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RAF proposes safety improvements at Fish Lake

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The RAF is interested in volunteering to work on a beautiful US Forest Service airstrip in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness area. Fish Lake (S92) is a 2,650-ft turf strip at an elevation of 5,650, 14 miles northwest of Moose Creek, and about 40 miles southwest of Hamilton, Montana. The strip was opened by the Forest Service in 1949, and it is open for public access. Remarks about the strip state “Fair turf, soft when wet; elk wallows on runway.” 

RAF member Matt Hanson flew from his home in Spokane to Fish Lake for a meeting the last week of August. Along with Matt those that attended the walkabout meeting were USFS personnel Willy Acton and Brad Bence. Bill Ables representing both the RAF & IAA from Enterprise, Oregon was also on hand. The group discussed safety improvements to the primitive strip, and RAF’s willing participation in the work. Proposed work is repairing the surface, clearing and reclaiming its original length, dealing with seasonal drainage and potential upgrade to the vault toilet. 

“These are all common-sense maintenance items that minimize wear and tear to both the airport and aircraft, and maximize safety.” Matt said.

Once the plan is approved, the RAF anticipates another cooperative project with the USFS, “which will also go long ways to keeping the traffic where it belongs and visibly demonstrates the cooperation between all of us,” Matt added. 

Pictured left to right Brad Bence USFS, Bill Able OR RAF supporter, IAA Rep, Will Acton USFS, and Matt Hanson RAF Representative