A recent group of hikers on the Chico Trail observing an old derelict phone line that extended between historic Forest Service Guard Stations, one at Sled Springs, and the other in Swamp Creek. Familes that lived in these remote guard stations hiked the same trails that the Nez Perce hiked to come and go into this remarkable country.
Solitude and recreation: Backcountry hunting, horse-back riding, hiking, scenic viewing and camping have long been popular in Joseph Canyon. The rugged country provides challenging opportunities in deep, remote canyons, separated by secluded ridge tops.
After climbing Starvation Ridge, hikers relax and enjoy the view into Swamp Creek.
Threats: Motorized recreation is the greatest threat to Joseph Canyon. It is imperative that the entire Potential Wilderness Area be safeguarded from motorized recreation. However, some alternatives have proposed designating the historic Chico Trail as a motorized route under the Wallowa-Whitman Travel Management Plan.
Solutions: Joseph Canyon is one of the most special landscapes on the entire Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and should be given Wilderness protection. The ongoing Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revisions requires evaluation of the Wilderness quality of all Potential Wilderness Areas and the opportunity for the Forest Service to recommend that Joseph Canyon be protected through Wilderness designation.
For more information about this awesome landscape please contact David Mildrexler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hells Canyon Preservation Council.