Q: I was curious as to whether you have heard anymore on the Idaho City yurt situation?
CHARLES GEMPEL, via email
A: It sounds like the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to get permits in order to resume operations of the yurts.
As you know, the bureaucratic process can be as slow as skis going downhill with the wrong wax.
A spokesperson for the Forest Service said it is continuing to work with the state to resolve issues related to the states acceptance of liability requirements for the special-use permits to operate the yurts on Boise National Forest land.
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation rents out six yurts in the Boise Mountains, northeast of Idaho City on Idaho 21.
They are popular, especially in the winter. Winter weekends are booked quickly. Sometimes the only time you can get a yurt reservation in the winter is on weekdays.
The whole yurt thing has turned out to be a weird deal. The state started operating the rentals with a few yurts on Forest Service land in 1996, and it has groomed ski trails in the area for decades. Because of the popularity, the state added more yurts.
There was no hint of a problem until roads were closed in the area of the yurts this summer because of the Trinity Ridge Fire.
When state workers wanted to go in to work on the yurts, the permit issue came up.
I guess all these years there was no talk of permits and the whole program between the state and federal agencies might have been started with a handshake. That explains the lack of official paperwork.
The incident revealed that the state was lacking the proper permits with the Forest Service, ensuring liability coverage for both the Idaho Department of Park and Recreation and yurt users.
Those holding yurt reservations for the fall and early winter were surprised in September when their reservations were canceled.
No reservations are being taken for future dates because the Idaho City backcountry yurt program has been temporarily suspended.
I sure hope they get their act together because I had reservations in January.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors