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House committee OKs wilderness trail resolution

By Associated Press
Published On: Feb 21 2013 04:27:31 PM MST
BOISE, Idaho -

A resolution urging federal forest officials to declare the trail system in the Frank Church-River of No Return wilderness a disaster area is making its way through the House.

The non-binding resolution also asks federal officials to make maintenance of the popular trail system a priority or make it easier for volunteer groups to do the job.

The House Resources and Conservation Committee approved the measure Thursday and sent it to the House.

Horsemen groups and outfitters say the 2,500-mile trail system in has suffered from neglect, wear and tear and obstructions caused by trees felled by fire and wind.

U.S. Forest Service representative Andy Brunelle says the agency and volunteers cleared hundreds of miles of trails in 2012, but recent federal budget cuts have limited the scope of maintenance.