As a member of USHPA (United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association), I have been advised of the proposed changes to the Salmon-Challis Forest Management Plan which could cause closure of the King Mountain flying site. I visited King Mountain two summers ago and was very impressed with the King Mountain Glider Park and the friendliness and organization of the local flyers there. King Mountain is arguably one of the best flying sites we have in the nation and its loss would be a severe blow to our sport.
In general, I support the idea of setting aside lands for wilderness. I believe that can and should be done in Salmon-Challis but would urge you to make a set-aside provision for the use of the road up to the King Mountain Launch. Our sport has very little impact on the lands we fly over as we make every effort to stay in the air until we reach a designated Landing Zone.
If a pilot occasionally has to make an emergency landing outside the Landing Zones he knows he needs to be prepared to hike out to a road. Our USHPA affiliated clubs also organize and manage our own rescue retrieval plans and we do our best to minimize our impact on public or private lands. We USHPA members want to maintain a respectful and friendly relationship with the general public.
As a paraglider pilot, I have enjoyed views of our wilderness areas that few can ever imagine.