UI Architecture Students, Forest Service Unveil Sandpoint-Area Snowmobile Warming Hut
October 11, 2016
Snowmobilers, snowshoers and others who enjoy playing in the woods during North Idaho’s winters have a new place to warm up thanks to a joint project between the U.S. Forest Service and University of Idaho’s College of Art and Architecture (CAA).
About two dozen students from the college worked with Forest Service and regional partners over the past year to design and construct a warming hunt in the Moose Creek area north of Sandpoint. The completed hut was unveiled on Saturday, Oct. 8. It includes a covered area for parking snowmobiles, as well as an indoor space with a wood stove.
“The warming hut is a testament to what can be achieved through partnerships. It is exciting that so many people and organizations contributed to making it a reality,” Karen DiBari, National Forest Foundation director said in a Forest Service news release. “The hut will be a resource to families recreating on their backyard national forest lands for years to come.”
Located in the upper Lightning Creek drainage on Moose Creek Road, the hut provides a safe haven for the public during snowstorms, as well as a gathering place for friends or a base camp for search and rescue parties. The structure was built with Idaho wood products, and is a project of the National Forest Foundation’s Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences partnership with the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
“This was a great project across the board,” said Randy Teal, head of the architecture program. “From the industry partnerships, to the scope of the project, which afforded student involvement from the design phase through completion, it was a great opportunity to provide the outdoor community with a structure that celebrates so much of what Idaho is all about.”
The project was supported by the National Forest Foundation, Idaho Forest Group, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the Winter Riders Snowmobile Club, as well as the Sandpoint Ranger District. The National Forest Foundation helped catalyze the partnership along with support from the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation and the Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee.
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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at uidaho.edu