pole Creek Needs Your Help!

July 2024 Update


The Forest Service released its Final Environmental Analysis and Draft Decision in June 2024. While the updated project plan has made several positive changes for the Pole Creek Area, PPNC has remaining concerns with the project's effects at Pole Creek and Powder Pass 449 and will be submitting an Objection to the project.  

If you commented on the initial proposal, you have standing to submit an Objection.  A summary of PPNC's objections is shown below and is available for download here:  PPNC Objection Summary

For more information on the Objection process and requirements, the following is a helpful resource: USFS Objection Process

Keep in mind that objections submitted to the Forest Service should be meaningful, and your own. We have provided our objections as a guide. Strong objections will say what you are objecting to and why, preferably supported with factual information and suggestions on how the plan could be improved.

To submit an objection, visit Pole Creek Vegetation Management Project and click on “Comment/Object on Project” from the menu on the right. The updated project plan documents are included under the Final Environmental Analysis and Decision folders on the main project page.

PPNC Objection Summary_members.pdf

March 6, 2023 Update

Thank you to everyone who submitted comments to the Forest Service in support of Pole Creek Nordic Area.  It was great to see so many engaged citizens and the broad support for this resource from across the community.

Last week, several PPNC representatives met with Powder River Ranger District staff at Pole Creek to discuss concerns raised by public comments and options for modifying the proposed project to avoid negative impacts to the ski trails.  It was a positive meeting and we were able to provide good feedback to USFS as they continue to review public comments and develop their Environmental Assessment over the next several months. 

In December 2022, the Bighorn National Forest issued a Scoping Notice for the Pole Creek Vegetation Management Project.  Website here: Pole Creek Vegetation Mgmt Project.  Based on the scoping notice and information from the Forest Service, the project would have major implications for the Pole Creek Nordic Area, including many clearcuts overlapping the ski trails.   This project has the potential to eliminate the recreational value of Pole Creek Nordic Area and negate significant community investment in the area for the next 50+ years.   PPNC is asking the Forest Service to remove the Pole Creek Nordic & Powder Pass 449 Areas from the project and formally designate them as Winter Sports Areas and hope that you will do the same.

Powder Pass Nordic Club has worked to prepare letters to the editor, present to the Buffalo City Council and Johnson County Commissioners regarding our concerns, and develop a number of talking points and formal Club comments for the Forest Service.  See below for PPNC's concerns, and maps of proposed project.

If you enjoy skiing and using Pole Creek, please consider making your own substantive comments to the Forest Service by February 21, 2023, and contact your elected representatives to express your concerns with the proposed project.  You can comment by emailing comments-bighorn@usda.gov with the Subject Line "Pole Creek Project."  You can also comment by using the form at this page.

Keep in mind that comments submitted to the Forest Service should be meaningful, and your own.  We have provided our concerns and talking points to guide you, but please do not copy them directly (form letters are not treated as individual comments).  Strong public comments will say what you are asking for and why, preferably supported with factual information and suggestions on how the plan could be improved. Here is a helpful BLM Website regarding substantive comments: How to Make a Substantive Comment 

Remove Pole Creek & PP449 from the project area and protect them as designated Winter Recreation Areas

The entire Pole Creek Nordic Area and parts of PP449 are affected by this proposal

Make your voice heard and keep our community resource intact!