Wikipedia:Peer review/Sawtooth National Forest/archive1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sawtooth National Forest[edit]

(more info)

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because I have recently made major additions the page, essentially writing the entire page. This page also recently underwent an informal peer review at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject United States#Assessment & Review Request: Sawtooth National Forest. I thought I should open a formal peer review to get further feedback on all aspects of the article.

I had a suggestion by one reviewer to use "Staff" for references without authors, but this seems awkward to me. Also, another reviewer said the lead section is too long, but per Wikipedia:Writing better articles#Provide context for the reader this section should be 3-4 paragraphs. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks, Fredlyfish4 (talk) 01:36, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

I'll do this. --Noleander (talk) 14:14, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Comments from Noleander
  • The lead is a bit long relative to the body of the article, but nothing fatal. Done
  • Wording: "is a federally protected National Forest ..." - Why say "federally protected"? Arent all Nat forests protected? Why draw attention to that fact in the 1st sentence? Suggest move down to lower in lead. Done
  • Wording: "and covers" -> "that covers" Done
  • Wording: "which are found in the SNRA. " - "found" doesnt seem right for a large mtn range; maybe "which traverse the SNRA" or "which cover the majority of the SNRA" or similar. Done
  • Wording: "One plant species, Christ’s Indian Paintbrush, is endemic to the forest, .." - Most readers wont know what "endemic" means, and why make them click on the link? Recommend rewrite as something like "Plants that are found only in [or "unique to"] the SNF include ...." Done
  • Unneeded: "While it does not directly border Sawtooth National Forest, .." - Best to remove those words. Done
  • Remove: "This article refers to areas managed as Sawtooth National Forest, including the SNRA, but is generally applicable to those areas designated as, but not managed by, Sawtooth National Forest." - First, it is generally bad form to mention "this article"; second: It is rather confusing; third: whatever point is being made there is better being made down in the body where specific topics/places are discussed. Done
  • Simplify: " is currently managed " -> "is managed" Done
  • Chronological confusion: In section "Forest management" the first three paragraphs in order are: current time; 1905, 1891. Most articles start off with some kind of historical background that proceeds in chronological order. I'm not saying that you must create a "History" section (although that may be a good idea) but at least reorder the paragraphs sequentially. Done
  • Viewpoints? - "Sawtooth National Forest practices conservation of resources, which ensures a sustainable flow of ..." - That reads like a promotional brochure :-) Granted, that is the official policy of the NF, but are their other viewpoints? Are there environmentalist groups that have objected to lumber practices in the SNF? If so, their viewpoint ("Group ABC lodged a complaint in 2004 objecting to clear-cutting blah blah ...") should also be included per WP:NPOV. - There isn't much controversy any more over their resource extraction practices because as mentioned it has become less common. Also, I feel that the history behind the SNRA creation represents this controversy well.
  • White space: In section "Geography and geology" - there is a huge block of white space to the left of the images. That is generally considered unsat. Can you move the images elsewhere in the article? Or eliminate a couple of images (granted, they look superb)? Or, as a last resort, move the images into a WP:GALLERY at the bottom of the article? See WP:Galleries. - I think I have fixed this, but I never noticed a "huge block" of white space. Done
  • Define: "are nearly 1,500 known heritage sites on the.." - Define or link "heritage sites" Done
  • Details: "Boating is also popular on the large accessible lakes in the Sawtooth Valley. " - List a couple of the lakes right there. Done
  • Confusing: " has accurately depicted the Sawtooth Mountains since 1991, and beginning in 1986 license plates depicted a basic mountain range " - Again, reverse chrono order. Mention the 1986 plates first, then "The plates were revised in 1991 to depict a more realistic ..." or similar. Done
  • Recent stats? - "Visitors 1,188,600 (in 2005)" - Is there data from a more recent year available? - there is no more recent data
  • Simpler wording : " with the exception of grizzly bears, which have been extirpated." - Many readers won't know what extirpated means. Article should be accessible to high school students and laymen. Done
  • Wolf issues: "Gray wolves were reintroduced to the SNRA in the mid-1990s and now occupy most of the forest except for the Minidoka District.. .." - There is a huge controversy in Idaho about introducing wolves: the article should at least have a sentence about that with a link if there is another article on the topic. - added "amidst controversy" and already included link to article on wolf reintroduction Done
  • Clarify: " are the large top predators that live in the forest" - Many people wont know what "top predator" means: reword as "high in the food chain" or "have no animal that preys on them" or ???  Done
  • Informal: " have been floated since the 1990s, .." - "floated" is too informal for an encyclopedia. Try "proposed" or "suggested". Done
  • Clarify: "Bull trout are the management indicator species for the forest, ..." - Don't make the reader guess what " management indicator species" is: either link to management indicator species or define it right there. Done
  • Reword: "There are few reptiles in the forest, but snakes found on the forest include ..." - Reads awkwardly; also the word "but" should generally be avoided: use it only if the latter phrase directly contradicts the former. Consider: "There are few reptiles in the forest. Snakes are found ..."  Done
  • Rewords: "the protection status of remote and/or undeveloped .." - and/or should never be used. Just use "or" . Done
  • Informal: "extinguishing all fires, created huge sources of fuel in the form of dead and dying trees. ..." - Word "huge" seems too informal but maybe that is just me. Try "large", or "extensive" or "caused dead and dying trees to accumulate far in excess of the level found when fires are allowed to burn out naturally" etc. Done
  • Contradiction? - Fire fighting is confusing: on the one hand "an active Fire Management Program which recognizes that forest fires are a natural part of the ecosystem;"; and on the other hand: "The forest has wildland fire engines, pumps, hand tools and fire hose at its disposal. A helicopter can be summoned quickly, along with a regional base for a team of smokejumpers and air tankers used to provide air support in the manner of retardant and water drops." - Which is it? Do they attack fires or not? Done
  • Illustrations: double check all illustrations/pics and make sure that they are "free" and meet WP copyright rules. Move any images that are in WP to Commons. Done
  • You ask about: "a suggestion by one reviewer to use "Staff" for references without authors, but this seems awkward to me." - I agree with you. Anonymous sources should just omit the author. Using the word "Staff" when the source does not say "Staff" is misleading. Done
  • Overall, it is a fine article: broad in coverage, with great illustrations. Formatting, spelling, layout are find (except for white space). I suggest you implement the changes above, and then take this to WP:GAN and get Good Article recognition.

End Noleander comments

Comments Overall, an interesting read on a topic that might have been difficult to find sources for. Sounds like a beautiful place. Comments are below:


  • "Sawtooth National Forest is a National Forest in the United States that covers 2,102,451 acres (850,832 ha) in the states of Idaho (~96%) and Utah (~4%)." Even though it is hyperlinked, "National Forest" may not mean much to the non-U.S. reader. I suggest rewriting the first two sentences as "Sawtooth National Forest is a federally-protected area that covers 2,102,451 acres (850,832 ha) of the U.S. states of Idaho (~96%) and Utah (~4%). Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was originally named the Sawtooth Forest Reserve in a proclamation issued by President Theodore Roosevelt on 29 May 1905."
  • Why the date-first format? I almost always see month-first in the U.S.
    • I didn't think this mattered, but I can change the dates in the article. Should I change the date in the references as well for consistency? Fredlyfish4 (talk) 02:54, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Per WP:STRONGNAT, "Articles on topics with strong ties to a particular English-speaking country should generally use the more common date format for that nation. For the US this is month before day; for most others it is day before month." Not sure about having to be consistent between the body and the references, but it might not hurt. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 14:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "as well as Hyndman Peak (12,009 feet (3,660 m)), the ninth highest point in Idaho" Suggest "as well as Hyndman Peak, the ninth highest point in Idaho at 12,009 feet (3,660 m) above sea level". That specifies that the height is relative to sea level and avoids the double parenthesis.
  • "Sawtooth National Forest contains a variety of habitats including sagebrush steppe, spruce-fir forests, alpine tundra, and over 1,100 lakes and 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of rivers and streams." Are these properly called "habitats"? I would think of them more as types of terrain. They may provide habitats for lots of different species, which I think is what you are getting at.
  • "The area that is now Sawtooth National Forest was first occupied by people as early as 8,000 BC and then by the Shoshone after 1700." This kinda makes it sound like the Shoshone are not people. I think there must be a better way to express these thoughts in relation to each other.
  • "Early explorers, trappers, and prospectors were the first European descendants to enter the area, and they founded many of the current towns around the forest." First, "early" is relative, but this doesn't give context so we know relative to what. Also, I suspect the some of the Shoshone who were already there were considered explorers, trappers, and prospectors. Might suggest rewording as "The first European descendents arrived in the area around [whenever]; they were mainly explorers, trappers, and prospectors, and they founded many of the current towns around the forest."

Forest history:

  • "The Sawtooth National Forest was created as the Sawtooth Forest Reserve in the Department of Agriculture by proclamation of President Theodore Roosevelt on 29 May 1905 with an area of 1,947,520 acres (788,130 ha) and named after the Sawtooth Mountains in the northwestern part of the forest." That's a lot of thoughts in one sentence; consider splitting into two.
  • "The Cassia Forest Reserve was established on 12 June 1905 and the Raft River Forest Reserve on 05 November 1906." Even though it breaks up the flow chronologically, I suggest keeping this with the later information about these reserves being merged and added to SNF. Otherwise, they look kind of random here.
  • "The Fairfield Ranger District was established in 1906 and merged with the Shake Creek Ranger District in 1972." This made it sound like the merged district was called "Shake Creek", so I went looking for that and didn't find it anywhere else in the article. When I searched for the Fairfield district, I discovered you either have to read the lead or the next section to find out how it is related to SNF. Again, suggest bringing this information together somehow (or repeating it, if necessary) so the reader knows why it is important here.
  • "and in 1960 Senator Frank Church introduced legislation" I think the fact that Church was a senator from Idaho is worth mentioning here.
  • "one to establish Sawtooth National Park and another for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA)." I think the verb "establish" is worth repeating here. It reads awkwardly without it.
  • "The Forest Service recommended the creation of the national recreation area, which they would manage rather than the National Park Service." So what effect did this have on Church's legislation? I see that the recreational area wasn't established until six years later. Was the same legislation reintroduced year after year until it passed in 1972, or did Church's bill get voted down as a result of the NFS recommendation and/or the molybdenum find?
  • "The economic benefits and environmental and scenic degradation of the development of such a mine would be profound." First, you don't explicitly say that the American Smelting and Refining Company wanted to mine the mineral find, only that they found it. Without this, "such a mine" in this sentence has no meaning. Also, I suggest better contrasting between the potentially positive outcome (economic benefits) and the potentially negative outcomes (environmental and scenic degradation). Something like "The potential economic benefits of mining the area would be substantial, but the potential for profound environmental and scenic degradation would be significant as well."
  • "The Forest Service proclaimed that due to existing laws and claims they would be unable to protect the White Clouds from mining." Why? What did they lack? Was the area of the molybdenum find not part of the SNRA? Did any mining occur before the 1972 legislation?
  • "was signed into law by President Nixon." Go ahead and give first and last name here.
  • "The Burley and Twin Falls Ranger Districts were consolidated on 16 October 2002 into the Minidoka Ranger District." Same comment as before; relate this to SNF when it is mentioned.
    • I have added quite a bit to the forest history section to hopefully clarify everything you mention.Fredlyfish4 (talk) 22:06, 22 June 2012 (UTC)


  • "The SNRA headquarters and main visitor center are located north of Ketchum," Since you have already referred to the ranger district as "Ketchum", you might want to specify "the city of Ketchum, Idaho" here.


  • "forested areas are dominated by various combinations of species" This is kind of like saying "Earth is dominated by various combinations of species"; it doesn't tell us much. At least, I'd suggest rephrasing to "forested areas contain a variety of plant species".
  • "including the largest whitebark pine in North America" Does this mean that the single largest whitebark pine tree is there, or that characteristically, the largest whitebark pine trees found in North America are found in this area?


  • "Invasive zebra and quagga mussels are potential threats to the forest’s aquatic ecosystems." How a zebra is a threat to an aquatic ecosystem is not readily apparent to a non-expert like myself. Can this be expanded upon a little?
  • "Gray wolves were reintroduced to the SNRA amidst controversy" What was the controversy about? How was it resolved?
    • I think this is best dealt with in a separate article - wolf reintroduction - which I link to, but will find a better way to emphasize. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 02:54, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
      • That article doesn't have a specific section on SNF and doesn't appear to deal with any kind of general controversy surrounding wolf reintroduction. I really still think this needs at least a sentence or two to elaborate on the controversy if you're going to mention it. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 14:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "Plans for the reintroduction of grizzly bears to central Idaho have been proposed since the 1990s, but have not progressed." Why not?
  • It seems like there are a lot of animals in the area that are considered "big game". What are the hunting regulations in the park?
  • "salmon populations have collapsed" I don't know what this means. Are they locally extinct or have their numbers just dwindled? Needs some clarification.
  • "first salmon season in 31 years" I assume this means a time for legally fishing for salmon, but I'm not totally sure, especially since I don't know what it means that the population "collapsed". It could mean like a breeding season or something.
  • "listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List" Spell out IUCN on first mention.
  • "accidental species" Again, this strikes me as jargon. Does this mean species that were accidentally introduced to the region?
  • "(proposed scientific name Loxia sinesciuris)" I found this jarring here. Maybe save it for the later sentence about it being proposed as a new species.
    • I removed the scientific name, because it seems unnecessary and if anyone wants to find out more they can go to the linked page. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 00:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "Mosquitos can be pesky in the spring and summer, particularly in the SNRA." "Pesky" seems non-encyclopedic to me, unless there is a scientific meaning to the word that I'm not aware of.


  • At first glance, I'm not sure why this isn't closer to (or part of) the History section. It seems closely related.
  • "The roadless area is part of the proposed ... wilderness areas that have been proposed" Avoid this repetition.
  • "as a part of the controversial Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act" What is controversial about this Act?
  • "the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, that have gained no support among Idaho’s congressional delegation" Why have acts like this gained no support among the Idaho delegation?
  • "including even bicycles" Drop "even".

Fire ecology:

  • "around 1450 years before present after the development of lodgepole pine forests" I don't understand this.
  • "The Smoky Mountains" Being from Kentucky, I associate this with the Great Smoky Mountains. I'm assuming this is a different range. Is there a relevant wiki-article?
  • "A helicopter can be summoned quickly, along with a regional base for a team of smokejumpers" The helicopter and the regional base can both be summoned quickly? Am I misreading this?

Geography and geology:

  • "The elevation in the forest ranges from 4,514 feet (1,376 m) to 12,009 feet (3,660 m) at the top of Hyndman Peak," Again, I'd include "above sea level".


  • while some lake occur the other mountains of the forest." I think one or more words may be missing here.


  • "the last large earthquakes occurring 7,000 and 4,000 years before present." Is this a range (i.e. between 7,000 and 4,000 year) or two distinct events (one 7,000 years ago and another 4,000 years ago). Also, why use the term "before present" as opposed to the simpler "ago"?


  • "some are believed to exist" Who believes this?
    • I changed this to "may still exist" because they are known to have existed in the past, but determining whether they remain is difficult because of the need for nearly daily aerial imagery from multiple consecutive years. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 00:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "glaciers probably existed during the Little Ice Age" If there is doubt, it is important to know who asserts this.
    • I haven't found anyone who refutes this, but it is still not certain because there are no glaciers now, but definitely were during the last glaciation ~10,000+ years ago and any that occurred during the Little Ice Age would have been tiny, not persisted long enough to make a significant mark on the landscape, and not recorded because of the lack of human habitation. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 00:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Human history:

  • "laid the foundation of, and established, immigrant trails" What's the difference?


  • Parts of this section read like a brochure. Examples: "the greater solitude of the backcountry requires accessing hiking trails", "The Sun Valley area has an extensive network of mountain biking trails that is famous among enthusiasts.", "provide plenty of elbow room during even the most crowded of fishing seasons.", etc. These need to be cleaned up.
  • "Thompson Peak and Hyndman Peak are perhaps the two most popular peaks to hike to" Again, if there is doubt, who says so?
    • Changed to "two popular peaks" Fredlyfish4 (talk) 00:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "conditions ranging from flat water to class IV whitewater" Is there a relevant wiki-link that explains these rafting terms?

I'll try to strike through these as you address them. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:16, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

  • I think I've revised everything here. Thanks a lot for the help. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 00:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)