California- Eldorado Nation Forest Update & Info

California- Eldorado Nation Forest Update & Info Hot

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BlueRibbon Coalition

Last Friday, the Eldorado National Forest issued formal notice that they will conduct an environmental analysis that will determine whether portions of 42 travel routes that were closed by court order will be re-opened to public wheeled motor vehicle use. (Read previous alert here)   

As many of you know, portions of 42 routes on the Eldorado National Forest were closed by court order last July. These closures were far from welcome, but were a far cry from those sought by anti-access activists in their sweeping challenge of the 2008 Travel Plan. The closure of the 42 "meadow routes" is based on a technical violation of the Eldorado Forest Plan.

Our initial review of the proposed action suggests it will be a step toward restoring important access.  Although the overall route mileage involved is not large, some of these routes represent the only remaining access to treasured destinations, necessary connectors in popular loop opportunities and cherry stems deliberately placed by Congress between adjacent Wilderness designations.

We are initially encouraged that the Forest Service apparently sees the value in restoring sustainable public access in these circumstances. The Eldorado NF has conducted most of the required analysis mandated by the technical requirements of the Forest Plan, and now begins the public planning process that will determine the long-term status for these routes.

I want to encourage everyone to view this in the larger context of attempts to all but eliminate OHV use on the Eldorado NF. That effort began in 1988, when a group calling itself FAWN (Friends Aware of Wildlife Needs), led by Karen Schambach, brought what the anti-recreation groups hoped would be a deathblow for motorized trail use. More than two decades later, those efforts have fallen far from their intended result, wasted millions in federal dollars and vindicated trail users who bring millions in volunteer and OHV funding to the Forest for management.

It has been a brutal fight. But we are still riding. We know anti-recreation extremists remain fixated on using the courts to close whatever the agency leaves open. The BlueRibbon Legal Team, with partners like the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, California Enduro Riders Association and AMA District 36, are proud to be part of the effort to keep the Eldorado NF open to OHV use.

Below are links to information about the process from the USFS, as well as a brief history of the long-running litigation on the Eldorado NF. BRC will work with our litigation partners and others to develop some comment suggestions in the very near future. Stay tuned! 

Don Amador
Western Representative
BlueRibbon Coalition
925-625-6287

PS  Everyone at BRC and our partners like the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, California Enduro Riders Association and AMA District 36 appreciates your support in our longstanding effort to defend reasonable access to the Eldorado. Thank you!

Eldorado NF Releases Travel Management Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (TM SEIS) On Re-opening Routes Closed via Court Order
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/home/?cid=STELPRDB5362046

BRC and Legal Partners Object to Court Ordered Interim Closures
http://www.sharetrails.org/news/2012/04/05/brc-and-legal-partners-object-court-ordered-interim-closures

Brief History of Legal Battle over Eldorado NF
http://www.sharetrails.org/legal/eldorado

 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 or http://www.sharetrails.org

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Last Friday, the Eldorado National Forest issued formal notice that they will conduct an environmental analysis that will determine whether portions of 42 travel routes that were closed by court order will be re-opened to public wheeled motor vehicle use. (Read previous alert here)   

As many of you know, portions of 42 routes on the Eldorado National Forest were closed by court order last July. These closures were far from welcome, but were a far cry from those sought by anti-access activists in their sweeping challenge of the 2008 Travel Plan. The closure of the 42 "meadow routes" is based on a technical violation of the Eldorado Forest Plan.

Our initial review of the proposed action suggests it will be a step toward restoring important access.  Although the overall route mileage involved is not large, some of these routes represent the only remaining access to treasured destinations, necessary connectors in popular loop opportunities and cherry stems deliberately placed by Congress between adjacent Wilderness designations.

We are initially encouraged that the Forest Service apparently sees the value in restoring sustainable public access in these circumstances. The Eldorado NF has conducted most of the required analysis mandated by the technical requirements of the Forest Plan, and now begins the public planning process that will determine the long-term status for these routes.

I want to encourage everyone to view this in the larger context of attempts to all but eliminate OHV use on the Eldorado NF. That effort began in 1988, when a group calling itself FAWN (Friends Aware of Wildlife Needs), led by Karen Schambach, brought what the anti-recreation groups hoped would be a deathblow for motorized trail use. More than two decades later, those efforts have fallen far from their intended result, wasted millions in federal dollars and vindicated trail users who bring millions in volunteer and OHV funding to the Forest for management.

It has been a brutal fight. But we are still riding. We know anti-recreation extremists remain fixated on using the courts to close whatever the agency leaves open. The BlueRibbon Legal Team, with partners like the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, California Enduro Riders Association and AMA District 36, are proud to be part of the effort to keep the Eldorado NF open to OHV use.

Below are links to information about the process from the USFS, as well as a brief history of the long-running litigation on the Eldorado NF. BRC will work with our litigation partners and others to develop some comment suggestions in the very near future. Stay tuned! 

Don Amador
Western Representative
BlueRibbon Coalition
925-625-6287

PS  Everyone at BRC and our partners like the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, California Enduro Riders Association and AMA District 36 appreciates your support in our longstanding effort to defend reasonable access to the Eldorado. Thank you!

Eldorado NF Releases Travel Management Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (TM SEIS) On Re-opening Routes Closed via Court Order
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/home/?cid=STELPRDB5362046

BRC and Legal Partners Object to Court Ordered Interim Closures
http://www.sharetrails.org/news/2012/04/05/brc-and-legal-partners-object-court-ordered-interim-closures

Brief History of Legal Battle over Eldorado NF
http://www.sharetrails.org/legal/eldorado

 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 or http://www.sharetrails.org

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