November 29th at the Idaho County Courthouse at 11:00 am the Idaho County Commissioners will have a hearing regarding the “validation” of the Milner Trail.
Even a cursory search will reveal the long historical significance and use of this popular trail/road. It is at the heart of Grangeville’s history and existence. There is much documentation supporting the public nature of the Milner Trail.
ITD has published, “it was not until 1881 that comprehensive legislation established that “any road, highway, street or thoroughfare used as such prior to January 12, 1875 should be considered a county road.”
The USFS has a publication titled, “The Milner Trail-Road to Riches” describes how in 1890 the territorial legislature appropriated funds for a State Wagon Road that would connect Mt. Idaho, Florence, across the Salmon River at French Creek and on to Warren. I would also add an Idaho Supreme Court decision from 1998 (No. 23453) also supports the contention of the publics unabated access to the Milner Trail and others.
Charles Alan Lamm is attempting to cut off and gate this trail permanently. It would be wrong for this to happen for so many reasons not the least of which is the precedence that would be set. Make no mistake. Failure to protect the rights of the public will put other trails and roads at risk. There are factions, the Wilks brothers from Texas for example, working to deprive the public of access to historic and significant trails all around this great state.
The county attorney spoke of the need for the Commissioners to have an open mind on this decision.
This is about public access to public lands, not about private property rights as has been suggested: If “Idaho County is what America was”
I hope it means fair. I hope it means the public trust rather than private interests. I hope it means courage to do the right thing.