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Action Alerts

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adminv15adminv15   November 18, 2010   0

Just got an email from our partners over at the ATV Association of Minnesota (ATVAM), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public input on a draft State and Regional Parks and Trails Legacy Plan which will be available in December.

I have pasted the email below; please take a minute to read it over.
Also, please pass this on to your friends, family and anyone who you think might be able to help.

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

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


DNR seeks citizen input on Parks and Trails Legacy Plan

  (Released November 15, 2010)

A draft State and Regional Parks and Trails Legacy Plan will be available for review and comment, starting in December. This legislatively mandated plan establishes a vision and guides funding for the next 25 years of state and regional park and trail efforts in Minnesota.

The legislation directs the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to participate in a collaborative project to help direct how the park and trail portion of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment funding, as well as other traditional sources of funding, should be spent for state and regional parks and trails over the next quarter century.

The plan identifies gaps and needs in the current regional and state system and recommends how to address them. In addition to establishing a vision and providing funding criteria, it outlines priorities.

DNR is partnering with the Citizens League - a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization - to offer a variety of opportunities for citizens to provide input on the plan before it is presented to the Minnesota Legislature by Feb. 15, 2011.

Citizens are asked to comment on recommendations regarding:

  •  connecting people to the outdoors
  •  strategic acquisitions
  •  taking care of existing parks and trails, and
  •  developing new opportunities to meet existing and future needs.

Starting in early December, citizens can review the plan and provide feedback on it by visiting this website.

Citizens can also provide feedback at workshops around the state:

  • Thursday, Dec. 2, 7-9 p.m., Country Inn and Suites, 1900 Premier Dr., Mankato.
  • Monday, Dec. 6, 7-9 p.m., Holiday Inn - Downtown Waterfront, 200 W. First St., Duluth.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 7, 7-9 p.m., Hampton Inn and Suites, 1019 Paul Bunyan Dr. S., Bemidji.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 8, 7-9 p.m., University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center, 1890 Buford Ave., St. Paul.

For more information, contact Project Manager Laurie Young, laures.young@state.mn.us,  651-259-5638, or Planner Emmett Mullin, emmett.mullin@state.mn.us, or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment that Minnesotans passed in 2008 enacted a three-eighths percent sales tax increase for natural resources and the arts. Of the money collected, 14.25 percent is providing funding for state, metro, and greater Minnesota parks and trails projects.

 

 
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the staffthe staff   November 14, 2010   0

Utah and N. Arizona Action Alert
Comments needed on Glen Canyon National Recreation Area ORV Management Plan

BRC sending an Action Alert out on a Sunday?!?!

We decided to come in on a weekend to blast this Action Alert because Chad Booth from At Your Leisure is featuring the ORV Management Plan at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on today's program.

At Your Leisure (AYL) http://www.ayltv.com/ is a weekly outdoor recreation show that covers both motorized and non motorized family oriented outdoor recreation around the western United States. AYL covers great rubber tire, track, and sportsmen destinations, product reviews, and many stories including vital news on important land issues. AYL can be seen: Saturday nights at 11 and Sunday mornings at 9 on ABC-4 in Salt Lake.

On today's program, AYL travels to Kanab, Utah, to discuss the release of preliminary alternatives for off-road vehicle (ORV) use at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, located in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

Sadly, all of the preliminary alternatives released for public review limit motor vehicle use. Only the “no action alternative,” which is never considered a viable alternative by federal land managers, maintains the existing level of OHV use.

BRC has reviewed the GCNRA's alternatives and other materials and is asking its members and supporters to make a few specific comments on this important plan.

The GCNRA is managed by the National Park Service, so comments must be made via webform. We've provided instructions and also some suggested comments below. The comment deadline is November 24, 2010. Please take action today!

Thanks in advance,
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director 
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

BRC ACTION ALERT
COMMENTS NEEDED ON GLEN CANYON NRA ORV MANAGEMENT PLAN

Situation:
The National Park Service has announced the beginning of the public alternatives scoping period for an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the management of off-road vehicle (ORV) use at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, located in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

The ORV Vehicle Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will evaluate a range of alternatives associated with recreational ORV use at Glen Canyon and their environmental impacts.
Sadly, all of the preliminary alternatives released for public review limit motor vehicle use. Only the “no action alternative,” which is never considered a viable alternative by federal land managers, maintain the existing OHV use.

What you need to to:
BRC has reviewed the GCNRA's alternatives and other materials and is asking its members and supporters to make a few specific comments on this important plan.

Comments can be made electronically at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/GLCA, (select ORV Management Plan and Regulation). Comments may also be mailed to, Superintendent, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Re: ORV Management Plan/EIS, P.O. Box 1507, Page, AZ 86040.

NOTE: You may have to navigate to the site if the link above doesn't work. Try going to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ and then clicking on "Glen Canyon National Recreation Area" from the list.

Suggested Comments:

While the GCNRA is managed by the National Park Service, it is important for the decision maker to consider that it is a National Recreation Area. The enabling legislation mandates the agency to provide for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment of Lake Powell and lands adjacent thereto, and to preserve scenic, scientific, and historic features contributing to public enjoyment of the area.

Outdoor recreation, including motorized vehicle based recreation, has grown in popularity over the last several decades. Given the legislative mandate to provide for recreation and the administration's desire to facilitate outdoor recreation, I request that the agency develop at least one Alternative that does not limit ORV use, and one Alternative that enhances recreational access to the GCNRA.

As noted in the Scoping Brochure and the Notice of Intent, the agency has just recently completed a management plan and environmental analysis for the Lone Rock Off Road Vehicle Area. To include this area in this planning effort is unneeded and a waste of agency budget and staff resources. In addition, ORV enthusiasts are likely to view including Lone Rock as a “second bite at the apple” designed to impose additional restrictions on motorized recreation. The recently completed planning effort for Lone Rock complies with the agency's mandate to complete the ORV designation, management and monitoring. There is no change in conditions or compelling need to revisit these decisions. The Lone Rock area should be removed from consideration in this planning project.

Just as the agency lacks jurisdiction to plan for Tribal or private lands, its jurisdiction over certain roads on the NRA is similarly limited.  As a citizen, valid existing rights of way granted via R.S. 2477 are important to me. The agency must not ignore State and local government authority over roads existing in the NRA. 

I request the agency formulate at least one alternative that allows unlicensed ATVs and UTVs on some or all of the unpaved roads in the NRA. There is no provision that bans unlicensed vehicles in the GCNRA's enabling legislation. Also, the settlement of the 2005 lawsuit does not mandate the elimination or restriction of unlicensed ORVs. Where appropriate, and with public involvement and environmental analysis,  it allows the agency to designate routes and areas for unlicensed ATV and UTV use.

There are compelling reasons for considering at least one alternative that allows unlicensed ORVs on some or all unpaved roads in the NRA. First and most importantly, the GCNRA is not a National Park, and unlicensed ORVs should be considered a suitable use of the NRA. Unlicensed ORVs are allowed on lands adjacent to the GCNRA, including on roads within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Unlicensed ORVs are allowed on unpaved roads in Kane and San Juan Counties in Utah. Allowing unlicensed ORVs on certain roads is consistent with San Juan and Kane County ordinances.

Allowing unlicensed ORVs provides several benefits. First, doing so will enhance recreational use of the NRA consistent with the enabling legislation. Allowing unlicensed ORVs will also improve the agency's opportunity to leverage funds for management and enforcement that are available via Utah State Parks and Recreation's OHV program.  Both Utah counties, as well as user groups, are eager to cooperate with any federal agency that provides for this popular recreational use.

The range of alternatives is too narrow! Of the 4 “action” alternatives, three are proposing significant restrictions on ORV use, including one that virtually eliminates all ORV use. The alternative that is purported to be on the other “range” of options also limits ORV use significantly! To remedy this, I strongly encourage you to formulate an alternative that allows unlicensed ORVs to travel on some or all of the unpaved roads in the NRA.

Of the preliminary alternatives, Alternative “D” best meets the purpose and need and is the most consistent with enabling legislation and existing management plans. Although I believe the agency should develop an alternative that allows unlicensed ORVs to access some or all of the backcountry roads, of the preliminary alternatives presented, Alternative D is the best option. 

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the staffthe staff   November 10, 2010   0


The Helena National Forest is proposing changes to its existing system of non-winter motorized public access routes within the non-Wilderness lands of the Lincoln Ranger District. Members of the public are encouraged to submit their comments on this proposed action by November 30, 2010.

The Blackfoot Travel Plan project area includes about 321,500 acres of National Forest System lands in Lewis & Clark and Powell counties. In general, Blackfoot Travel Plan proposed actions include the following: physically closing, storing, decommissioning, relocating or constructing some roads and trails; change seasonal restrictions on certain roads and trails; closure of various user-created trails; changing the vehicle class authorized on certain roads and trails; designating certain roads and trails for non-motorized use; and constructing new mountain bike trails.

All proposed actions within the Blackfoot Travel Plan will comply with the requirements to provide secure habitat for Grizzly Bears. On the Lincoln Ranger District, the entire area north of Highway 200 is within the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) Grizzly Bear recovery zone. Certain roads will be "stored" and self-maintained in a non-use status for up to 20 years, which will help provide effective closures and secure habitat for Grizzly Bears, as required in NCDE recovery zones.

Originally initiated in 2003, the Blackfoot Travel Plan was revised after the Forest Service issued new travel planning regulations in 2005. These new regulations changed the scope of the 2003 travel plan and emphasized community and public collaboration in developing a new travel plan proposed action.

All areas open to motor vehicles are required to be designated on a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for the public. The MVUM is published once the final decision is made and implementation of the plan begins.

Members of the public have until November 30, 2010 to submit their comments to the Lincoln Ranger District. Comments can be submitted via email to comments-northern-lincoln@fs.fed.us (please write "Blackfoot Travel Plan" in the subject line of the email message), or by regular mail to: Lincoln Ranger District, 1569 Hwy 200, Lincoln, MT 59639. Please be as specific as possible with the comments.

Staff members will be available to answer questions or provide more information to the public about the Blackfoot Travel Plan on November 18 and 30, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Ranger District office. In the meantime, for additional information people can visit website at www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/ (click on "Projects and Plans" in the left column) or contact the Lincoln Ranger District office at 406-362-7000.

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!

--
Stay current with BRC via Facebook | MySpace | Twitter | RSS

 

 
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BlueRibbon Coalition   November 09, 2010   0

We wanted to pass along a land use bulletin sent this morning by the folks over at the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA). The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just announced they will amend their Kobuk-Seward Peninsula Resource Management Plan (KSP/RMP) to address recreation decisions and travel management decisions for the Squirrel River Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA).

There is more information in the bulletin, which is pasted below and available on UFWDA's webpage.

Keep up to date on this and other OHV issues by subscribing to UFWDA's Land Use Bulletin email list.

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

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


BLM to Amend Kobuk Seward Peninsula Land Use Plan
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Chris 

BLM to Amend Kobuk Seward Peninsula Land Use Plan to Address Squirrel River Special Recreation Management Area
 
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will amend its Kobuk-Seward Peninsula Resource Management Plan (KSP/RMP) to address recreation decisions and travel management decisions for the Squirrel River Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA). The Squirrel River SRMA consists of 644,000 acres of public lands in northwest Alaska.

Key issues included in the plan are recreation, subsistence, commercial guiding and travel management.

The BLM invites public participation during the development of the KSP/RMP amendment and planning for the Squirrel River area. The public scoping period began May 13, 2010, when the Notice of Intent was published in the Federal Register, and will end December 3, 2010..

Public scoping meetings will be held in Fairbanks and Anchorage with meeting dates, times and locations as follows:

November 15, 2010, 7:00 p.m., Campbell Creek Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska
November 18, 2010, 7:00 p.m., BLM Fairbanks District Office, Fairbanks, Alaska
An open house will be held 30 minutes prior to each scheduled meeting time.

Written comments may be submitted at the public scoping meetings or sent to BLM Central Yukon Field Office, Attn: KSP/RMP Amendment, 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99709-3844. Comments may also be submitted via e-mail to AK_CYFO_GeneralDelivery@blm.gov or by fax at (907) 474-2282.

Comments must be received before the end of the scoping period to be fully considered. For information about the amendment to the KSP/RMP for the Squirrel River planning area, contact the BLM at (907) 271-3202, or visit our web page http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/planning.html

   

##########################
Chris Saunders
Director of Environmental Affairs
Landuse@ufwda.org

 

 
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the staffthe staff   April 06, 2010   0
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Casper Field Office, is hosting a public scoping meeting on the Bates Hole Travel Management Plan, on Thursday, April 15, 2010. The meeting is from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Casper Field Office, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY.

The plan will address off-highway vehicle use and the designation of roads and trails within the Bates Hole travel management area, which is located 15 miles southwest of Casper and south of Wyoming Highway 220.

The scoping meeting is a starting point for the public to identify issues that BLM will address in the environmental assessment. Issues already identified include mitigating impacts to vegetation, sensitive soils, and wildlife habitats from off-road motorized use. The BLM recognizes the need to maintain valid and existing rights for minerals and rights-of way owners. In the past, the public had expressed the need for additional transportation routes and motorized and non-motorized recreational use.

The BLM will accept public comments through May 17, 2010.

Please address questions, comments, or concerns to the Casper Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Kathleen Lacko, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, Wyo., 82604; by facsimile (fax) to (307) 261-7587; or send e-mail comments to the attention of Kathleen Lacko at casper_wymail@blm.gov. Please include "Bates Hole" in the subject line. To make comments on the plan itself, please go to the Bates Hole Travel Management Plan on the internet.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Lacko at (307) 261-7682.



 

 
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the staffthe staff   February 04, 2010   0

Hackensack, MN -- The Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club would like the public to know that the Chippewa National Forest, Walker Ranger District, is planning to close 27 miles of roads in the Remer area to all vehicles and is now inviting comments from the public regarding the closings. Comments must be received by the CNF by February 19, 2010.

The road closings are part of the Proposed Action for the Moon Resource Management Project, which includes activities regarding timber harvests, road management and the improvement or possible replacement of the Laura Lake Bridge.

The project area encompasses an area on the east side of the Chippewa National Forest, Walker Ranger District. The boundary is roughly described by lines from Goose Lake and Highway 65 on the north; Vermillion Lake and Remer on the east; Mable, Swift and Lucille Lakes on the west, and the Chippewa Forest boundary to the south.

For additional information, maps showing the roads proposed to be closed to all vehicles, and comment sheets, contact Carolyn Upton, District Ranger, Chippewa National Forest, 201 Minnesota Avenue East, Walker, MN 56484-2189 or call (218-547-1044).

The Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club, formed last July and now with over 150 members, brings together ATV and OHM enthusiasts to enjoy, promote and protect responsible riding in the Chippewa National Forest and the surrounding area. For information, write to the Woodtick Wheelers, P.O. Box 83, Hackensack, MN 56452.

Moon RMP System Road Obliteration (Total Miles: 8.74) Road Numbers:
2057, 2070, 2113C, 2113G, 2113H, 2117C, 2117D, 2302G, 2301I, 2324, 2329, 2352G, 2559, 2564B, 2702, 2764, 2784, 3571, 3579B, 3579G

Roads Recommended To Be Closed To All Vehicles (Total miles: 14.91) Road Numbers:
2063, 2069B, 2103C, 2117A, 2117F, 2321B, 2321G, 2323B, 2559, 2579, 2583, 2703, 2792, 2792A, 2792B, 2792C, 2792D, 2792E, 2792F, 2793, 3572

_______________________________________________________________

I have written a Letter to the Editor and submitted it to newspapers in northern Minnesota.  I have pasted a copy of that letter below. 

Thanks.
Dave Halsey, President
Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club,
14848 64th Pl. N.
Maple Grove, MN 55311
763-550-1987

HEADLINE:
Chippewa National Forest Needs Greater Transparency In Road Closings.

In the fall of 2008, the Chippewa National Forest closed the Woodtick Trail and hundreds of miles of low-traveled roads to ATVs and other off-highway vehicles. Public hearings were held, but there was no publicity of the road closings in local media. The "NO OHV" signs went up and that was that (with fines totaling $175).

Last summer, the Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club was formed in response to those road closings. The club quickly grew to over 150 members, showing the impact the road closings had on residents and cabin owners, many who now have no access to a public forest they and their families had enjoyed for decades.

On January 20th, 2010, the Chippewa National Forest sent out information packets announcing its plan to close another 27 miles of roads in the Remer area, not just to ATVs but "to all traffic." After receiving a packet on the "Proposed Action" -- called the Moon Resource Management Project -- I looked on the web sites of local newspapers to see if it was publicized. Except for an announcement buried in the Chippewa National Forest web site, I couldn't find any articles informing the public about the road closings.

Not only did the project receive little or no publicity, it was made mid-winter when many people who use those roads are not even in the area, and it gives the public just 30 days to comment.

Enough is enough. The Chippewa National Forest needs greater transparency as it continues to close or "obliterate" (their word) roads used for decades by hunters, hikers, and people from 12 to 85 who enjoy the National Forest in their cars, trucks and ATVs.

Those who run the Chippewa National Forest are not the "landowners of the National Forest," as their public liaison told our ATV club. They are merely the caretakers. We, the public, are the landowners. And we deserve to be treated as such.

For additional information on the Moon Resource Management Project, maps showing the roads proposed to be closed to all vehicles, and comment sheets, contact Carolyn Upton, District Ranger, Chippewa National Forest, 201 Minnesota Avenue East, Walker, MN 56484-2189, call (218-547-1044), or go to the Chippewa National Forest web site and click on "Projects and Plans."

Hurry, the deadline for your comments on this unpublicized road closing is February 19, 2010.

David Halsey
Outdoor Writer, Hunter, President of Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club

 

 
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the staffthe staff   January 14, 2010   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Uncompahgre Field Office, is asking the public to help identify issues to be addressed as they begin revising their Resource Management Plan (RMP). The planning area covers almost 700,000 acres of public lands located in Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Gunnison and Delta counties, in southwestern Colorado.

The RMP is the basic document used to guide land use decisions and management actions on public lands for 20 years or more. The first step in this process is to work with interest groups and the public in identification of management issues, as well as offer potential solutions. To achieve this, the BLM is asking for the public's participation in scoping meetings.

This "scoping" period, which runs through February 26, 2010, gives the public the opportunity to identify issues to be addressed in the plan revision before BLM begins drafting it, by becoming involved early in the process.

The BLM will use the information it receives during scoping as it prepares the Draft RMP revisions and associated Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

The public is encouraged to stop by one of the open house meetings to talk to BLM specialists, learn more about the planning process and major issues, and share their comments and concerns. Attendance at these open houses is not required to submit scoping comments to the BLM.

The open houses are set for the following days:

January 14 in Montrose                        4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Montrose Pavilion
1800 Pavilion Drive

January 19 in Ridgway                          4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Community Center at Town Hall
201 N Railroad Street

January 20 in Norwood                         4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Community Meeting Rm, Norwood Town Hall
1670 Naturita St.

January 21 in Naturita                           4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Naturita Community Center Library
411 West 2nd Ave.

Scoping comments may be mailed to BLM Uncompahgre RMP, 2465 S Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81401, faxed to (970) 240-5367, or e-mailed to uformp@blm.gov.  Scoping comments will be most helpful if they are specific and received by February 26, 2010.

For further information about the planning process, visit their Land Use Planning webpage at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/ufo/uncompahgre_rmp.html, or contact Bruce Krickbaum, project manager, at (970) 240-5300.

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   November 30, 2009   0

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the release of the Motorized Vehicle Access Plan and Environmental Assessment (Plan/EA) for Curecanti National Recreation Area (NRA), located in southwestern Colorado. The Plan/EA analyzes a range of alternatives for management of motorized vehicle access and their impacts on the environment.

The three alternatives are:

  • Alternative A, the "no-action" alternative, represents the continuation of current motorized vehicle access management.
  • Alternative B designates routes and areas consistent with the management prescriptions defined by the 1997 general management plan, which would limit some traditional access.
  • Alternative C, the NPS preferred alternative, would provide for the greatest amount of traditional motorized vehicle access, while protecting and preserving important cultural and natural resources. Alternative C would make a minor amendment to the 1997 general management plan.

The Plan/EA is now available for public review and comment. An electronic copy may be downloaded via the Internet by visiting http://parkplarming.nps.gov/CURE. Printed copies and compact disks of the Plan/EA are available upon request by contacting 970-641-2337 ext. 0.

The NPS is asking you to review the Plan/EA and provide your comments. If you need additional information, or would like to arrange a meeting to discuss this project, please feel free to call Superintendent Constance Rudd at (970) 641-2377 ext. 220 or Resource Chief, Ken Stahlnecker, (970) 641-2377 ext. 225.

The public is invited to learn more about the Motorized Vehicle Access Plan and Environmental Assessment at an Open House to be held Wednesday, December 1, from 5:00 and 7:00 pm, at the Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center, located at 275 South Spruce Street, Gunnison, Colorado. There will be a short presentation by NPS Staff at 5:30 pm. Attendees may submit comments in person at the Open House, or may be submitted electronically (the preferred method) at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CURE. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to: Superintendent, Curecanti National Recreation Area, RE: Motorized Vehicle Access Plan/EA, 102 Elk Creek, Gunnison, CO 81230.

The comment period ends January 15, 2011

All planning documents, as well as guidance on submitting comments, can be found on their website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CURE.

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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the staffthe staff   November 18, 2009   0

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

Tod Petersen, Legislative/Land Use Coordinator for the Northwest Motorcycle Association (NMA)  just emailed us with some important information on the Draft Reiter Foothills Forest Recreation Plan the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has released.

I've posted his email below. Please take a second to look it over and take action.

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

PS: Please pass this important alert on to your friends and family, and please ask them take action as well.

______________________________________________________________________

HELP SAVE REITER
 
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has released its Draft Reiter Foothills Forest Recreation Plan.  While we support making Reiter an official ORV area, we have serious concerns about the current plan.
 
Historically about 4000 acres of the 10,000 acre area being studied has been used by ORV. The DNR plan proposes limiting motorized use to about only 1100 acres.
 
Even though the DNR research shows that off-road motorcycling is the most popular use, the plan contains no specific mention of facilitating it.
 
The way things currently stand there is no guarantee that there will be any single track trails open to motorized use.
 
More information on the plan can be found by following this link:
 
http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/RecreationPlanning/Pages/amp_rec_reiter_foothills.aspx


YOU can help correct this injustice by providing written comments to the DNR before December 4th.
 
Comments should be submitted to the SEPA Center at, sepacenter@dnr.wa.gov  or P.O. Box 47015, Olympia, Washington 98504-7015
 
Reference SEPA File No. 09-111001 at the start of your comments.
 
Here are some sample comments to consider:
 
 
The area the plan allocates for motorized recreation is significantly inadequate to facilitate the current recreational usage.  The DNR staff involved with developing the plan concur with this finding. This shortcoming is addressable as noted below.
 
According to the map shown in figure 8 additional land suitable for motorized trail use is available in the central and western portions of the study area.
 
Excluding motorized recreation in areas identified as potential aquifer recharge areas is not consistent with restrictions as listed in Appendix A which contains no such noted exclusion.
 
Appendix E shows the motorcyclists are the largest user group, but the study does not specifically address their recreational needs.
 
It is important that the DNR recognizes that different types of ORV use have different impacts on the landscape. Just because the largest ORV may not be appropriate in a specific area that should not preclude allowing lightweight two wheeled ORV access.
 
We strongly recommend that lightweight two wheeled ORV access be included in the central and western portion of the planning area.
 
This recommendation is consistent with the DNR goals as stated on page 3:
 
"Goal 1: Ensure the safety of the public, department employees and volunteers.
Goal 2: Ensure recreation is consistent with trust obligations.
Goal 3: Ensure recreation is consistent with resource protection.
Goal 4: Provide quality recreation experiences that can be sustained over time."
 
On page 34, under the heading of "Statewide Recreation on DNR-managed Lands" it is stated that "Some sites and trails are designated for only motorized or non-motorized use".  The DNR has acknowledged that this statement is misleading, but it is actually false.  There are no DNR managed recreation areas where motorized recreation is allowed and non-motorized recreation is specifically prohibited.
 
This must be considered when evaluating the portion of the area available for various trail users and the proportional balance goals.
 
Prioritizing motorized recreation at Reiter is consistent with the DNR's Statewide Recreation Program Vision and Management Goals as stated on page 3. "DNR envisions a future in which the lands it manages offer distinct and diverse outdoor recreation opportunities within the overall fabric of recreation in Washington."
 
The overall fabric of recreation in Washington includes prohibitions on motorized trail recreation in all National Parks, all Wilderness Areas, all Natural Resource Conservation Areas, all State Parks (except the 600 acre Riverside facility near Spokane), the Mt Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest, the vast majority of county and city parks.  At a statewide level motorized trail use is prohibited on over 80 percent of the trail mileage.  In the areas adjacent to the Reiter area that prohibition is 100 percent.
 
When considering the overall fabric it is reasonable for all areas within the Reiter study area that are found to be suitable for motorized recreation to be incorporated in the plan as areas where some form of motorized trail recreation is allowed.
 
+++++++++++
 
Tod Petersen
Legislative/Land Use Coordinator
Northwest Motorcycle Association

 

 
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the staffthe staff   November 17, 2009   0

BLUERIBBON COALITION LAND USE UPDATE!

DNR Seeks Comments on Environmental Assessment Worksheet for Virginia Expansion of the Iron Range Off-highway Vehicle Recreation Area

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is seeking public comments on a proposal to develop a 2,704-acre expansion to the existing Iron Range Off-highway Vehicle Recreation Area (OHVRA), in Gilbert, Minnesota. The proposed expansion site is located one mile north of the existing Iron Range OHVRA, partially within the city of Virginia, Minnesota.

The Virginia expansion site will be managed out of the existing facility, which will be linked to the expansion area by a connector road. This proposed expansion includes the development of the connector road, a core trail system, vehicle-specified trails, and perimeter fencing.

Public comments on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) will be accepted during the 30-day public review period, which runs from November 16 through December 16, 2009.

The EAW document and maps can be viewed or downloaded from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/environmentalreview/virginia_ohvra/index.html.
Additional copies may be requested by calling 651-259-5157.

A copy of the EAW is also available for public review at the following locations:

  • DNR Library, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55155
  • DNR Northeast Regional Headquarters (Region 2), 1201 E. Highway 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
  • Minneapolis Public Library, Government Documents, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55401
  • Arrowhead Regional Library, Duluth Public Library, 520 W Superior St., Duluth, MN 55802
  • Virginia Public Library, 215 5th Ave S, Virginia, MN USA 55792
  • Gilbert Public Library, 17 N Broadway, P.O. Box 75, Gilbert, MN 55741-0758

MAIL COMMENTS TO:
          Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
          Division of Ecological Resources, Box 25
          Attn: Ronald Wieland
          500 Lafayette Road
          St. Paul, MN 55155-4025

EMAIL COMMENTS TO:
           environmental.review@dnr.state.mn.us

Please put "Virginia OHVRA" in the subject line of e-mail comments. Comments should include your name and address.

FAX COMMENTS TO:
            (651) 297-1500.

Written comments on the EAW must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16, 2009.

For further information, please call (651) 259-5157.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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

 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 29, 2009   0
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Safford Field Office, located in southeastern Arizona, is seeking public input during a comment period for route designations on the Gila Unit Travel Management Plan. Written comments are due by October 30, 2009, and can be submitted by mail, email, or fax.

The Gila Unit Travel Management Plan process identified and evaluated 900 miles of maintained and primitive roads covering more than 467,000 acres of public lands in Graham and Greenlee counties. The Gila Unit includes public lands north of U.S. Highway 70 from the Arizona-New Mexico state line to the boundary of the San Carlos Apache Nation, as well as public lands south of the highway between Pima and the reservation boundary. Maps have been developed for the area, which includes the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area, as a preliminary step to writing the Plan.

Detailed information is posted at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/travel_mgmt/gila_unit.html, where maps can be viewed and downloaded. Printed copies of the large maps can also be viewed at the Safford Field Office, located at 711 14th Avenue in Safford, and the Safford City-Graham County Library (ask at desk for location).

The goal of the project is to complete a Travel Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) that will determine route designations. Public comments will be considered during development of the alternatives for the EA; specific suggestions will be incorporated into the action items within the Travel Management Plan where appropriate.
 
Comments on the maps can be submitted to the BLM by email to AZ_SFO_Routes@blm.gov, by fax to 928-348-4450, or by mail to 711 14th Avenue, Safford, AZ 85546. If you would like to discuss the plan or have any questions about this project, please contact Safford Field Office outdoor recreation planner Deb Morris at 928-348-4417.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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

 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 29, 2009   0

The Tonto National Forest, located in central Arizona, is proposing changes to their motorized vehicle travel system. During the month of November, six public open houses are scheduled to explain the process used to review the current route system, the criteria for determining needs for change, and to discuss any issues people may have with the proposed changes. Dates, times, and locations of the open houses are shown below

The Forest Service is seeking input from the public on these proposed changes before making a final determination on the designated route system. The public is invited to come and share their ideas about the forest's system of roads, trails, and/or areas, review the proposed system, and submit comments about the proposal.

A copy of the Forest Travel Management Proposed Action can be found on the Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/travelmgt/index.shtml. You may also get a copy by visiting the Supervisor's Office at 2324 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, Arizona, or at one of the district offices.

Open House Schedule

Wednesday, November 4, 2009           6:30-8:00 pm
Tonto Basin Elementary School
445 South Old Hwy 188, (Punkin Center)
Tonto Basin, AZ

Thursday, November 5, 2009                 6:00-7:30 pm
Old High School Auditorium
401 High Street
Globe, AZ

Monday, November 9, 2009                     6:30-8:00 pm
Black Mountain Elementary School
33606 N. 60th Street
Scottsdale, AZ

Thursday, November 11, 2009                6:00-7:30 pm
Pleasant Valley Community Center
47533 Hwy 288
Young, AZ

Tuesday, November 17, 2009                 7:00-8:30pm
Broadway Recreation Center
59 E Broadway Rd
Mesa, AZ

Wednesday, November 18, 2009           6:00-7:30pm
Julia Randall Elementary School
601 S Greenway Parkway
Payson, AZ

Written comments regarding this proposed action may be submitted through December 4, 2009. Comments should be mailed to Travel Management Team Leader, Tonto National Forest, 2324 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix AZ, 85006.

For more information, contact Genevieve Johnson at 602-225-5213, or visit the Tonto National Forest webpage at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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   October 29, 2009   0

Oregon Dunes NRA Working Group Schedules Next Meeting and Field Visit

The Siuslaw National Forest, located in western Oregon, has announced that a field tour and meeting for the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Designated Routes Working Group for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (Oregon Dunes) will be held on Friday, November 6, and Saturday, November 7, 2009.

The November 6 field tour will focus on the middle riding area of the Oregon Dunes, located adjacent to Umpqua Beach, south of Winchester Bay. The field tour will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Douglas County OHV Staging Area, and conclude at 4:30 p.m. at the same place. The staging area is located two miles southwest of Winchester Bay on the east side of Umpqua Beach Road, across from the first parking lot.

The following day, November 7, the Working Group will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Winchester Bay Community Center. The meeting agenda will focus on a review of the history of designated routes on the Dunes, criteria for evaluating potential designated route recommendations, and a specific review and discussion of potential designated route recommendations for the middle riding area.

The public is invited to attend both the field tour and meeting. A public comment period will be provided at 11:45 a.m. on November 7. Members of the public attending the field trip will have to provide their own transportation.

The Working Group was recently formed to develop recommendations for the designation of OHV routes in a portion of the Oregon Dunes (upland vegetation areas included in Management Area 10(C)). The process to designate OHV routes was identified as an action item in the 1994 Management Plan for the Oregon Dunes. Working Group members were selected from a pool of applicants, and represent a broad range of interests. This will be the second in a series of six meetings of the Working Group scheduled to take place over a one-year period. The first meeting was held on October 3 in Florence.

Working Group members represent the following specific interests or organizations: Organized OHV groups, unaffiliated OHV users, outfitters and/or guide businesses, mushroom pickers, fish and wildlife advocates, conservation groups, local Tribes, local community leaders, State ATV Program, local emergency response agencies, local Parks Departments, local landowners, and the general public.

Individuals requiring alternate format material or accommodation, or who have questions regarding the November 7 meeting, can contact Ross Holloway, OHV Designated Routes Working Group Facilitator, by phone at 503-812-4056 or by e-mail at rholloway@inciplan.net.

Questions about the November 6 field tour can be directed to Sharon Stewart, Dispersed Recreation Supervisor, by phone at 541-271-6071, or by e-mail at slstewart@fs.fed.us.

More information about the OHV working group, meeting times and agendas can be found online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/siuslaw/projects/rec-plans-projects.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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   October 27, 2009   0

Tell the Governor to Veto the OHV Fund Raid

Mark Werkmeister, President of the New Mexico Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA) just sent us an email alert regarding the New Mexico State Legislatures raid on their OHV Fund. The money was included in a bill passed last week, which will take $116 million dollars from various state accounts to help make up the huge New Mexico budget deficit. The bill was part of the larger patchwork of bills that the special legislative session produced and sent to the Governor's desk for signature.

There is still time to do something about this. The Governor has the authority to use a 'line item veto' on the legislation.  That means that is he can cross out bits and pieces of a bill and still sign the rest into law. The Governor has asked the citizens of New Mexico to let him know how they feel about the bills dealing with the deficit that are sitting on his desk. So please read the alert below and take action now!

Please encourage your friends and riding buddies to subscribe to BRC's Action Alert list in order to keep up to date on all of the various land use issues in NM. Also, be sure to bookmark NMOHVA's excellent website (http://www.nmohva.org). The folks at NMOHVA have certainly earned our support, and we encourage you to become a member (http://nmohva.org/form.html).

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


Tell the Governor to Veto the OHV Fund Raid

October 26                                                                                                                                                             2009

The Governor Asks for Feedback on Raiding the OHV Fund

Yes, Governor Richardson wants to hear from you!
 
Two days ago, I sent out an email update letting you know that the legislature had taken the $800,000 in the OHV fund (Trail Safety Fund) to help make up the State's budget deficit.
 
Many of you have asked, "What can we do?"  At the time, my answer was "Nothing," as the legislation was already on the Governor's desk for his signature.  That changed yesterday, now there is something each of us can do.
 
The Governor has asked the citizens of New Mexico to let him know how they feel about the bills dealing with the deficit that are sitting on his desk.  The Governor has the authority to use a 'line item veto' on the legislation.  That means that is he can cross out bits and pieces of a bill and still sign the rest into law.
 
Here is what each of you can do.  Contact the Governor's office and tell him that he should leave the $800,000 in the Trail Safety Fund.  Tell him that the Fund was established four years ago with fees paid for by a particular group of citizens for a specific purpose.  The State has not yet spent one single penny of the Fund for the benefit of the citizens that paid those fees.  Those citizens should be respected and the fund should only be spent as allowed by its legislation.
 
Here is the contact information:

        The best option is to call the Governor's office directly at (505) 476-2200.

        You can also email the Governor directly:
    
        http://www.governor.state.nm.us/emailchoice.php?mm=6

        You can also email his personal assistant at:
        Debbie.Romero@state.nm.us

        Remember, the Governor ASKED us for our opinion on this issue.

 Mark Werkmeister - President

Quick Links

Join NMOHVA or Renew Your Membership 

More About Us

 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 22, 2009   0

BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED

In addition to hundreds of miles of OHV trail closures, the Gila National Forest is proposing the closure of ALL single-track motorcycle trails!

I was checking the info on the New Mexico Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance website (NMOHVA.org) as we were putting together this action alert. BOOKMARK THAT WEBSITE NOW! 

Something the gang at NMOHVA wrote caught my eye:

We know many of you have already provided comments and input to the GNF. Your efforts to date have shown the GNF that the public cares deeply about access to forest lands But before the NEPA process starts, the Forest is under no legal obligation to pay any attention to what we want. The start of the NEPA process means that changes.

That is exactly right. And judging by the Gila's Proposed Action, the staff knew darned will they have no legal obligation to pay attention to OHV users. That's because in addition to closing hundreds of miles of OHV trails, the Gila is proposing to eliminate every last one of the single-track motorcycle trails on the Forest

We have reason to believe this is because of intense pressure by litigious environmental activists. This part of New Mexico is a hot-bed of environmental extremism. The anti-recreation groups are organized and well funded. The local OHV users need our help.

We've put together another one of our INSANELY EASY 3-step action item below. Please send your comment email today. The comment deadline is October 26, 2009!

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

Brian Hawthorne                                Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director              Public Lands Department Manager
208-237-1008 ext 102                        208-237-1008 ext 107


GILA NATIONAL FOREST TRAVEL PLAN ACTION ALERT

SITUATION:
The Gila National Forest, located in southwestern New Mexico, has released their Proposed Action for the implementation of the 2005 Travel Management Rule to manage motorized vehicle use. This proposal represents the start of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process (the scoping phase for this project).

The proposed action and maps are available on the forest's website at http://fs.usda.gov/gila. Maps will also be available for review at the supervisor's office, any of the six ranger district offices and the Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra County offices.

Additional information regarding the proposed actions can also be obtained from Lisa Mizuno, Forest Travel Management Coordinator, at (575) 388-8267.

Sadly, the Gila's so-called "starting point" for travel planning leaves out hundreds of miles of roads and trails that have been enjoyed by forest visitors for decades.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Comments on the Gila's plan are needed by October 26, 2009.

Use the info below to help. Give the Forest as much specific information as you can on the roads, trails, or areas you want to be open for motor vehicles. Tell the GNF why those roads and trails are important to you for public access and recreation.

BRC'S THREE-STEP ACTION ITEM
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS:

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can.

STEP 1:  Open your email program and start a draft email. Address the email to
               r3_gila_travel@fs.fed.us.
                Put "TM comments" in the Subject Line.

STEP 2:  Use the comments below as a guideline for comments in your email.
                Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, where you like to ride
               and how much trail-based recreation means to you. Be certain to include your
               name and address. A return email address is NOT sufficient! ("anonymous" emails
               are often discarded).

EXTRA CREDIT: If you can add any trail-specific information or personal testimony about your experiences enjoying this spectacular area, please take a minute to add that to your email. (See links above for maps and other info.)

Then click "send" and you're done!


Sample comments

Gila National Forest
Attn: Travel Management Coordinator
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061

RE: Gila National Forest Travel Management Proposed Action

Dear Lisa:

The "starting point" the Gila has formulated does not reflect the current on-the-ground situation. Except in a few areas, the Gila has never restricted motorized travel. Therefore, the public has been using routes that do not appear on the current "system" and are not reflected in the "starting point."

There is a need to identity routes that are not on the "starting point" but are currently being used and are popular for recreation uses. These routes should then be considered for inclusion in the classified road and trail system.

There is a need to formulate a wide range of Alternatives. The Gila should not formulate a "range" of Alternatives that all drastically reduce OHV uses. At least one Alternative should reflect the increase in popularity of OHV use.

The Proposed Action apparently provides zero miles of single-track motorcycle trails. This is a major flaw. At least one Alternative should include the single-track trails recommended by the Gila Trail Riders, including, but not limited to, all of the "A-B trails" in the Burro's, as well as trails 747, 93, 79, 92, 86, 128, and 232.

I also support the route recommendations made by the Gila Rough Riders, including, but not limited to, Goat Canyon, "Dave's single track," the "Low Road" paralleling the "Deer Trail," trails 4121, 4247Y, 4089S, 4090D, 4082B, 4250R,  Maverick Canyon, as well as the short route paralleling Gold Gulch Road Sawmill Canyon and the route from Burro Mountain Homestead to Mud Spring.


Sincerely,

YOUR NAME
YOUR ADDRESS


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

 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 22, 2009   0

**COHVCO ALERT**

YOUR COLORADO OHV PROGRAM FUNDS ARE UNDER SERIOUS ATTACK !!!!!!!

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

Responsible Trails America, a notorious anti-access and anti-OHV preservationist organization from the east coast has an agenda to take your Colorado OHV registration funds.  They want this money because in many cases funding trail maintenance is the only thing that stands between you and extensive closures.  They want over 70% of your funds to go to law enforcement and trail closures.  THIS IS NOT WHAT THESE FUNDS WERE INTENDED FOR!

HOW ARE THEY TRYING TO DO THIS?

By hiring a prominent local Colorado lobbying firm (yes, the same firm that tried to raid the OHV fund last year) to lobby the Park's Board to force the use of our funds their way, which attempts to destroy the program.  They have submitted a resolution to the Park's Board to adopt at the November 20, 2009 Parks Board meeting.  The entire resolution misrepresents our nearly 20 year old program.  It spits in your face!

HOW CAN YOU STOP THEM?

They can only be stopped by the voice of the OHV community.  You must contact the Colorado State Park's Board to save your fund.  If you do not, then your money will go towards the destruction of your sport!

YOU HAVE TO CONTACT THE COLORADO STATE PARKS BOARD!! 
The deadline for contacting them is:  November 18, 2009

While the message should be in your own words here are a few points that may assist you in writing your letter:

  • I strongly object to the Resolution submitted by the Southern Rockies Conservation Alliance. This proposal is a self-serving attempt to advance their interests and should be rejected by the Board.
     
  • The SRCA Resolution will shift funds from critical trail maintenance operations currently funded by the OHV program. Doing so will result in mandatory closures of trails that do not meet "standard."
     
  • The program has always struck the proper balance among maintenance, education, signing and environmental protection.  It is recognized as one of the best programs in the country.
     
  • Decades ago, Colorado's OHV community voluntarily "taxed themselves" in order that federal land managers would have the resources to manage our recreation.  As an OHV recreationist who pays, I will not support these fees going to advance the agenda of other groups who do not pay to manage their recreational use.
     
  • The Southern Rockies Conservation Alliance Resolution takes facts out of context as to the current status of OHV recreation in Colorado.  The facts are that once Travel Management Plans are in place compliance is increased, law enforcement is effective and impacts are reduced.
     
  • Colorado's OHV Program is viewed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management as one of the best in the country. There is no need for changes to Colorado's OHV program.
     
  • In response to concerns about unlawful OHV use, our community supported HB1069, which is designed as a highly effective enforcement tool.
     
  • HB1069 from 2008 allows every law enforcement officer to enforce restrictions on OHV travel, more enforcement is not necessary as only a small number violate the law.
     
  • Colorado's OHV Program was intended to provide those that pay into it with opportunities.
     
  • People from outside Colorado should not be allowed to modify a statute to the detriment of those who pay their way.
     
  • The Program is far different than similar programs in other states and is not in need of tying up funds for outside interests; our program is uniquely well operated.
     
  • A recent legislative audit found that the OHV Program was in compliance with the law and very properly administrated.
     
  • Don't hesitate to add  few personal lines about how you or you and your family are responsible recreationists and love your sport.

E mail to: parksinfo@state.co.us

Address your e-mail to:

Mr. Dean Winstanley Director
And the Colorado Parks Board
Colorado State Parks
1313 Sherman Street, Suite 618
Denver, CO 80203

 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 20, 2009   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Prineville District Office, located in central Oregon, has just announced the release of the Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) for public comment.

The document and maps can be viewed or downloaded from the Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan Environmental Assessment page, or you can request a CD and map packet, or a print version of the EA by contacting the BLM at the address below.

Alternative 2 is the proposed action, which the interdisciplinary team feels best resolves the identified issues. If you feel the proposed action should be changed, please be as specific as possible on how you would change it and why.

The public comment period closes December 4, 2009.

Comments should be mailed to: 
          Bureau of Land Management
          Prineville District Office
          3050 NE 3rd Street
          Prineville, Oregon 97754

Emailed comments to: 
           clinebuttes@blm.gov

For further information, please contact the BLM Prineville District office at (541) 416-6700.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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


 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 15, 2009   0

Travel Management DEIS Released for Central Oregon Forest

The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland, located in central and northeastern Oregon, have released their Travel Management Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public review. The Forest Service (FS) will be accepting comments on the DEIS during a 45-day comment period.

Copies of the DElS are available upon request at FS offices, or may be viewed in PDF format on the Forest's website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/travel-mgmt/index.shtml.

To give the public a better understanding of the project and its alternatives, the Forest Service will hold several public meetings. These meetings will be "open house" settings where guests are encouraged to ask questions and give feedback on the project. Listed below are the dates for this round of open houses.

Public Open House Locations (All events are scheduled from 3:00 - 7:00pm)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Jefferson County District # 1 Fire Hall
765 South Adams Drive
Madras, OR 97741

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Crescent Ranger District Office
136471 Hwy 97 N
Crescent, OR 97733

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Ochoco Headquarters Office
3160 N.B. 3rd Street
Prineville, OR 97754

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Deschutes Headquarters Office
1001 SW Emkay Drive
Bend, OR 97702

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sisters Ranger District Office
Pine St. & Hwy. 20
Sisters, OR 97759

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Paulina Community Hall
Paulina, OR 97751

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, oral, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted until November 23, 2009.

Send written comments to:
          Deschutes and Ochoco National Travel Management Project
          172 E 500 S
          Bountiful UT 84010

Hand-delivered or oral comments may be submitted to John P. Allen, Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest, 1001 SW Emkay Drive, Bend, OR 97702; or Jeff P.Walter, Forest Supervisor, Ochoco National Forest, 3160 NE Third St., Prineville, OR 97754 via telephone (541383-5300) or in person during regular office business hours from 7:45 A.M. to 4:30 P.M, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Email comments to:
          donf@contentaJJ.alysisgroup.com

Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc). If no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for appeal eligibility. In cases using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification. Emails submitted to email addresses other than the one listed above, in other formats than those listed, or containing viruses will be rejected.

Fax Comments To
          801-397-1605

COMMENT DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 23, 2009

For additional information concerning the specific activities authorized with the decision, you may contact Mollie Chaudet or Peggy Fisher at (541) 383- 5300.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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


 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 15, 2009   0

Conservation groups dedicated to active and sustainable management of the Upper Tellico OHV Area expressed deep disappointment with the U.S. Forest Service decision to permanently close the Tellico trails.  The decision, which follows an earlier "temporary" closure, was announced in documents published by the USFS yesterday morning.

Gary Parsons, President of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, reacted by saying, "The Forest Service is simply wrong in this decision.  This public agency has ignored an independent study by Caliber Engineering and the recommendations of its own Trails Unlimited Team, which demonstrated effective management is attainable and offered specific suggestions to achieve that goal."

The agency announcement by Forest Supervisor Marisue Hilliard again parroted the water quality issues long favored by preservationist special interests as the excuse for closure.  Jay Bird, Chairman of the Rescue Tellico Committee, noted, "The Tellico River is in excellent shape and complies with all legal requirements.  Only through blatant modification of proper methodology, such as measuring turbidity levels during peak runoff, can the Forest Service claim there is legal basis to take any action, let alone closure."

"Sadly, we are not surprised.  It now appears the Forest Service knew it would close the Area years ago, and undertook the intervening 'public process' to justify a decision already made," said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of the BlueRibbon Coalition. "We are sorely disappointed that the Forest Service has determined it cannot effectively manage the Upper Tellico OHV Area that users have supported with millions of dollars in fees and thousands of hours of volunteer labor.  With our recreational partners, we will evaluate all options that may change that determination."

# # #

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. www.ufwda.org

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation.  For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit www.sfwda.org or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

 

 
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the staffthe staff   October 15, 2009   0

The Sequoia National Forest, located in central California, has announced the release of their Motorized Travel Management Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for public review and comment. The Forest Service (FS) will be accepting comments on the FEIS during a 30-day comment period.

The FEIS, maps and all supporting documents are available on the Sequoia National Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/projects/ohv_route_designation_strategy/index.html
 
Written, hand-delivered, oral, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted until November 9, 2009.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
          Travel Management
          Sequoia National Forest
          1839 South Newcomb Street
          Porterville, CA 93257

Email Comments To:
          comments-pacificsouthwest-sequoia@fs.fed.us  

Put "Travel Management" in the subject line of e-mail comments. Acceptable formats are email message, MS Word (.doc), plain text (.txt), or rich text format (.rtf). Comments should include your name and address.

Please remember that your comment should include your name and address, the title of the project you are commenting on, and finally, specific facts or comments along with the supporting reasons you believe the Responsible Official should consider in reaching a decision [36CFR215.6].

COMMENT DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 9, 2009

For additional information, please contact Chris Sanders, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at (559) 784-1500, extension 1131.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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


 

 
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Back2Back2   September 18, 2009   0

Gila National Forest Hosts Open Houses On Travel Management Plan For Motorized Use

The Gila National Forest, located in southwestern New Mexico, has announced the release of its Proposed Action for the implementation of the 2005 Travel Management Rule to manage motorized vehicle use. This proposal represents the start of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process (scoping phase) for this project.  NEPA requires federal agencies to analyze and disclose the effects of proposed management actions on the environment. A key and integral part of NEPA is public participation and involvement.

The Forest Service (FS) will be hosting a series of 10 open houses between September 19 and October 3, 2009, to provide opportunities for the public to review, ask questions and comment on the proposal. (See schedule below)

This proposal allows for continued motorized access to the Forest on a designated road and trail system. It also includes significant changes on the use of motor vehicles, such as:

* Cross-country motor vehicle use travel will no longer be allowed.
* Motorized dispersed camping, outside of developed campgrounds, will be allowed within 300 feet on either side of a designated road.
* Cross-country travel to retrieve elk and deer will be allowed within a one-mile distance on either side of designated Forest Service roads, county roads, or state and federal highways.

Open House Schedule

 Sept 19 - Las Cruces - Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Tortugas Room 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Sept 22 - Glenwood - Glenwood School 3:00 to 8:00 pm

Sept 23 - Mimbres - Round-Up Lodge 3:00 to 8:00 pm

Sept 24 - Reserve - Ranger District Office 3:00 to 8:00 pm

Sept 25 - Cliff - Cliff School 3:00 to 8:00 pm

Sept 26 - Silver City - County Convention Center (next to Ace Hardware) 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sept 29 - T or C - Ranger District Office 3:00 to 8:00 pm

Oct 1 - Luna - Luna Community Center 3:00 to 8:00 pm

Oct 2 - Quemado - Quemado School 3:00 to 8:00 pm

Oct 3 - Lordsburg - Special Events Center 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Interested individuals may stop by anytime during the open houses.

The public is invited to review the proposed action including the maps and provide comments. Your comments will be used to identify issues and develop alternatives to the proposed action. Even if you have commented previously, your input is still needed. The proposed action and maps are available on the forest's website at http://fs.usda.gov/gila.  Maps will also be available for review at the supervisor's office, any of the six ranger district offices and the Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra County offices. As additional review locations become available, they will be posted on the web site. 

Comments will be most helpful if they identify the specific actions you think are needed, why those changes should be made and how such a change would better meet your interests.  The 45-day comment period will end October 26, 2009.

MAIL OR HAND DELIVER COMMENTS TO:
          Gila National Forest
          Attn: Travel Management Coordinator
          3005 E. Camino del Bosque
          Silver City, NM 88061

Comments may be delivered by hand to the Gila National Forest Supervisor's Office or any District Ranger Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

EMAIL COMMENTS TO: 
          r3_gila_travel@fs.fed.us

Please put "TM comments" in the subject line of e-mail comments. Acceptable formats are email message, MS Word (.doc), plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). Comments should include your name and address.

FAX COMMENTS TO:
          (575) 388-8222

Additional information regarding the proposed actions can also be obtained from Lisa Mizuno, Forest Travel Management Coordinator, at (575) 388-8267.
                                                           
JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. http://www.sharetrails.org

 

 
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the staffthe staff   September 17, 2009   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Salmon Field Office, is holding their second round of public meetings to gather input on a proposed travel plan and alternatives that would formally designate a system of roads and trails on public lands in the northern half of the Salmon Field Office Area. The public is invited to review the proposal and alternatives, provide comments and concerns, and let the BLM know what you think. This planning effort encompasses about 160,000 acres of public lands located within about a 20-mile radius of Salmon, Idaho.

The goal of this plan is to provide a broad range of motorized and non-motorized access while sustaining the health of our public land resources. The plan will result in the designation of over 550 miles of roads and trails as either open, open with limits, or closed to public use. Please try to attend one of the public meetings; dates, times and places are listed below.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009        6:00pm to 9:00 pm
Salmon City Center,
200 Main Street
Salmon, Idaho

Wednesday, September 16, 2009        6:00 pm to 9:00pm
Tendoy School
Tendoy, Idaho
Directions - go 20 miles south of Salmon, Idaho, on Highway 28, turn east at Tendoy Store, go 1/10 of mile to intersection, turn right, go 1/1 0 mile, and the school is on your right.

Please refer any questions you may have to Rob Jaggers at the BLM, Salmon Field Office, 1206 S. Challis Street, Salmon, ID 83467, (208) 756-5466. For further information, go to:
http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/fo/salmon/travel_management.html

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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   September 17, 2009   0

Years ago, when he quadrupled the size of Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument, President Clinton directed that a new land use plan should be created for the newly expanded Monument.

Through that process, the Snake River Trail Machine Association worked with BRC and other OHV groups to keep the existing roads and trails open. Except for one trail within a Wilderness Study Area, we were pretty successful.

Now, just 2 years after the Monument Plan was signed into law, the National Park Service is coming back for more closures!

Apparently driven by the BLM and NPS's mandate to formulate a "comprehensive" trail plan (comprehensive means designated routes for both motorized and non-motorized use), the agencies are proposing closing several historic roads. Some of these roads are historic travel ways used even before European settlement. Others were practically hand-carved into the hard volcanic rock by livestock grazers and settlers.

Today, these roads are used by residents of small towns for family-based recreation. On any Sunday you are likely to see entire families enjoying this remarkable and remote area.

Fred Spence with the Snake River gang has asked us to forward an action alert on the situation. The local folks can't understand why the federal agencies have to close these roads.

Please take a minute to send the BLM a quick email and help Fred's group keep these historic roads open.  

Thanks in advance for your support,
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102


Action Alert:
Craters of the Moon National Monument is pushing for MORE road closures.

SITUATION:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced the availability of the proposed Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve Comprehensive Travel Management Plan (Travel Plan). The BLM is asking for your comments during a 30-day comment period, which will end September 18, 2009.

A copy of the proposed Travel Plan, maps and appendixes is available by visiting the BLM's website at http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/fo/shoshone/travel_management.html.  For further information about the travel management plan process contact the Shoshone Field Office at 208-732-7200 or the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve headquarters at 208-527-1300.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Please submit comments to the Travel Plan Team: via email to ID_Craters_Plan@blm.gov, by fax to (208) 732-7317 (Attn: Monument Travel Plan); by phone to (208)732-7200; or mail/hand deliver comments to the following address:

           Monument Travel Plan Project Manager
           BLM Shoshone Field Office
           400 West F Street
           Shoshone ID 83352

Suggested Comments:

1. I am opposed to additional motorized closures on the National Monument and Preserve.

2. Given that motorized recreation is a valid use of these lands, and motorized recreation is increasingly popular with the American public, the Environmental Assessment must disclose a compelling need to eliminate any motorized route.

3. Closing motorized routes limits the human use and enjoyment of the Monument.

4. I strongly object to the proposal to close Road 3417, Road 768 and Road 785. These roads have been in existence for many decades and have historical significance to the local population. Traveling these routes is a valuable recreation experience and helps residents teach their children about the human and natural history of this remote area.

 

 
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the staffthe staff   September 08, 2009   0

This is a HIGH PRORITY update.

CALLS NEEDED TO STOP MASSIVE NEW CLOSURES PROPOSED BY WILDERNESS EXTREMISTS

SITUATION:
Flush with funding from wealthy donors and foundations in Washington D.C., a group called the Wilderness Workshop is pushing for 600,000 acres of new Wilderness in Colorado by next year.

HOW THIS WILL AFFECT YOU:  
Mountain bike, snowmobile and OHV users will lose world-class trails and areas. This proposal would make over 75% of the Four Mile, Clear Fork, Spruce Mountain, Basalt Mountain, Red Tables, Hagerman Pass, Huntsman's Ridge and Thompson Creek areas Wilderness.

CONGRESSIONAL CONFIRMATION:
This Hidden Gems proposal appears to be much more than the typical "wish list" from the Wilderness activists. BRC confirmed with the Natural Resource staff for Representative Jared Polis that, although there is no bill at this time, Representative Polis is holding meetings and talking to stakeholders.  The goal is to have draft legislation prepared soon.

Local staff for Representative Salazar, whose district also includes lands in the Hidden Gems proposal, said that at this time they had no immediate plans to sponsor or co-sponsor the Hidden Gems proposal.

Congressman Salazar is concentrating on his own Wilderness bill, called the ''San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act." This legislation includes 63,475 acres on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison and San Juan National Forests, as well as lands managed by the San Juan Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Area.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Please call your Congressman TODAY. We've provided the phone numbers and some suggestions on what to say below.

EXTRA CREDIT: Learn what this and a Wilderness bill in Montana may have in common. Read Big Foundation Dollars Behind "Local" Wilderness Proposals in Colorado and Montana

Please pass this on to friends and family. And as always, if you have any questions or comments, we want to hear from you.

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

 PS. If you are looking for a bit of motivation to take action on this, please take a minute and read a special message from Sean Martin:

HIDDEN GEMS ACTION ALERT INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1. Type in your zip code here to find contact info for your congressman.

Step 2. Call the number of the office located nearest to you. BE POLITE

Tell the staff member who answers your call:

I strongly OPPOSE the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal that Congressman Polis is considering sponsoring (make sure the staff is clear on your opposition).

There is no serious threat to these lands. If there were, then recreation-friendly alternatives, such as a National Recreation Area, would be a better idea than Wilderness, which locks out most recreation.

Please tell the Congressman that I want him to protect FOR the public, not FROM the public.

Step 3. Forward this alert to your friends and family.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you live in Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Mesa, Pitkin or Summit County, please also call your county commissioners. (Contact information here


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. http://www.sharetrails.org

 

 
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the staffthe staff   September 08, 2009   0

Comment Period on Proposed Rule for Winter Use in Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks Closes September 8, 2009

Only a few days remain to have your voice heard on the Winter Use issue in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  The Park Service is asking for additional comments on the proposed rule, which would replace the 2004 rule reinstated last fall by the US District Court for the District of Wyoming.  This rule governed snowmobile and snowcoach access in the parks during the 2008-2009 winter season.

The Proposed Rule would only allow up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches per day in Yellowstone for the 2009-2010 winter season and running through the 2010-2011 winter season. It would also govern long-term snowmobile access in Grand Teton and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, including access along Grassy Lake Road and on Jackson Lake for licensed anglers.

It is important to comment on your personal experiences in Yellowstone over the last 10 years.  It should be pointed out that the Environmental Assessment (EA), from which the proposed rule is being written, clearly states that snowmobiles have been an appropriate and important form of transport in Yellowstone for over 45 years.  Also, individual travel by snowmobile provides one of the best ways to experience the magnificent natural features of the Parks in the winter.  In addition, imposing a daily limit of only 318 snowmobile entries for Yellowstone is not the correct decision.  In the EA, the NPS "believes that it could legally permit significantly higher levels of snowmobiles in the park".

You need to ask the Park Service to consider not applying the 318 as an average daily entry, but use historical data from the last four years to arrive at more flexibility for the daily entries which would be a higher number between 400 and 540.  And finally, ask the Park Service to use Adaptive Management for daily limit adjustments. We propose that the final rule include a provision whereby adaptive management could be used to adjust daily entrance limits, with due notice at the discretion of the Park Service. This is very important so that certain peak periods of the season may be taken into consideration.

The proposed rule and an electronic form to submit written comments are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=09000064809fa1b8

Written comments may be submitted through this website, in person, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail. All public comments on the proposed rule must be received or postmarked by midnight, Eastern Time, September 8, 2009.

The National Park Service intends to analyze the comments submitted last fall and during the next 45 days before making a decision on the proposed interim winter use plan. Depending on this process, NPS is planning to issue a final rule to implement the decision on or before
November 15, 2009.

The proposed rule is available on CD or in hard copy by written request to Yellowstone National Park, Management Assistants Office, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. Document requests may also be made by sending an e-mail to yell_winter_use@nps.gov, by calling 307-344-2019 during normal business hours, or by sending a request via fax to 307-344-2025.

Background:

On September 15, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion that vacated and remanded to the NPS the 2007 Final Environmental Impact Statement, 2007 Record of Decision, and 2007 Final Rule.

Because the Court's ruling left no provision in place for snowmobile or snowcoach use, the National Park Service issued the Winter Use Plans Environmental Assessment Part 1 (1.9 MB pdf), Part 2 (745 Kb pdf) on November 3, 2008. The preferred alternative would have allowed up to
318 snowmobiles and 78 snowcoaches per day into Yellowstone for 3 winters. All snowmobiles would have been commercially guided and would have needed to conform to Best Available Technology (BAT) emission and sound level requirements. During the life of the plan, snowcoach operators would have been required to implement BAT for their vehicles (BAT requirements for snowcoaches go into effect in 2011).

On November 7, 2008, however, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming issued an order directing the National Park Service to reinstate the 2004 rule for snowmobile and snowcoach use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. This rule allows up to 720 commercially-guided, BAT snowmobiles into Yellowstone, and up to 78 snowcoaches per day.

JUST REMEMBER: PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS
OPEN; PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

Thanks in advance for your support,
Jack Welch
Special Project Consultant
BlueRibbon Coalition
303-324-7185

 

 
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the staffthe staff   August 26, 2009   0
BRC received a call from Don Black, Land Use Director for the Utah Four Wheel Drive Association (U4WDA), regarding an effort by the Tooele County Commissioners to formally abandon certain public roads in the Ophir Mountains.

Some of the roads in question are: The Bald Mountain Loop Road, Hartman Gulch Road, Halls Basin Road, South Fork Ophir Canyon Road and Rover Hill Road.

Mike Swenson, Executive Director of the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL), has posted a map of the potential closures on the "Take Back Utah" website: http://portal.takebackutah.org/Default.aspx?tabid=3183

Utah law requires the state and the county to follow a procedure when formally abandoning a public right of way. Once the procedure is final, it will close all public access forever.

A key part of the abandonment process is opportunity to take public input regarding the closing of the roads. Don says Tooele County will hold their public meeting at the Commission Chambers in Tooele September 1, 2009, at 3:00 pm.

Now, there is very little information to give as to why the county is considering closing these roads, but we wanted to forward U4WDA's action alert to all our members in Utah. We also want to strongly encourage any BRC member living in Tooele County to try to attend this meeting.

Obviously, it may be difficult for working families to attend a meeting at 3:00 in the afternoon. So if you live in Tooele County, please contact your county commissioners if you are not able to attend.

Also, if you regularly use the roads mentioned, please contact BRC or Don at U4WDA as soon as possible. Our contact info is below.

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

 

 

Tooele County Road Closures

We need your help

Tooele County is in the process of vacating some public roads. These roads are in the Ophir Mountains and some of these roads provide valuable mountain top access.

 Tooele County will be holding a meeting to decide whether or not to formally abandon these roads. We need a large turnout for this meeting to show the County Commissioners that the public does not want them giving away roads that belong to all the citizens of Tooele County.

Meeting Details

Date: September 1st, 2009
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Tooele County Commission Chambers
Address: 47 S. Main Street, Room #210
Tooele, UT 84074

It is particularly important that we have residents of Tooele County at this meeting. Let your elected officials know that you do not support them giving away your roads.

Some of the roads in question are; The Bald Mountain Loop Road, Hartman Gulch Road, Halls Basin Road, South Fork Ophir Canyon Road and Rover Hill Road. If you use these roads, your information on what you use these roads for and any photos you have people using these roads could be very useful.

Thank you,
Don Black
Land Use Director
Utah Four Wheel Drive Assoc.

 
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the staffthe staff   August 20, 2009   0

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Seeks Comments on Bridgeport Ranger District Travel Plan

The Bridgeport Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, located in western Nevada and eastern California, released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Bridgeport Ranger District Travel Management Project on July 31, 2009. The Forest Service (FS) is asking for your input during a 45-day public review and comment period, which will end on September 14, 2009.

The FS has announced a series of drop-in meetings for the public to discuss and comment on the DEIS which describes the environmental effects of a proposal by the district to restrict motorized use to designated routes. The Bridgeport Ranger District manages about 1.2 million acres of lands in Mono County, California, and Douglas, Lyon, and Mineral Counties in Nevada.  Meetings will be held at the following locations from 5:00 pm -7:00 pm:

  •  Reno, Monday, August 24, at the Bartley Ranch Regional Park at the Brick House on 6000 Bartley Ranch Road.
  • Topaz Ranch Estates, Tuesday, August 25, at the Community Center on Carter Drive.
  • Hawthorne, Wednesday, August 26, at the Mineral County Public Library on 1st and A Street.
  • Smith Valley, Thursday, August 27, at Smith Valley High School Multi- Purpose Room on 20 Day Lane.
  • Bridgeport, California, Friday, August 28, at the Memorial Hall on 100 Sinclair Street.

The public may review the DEIS, along with associated maps, by going to the Forest's website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/projects/bridgeport/tm_bp_index.shtml.They are also available upon request on CDs.

Public comments are invited and should be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if comments refer to specific pages or chapters of the DEIS. Before commenting, the public is urged to review the DEIS, including appendices and associated maps.

Send written comments to: 
          Travel Management Team
          Bridgeport Ranger District
          HC 62, Box 1000
          Bridgeport, CA 93517

Written comments may be dropped off at the Bridgeport Ranger District, HC 62, Box 1000; Bridgeport, CA 93517. The office business hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The number to submit comments by fax is (760) 932- 5899.

Arrangements can be made for making oral comments over the phone or in person by contacting David Loomis at (775) 884-8132. Oral comments may also be submitted at public meetings scheduled for August 24 through 28.

Email comments to:
          comments-intermtn-humboldt-toiyabe-bridgeport@fs.fed.us

Please put "Travel Management Comments" in the subject line of e-mail comments. Acceptable formats are email message, MS Word (.doc), plain text (.txt), or rich text format (.rtf). Comments should include your name and address.

For more information, contact David Loomis, Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, 1536 S. Carson St. Carson City, NV 89701. Phone: (775) 884-8132.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN, PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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   August 20, 2009   0

Carson National Forest Releases Transportation Management Proposed Action

The Carson National Forest, located in northern New Mexico, has released its Transportation Management Proposed Actions for the Questa Ranger District for public review. A copy of the proposed actions, maps and figures is available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson/recreation/travel_mgmt/documents.shtml. The public is invited to visit the district office to view a larger version of the maps. In addition, please call if you would like a CD of the maps mailed to you. Alternative 1 of the Proposed Action is the preferred alternative.

The Forest Service is asking for your comments during a 30-day comment period, which began on August 6, 2009, and will end September 5, 2009. The purpose of this comment period is to provide the public the opportunity to comment on the proposal before a final decision is made.

Comments will be most helpful if they identify the specific actions you think are needed, why those changes should be made and how such a change would better meet your interests.

MAIL OR HAND DELIVER COMMENTS TO:
          Forest Supervisor
          Attn: Transportation Management
          Carson National Forest
          208 Cruz Alta Road
          Taos, NM 87571

Comments may also be hand delivered weekdays 8:00 am - 4:30 pm to the Supervisor's Office at the above address. Oral comments must be provided at the Supervisor's Office during normal business hours via telephone or in person, or if during non-business hours, must be at an official agency function (such as a public meeting) designed to elicit public comment.

EMAIL COMMENTS TO: 
          comments-southwestem-carson@fs.fed.us

The submission of comments must include a name and address of the commenter and title of the proposed action. Comments may be submitted by email in MS-Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt) or Adobe (.pdf). 

FAX COMMENTS TO:
          (575) 758-6213

Additional information regarding the proposed actions can also be obtained from Paula Cote or Jack Carpenter at the Supervisor's Office in Taos, New Mexico. The office phone number is (575) 758-6200.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN. PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

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   August 03, 2009   0

National OHV Group Supports GAO Recommendations on OHV use

POCATELLO, ID (August 3) - The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national OHV advocacy group, today said it generally supports the recommendations made in a report released by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding the increased use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) on federally-managed lands. The report was requested by Arizona Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

The purpose of the report was to examine the status of OHV use on federal lands managed by the
Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Park Service and focused on fiscal year 2004 through fiscal year 2008. The report also examined the environmental, social, and safety impacts, strategic planning, actions taken by the agencies' field units in managing OHV use and current OHV management challenges.

"The report itself leaves much to be desired, but, by and large, we support its recommendations," said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of BRC. Mumm said BRC was one of several OHV groups involved as part of GAO's review. Mumm noted certain parts of the report are inconsistent and some parts are not accurate.  "This is an imperfect analysis, but it is far from the manifesto for closure anticipated by the anti-access lobby," Mumm observed.

The report makes four recommendations generally addressing identification of additional strategies, time frames for monitoring progress of OHV plan implementation, establishing performance measures and time frames for meeting goals, enhancing communication with the public about OHV trails and areas, and reviewing fine amounts across various U.S. district courts to establish consistency.

Brian Hawthorne, BRC's Public Lands Policy Director, also agreed with the recommendations, but said the study is an "unfortunate example of government agencies doing too much evaluating and not nearly enough actual management.  The conclusions and action items of this GAO report are remarkably similar to reviews completed by the Forest Service in 1985 and in 1996," noted Hawthorne.
The GAO report is available online at: http://www.gao.gov/Products/GAO-09-509

# # #

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. http://www.sharetrails.org

 

 
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the staffthe staff   April 23, 2009   0

Deschutes National Forest Releases Proposed Action for Lava Rock OHV System

 

The Forest Service is seeking your input on a Proposed Action (PA) to designate a motorized Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail system on a portion the Deschutes National Forest’s Bend/Fort Rock Ranger District. The development of the Proposed Action or “scoping phase” is the start of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

 

The project area is approximately six miles south of Bend, Oregon, and encompasses 140,650 acres. The alternatives will include the proposed action, no action, and additional alternatives that respond to issues generated through the scoping process.

 

The Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Proposed Action was published in the Federal Register on April 10, 2009. This initiates the 30-day public comment period that will run until May 6, 2009. The draft EIS is expected to be available in July 2009 and the final Environmental Impact Statement expected by September 2009.

 

The Notice of Intent and Deschutes National Forest’s Proposed Action, along with maps, can be found on the Forest website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/travelmgt/index.html.

 

How to submit comments:

While comments may be submitted anytime during the project, your comments would be most helpful if received by May 6, 2009. Please make your comments as specific as possible.

 

They plan to complete a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in mid-2009. Following the release of the DEIS, we will have a 45-day Public Comment Period for your review and comment. This will be followed by the release of a Record of Decision, projected to be signed by December 2009.

 

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:

          Shane Jeffries, District Ranger

          Bend/Ft. Rock Ranger District,

          1230 NE 3 St., Suite A-262

          Bend, OR 97701

 

Email Comments To:

          comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes-bend-ftrock@fs.fed.us    

 

Put “Lava Rock OHV Project” in the subject line of e-mail comments. Acceptable formats are email message, MS Word (.doc), plain text (.txt), or rich text format (.rtf). Comments should include your name and address.

 

Fax Comments To:

          (541) 383-4700 (with Lava Rock OHV Project in subject line)

 

COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 6, 2009

 

For more information, contact Peter Sussmann, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at (541) 383-5594 or via e-mail at prsussman@fs.fed.us.

 

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN, PLEASE GET INVOLVED!

 

Thanks in advance for your support,

Ric Foster

Public Lands Department Manager

BlueRibbon Coalition

208-237-1008 ext 102

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