We Wish 

Outdoorsy dreams for 2008

A good part of this issue is dedicated to reviewing the events—be they political, theatrical or musical—that passed this year. Sure, we could take a moment to recap what happened in the rec world in 2007, but why live in the past? Who cares how many camping trips were thwarted by fires last season ... that just means double time on the tent time this summer. And so what if Boise Mayor Dave Bieter promised river rats a whitewater park ... what matters is whether there'll be play spots come spring. With visions of a year full of good powder, hard riding and sweet waves in mind, here's what we're hoping 2008 has in store for rec nerds of all types.

No Fire in Them Thar Hills

By this point in the year, the majority of the almost 2 million acres that burned in Idaho last summer is under a thick coat of the white stuff. When springs rolls around and the snow melts off, experts say new growth will begin immediately.

"In river canyons there will be immediate response with new growth," Boise National Forest spokesman David Olson told BW last fall. "With a lush growth of grasses and shrubs a foot or so by late spring." Ed Cannady, backcountry recreation manager for Sawtooth National Recreation Area agreed. "[Fire] is a natural part of the ecosystem, and it's always happened. There will be more aspens than anyone can remember."

The Wish: With burned areas on the mend, our wish is only that the upcoming fire season won't be as virulent as the last.

Faire Du Velo

Move over sugarplums! We have visions of velodromes dancing in our heads. Eagle is home to the yet-to-be-built Idaho Velodrome and Cycling Park, which after a series of carefully plotted events that hopefully go off without a hitch—including the groundbreaking, trail building, contractor selection, facility construction and, finally, landscaping—is slated to open this spring. Once completed, IVCP will be a "comprehensive multidiscipline bike park" set on 20 acres with facilities for "BMX, four-cross, skills terrain, jump/aerials terrain, short-track MTB, cyclo-cross and the cornerstone outdoor 333-meter concrete surface cycling track." Can we get an amen?

The Wish: David Beck, president of IVCPA, says cyclists can expect an opening late April or early May in 2008. Our wish is that those construction foremen run a tight ship and get our new play spot done on time.

Trail Sabotage Cease and Desist

Yeah, a jump that launches you 30 feet into the air off a ledge onto a hillside is fun. But it's also a major violation of rule No. 1: never deviate from the path. While some of last summer's illegal trail building and "repairing" was done with good intention, some was done out of pure adrenaline addiction without any regard to the environment and the damage being done.

The Wish: Put down the tools and give peace a chance. Think of it as the tao of the trail ... riding, not renegade building, is the way of the universe.

Dump Truck Wrap Up

After almost three years of moving dirt, pouring concrete and shoring up retailers, there is an end in sight for construction at the Village Plaza at Tamarack. One movie theater, 129 condos, 23 boutiques, shops and restaurants. But really it's not a total elimination of construction at the mountain's base, just a relocation of it as ground breaks this spring for the infamous Agassi/Graf resort adjacent to the Village Plaza.

The Wish: While we'd like the whole shebang to be up and running posthaste, we'll settle for the Village Plaza this year. And knowing the folks at Tamarack, things will open up right on time.

H2O Park Promise Produces

We've been listening to the rumors for years. Literally. It's a good thing kayakers are smart enough to just get out of town and find a good play spot rather than hold their breath waiting for a whitewater park to happen in the Boise River. At least this year, Mayor Bieter gave river rats a solid reason to hope, allocating $750,000 to the costs of the park to be built in the river near the 55-acre Esther Simplot Park. According to officials at Boise Parks and Recreation, the department is currently in the process of selecting a firm to engineer the project. Currently, a group of volunteers led by Dr. Paul Collins is raising money for the project, but construction is dependent on donations from the public, which will be matched by the city's already committed funds.

The Wish: A waterpark. Plain and simple. Something, however, tells us this one could appear on next year's list, too.

Bogus Does the Dress Up Right

The fact that Idaho is hosting the 2009 Special Olympics Winter World Games is a big deal. Big like the Stones playing the Idaho Center big. But that's not until 2009. This year, in less than 60 days, nearly 600 Special Olympics athletes and their cavalries will descend on Bogus for what's quietly known as the big dress rehearsal for next year's big event. Feb. 25-28, athletes from 11 countries compete in the 2008 Special Olympics Invitational Winter Games. That's a whole mess of traffic coming down the mountain.

The Wish: That it all goes off smooth as butter, and that Boise gets all revved up for the fiesta—and the fiasco—that will be next year's games.

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