The Seven Devils Mountains within the Hells Canyon Wilderness is a special place to many people. It is a small wilderness with only two primary, remote access points, and, because of its remote location within Idaho, gets relatively little use. If you find yourself in this wilderness, you might very well find yourself alone!
This site is not dedicated to the promotion of additional use of this wilderness, however, its use has surely increased over the years since I first visited it many years ago. It is being discovered. But what I have found, is that the trail maintenance has become sub-standard over the years for many reasons. And that lack of maintenance has been noted by the agencies involved and documented by various individuals. I venture to guess the primary culprit is the increased cost of trail maintenance along with the decreased budget of the agencies that are charged with that maintenance.
But there may be an acceptable solution:
“Limited use of chainsaws within the wilderness” would provide a means to cut out the logs and brush clogging the trails at a much reduced cost AND at a rate much faster than using traditional (non-mechanized) tools, at little to no (some might argue less) environmental impact.
I/We, at the Friends of Seven Devils, Hells Canyon Wilderness, wish to advocate for the use of chainsaws and wish to begin that discussion, pro and con, to guage the public interest is such use of chainsaws. And, it is the public, if interested, that should ultimately dictate the methods used to maintain trails within the wilderness.
This is a large and complex topic. There is no one short, one line answer, and will require rational discussion to explore the various reasons and feeling both pro and con. It is however, the time to begin that discussion.