Action Alerts

Action Alerts

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the staffthe staff   October 12, 2011   0

Idaho BLM's Shoshone Field Office is developing a Travel Management Plan (TMP) for the area near Hailey, Idaho, north of Highway 20, bounded on the west by Chimney Creek and on the east by Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve and Fish Creek.

BLM is moving to a "travel limited to designated roads and trails" travel plan. And pursuant to BLM's new "Comprehensive Travel Plan" policy, all motorized, mountain bike and even equestrian trails will be closed unless designated open!

 
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the staffthe staff   October 05, 2011   0

The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA), just sent us their latest Access Alert on the Cibola National Forest's Mountainair Ranger District.

We've pasted their alert below. Please take a minute to read the alert, take action and then pass it along to friends, family and riding buddies.

Please send a message to the Forest Service - even if you don't visit this area

 
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the staffthe staff   October 05, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Caliente Field Office has released the Chief Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Management Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) for public review. The preliminary Environmental Assessment was posted on the BLM Ely District website for a 30-day public review period which ends October 16, 2011.

 
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the staffthe staff   October 03, 2011   0

The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands have prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Kiowa, Rita Blanca, Black Kettle, and McClellan Creek National Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan (plan). This proposed action provides management direction for the Grasslands for the next 15 years.

The Forest Service (FS) is asking the public to review and comment upon both the draft plan and DEIS. The documents are available for review on the Forest's website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/cibola as well as the following locations.

 
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the staffthe staff   October 03, 2011   0

The Salt Lake Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Intrepid Potash Mine and Reclamation Plan Modification Environmental Assessment (EA) for a 60-day public comment period. The public comment period runs from September 9, 2011, to November 7, 2011.

The proposed project area is located in Tooele County, Utah, near Wendover, Utah.  The EA describes the potential environmental impacts of the current mining operation and addresses future salt removal and replenishment.  The EA with maps is available for review on the BLM's website at www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/salt_lake.html.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 30, 2011   0

In 2009, the Olympic National Forest requested the Pacific Northwest Research Station to collect information about how residents value and use lands and resources on the Olympic Peninsula. A series of workshops were started in 2010 to allow residents the opportunity to identify places that are important to them. Workshops were completed in Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Quilcene, Hoodsport, Shelton, and Aberdeen.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 30, 2011   0

The Modoc National Forest, located in the northeastern corner of California, has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to supplement the Modoc National Forest Motorized Travel Management Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

The Modoc National Forest is creating this document to bolster the Modoc National Forest Motorized Travel Management FEIS by correcting any errata, and by providing supplemental information that was found to be missing from the original document. This information is provided in response to the Appeal Deciding Officers' decision dated March 11, 2010, that reversed part of the original decision.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 30, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lander Field Office is seeking public comment on the Lander Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The document can be found online at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning/rmps/lander.html and hard copies are available for review at public libraries throughout Fremont, Natrona and Sweetwater counties and at the Lander Field Office and the Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office in Worland.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 28, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lower Sonoran Field Office and Sonoran Desert National Monument has announced the release of a Draft Resource Management Plan (DRMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). This land use document provides direction for approximately 1.4 million acres of public land in south-central Arizona managed by the Lower Sonoran Field Office (LSFO). Of these public lands, approximately 486,400 acres are within the Sonoran Desert National Monument (SDNM).

Electronic versions of the Plan are available for review on the Lower Sonoran Field Office website at www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/planning/son_des.html.  A printed copy of the document is available for review at local libraries, printed copies and CD versions are available at the BLM Phoenix District Office or by calling 623-580-5500.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 27, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Colorado River Valley (formerly Glenwood Springs) Field Office for a 90-day public comment period. The Colorado River Valley RMP/EIS addresses 504.910 acres of BLM lands and underlying federal mineral estate across five Colorado counties: Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, Pitkin, and Routt, with a very small portion of the planning area in Rio Blanco County.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 24, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Desert District, announced its intent to prepare an environmental document to analyze a proposed plan amendment and alternatives covering the management of motorized vehicles on public lands in the West Mojave (WEMO) area.

A Notice of Intent to prepare the plan for areas in Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties was published in the Federal Register on September 13, 2011.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 15, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Bakersfield Field Office's Draft Resource Management Plan for public review and comment.  The BLM has also announced a series of public meetings to be in October.

 The Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS) covers lands (excluding Carrizo Plain National Monument) managed by BLM's Bakersfield Field Office, which includes lands in eight counties in central California: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kings, Tulare, Madera, eastern Fresno and western Kern.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 13, 2011   0
As I write this, the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, chaired by Utah Representative Rob Bishop, is hearing testimony on several bills designed to limit the President's unilateral authority to designate National Monuments. More info here.

The bills would either forbid the President's use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 or require Congressional approval of its use within a set time.

The threat of millions of acres of public lands getting locked up by a unilateral National Monument designation has been looming ever since a secret Department of Interior memo was made public in 2010. The memo revealed the Administration has detailed plans for locking up over 13 million acres of new National Monuments in 11 western states.

 
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the staffthe staff   September 12, 2011   0

The Pike & San Isabel National Forests' Pikes Peak Ranger District, located in the central Colorado, announced that the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the South Rampart Travel Management Plan is now available for review and comment. Written comments on the three Draft Alternatives will be accepted during the 30-day comment period which ends Monday October 17, 2011.
 
The purpose of this project is to determine which motorized roads and trails and non-motorized trails on National Forest (NF) lands within the planning area are important in providing a diverse, functional and sustainable transportation system that balances resource protection, public safety, and current and anticipated recreational demands and budget constraints.

 
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the staffthe staff   March 02, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pocatello Field Office is developing a Travel Management Plan (TMP) for motorized routes in the Bear Lake region. This process began in November 2009, with a series of public meetings followed by a route inventory in 2010, to identify travel management issues. Information gathered through the scoping meetings and the route inventory was analyzed and used to develop three alternatives.

Public involvement is critical during the development of the travel plan. The BLM will be accepting written comments during a 30-day comment period that ends March 24, 2011. These comments will be used in the development of an environmental analysis with a reasonable range of alternatives that will ultimately determine the routes to be designated for motorized travel.

The public can send written comments on issues or concerns they may have regarding the proposed travel routes to the Bureau of Land Management, Pocatello Field Office, Chuck Patterson, 4350 Cliffs Drive, Pocatello, Idaho 83204.

Alternatives and maps of the travel management planning area and travel routes can be viewed or downloaded on the Internet at http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/fo/pocatello/travel_management.html

For more information, contact the Pocatello Field Office at 208-478-6340.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Thanks in advance for your involvement,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107


 


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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

 

 
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the staffthe staff   February 22, 2011   0

The Shoshone National Forest, located in northwestern Wyoming, is in the process of revising their Forest Plan. The Notice of Intent (NOI) to revise the Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010.

The Forest Service (FS) will hold a series of public meetings about its forest plan revision. (See meeting schedule below.)

Monday, February 28, 2011            6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Big Horn Federal
1701 Stampede Ave.
Cody, WY

Tuesday, March 1, 2011                  6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Headwaters Art and Convention Center
17 Stalnaker
Dubois, WY

Wednesday, March 2, 2011              6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Monarch Hall at the Pronghorn Lodge
150 East Main
Lander, WY

Thursday, March 3, 2011                   6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Big Horn Federal
643 Broadway
Thermopolis, WY

The Forest Service will present information about the revision process, a tentative timeline for completing the revised plan, what will and will not be decided in the revised forest plan and how the agency studies the social and economic effects of decisions. Forest Supervisor Joe Alexander, local district rangers and members of the planning team will be available to answer questions.

Additionally, the Government Cooperators' Work Group will meet on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at the Big Horn Federal meeting room in Thermopolis from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. The public is welcome. At the end of the meeting, there will be time for nonmembers to make statements and ask questions.

Forest plan revision information is available on the Shoshone National Forest's website, or at any Shoshone National Forest office in Cody, Dubois and Lander. 

For more information about the NOI or the revision process, contact Carrie Christman, planning staff, at (307) 578-5118.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Thanks in advance for your involvement,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107


 


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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

 

 
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the staffthe staff   February 08, 2011   0

Idaho -Boise & Payette National Forests to Host Open House on Roads of Concern

National Forests across Idaho are reviewing small sections of Forest roads that may require additional safety measures, particularly where mixed use vehicle travel occurs on identified high risk roads.

The Payette and Boise National Forests are seeking public comment on the process and its preliminary identification of the roads in need of review. The review was prompted by changes to Idaho State law. The Boise and Payette National Forests invite the public to an Open House on February 15, 2011, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to learn more about the issue and discuss their concerns with forest service representatives from both forests. The meeting will take place at the Payette National Forest Supervisor's headquarters on 800 W. Lakeside Avenue, McCall, ID, 83638.

Both Forests, along with all National Forests in Idaho, are accepting comments until February 22, 2011, on the identified "Roads of Concern" during a preliminary analysis. Maps displaying these routes are on the Payette and Boise National Forest websites for downloading and viewing. Websites for the two forests are: www.fs.usda.gov/payette & www.fs.usda.gov/boise.

IMPORTANT NOTE
BRC members may be wondering what kind of comments to make during this process. We thought we would post a letter that was forwarded to us from Sandra Mitchell from the Idaho Recreation Council (IRC). The letter was written regarding "roads of concern" on the Boise National Forest by Jeff Nofsinger. Jeff's letter is an excellent example of the kind of input that is useful for this effort. We've put the letter here for your review. 

Comments will be accepted from now until February 22, 2011.  Comments can be emailed to each National Forest through its website or the United States Postal Service. (See Forest websites below)

Mail comments to:
         Jake Strohmeyer, Staff Officer
         Payette National Forest Headquarters
         800 W. Lakeside Ave
         McCall, ID  83638

Letters may also be hand delivered between 8:00-4:30, Monday-Friday, excluding federal holidays. Our fax number is 208-634-0744. Please address your faxes to Mr. Strohmeyer. Mr. Strohmeyer's phone number is 634-0703.

For additional information contact either Will Perry at 634-0767 or Jeff Alexander at 373-4141.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your effort.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107


Boise National Forest website here

Comments can be emailed to: comments-intermtn-boise@fs.fed.us
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.


Payette National Forest website here

Comments can be emailed to comments-intermtn-payette@fs.fed.us  
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.

 

 
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the staffthe staff   February 07, 2011   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Southern Nevada District is seeking public comments to identify issues and concerns that should be analyzed as they prepare a Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) and Comprehensive Transportation & Travel Management (CTTM) Plan -- with an associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) -- to designate off-highway vehicle use for the Las Vegas Field Office.

A Notice of Intent, published in the January 28, 2011, Federal Register, formally opens a 60-day public scoping period for the EIS. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until March 29, 2011. The dates and locations of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media and the BLM web site at: www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo.html.

Comments may be submitted by mail or delivered to Bureau of Land Management, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130, Attn: Marilyn Peterson, by e-mail to LVFO_RAMPS@blm.gov, or by fax to 702-515-5023 (Attn: Marilyn Peterson).

All documents pertaining to this proposal may be examined at the Southern Nevada District, Las Vegas Field Office. Additional information will be posted online at the Southern Nevada District web site at: www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo.html.

To be most helpful, comments should be submitted within 30 days of the last public meeting to be considered for incorporation into the Draft RAMPs/CTTM/EIS. 

For more information regarding the public comment meetings or the proposed project, contact Marilyn Peterson, Project Manager at (702) 515-5054, or email LVFO_RAMPS@blm.gov.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Thanks in advance for your support,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

 

 
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the staffthe staff   January 27, 2011   0

The US Forest Service in Idaho has announced they are reviewing forest roads across the state regarding the issue of safety of OHV use on "mixed use" roads. Mixed use is a term used to describe roads that allow "unlicensed" vehicles such as ATVs, UTVs or off-highway motorcycles along with "street legal" cars and trucks.

Approximately 18 months ago, the agency expressed the concern that a state law allowing "unlicensed" vehicles on unpaved roads created a safety issue. In response to those concerns, the OHV community in Idaho is currently working on a comprehensive bill in the state legislature focused on effective safety training and enforcement. Idaho Law 49-302 (11) I.C already requires that unlicensed operators are required to be supervised by an adult. We are not completely clear on why the agency is undertaking this effort instead of waiting for the outcome of the legislative endeavor.

Of course, safety is a major concern. Signing, speed limits and other efforts address only part of the solution, which is why BRC has supported the legislative effort. But our members are also concerned because the USFS is considering closing roads to OHV use where "no other reasonable and effective safety measures can be implemented." A quick review of the roads at issue raises the concern that potential closures will eliminate "loops," make some areas inaccessible and "cut to pieces" the current route system.

BRC is asking our members to review the information and identify roads that present a legitimate safety concern, but also identify roads that are necessary for access and are especially critical for making "loops." If you are familiar with the specific roads, please also suggest potential safety mitigations, such as speed limits, brush removal for improved visibility, warning signs, speed bumps or other minor engineering changes.

The Regional Forester has set February 22, 2011, as a deadline, which is unfortunate, as most, if not all, of the roads at issue are inaccessible, and it is impossible to look at them. We will attempt to extend the deadline, but we aren't holding our breath, so please do your best to comment.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your effort.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102


Idaho Forest Roads Safety Review Available for Public Comment

National Forests across Idaho are undertaking a review of their road systems and identifying sections of road that may require additional safety measures and are seeking public comments.  The review was prompted by changes to Idaho State law.

In 2009, Idaho Senate Bill 1098 modified the Idaho Code with respect to off-highway vehicle (OHV) licensing requirements. While responsible OHV recreation is welcome on National Forest System roads, this new law exempts unlicensed OHV operators (including underage operators less than 16 years old) from licensing requirements. As a result, national forests in Idaho are undertaking a motorized mixed use* safety review of the current road system, with unlicensed OHV operators in mind, and identifying sections of road that may require additional safety measures.

*Motorized Mixed Use is defined as designation of a National Forest System road for use by both highway legal and non-highway legal motor vehicles.

With thousands of miles of National Forest roads and trails open to Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) in Idaho, there is a risk to OHV operators on roads that also receive heavy travel from highway vehicles and commercial trucks.  Road segments with such "mixed use" are referred to as "Roads of Concern" (ROC). Trails designated for OHV use are unaffected by Senate Bill 1098.

The National Forests are accepting comments related to these Roads of Concern, specifically what safety concerns you might have on any of the identified roads and your suggestions for making these roads safer.

Maps have been published on each National Forest website for downloading and viewing.  The eight National Forests across Idaho contain more than 7,700 miles of roads open to OHVs and highway vehicles and 2,500 miles of road that are being evaluated.

Potential safety mitigations for these roads range from reduced speed limits, brush removal for improved visibility, warning signs, speed bumps or other minor engineering changes. "In cases where risks are unacceptable, OHV use may be restricted. However, for each Road of Concern, restricting OHV use will be considered as a last resort when no other reasonable and effective safety measures can be implemented," said Intermountain Regional Forester Harv Forsgren.

Throughout the winter and spring of 2011, each National Forest in Idaho will work closely with agency partners and members of the public to improve public safety plans for National Forest System roads. Public input will be used to help identify where, and what types of safety improvements will be made for each of the Roads of Concern. By summer 2011, the first safety mitigation measures will be in place.

Comments will be accepted from now until February 22, 2011.  Comments can be emailed to or mailed to each National Forest through its website or the United States Postal Service. (See Forest websites below)
_________________________________________________________________________________

Boise National Forest website here

Comments can be emailed to: comments-intermtn-boise@fs.fed.us
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Caribou-Targhee National Forest website here 

Comments can be emailed to: lballard@fs.fed.us
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Clearwater National Forest website here

Comments can be emailed to comments-northern-clearwater@fs.fed.us
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Idaho Panhandle National Forests website here

Comments can be emailed to comments-northern-idpanhandle@fs.fed.us 
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.

Mail comments to:
         IPNF Forest Road Safety Review
         ATTN: Greg Hetzler
         3815 N. Schreiber Way
         Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
_________________________________________________________________________________

Nez Perce National Forest website here

Comments can be emailed to comments-northern-nezperce@fs.fed.us  
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Payette National Forest website here

Comments can be emailed to comments-intermtn-payette@fs.fed.us  
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.

Mail comments to:
         Jake Strohmeyer, Staff Officer
         Payette National Forest Headquarters
         800 W. Lakeside Ave
         McCall, ID  83638

Letters may also be hand delivered between 8:00-4:30, Monday-Friday, excluding federal holidays. Our fax number is 208-634-0744. Please address your faxes to Mr. Strohmeyer. Mr. Strohmeyer's phone number is 634-0703.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Salmon-Challis National Forest website here 

Comments can be emailed to kfuellenbach@fs.fed.us
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Sawtooth National Forest website here

Comments can be emailed to comments-intermtn-sawtooth@fs.fed.us   
Please include "Roads of Concern" in the subject line.

Mail comments to:
         Sawtooth National Forest
         Attn: Roads of Concern
         2647 Kimberly Road E.
         Twin Falls, Idaho 83301  

 

 
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the staffthe staff   January 14, 2011   0

Kane County, Utah, has just won another important victory in the ongoing dispute over control of roads across public lands. An en banc panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled in favor of Kane County and dealt a major blow to Utah wilderness groups fighting over who owns a handful of back roads in rural Kane County. Click here to read the actual decision.  

 
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the staffthe staff   January 06, 2011   0

Mark Saturday, January 29, 2011 on your calendar! Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL) is hosting a Land Use Activist Seminar from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Western Inn in Spanish Fork, Utah.

We did a couple of similar seminars when I was at USA-ALL and I can tell you they are very valuable and definitely worth the time and effort to attend.

I've pasted USA-ALL's alert below. Please consider attending this valuable seminar.
Thanks,
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102


   Land Use Activist Seminar

Where:
Western Inn (Just off Hwy 6 & I-15, Spanish Fork)
632 East Kirby Lane
Spanish Fork, UT 84660

 

 Driving Dirvections

 When:
Saturday January 29, 2011 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM MST
Add to my calendar

Greetings!

With the recent announcement that the Department of Interior may end run Congress and create what amounts to defacto Wilderness the time to get involved has NEVER been more critical. USA-ALL can't possibly address every closure to public land that we face in Utah. But we can raise an army and teach others to fight along with us. Here is your first chance to enlist and help us do just that.
 

We would like to invite you to attend a FREE seminar on how to become a land use activist and keep more public land open.

This seminar will be very informative and helpful to those who want to do more. We will give you the basic tools needed so you can make a difference. There is limited space so please register ASAP.

Register below or click the "Get more information" link to be taken to our seminar homepage for more details.

Get more information

Register Now!

I can't make it

Feel free to contact us at the number below if you have any questions.

Thank you for your attention and desire to help us better protect public land in our beautiful state! We hope to do more seminars throughout 2011. Please help us make this one well attended.

Sincerely,

Michael Swenson
Utah Shared Access Alliance
(801) 850-9315


Utah Shared Access Alliance | PO BOX 50592 | Provo | UT | 84605-0592

 

 
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the staffthe staff   January 03, 2011   0

We wanted to pass along an alert sent by the folks over at the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA). The Gila National Forest has just released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Travel Management.

There is more information in the alert, which is pasted below, and also available on NMOHVA's webpage. Keep up to date on this and other New Mexico OHV issues by subscribing to NMOHVA's email Action Alert list.

As always, call or email if you have any questions or comments.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107
 



ACCESS ALERT!

Gila National Forest Releases Long-Awaited Travel Management Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The Gila National Forest Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Travel Management is NOW available on the Gila National Forest's web site.  The official release of this document (expected in the next few days) will start the official 60 day comment period for the draft EIS document. 

This draft EIS proposes some really BIG changes from the current situation.  In addition to the elimination of  all cross country travel, the Forest's Preferred Alternative (Alternative G) would close nearly 1300 miles of currently existing road and limit dispersed camping to only 25% of the Forest's existing roads.  All of the alternatives being considered for implementation would also limit the public's access for motorized big game retrieval.  The Preferred Alternative would limit motorized big game retrieval to a narrow 600 foot corridor on only about 1300 miles of road.  All other motorized big game retrieval would be banned completely.

The public will only have 60 days to comment on these issues by submitting letters or emails. The  end of the 60 day comment period will be established by the date that the official notice is published in the Federal Register.  We anticipate that publication will be around January 7th so the end of the comment period will probably be in very early March.  Only those who provide comments during this comment period will be eligible to appeal the final decision.

The purpose of the Travel Management EIS is to designate a motorized road and trail system for the Gila National Forest.  Designation will include class of vehicle and time of year for motor vehicle use.  The decision will result in the publication of a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). After the MVUM has been released, ALL other motorized travel off the designated system will be prohibited.  The full text of the document, all of the maps of the travel routes for the alternatives, and supporting documentation is available on the Gila National Forest's Travel Management website here.  

There will be a series of four Open House/Public Meetings to explain the Travel Management alternatives to the public.  The detailed schedule of where and where these meetings will occur is available here.    These meetings will be an opportunity to meet with the Forest Service and ask questions about the project and the proposed closures. 

Comments on the draft EIS can be submitted by postal mail, email, and fax.  Specific instructions and contact information are available here

For further information, please contact the Forest Travel Management Coordinator for the Gila National Forest, Lisa Mizuno at (575) 388-8267 or lmizuno@fs.fed.us or r3_gila_travel@fs.fed.us.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Read the Forest Service Documents Here:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Maps

________________________________________________________________________________
New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance | 13170-B Central Ave. SE | PMB #322 | Albuquerque | NM | 87123


 


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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

 

 
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the staffthe staff   December 23, 2010   0

We've a bit of Holiday good news to report. The America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010, otherwise known as the omnibus public lands bill, is officially dead for this Congress.

We want to express our gratitude to all our members and supporters who contacted their Senators and asked them to oppose the bill.

All the best,
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

 

 
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the staffthe staff   December 23, 2010   0

POCATELLO, ID (December 23)--The BlueRibbon Coalition, a national Off-Highway Vehicle advocacy group, sent a letter to Department of Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Robert Abbey expressing the importance of key provisions of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act  (FLPMA) as it moves forward in the development and implementation of Land Use Plans.

“BlueRibbon is concerned for the over 50 million Americans who choose or are required to use vehicles for access and recreation on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. We felt the need to emphasize the importance of several key provisions of FLPMA as the agency moves forward with their land use planning efforts in 2011." said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of the Coalition.

"Millions of Americans as well as thousands of state and local governments are impacted by the Bureau's management plans. Recognizing key Congressional mandates in the land use planning process is important in reducing the conflict over how America's public lands are managed." said Brian Hawthorne, the Coalitions Public Lands Policy Director.

The Coalition's letter specifically noted provisions in Section 603 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act regarding agency's lack of authority to conduct never ending, ongoing inventory and management for Wilderness. The letter also emphasized Congressional mandates regarding consistency between Federal Land Use Plans and the plans of state and local governments, the multiple use mandate in FLPMA Section 102 and the direction to acknowledge and protect various valid existing rights.

A copy of Blueribbon's letter is available here and a copy of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) here.  


# # #

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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

 

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   December 21, 2010   0

The guys and gals at NOHVCC (National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council - bookmark their excellent website now!) sent us a request for help from the Utah Department of Transportation. They have a question they need answered and are hoping that the OHV community can help.

I have pasted in a copy of their email below; please take a couple of minutes to read over the information.

Thanks in advance for your involvement,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107


December 17, 2010

Utah Department of Transportation needs our help

Dear NOHVCC Friends,

The Utah Department of Transportation has a question they need help with.  They are planning a new state highway which will interfere with the current parking and access of an OHV area and are working on an engineering solution that will still allow the riders to use and access the area as they have in the past.

The question they need help with is this:

When placing a box culvert under a new highway to access an OHV staging area, how large does it need to be to accommodate the various vehicles, campers, toy haulers that typically visit an OHV area and equestrian use?

Please let us know if you have any standards or recommendations you can share.

Please reply to trailhead@nohvcc.org.

Your help is greatly appreciated,

Russ Ehnes    


 


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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

 

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   December 16, 2010   0

SENATOR USES INFLUENCE ON POWERFUL APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TO SLIP HIS GIANT WILDERNESS BILL INTO THIS MASSIVE PORK PACKAGE.  THIS PIGGIE WILL PASS UNLESS YOU ACT!  CALL YOUR SENATORS IMMEDIATELY!

THE CROWN JEWEL OF WESTERN SNOWMOBILING, MT. JEFFERSON, IS INCLUDED IN THIS WILDERNESS BILL.
 

Montana's Senator Jon Tester has used his position on the powerful Senate Appropriation Committee to slip his Wilderness legislation into a giant 2000-page government spending bill, the 2011 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Do not email! Do not communicate via web-form. Legislators ignore emails. They do, however, pay attention to phone calls.

Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 and tell your Senator:

"Please oppose the 2011 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Tell your Senator that you strongly oppose the back-room shenanigans and non-budget related sections of this bill."

Do it NOW. Please.

We've included some background info and links to information on the web below. As always, please call or email with questions or comments.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

PS: The reason Senator Tester's bill hasn't passed already is because it has problems that he refuses to fix. Slipping it in the appropriations bill behind closed doors, along with billions of dollars of pork and deficit spending, is the height of legislative arrogance. We must not let this stand!

PPS: Check this statement from Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg: 

"This is government at its worst. Montanans have had zero input on this new wilderness bill. It hasn't even had a public hearing in Congress. What's more, Senator Tester is jamming his unpopular bill into yet another trillion dollar spending bill jam packed with pork. These are exactly the sort of underhanded tactics the American people rejected in November. 


BRC NATIONAL ACTION ALERT
IMMEDATE ACTION REQUESTED

SENATOR USES INFLUENCE ON POWERFUL APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TO SLIP GIANT WILDERNESS BILL INTO GOVERNMENT FUNDING BILL. BRC IS REQUESTING ALL OUR MEMBERS CALL THEIR SENATORS IMMEDIATELY.

SITUATION
We want to begin with a bit of background first.

Senator Jon Tester from Montana has been pushing the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act for several years. It's billed as a compromise between preservation, forest health and recreation. Tester has been maintaining that the bill actually protects motorized access, as well as designates suitable Wilderness and allows for logging to address forest health issues.

BRC's staff and volunteers have gone over the bill in detail, and it "almost" gets there. Believe it or not, there are only a few relatively minor changes that would make this bill palatable. The bill needs to buck up its mandate for timber management and, in order to guard against greenie lawsuits, it needs to clarify its intent on travel management, and the popular Mt. Jefferson Snowmobile area needs to be removed from Wilderness designation. If Senator Tester had done these things, I think many multiple use activists, including yours truly, could have been convinced to support the bill.

These flaws, or more accurately, the refusal to address any of these flaws, and the refusal to bring local governments to the table, are why Tester's bill has languished in Senate.

Instead of working with stakeholders and making meaningful adjustments, the Senator is simply using his position on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee to bully his way over the concerns of the American people.

So... hidden among 8 billion dollars of earmarks, unpopular health care funding, and 2000 pages of borrowing and spending, is his pet Wilderness bill. The Senator and his colleagues waited until one week before the Christmas Holiday before letting anyone look at it. This is truly an outrage, and it must be opposed at all costs.

In our busy lives, while we put our attention to work and family, many will say they simply do not have the time to call their Senators. While everyone at BRC fully understands, we believe this is perhaps the single most important issue facing recreational users, both motorized and non-motorized, in decades. If this sort of thing is seen as "acceptable," by the American public, it will only be a matter of time before some other Senator decides to slip in a bill that closes your favorite recreational area.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Click here, and enter your zip code. Call your Senator's State office, or the office nearest your home and say: "Please oppose the 2011 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Tell your Senator that you strongly oppose the back-room shenanigans and non-budget related sections of this bill.

MORE INFO ON THE WEB:

Tester's wilderness, jobs initiative attached to federal appropriations bill
http://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article.html

Forest Jobs and Recreation Act
A Teachable Wilderness Bill
http://www.sharetrails.org/public-lands/?section=Tester_Bill

Wilderness Activists Fail to Close Mount Jefferson in Forest Plan - Push Legislation Instead
http://www.sharetrails.org/public-lands/?section=Mt_Jefferson

Snowmobilers Celebrate Mount Jefferson Victory
http://www.sharetrails.org/magazine/article/?id=1729

Link to the 2011 Consolidated Appropriations Act
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/2011_Consolidated_Appropriations_Act.pdf

WARNING: BRC members with high blood pressure should seek medical advice before downloading and reading this document. There is good reason the Senate waited until the week before Christmas to make this public. You will find Tester's Wilderness bill hidden among over 8 billion (borrowed) dollars of earmarks, heath care funding and all kinds of shenanigans beginning on page 893.

National News regarding the Appropriations bill:
Senate Dems unveil $1.1T spending bill
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/133563-senate-dems-unveil-11t-omnibus-spending-bill-

Senate spending bill contains thousands of earmarks
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/14/topnews

Revolt: Republicans Angry About Omnibus Spending Bill Decry 'Total Mess'
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/revolt-republicans-angry-omnibus-budget-decry-total-mess/

Sen. McConnell On 2000-Page Omnibus Bill: "No One Has Seen It"
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/sen_mcconnell_on_2000-page_omnibus_bill_no_one_has_seen_it

Democrats' budget bill: $1.1 trillion; 1,900 pages
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46383.html


 


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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

 

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   December 10, 2010   0

Our partners in Washington State have just forwarded us information on an important issue that needs IMMEDIATE ACTION.

Tod Petersen, Political Action Committee Chairman for the Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA),  just emailed with word that with another budget crisis just on the horizon, your Nonhighway and Offroad Vehicle Activities (NOVA) funds are in danger again.

Tod is asking us to alert all BRC members in Washington State and ask that you contact the Governor as well as your State Senator and both your State House of Representatives and tell them NOT to rob the NOVA account again.

I've pasted their alert below, so please take a minute to read it over and take action. Then, pass this important alert on to your friends and family, and please ask them take action as well.

Thanks in advance for your involvement,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

PS: Plan on attending the WOHVA OHV Rally in February 2011 to show your support for motorized off-road recreation.

You can download a copy of the flyer here and more information is available on WOHVA website.
 


Washington State ORV funds under attack again

In 2009 the Washington State Legislature passed legislation to divert all of the offroad vehicle gas tax and ORV permits funds (Nonhighway and Offroad Vehicle Activities account) and gave them to State Parks for 2009 and 2010. None of this money was spent to benefit ORV users.

Now with another budget crisis right around the corner and the Legislature returning to session soon, State Parks has been instructed to propose a budget with no state general fund allocation.  To do that State Parks have said that they must have all of your Nonhighway and Offroad Vehicle Account (NOVA) money permanently.

It is very important to let Governor and your Legislators know that it is not OK to rip you off again.

You can contact the Governor via this link: http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp

You can find and contact your State Senator and both you State House of Representatives member via this link: http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx


Here are some example comments to consider.  Use them as is or, better yet put the same idea in your own words.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Please DO NOT redistribute funds intended for the Non Highway and Offroad Vehicle Activities account AGAIN!

In 2009 the legislature took all of these funds and gave them to State Parks where none of those funds benefited offroad vehicle recreation in any way.

This account was created when offroad vehicle users volunteered to waive their legal right to a fuel tax refund in exchange for a self-directed state account to provide funding for programs that benefited offroad vehicle activities.

These same citizens volunteered to have their license tab fees increased so long as those monies were also placed in the Non Highway and Offroad Vehicle Activities (NOVA) account.

To redirect the funding away from the NOVA account again would be nothing short of stealing from the very same citizens that willingly gave the state their hard earned money.

++++++++++++++++++++++++


Tod Petersen
Political Action Committee Chairman
Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance
Email:  tod701@aol.com

 

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   December 10, 2010   0

The Forest Service is beginning a formal review of the Land and Resource Management Plan of the Huron-Manistee National Forests.

As a result of a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Forest Service will prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement to assess the environmental impacts of a proposed ban on firearm hunting, subject to existing rights, and snowmobile use on National Forest System lands within Semi-primitive Non-motorized Management Areas and a ban on firearm hunting, subject to existing rights, in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. This analysis will allow the agency to make a decision in accordance with federal regulations.

On September 29, 2010, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a favorable District Court ruling in a lawsuit involving the Huron-Manistee.  Kurt Meister, a Michigan attorney, claimed that the Forest Service failed to address his concerns about noise created by gun hunters and snowmobiles in Semi-primitive Non-motorized Management Areas and the Wilderness.

Public involvement will occur during each phase of the review process. At a minimum, the process to consider a plan amendment includes:

  • Consultation with Native American tribes.
  • Publication of a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register and Michigan newspapers announcing a 45-day comment period.
  • Analysis of  the comments received and possibly develop additional Alternatives to respond to these comments.
  • Preparation of a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and analyze effects of the Alternatives.
  • Public review and comment period on Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
  • Preparation of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
  • Publication of a Decision Notice in the Federal Register.
  • A 90-day appeal period.

The public will be notified when the public comment periods will occur through news releases, legal notices, the forests' Website and the Federal Register. For more information, contact Kenneth Arbogast, Public Affairs Officer for the Huron-Manistee National Forests, at (231) 775-5023, Ext. 8726 or visit the forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/hmnf

BRC will forward information and updates as they become available via our action alert email system. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your support,

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107


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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

 

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   November 30, 2010   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Jarbidge Field Office has extended the public comment period on the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) an additional 60 days. The public comment period, which was scheduled to close December 2, 2010, will now close January 31, 2011.

Once finalized, the Jarbidge RMP will provide management direction for the 1.4 million acres of public land in southwestern Idaho and northern Nevada managed by the Jarbidge Field Office.

The six alternatives in the Draft offer a range of approaches to achieve and maintain desired resource conditions in the area over the coming 15 to 20 years; it also examines issues like recreation, energy development, livestock grazing and vegetation.

Electronic copies of the Draft RMP/EIS are available on the Jarbidge Field Office web page at http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/planning/jarbidge_resource.html.

Please send written comments by mail to Jarbidge Planning Team, BLM Jarbidge Field Office, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301, or e-mail comments to ID_Jarbidge_RMP@blm.gov. Fax written comments to (208) 736-2375 - Attention: Jarbidge Planning Team.

For further information, contact Aimee Betts or Amanda Nisula at (208) 736-2350.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your support,

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107


 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national (non-profit) trail-saving group that represents over 600,000 recreationists nationwide The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is beginning. 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 http://www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

 

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   November 22, 2010   0

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Cedar City Field Office will host three public scoping meetings to kick off the preparation of the Cedar City Field Office Resource Management Plan (RMP). This new plan will replace the existing land use plans for the Cedar City Field Office, which includes the Cedar Beaver Garfield Antimony RMP of 1986 and the Pinyon Management Framework Plan of 1983. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared to support this planning effort.

The planning area is located in Beaver, Iron, and a small portion of Washington counties, Utah, and encompasses approximately 2.1 million acres of public land. Preliminary issues to be addressed in the plan include the following: renewable energy development for geothermal, wind, and solar power; management of site type rights-of-way for renewable energy and other uses; visual resource management; evaluation of potential new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern; Wild and Scenic River recommendations; Off-Highway Vehicle Designations and Special Recreation Management Areas; Wild Horse and Burro management; and fluid minerals management stipulations to protect sensitive resources.

Three scoping meetings will be held to provide the public with opportunities to learn about the plan to be developed and to share any information, concerns, or comments they may have.  The meetings will be in an open house format and representatives from BLM's Cedar City Field Office will be available to answer questions. The meetings are scheduled from 5pm to 8pm MST on the following dates at these locations:
 
Cedar City - Tuesday, December 7, 2010    
Festival Hall Convention Center, Room 7
96 North Main
Cedar City, UT 84720
 
Beaver - Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Beaver Library, Meeting Room
55 West Center Street
Beaver, UT 84713
 
Salt Lake City - Thursday, December 9, 2010
Salt Lake City Library, Conference Room 4
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

The public scoping period began with publication of the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register on September 10, 2010, and ends on December 27, 2010. Written comments may be submitted at the scoping meetings, by letter to the address below, or by e-mail to utccrmp@blm.gov. Please include "Resource Management Plan Cedar City Field Office, Utah, and associated Environmental Impact Statement" in your correspondence.  All comments must be received on or before the close of business, Monday, December 27, 2010.

Attention: Planning Project Manager
c/o Bureau of Land Management
Cedar City Field Office
176 East DL Sargent Drive
Cedar City, UT 84721

Please contact BLM Planner Gina Ginouves at (435) 865-3011 to request additional information regarding the meetings. More information can also be found on the Cedar City Field Office Website at
http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/cedar_city.html.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your support,

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107


 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national (non-profit) trail-saving group that represents over 600,000 recreationists nationwide The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is beginning. 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 http://www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________


As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

 

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