Meade Peak roadless area
The Meade Peak roadless area (also known as the "Snowdrift Ridge" area) is a 43,000 acre area in the Preuss Range just to the northeast of Montpelier, Idaho.
The area's dominant feature is Snowdrift Ridge, the high point of which is Meade Peak, the highest point on the Caribou National Forest. 307 acres on Meade Peak have been designated a research natural area by the Forest Service.
Meade Peak RNA (external site).
The photo is of the
east-facing side of Snowdrift Ridge.
is a scenic landmark.
Copyright © Ralph Maughan, Photo taken in mid-June.
Snowdrift Ridge from Crow Creek. Copyright Ralph Maughan
While Meade Peak and the east side of the Ridge are scenic and relatively pristine, the west-facing side of the Ridge was strip-mined for phosphate rock during the 1950s. During a temperature inversion in the canyon the sulfuric acid plant released enough acid into the air that the timber in the canyon was killed. This operation is now long-abandoned and phosphate strip-mining in SE Idaho is somewhat less devastating to the environment than in the past, although the various companies differ in degree of care they take.
Although 43,000 acres is fairly large (68 square miles), the roadless area is almost split in two by a road up Home Canyon. This roadless area (as a roadless area) has not received much attention or support from wilderness advocates. Everyone is happy that the old mining area mentioned (in Georgetown Canyon on the west side of the ridge) is slowly being reclaimed by nature.
This roadless area is just southwest of the important Sage Creek roadless area.
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