Worm Creek WSA
Five miles west of Bloomington, Idaho
A 40-acre tract adjacent to the Forest Service’s 42,400 acre Worm Creek Roadless Area. The other two sides of the tract are adjacent to private land. The topography varies from benchland to steep hillsides, and elevations range from 6,500 feet to 7,200 feet. Dense aspen and a Douglas fir/lodgepole pine; suitable habitat for deer and elk and a variety of birds and small mammals.
What is a Wilderness Study Area? A WSA is an area that has been inventoried (but not designated by Congress) and found to have wilderness characteristics as described in Section 603 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 and Section 2(c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964. WSA characteristics include areas of at least 5,000 acres of public lands or of a manageable size, generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, and provides outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined types of recreation.
The BLM manages WSAs under the National Landscape Conservation System in a manner so as not to impair the suitability of such areas for the preservation as the non-impairment mandate, until Congress decides whether or not to designate them as wilderness. WSAs often have special qualities such as geological, ecological, educational, historical, scientific and scenic values. Worm Creek is one of 545 WSAs managed by the BLM throughout America.
What can I do in this WSA? People can participate in activities like hunting, snow shoeing, camping, backpacking, cross-country skiing, photography, and horseback riding within this WSA. There are also “grandfathered” uses that can occur such as mining and livestock grazing, both of which predate the FLPMA and the Wilderness Act. Mining activities would include collecting minerals, prospecting, staking mining claims, and conduct mining operations with an approved mining plan of operations.
Natural and prescribed fires may be allowed to burn under certain conditions. In all cases, the equipment and tactics used to manage fires is designed to minimize the impact to wilderness values. When fire threatens human life or property, motorized equipment may be used to eliminate or minimize the threat.
What can’t I do in this WSA? Because this WSA is being managed to meet the non-impairment mandate, activities such as motorized travel (unless authorized for an emergency) and the use of chains saws are not allowed.