Sage Creek roadless area-
The Sage Creek roadless area is a moderate-sized roadless area (about 22,000 acres), separated from the Snowdrift Ridge (Meade Peak) roadless area by a dirt road. The road is the somewhat arbitrary break between Snowdrift Ridge and its northern extension, Freeman Ridge. Freeman Ridge is mostly in the Sage Creek roadless area. However, there is another ridge just to its SE -- the Webster Range. It is in Idaho, but very close to the Wyoming border.
The roadless area is not well known except to locals who prize its fishing, elk, moose, and deer hunting. The area is a wonderful mixture of short canyons, and open ridges, with substantial pockets of spruce, fir, and quaking aspen.
The northern portion of the roadless area was disrupted about a decade ago by the Smoky Canyon phosphate mine. The general area is rich in phosphate rock and there are a number of hybrid open pit/strip mines.
Recently, the Forest Service granted J.R. Simplot Company a permit to build new roads into the roadless. The roads will be to access and drill 25 exploratory holes for phosphate mining. Although the roads are to be reclaimed should development not occur, a phosphate mine is a huge affair and is a fairly likely consequence of receiving a prospecting permit here. Update: the exploration roads are underway.
Point 8596 on Freeman Ridge. Sage Creek roadless area.
Photo June 2004. Copyright © Ralph Maughan
Here is a info by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition about the issue.
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This page was updated last on 3-24-2006