Action Alerts

Action Alerts

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the staffthe staff   April 23, 2009   0

Sierra National Forest Motorized Travel Management DEIS Available Soon

 

The Sierra National Forest, located in east central California, will be releasing their Motorized Travel Management Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on May 1, 2009, for public review and comment.

 

The Motorized Travel Management Project is part of a national effort to designate transportation systems on each national forest in the country. The goal is to develop a sustainable network of roads and trails that provide opportunities for access and recreation while protecting natural and cultural resources.

 

Beginning the week of April 27, 2009, the Forest Service (FS) will begin mailing out copies of the document to those who requested them. Beginning May 1, 2009, copies will also be available at Sierra National Forest offices, on the Forest’s website http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sierra/projects/ohv/index.shtml, at the public workshops or by emailing a request to sierra.route@fs.fed.us with “Document Request” in the subject line.

 

The document can be requested on a CD or Printed Copy (limited amounts available). Please make sure to include a mailing address where you want the document sent.

 

Below is the schedule of public workshops the Sierra National Forest will be hosting. Meetings may also be arranged for groups, clubs or organizations to provide an overview of the document. Please send a request to sierra.route@fs.fed.us and specify “Meeting Request” in the subject line.

 

Sierra National Forest Public Meeting Schedule

Travel Management

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

 

Informational Meetings

Date

Location

Time

Purpose

Tuesday

May 5

Oakhurst Community Center

39800 Road 425B

Oakhurst, CA

4:30-6pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm

Open House

Presentation on the DEIS

Workshop

Wednesday

May 6

Madera Community College

Room AV-1-114 A

30277 Avenue 12

Madera, CA 93638

4:30 -6pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm

Open House

Presentation on the DEIS

Workshop

Thursday

May 7

Visalia Convention Center

Charter Oak Room #D

303 E. Acequia Ave.

Visalia, CA 93291

4:30-6pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm

Open House

Presentation on the DEIS

Workshop

Monday

May 11

Mariposa County Government Center

Board of Supervisors Chambers

5100 Bullion Street

Mariposa, CA 95338

4:30-6pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm

Open House

Presentation on the DEIS

Workshop

Tuesday

May 12

Foothill Middle School

Multi-Purpose Room

29147 Auberry Rd.

Prather, CA 93651

4:30-6pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm

Open House

Presentation on the DEIS

Workshop

Wednesday

May 13

Clovis Veterans Memorial Bldg

Independence Room

808 4th Street

Clovis, CA 93612

4:30-6pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm

Open House

Presentation on the DEIS

Workshop

  

Drop-In Sessions

Date

Location

Time

Purpose

Tuesday

May 26

Bass Lake Ranger Station

57003 Road 225

North Fork, CA 93643

4-8pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 4&8 pm to ask questions about the DEIS

Wednesday

May 27

High Sierra Ranger Station

29688 Auberry Road

Prather, CA

4-8pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 4&8 pm to ask questions about the DEIS

Thursday

May 28

Supervisor’s Office

1600 Tollhouse Road

Clovis, CA 93611

4-8pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 4&8 pm to ask questions about the DEIS

Saturday

May 30

Bass Lake Ranger Station

57003 Road 225

North Fork, CA 93643

10am – 3pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 10am-3pm to ask questions about the DEIS

Tuesday

June 9

Bass Lake Ranger Station

57003 Road 225

North Fork, CA 93643

4-8pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 4&8 pm to ask questions about the DEIS

Wednesday

June 10

High Sierra Ranger Station

29688 Auberry Road

Prather, CA

4-8pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 4&8 pm to ask questions about the DEIS

Thursday

June 11

High Sierra Ranger Station

29688 Auberry Road

Prather, CA

4-8pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 4&8 pm to ask questions about the DEIS

Saturday

June 13

High Sierra Ranger Station

29688 Auberry Road

Prather, CA

10am – 3pm

Public is invited to drop-in

anytime between 10am-3pm to ask questions about the DEIS

  

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   April 23, 2009   0

Ashley National Forest Releases Motorized Travel Plan DEIS

The Forest Service (FS) has announced the release of their Motorized Travel Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Ashley National Forest, which is located in the northeastern portion of Utah and southwestern portion of Wyoming.

During a 45-day public comment period, the agency will conduct a series of public meetings/open houses to review the environmental document, including maps and alternatives, to discuss the motorized route designation process and to seek public comments (see schedule below). This comment period ends June 1, 2009.

The DEIS discloses the environmental impacts associated with five alternatives including a proposed action that outlines future management of motorized vehicle travel on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

The complete DEIS, including appendixes and maps, are available for download on the Uintah County website at http://www.co.uintah.ut.us/usfs/travelplan.htm.

Schedule of Public Meetings/Open Houses

April 21 - Duchesne County Building, Duchesne, UT 7 - 9 pm

April 22 - Daggett County Building, Manila, UT 7 -9 pm

April 23 - Western Park, Vernal, UT 7 - 9 pm

While comments may be submitted anytime during the analysis process, only those individuals and organizations that provide substantive comments during this comment period are eligible to appeal the decision pursuant to 36 CFR part 215 regulations.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
          Motorized Travel Plan
          Ashley National Forest Supervisors Office
          355 N Vernal Ave
          Vernal, UT 84078

The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Oral comments must be provided at the Responsible Official's office to Kris Rutledge during normal business hours via telephone 435-781-5196, in person, or at an official agency function (i.e. public meeting) that is designed to elicit public comments.

Email Comments To:
          comments-intermtn-ashley@fs.fed.us  

Put "Motorized Travel Plan" 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:
          (435) 781-5142 (with Motorized Travel Plan in subject line)

COMMENT DEADLINE IS JUNE 1, 2009

For further information about Travel Management Planning on the Ashley National Forest, please contact Kris Rutledge, Team Leader, at 435-781-5196, or by email to krutledge@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 107

 
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the staffthe staff   April 18, 2009   0

The Umpqua National Forest, located in southwestern Oregon, has released a Proposed Action to develop a Travel Management Plan.

The Forest Service (FS) is seeking your input to help them analyze the potential environmental effects of the Proposed Action for their Environmental Assessment (EA). Over-the-snow vehicles are excluded from this Proposed Action.

The Proposed Action would:

  • Amend the Forest Plan to make it consistent with the Travel Management Rule;
  • Designate approximately 360 miles of National Forest System (NFS) roads open to highway legal vehicles only;
  • Designate approximately 3,175 miles of NFS roads open to mixed use;
  • Designate approximately 721 miles of NFS trails open to class 1 and class 3 non highway legal vehicles;
  • Designate approximately 517 miles of dispersed camping corridors along motorized routes;
  • Close the Forest to cross-country motorized travel. Change approximately 426,589 acres from open yearlong to closed and approximately 197,780 acres from open seasonally to closed;

Maps illustrating the Proposed Action can be found on the Umpqua National Forest Travel Management website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua/projects/travel/index.shtmI. In addition, maps will be available for viewing at the Forest Supervisor's Office, as well as each of the Ranger District offices.

Public involvement will be ongoing throughout the EA process. However, written and electronic comments to be considered in the preparation of the EA should be submitted by May 15, 2009.

Your comments will help the FS assess the Proposed Action, develop alternatives and prepare the EA. Site-specific comments are the most helpful. For example, simply stating that you are opposed to road closures is not as helpful as telling them which road you would like left open and why.

Send written comments to: 
          Umpqua National Forest
          Attn: Scott Elefritz
          2900 NW Stewart Parkway
          Roseburg, OR 97471

You may also hand deliver your comments to any of the Forest Service offices during normal business hours, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

Email comments to:
          comments-pacificnorthwest-umpqua@fs.fed.us  

Please put "Travel Management Plan" in the subject line.

COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 15, 2009

If you have any questions concerning this proposal, please contact Scott Elefritz, Natural Resource Specialist, at (541) 957-3437.

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   April 17, 2009   0

Our Partners in the Northeast Need Your Help!!

Steve Alheim, President of Adirondack Jeeps (www.adirondackjeeps.com/) and Chairman of the East Coast 4 Wheel Drive Association - Northeast Region (EC4WDA), just forwarded us information on an important issue that needs IMMEDIATE ACTION.

I pasted the information below; please follow its instructions and take action today.

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

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


TAKE ACTION!
NY Assembly and Senate Bills that help keep our roads open stuck in committee... STILL!

Here in New York (and in many parts of the Northeast), seasonal use roads and old town roads make up a large portion of our recreational trail "system". Unfortunately, for years the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has seized these roads and posted them for non-motorized use, simply because they're in the Adirondacks.

There are two bills that have been buried in the Transportation Committee for too long. Year after year, these bills get lost there. Each bill, the Assembly version (Bill A00448) and the Senate version (Bill S321), amend the highway law to remove the ability of the State to modify, abandon or close roads within the Adirondack Park. The DEC does this with little or no public input, depriving us of these great recreational opportunities that, in many cases, are routes over a hundred years old and lead to other treasured opportunities such as fishing holes, hunting sites, and more.

Please help us keep these important roads and recreational corridors open for future generations by contacting your representative or Transportation Committee Chairman David Gantt at 518-455-5606 or send a letter to him at:

Committee Chairman: David Gantt
ALBANY OFFICE
LOB 830
Albany, NY 12248

Let 'em know you support these bills!!!!!

NYS Assembly (Bill A00448 Sayward)
NYS Senate (Bill S321 Little)

Getting these out of committee is only the first hurdle we face, but we can't get there unless there's a powerful voice behind them.

Thanks for your quick action,

Steve Alheim
President - Adirondack Jeeps
Chairman - East Coast 4 Wheel Drive Association - Northeast Region

http://www.adirondackjeeps.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10385

 
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the staffthe staff   April 09, 2009   0

Public Invited to Eldorado NF Motorized Roads & Trails Open Houses

The Eldorado National Forest, located in northeast California, will be hosting open houses for each of their Ranger District offices. In April, the four Eldorado National Forest District Rangers will each host a day when people can drop in at their offices to talk about the designated travel system (see schedule below).

The Forest Service says each open house will highlight routes and opportunities located within the hosting Ranger's area of the Forest. The Placerville and Pacific District Rangers will host a joint open house for the convenience of people who travel Highway 50. The Amador and Georgetown District Rangers will each host their own open house.

Open House Schedule

Saturday, April 18, 2009                 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Georgetown Ranger District
Georgetown Ranger Station
7600 Wentworth Springs Road
Georgetown, CA 95634

Saturday, April 18, 2009                 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Amador Ranger District
Amador Ranger Station
(Includes areas north and south of Highway 88
26820 Silver Drive
Pioneer, CA 95666

Saturday, April 25, 2009                 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Placerville and Pacific Ranger Districts
(Includes areas from Loon Lake south to the Consumes River)
Placerville Ranger Station
4260 Eight Mile Road
Camino, CA 95709

Site-specific information people want to share about Eldorado National Forest motorized roads and trails can also be e-mailed to: eldoradoroutes@fs.fed.us. General public information about the Eldorado National Forest designated motorized route system can be found on the Internet at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado.

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

 
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the staffthe staff   April 09, 2009   0

Shoshone National Forest to Hold Forest Plan Revision Meetings

The Shoshone National Forest, located in northwest Wyoming, will resume public input on the revision of their Forest Plan. A new round of public meetings is scheduled during the month of April 2009, for Cody, Thermopolis, Dubois and Lander (See schedule below).

The focus of the meetings is to share the most recent version of the revision documents, talk about the changes, where they are in the revision process, discuss the current timeline and to answer any questions the public may have.

Forest plan revision meetings schedule:

Type of meeting                   Date and time                                Location

Government Cooperators      Wednesday, April 22, 2009            Big Horn Federal
Work Group meeting              9:00 am to 3:00 pm                         1701 Stampede Avenue
                                                                                                                Cody, WY

Public meeting                       Wednesday, April 22, 2009            Big Horn Federal
                                                  6:00 to 8:30 pm                               1701 Stampede Avenue
                                                                                                             Cody, WY

Public meeting                      Thursday, April 23, 2009                 Big Horn Federal
                                                 6:00 to 8:30 pm                                643 Broadway
                                                                                                             Thermopolis, WY

Public meeting                      Wednesday, April 29, 2009             Headwaters Art & Convention Center
                                                  6:00 to 8:30 pm                               17 Stalnaker      
                                                                                                              Dubois, WY   

Public meeting                      Thursday, April 23, 2009                 Best Western Inn at Lander
                                                  6:00 to 8:30 pm                               260 Grandview Drive
                                                                                                              Lander, WY

For more information on the Forest Plan Revision, contact Bryan Armel at 307-578-5134, or visit their website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/projects/planning/revision/revision_index.shtml.

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

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

 
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the staffthe staff   April 09, 2009   0

SUWA Amends Lawsuit in Attempt to Close Roads and Trails

On March 19, 2009, a coalition of eleven Wilderness activist groups led by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) amended a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. The lawsuit was originally filed on December 17, 2008, and challenged the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) offering of 77 oil and gas leases in three Utah Resource Areas.  In January 2009, SUWA obtained a temporary restraining order against the challenged lease sales, and the BLM, upon consultation with counsel and newly installed leadership, has apparently withdrawn interest in pursuing the sales.  As a result, the Second Amended complaint removes references to these specific projects.  Far from being satisfied with their "victory," SUWA adds claims against the entirety of BLM's Moab, Price and Vernal Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and travel plans and requests that the court enjoin BLM from taking any action to implement the new plans.  SUWA's claims include several specifically targeting OHV use.

SUWA claims that travel plans developed in the Moab, Price and Vernal Field Offices violate the law by failing to adequately analyze environmental effects of vehicle use, even though the BLM's new plans closed over half of the existing roads and trails. These are in addition to SUWA's claims that The BLM allows too much oil and gas leasing and not enough Wilderness Study Areas, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern and Wild and Scenic Rivers.

SUWA has incorporated two relatively new claims in their lawsuit. SUWA is alleging the BLM failed to include "quantitative air quality modeling for ozone and other criteria pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act."  They say the BLM did not "model air emissions" from vehicle use. SUWA is also alleging the BLM failed to analyze the impacts of oil and gas development and vehicle use on climate change. SUWA claims these activities result in the release of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

No word on whether SUWA will challenge visitors from throughout our and other countries who collectively fly millions of miles annually to visit Utah's National Parks. I imagine emissions from ATVs and dirt bikes would pale in comparison to the greenhouse gas emissions from the steady stream of jets through the hubs and regional airports surrounding Utah's famed backcountry.

BRC worked quickly with the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition and Colorado Trail Preservation Alliance to move to intervene in the case on behalf of vehicle users. Please view our announcement here: http://www.sharetrails.org/releases/media/?story=640. There is also some background information and a Q&A at http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/UTAH/

Ric and I want to send a special thank you to all who are members of our Moab Partnership. Your support means there is money in the bank as we prepare to fight SUWA once again in federal court.

Brian Hawthorne                                                    Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director                                Public Lands Department Manager

PS. The groups suing the BLM are Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, National Parks Conservation Association, Grand Canyon Trust, Sierra Club, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Center for Native Ecosystems, Utah Rivers Council, Great Old Broads for Wilderness and Red Rock Forests.

 
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the staffthe staff   April 07, 2009   0

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Travel Management DEIS Available

The Forest Service (FS) has announced the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Motorized Vehicle Use on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, located in southwestern Oregon.

During a 45-day public comment period, the agency will conduct a series of open houses to review the environmental document, including maps and alternatives, to discuss the motorized route designation process and to seek public comments (see schedule below). This comment period ends May 11, 2009.

The DEIS discloses the environmental impacts associated with four alternatives including a proposed action that outlines future management of motorized vehicle travel on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The alternatives include the following:

  • Alternative 1 is a No Action alternative that reflects the Forest's current condition.
  • Alternative 2 is an alternative that would implement actions consistent with the Travel Management Rule with no change. This includes no change to the current system of National Forest System roads, trails and off-road vehicle areas.
  • Alternative 3 reflects the agency's Proposed Action to enact the Travel Management Rule and to reduce resource damage, user conflicts, and safety concerns.
  • Alternative 4 addresses additional resource concerns and user conflicts and proposes a reduction in motorized use over Alternative 3.

Copies of the document can be obtained by contacting one of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest's Ranger District or Forest Supervisor's Office. The DEIS and maps are also available on the Forest's website at www.fs.fed.us/r6/rogue-siskiyou/projects/travel/.

Schedule of Open Houses

Tuesday, April 7, 2009              4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
OSU Extension Office, Ohlsen Baxter Building
631 Alder Street
Myrtle Point, Oregon

Monday, April 13, 2009              6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Best Western Beachfront Inn
16008 Boat Basin Road
Brookings, Oregon

Wednesday, April 15, 2009        6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Curry County Fairground, Curry Showcase Building
29392 Ellensburg Avenue
Gold Beach, Oregon

Wednesday, April 15, 2009        5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Rogue River-Siskiyou NF Supervisor's Office
Medford Interagency Office, Oregon Conference Rooms
3040 Biddle Road
Medford, Oregon

Monday, April 20, 2009              6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Forest Service - Agness Guard Station
04156 Agness Road
Agness, Oregon

Saturday, April 25, 2009            10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Grants Pass High School, The Commons
830 NE 9th Street
Grants Pass, Oregon

While comments may be submitted anytime during the analysis process, only those individuals and organizations who provide comments during the comment period are eligible to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
          USDA Forest Service,
          Travel Management Team
          645 Washington Street
          Ashland, Oregon 97520

Email Comments To:
          comments-pacificnorthwest-rogueriver-siskiyou@fs.fed.us 

Put "Motorized Travel DEIS" 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.

COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 1, 2009

If you have questions or need additional information about Motorized Vehicle Use on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, please contact either Steve Johnson (Interdisciplinary Team Leader) at 541-552-2900 or Patty Burel (Public Affairs Officer) at 541-618-2113.

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   April 06, 2009   0

Mississippi ATV riders and Off Road Motorcyclists need our help!

We seldom blast National Alerts for local planning processes, and we hate to blast anything with such short notice.

But we need your help.

This Monday, April 6, is the deadline for a new travel management plan on National Forests in Mississippi. In a previous attempt, the agency refused to consider adding even one mile of trails, which have been enjoyed by folks in the area for over 30 years. BRC and the Memphis Motorcycle Club successfully appealed the "total closure" plan.

The response of the U.S. Forest Service should boil blood. Instead of re-considering the total closure plan, the agency is simply adding volumes of analysis in an attempt to better defend against our appeals.

In other words, they don't care if refusing to consider any user-created routes is contrary to regulations; they are going to try to do whatever it takes to make it happen, regulations be dammed.

The links below tell more of the story. But today, we are asking our members across the country to help the local ATV and motorcycle people out.

We've prepared a letter generator with several key substantive comments. Please take a minute to click on the link below and send a letter. Your comments will help, please send your letter today!
http://www.sharetrails.org/letters/letter.php?id=40

The Revised Route Designation Environmental Assessment and maps of the proposed changes are available on the Forest's website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/mississippi/Travel_Management/index.html.

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

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Comments Needed on Holly Springs National Forest - June 18th, 2008
www.sharetrails.org/alerts/?alert=832

TRAIL RIDERS FIND NEW LIFE IN MISSISSIPPI FORESTS' DECISION - January 30th, 2009
http://www.sharetrails.org/releases/media/?story=630

Recreation Funding Conundrum - BlueRibbon Magazine, February 2007
http://www.sharetrails.org/magazine/article.php?id=953

Trails for Future Generations - BlueRibbon Magazine, October 2006
http://www.sharetrails.org/magazine/article.php?id=894

 
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the staffthe staff   April 06, 2009   0

The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) expressed disappointment today in the Forest Service decision to implement the emergency closure of the Upper Tellico OHV trails on April 1, pending review of the many substantive comments made by OHV enthusiasts.

Gary Parsons, President of SFWDA, said, "We are very disappointed in the Forest Service decision to close the Upper Tellico OHV trails. In formal comments made to the Forest Service, the OHV community and other interested parties clearly demonstrated that such a closure has no scientific basis. Substantive comments provided to the Forest Service included findings of an independent study completed by Caliber Engineering and the recommendations from a report completed by the Forest Service's own Trails Unlimited Team. This is a bad decision and we are left with no other alternative but to pursue legal options."

Carla Boucher, legal counsel for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, stated, "The Forest Service has failed to make the case with regard to adverse effects and resource damage. There is no immediate threat to public health, safety, or other requisite finding required by such an order. Water quality standards cited by the Forest Supervisor as the basis for such an order are not being exceeded." Boucher added, "In making this decision, the Forest Service must be prepared to explain why similar findings have not been made in the decades of greater environmental impact and they simply have not done that."

Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director, stated, "Implementing this closure order threatens the integrity of the ongoing planning process in which the interested public and our federal government have collectively invested significant time and resources."

Mumm concluded, "The economic impact of this closure will be devastating to the area and comes at a time when the current administration is calling for more jobs, economic development, and healthy outdoor recreation. It makes no sense."

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of 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. 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   April 03, 2009   0

SUWA's Massive Wilderness Bill Introduced in Congress... again
Action Requested

Today, Eric Bontrager from E&E News http://www.eenews.net/ reported on the re-offering of a massive Wilderness proposal pushed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA). Bontrager's report stated that the bill, sponsored by New York Representative Maurice Hinchey and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, would designate 9.4 million acres of Bureau of Management Lands in Utah as Wilderness.

BRC notes that it is not clear whether the 9.4 million acre figure includes lands owned by the state of Utah. If state lands are included, the figure may well be over 10 million acres'.

The announcement will not be news to BRC's members. SUWA has been able to convince New York Congressmen to introduce Wilderness in Utah for twenty years now.

What will be of interest to our members is Bontrager's reporting of comments made by Utah Representative Rob Bishop and Jim Matheson:

"The fact that not one member of the Utah congressional delegation or political leader in Utah supports this shows how off-base and ridiculous this proposal is," Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah.) said in an e-mail. "This is not the way Congress should make designations like this."

Rep. Jim Matheson, the Utah delegation's lone Democrat whose district includes the proposed wilderness area, declined the opportunity to be a co-sponsor on the legislation because he felt other stakeholders such as the energy industry and OHV users were not included in the creation of the bill. "He understands that this does represent a lot of places that deserve designation, but this a very long-running, contentious debate," said Matheson spokeswoman Alyson Heyrend. "He just feels strongly that, in order to get consensus, this has to be an inclusive process."

BRC applauds Matheson and Bishop for their approach to SUWA's unwise proposal. But we do not believe SUWA, or the Wilderness lobby in D.C., is interested in an "inclusive process." This is why they must rely on Congressmen from New York to push their Utah Wilderness bill. 

Our position is that any discussion of Utah Wilderness must include careful consideration of important strategic national interests (oil, natural gas and minerals) as well as popular recreational uses, such as OHV use and mountain biking, which are banned in Wilderness. BRC and other recreation groups support Wilderness where it is appropriate, but we insist that other "recreation friendly" designations, such as National Recreation Areas, be considered where it isn't.

Our suggested Action Item is for our members and supporters to call Bishop and Matheson and thank them for their approach to SUWA's bill.

Speaking honestly, I am beginning to wonder if the Utah Congressional Delegation knows we are here, and in what numbers. The treatment the Utah OHV community received via the recently passed Washington County Wilderness bill is disgraceful. We must never let that happen again.

So when our political representatives do the right thing, we need to thank them.

Congressman Matheson:    Salt Lake City Office - (801) 486-1236  
                                              Washington DC Office - (202) 225-3011

Go to http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/, enter your zip code and click go. Select Jim Matheson from the list of Representatives, then click on the Contact tab. Click on the Web Form link, and follow the instructions.

Congressman Bishop:         Ogden Office - (801) 625-0107
                                  Washington DC Office - (202) 225-0453

Go to http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/, enter your zip code and click go. Select Rob Bishop from the list of Representatives, then click on the Contact tab. Click on the Web Form link, and follow the instructions.

Congressman Chaffetz:      Provo Office - (801) - 851-2500
                               Washington DC Office - (202) 225-7751

Go to http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/, enter your zip code and click go. Select Jason Chaffetz from the list of Representatives, then click on the Contact tab. Click on the Web Form link, and follow the instructions.

As always, please call or email if you have questions or need help.

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

 
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the staffthe staff   March 31, 2009   0

BLM Seeks Comments on Silver State OHV Trail

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Ely District Office is proposing to conduct a study of existing motorized vehicle routes for the Silver State Off-Highway Vehicle Trail within White Pine County. The study will be conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the White Pine County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2006.

The White Pine Act requires that the BLM take a hard look at the potential impacts to natural and cultural resources before recommending additions to the Silver State Trail.  The Silver State Trail was first designated by Congress through the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2004.  Any preferred route for the White Pine Trail must utilize existing roads and trails, extend from the Lincoln County Trail and run in a north-south direction.

In addition to these requirements, the BLM has identified several questions and areas of concern related to the identification of alternative routes for analysis.  The BLM requests your input on these questions and any other concerns you have in order to more fully understand the need for, and the potential effects of, designating a White Pine County Silver State Trail.

  • What types of recreational opportunities should the BLM provide through designation of a White Pine County Silver State Trail?

 

  • Should the trail connect to local communities in White Pine County?

 

  • Will the current use of existing roads and trails change following designation of a Silver State Trail in White Pine County? Should the trail remain open to regular vehicle traffic?

 

  • What are the issues of the trail crossing highways? Utilizing county roads?

 

  • Are there specific valleys or ranges that should include the trail?  Are there specific valleys or ranges that the trail should avoid?

 

  • What is the expected level of use for the trail?

The BLM will consider all public input in the development of a range of alternative routes and the issues and concerns regarding those alternatives in the preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA). 

The public scoping period for the preliminary EA began on March 16, 2009 and will continue through April 17, 2009.  Once the preliminary EA is completed, there will be additional opportunities to participate and comment before a preferred alternative is selected.

COMMENT DEADLINE IS APRIL 17, 2009

Send written comments to:
          BLM - Ely District Office
          702 N. Industrial Way
          HC33 Box 33500
          Ely, Nevada 89301-9408
          Attn: Kalem Lenard

Email comments to:
         silverstatetrail@blm.gov    

Please put "Silver State Trail" in the subject line.

For more information, contact the Ely District Office at (775) 289-1800.  All documents and maps are available on the BLM Ely District website: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ely_field_office/blm_programs/recreation/silver_state_trail.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   March 30, 2009   0

Stanislaus NF - Motorized Travel Management Public Meetings Continue


The Stanislaus National Forest, located in west central California, has just announced they are continuing to hold public meetings on the Forest's newly released Motorized Travel Management Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

To assist the public in understanding the DEIS, public meetings are planned for West Point and Modesto. A series of "drop-in" open houses are also scheduled in surrounding communities. In addition, the Forest will be hosting an Internet "Webinar" for those with on-line access.

The Travel Management DEIS was released on March 6, 2009, for public review during a 60-day public comment period. Copies of the DEIS and newly published Errata are available at all Stanislaus National Forest offices.

Meetings and open houses will include optional time for learning how to use the DEIS, maps and compact disc; browsing maps; and asking questions. To date, the Forest Service has held public meetings in Arnold, Sonora, Greeley Hill, and Lodi.

The next scheduled meetings, open houses, and Webinar are as follows:

Community

                     Date

                                Location

West Point

March 30, 2009-Public Meeting
5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
(core meeting 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

West Point Community Hall

Hathaway Pines

April 2, 2009-Drop-in Open House

Hathaway Pines District Ranger Station on Highway 4

Modesto

April 4, 2009-Public Meeting
3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
(core meeting 5:00-7:00)

Stanislaus County Harvest Hall
3800 Cornucopia Way
Modesto, CA

Internet Webinar

April 7, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Contact Sue Warren at (209) 532-3671 ext. 350 for information on how to sign up and participate.

Sonora

April 9, 2009-Drop-in Open House 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor's Office, Stanislaus Meeting Room at 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA

Mi-Wuk Village

April 13, 2009-Drop-in Open House
2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mi-Wok District Ranger Station on Highway 108

Buck Meadows


April 15-Drop-in Open House
2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Groveland District Ranger Station on Highway 120

   
Comments are invited on the DEIS. The Environmental Protection Agency published a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the DEIS in the Federal Register on March 6, 2009; the opportunity to comment ends May 5, 2009.

While comments may be submitted anytime during the analysis process, only those individuals and organizations who provide comments during the comment period are eligible to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:

          Stanislaus National Forest
          Attn:  Motorized Travel DEIS
          19777 Greenley Road
          Sonora, CA 95370

Hand-deliver comments to the address shown above, during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm). Oral comments may be provided by calling (209) 532-3671 ext. 350.

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

Put "Motorized Travel DEIS" 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:
           (209) 533-1890

COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 5, 2009

To request additional information regarding this project, contact Sue Warren, Team Leader, Stanislaus National Forest, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA  95370, or e-mail swarren@fs.fed.us (to ensure a timely response, it is important to include "Information Request" in the subject line).

Compact Discs containing the DEIS documents, resource reports, supporting documents and maps are available by request. The DEIS is also available for review at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/projects/ohv.

A Final Environmental Impact Statement and decision by Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski are expected this summer, with a Motor Vehicle Use Map scheduled for release by the end of 2009. Following the designation of specific motorized routes, motor vehicle use off designated roads and trails would be prohibited, unless under special use permit.

The project web page (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/projects/ohv) includes the latest project updates, schedules for public meetings, and other information.

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   March 26, 2009   0

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Seeks Comments on Motorized Routes

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, located in north-central Washington, is formulating a new travel plan that will limit ALL vehicle use to designated roads, trails and areas. The Forest Service (FS) will be hosting a series of public meetings on the travel planning process during the month of April 2009.  (See schedule below)

On March 24, 2009, the FS published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a Proposed Action to implement the Travel Management Rule to designate a system of roads, trails, and areas that are open to motor vehicle use. This NOI initiates the scoping process, which guides development of the Environmental Impact Statement.

The Forest is asking for your comments on the proposed action during a 45-day public scoping period. Comments concerning the scope of the analysis should be received by May 7, 2009, so they can be fully considered. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is scheduled for completion by December 2009. The FS plans to have the Final EIS completed by July 2010.

Comments are most valuable if they are site-specific. Comments about existing or proposed conditions on individual routes, desired motorized or non-motorized recreation opportunities, uses and impacts, and route designations are being sought.

Public meetings to explain and gather comments about the proposed action will be held at the following locations and dates from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.:

Ellensburg, WA, April 6, 2009     Hal Holmes Community Center.

Yakima, WA, April 7, 2009            Howard Johnson Ballroom.

Cashmere, WA, April 8, 2009        Apple Annie Antique Gallery.

Okanogan, WA, April 9, 2009        Okanogan County Agriplex.

Seattle, WA area: To be announced and posted on the Travel Management website http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/okawen/travel-management.

It is important that you submit comments to make sure that there is a public record of support for maintaining motorized and mechanized access.  Comments are most useful if they are specific.

Involvement from OHV enthusiasts in the scoping process is critical.  If you want to protect your favorite trails and routes in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, be sure to attend one or all of these meetings and make your voice heard.

Your feedback is important to this process. If you have comments, you may submit through any of the following methods:

Mail Comments To:
          Travel Management Planning Team
          Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
          215 Melody Lane
          Wenatchee, WA 98801

Email Comments To:
          okawen-travel-management@fs.fed.us

COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 7, 2009

Documents and maps are available on the Forest's website at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/okawen/travel-management/proposed/index.shtml

For more information about the proposed action, contact Bob Stoehr, Planning Team Leader, at Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, Washington, 98801; or by telephone: (509) 664-9384.

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   March 26, 2009   0

The Willamette National Forest, located in west-central Oregon, has released a Proposed Action to update their current transportation system.

The proposed action would involve amending the Forest Plan to prohibit motorized travel off of a designated system of travel routes in all Management Areas. It would also identify access zones throughout the Forest in which motor vehicles may travel off the designated system of roads and trails for dispersed camping. Within each zone, motorized travel would be allowed off the designated system road for entering and exiting dispersed campsites within 300' of its centerline. Travel in those zones would only be allowed along existing routes to existing campsites.

The Forest Service (FS) is seeking your input to help them analyze the effects of the proposed action for their Environmental Assessment (EA). 

Public involvement will be ongoing throughout the EA process. However, written scoping comments should be received by April 15, 2009. Comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposal and will be available for public inspection.

The comments received from the public will be used to identify issues and develop alternatives to the proposed action that will be considered in the Environmental Assessment. The FS plans to release the EA in May 2009, followed by another 30-day comment period.

For more information and the Proposed Action, along with a link to the Scoping Letter, Visit the Forest's Travel Management website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/willamette/manage/travel-mgmt/index.html

Send written comments to:
          Attn: Ryan Brown
          Middle Fork Ranger District
          46375 Highway 58
          Westfir, OR 97492

Email comments to:
          rnbrown@fs.fed.us  

Please put "Travel Management Rule EA" in the subject line.

Fax Comments To:
          (541) 782-5336

COMMENT DEADLINE IS APRIL 15, 2009

For more information, contact Ryan Brown, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at (541) 782-5211.

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   March 25, 2009   0

The Omnibus Public Lands Act has passed out of the Senate and is now in the House of Representatives. For details, please see BRC's latest update: http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/?alert=982

The omnibus package also includes the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act, a bill that will designate just over 250,000 acres of Wilderness in Utah and forever close the scenic Canaan Mountain Sawmill Road.

The legislation is bad enough. But you need to understand how the Wilderness lobby made it worse.

Language in the bill mandates the BLM conduct travel planning. We don't normally object to this sort of thing as long as it's done under normal BLM rules.

But the Washington County bill includes a new closure section using vague and undefined terminology. The language was intentionally inserted in closed-door proceedings.

Understand this: The changes were made after the Senate adjourned sine die, and before a new bill was inserted into the omnibus package.  

Did the Senate Subcommittee review the changes? Did any House Subcommittee get a chance to review the changes? Did the public get a chance to say a word?

I hope you understand why it is important for Utah's OHV community to make its voice heard. Today.  

Some savvy political insiders will say BRC is tilting at a windmill here, and that may be true. But we aren't giving up.

BRC has this morning sent a letter to Utah's Congressman Matheson, Bishop, and Chaffetz asking them to review the language in the bill before voting. The letter is online here.  http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Letter_To_Utah_Congressionals_Omnibus_03.24.09_FINAL.pdf

You can help us by putting your voice behind our request.  

How you contact your congressman is up to you. Be creative. Keep a sense of humor. Get your family involved. If you want to send an email and copy our letter, you can do that too.

Tell your Congressman that you oppose the passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009 until the new language in the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act has been reviewed.

Be polite. Be brief. Have fun! - But do it soon.  

You can call them:
Congressman Matheson:    Salt Lake City Office - (801) 486-1236   
                                              Washington DC Office - (202) 225-3011

Go to http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/, enter your zip code and click go. Select Jim Matheson from the list of Representatives, then click on the Contact tab. Click on the Web Form link, and follow the instructions.

Congressman Bishop:         Ogden Office - (801) 625-0107
                                  Washington DC Office - (202) 225-0453

Go to http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/, enter your zip code and click go. Select Rob Bishop from the list of Representatives, then click on the Contact tab. Click on the Web Form link, and follow the instructions.

Congressman Chaffetz:      Provo Office - (801) - 851-2500
                               Washington DC Office - (202) 225-7751

Go to http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/, enter your zip code and click go. Select Jason Chaffetz from the list of Representatives, then click on the Contact tab. Click on the Web Form link, and follow the instructions.

As always, please call or email if you have questions or need help.

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

 
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the staffthe staff   March 23, 2009   0

The Coronado National Forest, located in southeast Arizona, is proposing changes to the current system of designated roads, trails, and areas on National Forest System (NFS) lands on the Santa Catalina Ranger District that are open for motorized travel. (See Proposed Action below for specific changes.)

This action is needed for the Forest to comply with the requirements of recently issued Forest Service regulations regarding management of motor vehicle use on national forests and grasslands.  Management of motorized travel on roads that are not under Forest Service jurisdiction but are legally accessible to the public from NFS lands is not part of this proposed action.

Proposed Action
The Forest proposes to comply with the Rule by making the following changes to the system of designated roads, trails, and areas on National Forest System (NFS) lands on the Santa Catalina Ranger District that are open for motorized travel:

  • Designate 5.75 miles of the new Forest System Roads (FSRs) as listed in the following table.  Maps showing the location of these roads are available for your review on the Forest's public website at www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado  and at the District Office.

 

  • Re-route 0.95 miles of FSR 4431.

 

  • Decommission 1.27 miles of FSRs, as follows:

 

  • Prohibit motorized travel up to 300 feet off the following roads for the purpose of dispersed camping:  Happy Valley Road (FSR 35) and connecting roads (FSRs 4307, 4406 and 4409; proposed FSRs 35-1 through 35-19, 4307.0.14R-1); and roads accessed by the Mt. Lemmon Highway (FSRs 1, 5, 7, 9, 9A through 9H, 10, 11, 11A, 12, 14, 19, 21, 607, 615, 750, 807, 4477).  The Coronado National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan; 1986, as amended) will be amended to reflect this proposed change.  Incidental parking up to one-vehicle width off the road will continue to be allowed on these roads when it is safe to do so and not otherwise restricted.

 

  • Designate spur roads by which the public may access dispersed camping at locations off Happy Valley Road.  These roads will be depicted on the MVUM, which will be available to the public on the Forest website and at the District office.

 

  • Amend the Forest Plan to clarify that on the Santa Catalina District, hiking trails are closed to motorized travel.

The complete Scoping Notice and map can be found on the Forest's website at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/travel/scrd-scoping-notice-03112009.shtml

The Forest Service (FS) will be hosting an open house meeting on March 26, 2009, from 5 p.m. through 7:30 p.m., at the Udall Regional Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road, in Tucson.  Comment forms will be available at this meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The FS is accepting comments on the proposed action during a 30-day public comment period, which will end on April 15, 2009. Public comments on the proposed action will be considered by Forest resource specialists to develop alternatives and to analyze effects.  Other opportunities for public involvement in the NEPA process will be offered in future meetings and document reviews.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
          Ms. Laura White
          Travel Management Program Manager
          Coronado National Forest
          300 West Congress Street
          Tucson, AZ 85701

Email Comments To:
          comments-southwestern-coronado@fs.fed.us 

Put "Travel Management NEPA" 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:
           (520) 388-8305 "ATTN: Travel Management NEPA"

To provide telephone or in-person comments and for further information on the project, please contact Stan Helin, Santa Catalina District Ranger at the Santa Catalina Ranger District office, 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road, Tucson, Arizona, 85750, by phone (520) 749-8700, or contact Ms. White at (520) 388-8419.  Questions on the NEPA process may be directed to Ms. Andrea W. Campbell, Forest NEPA Coordinator, at (520) 388-8352.

REMEMBER, THE COMMENT DEADLINE IS APRIL 15, 2009

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   March 20, 2009   0

PLEASE:  TAKE TEN MINUTES FOR TELLICO NOW!  We need you to send in comment letters to the Forest Service.  Pass this on to your friends and fellow OHVers.

UPDATE ON THE TELLICO EFFORT:  BRC, UFWDA, and SFWDA have all teamed up to fight the battle for Tellico.  Thanks to all who responded to our Phase 1 alert and have written, called and visited their elected officials about the USFS proposed closure of Tellico.  We still need those calls and letters to continue.  Don't let up.  

The letters to your congressmen are working!  Jay Bird from SFWDA and Greg Mumm from BRC will be going back to Washington, D.C. to follow up with some offices early next week.  At this late date phone calls will work the best.  Please follow up on your letters to those who represent you.
For more information and background, see our previous alert here: http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/?alert=958
Now we are shifting to Phase 2.  It is important and it is time to respond to the Forest Service's draft Environmental Assessment with comments.  We've made this very easy for you with an online letter generator (http://www.sharetrails.org/letters/letter.php?id=39).   All it takes is for you to click here  and there is a very easy process set up for you to send in your comments.
It is vital that you take action to Rescue Tellico.  The Forest Service has told us what they want to do and it is incumbent on the OHV community to change their mind.  We NEED to generate as many letters as possible, so:
PLEASE TAKE TEN MINUTES FOR TELLICO NOW!  The deadline is fast approaching so don't put it off.  Click here and help by sending in your comment letter.  You CAN make a difference.
As always, this has been a long and expensive fight and we ask that you help us to sustain the ongoing effort with your donations.  You can donate simply and easily online at www.sharetrails.org/rescue-tellico .
Thank you for your help!
SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC
If you would prefer to send in your own letter, we encourage you to do so.  Below are some talking points to help you with that effort.
Letters need to be sent to:

National Forests in North Carolina
Attn: Candace Wyman
160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Letters may be emailed to:

Email: comments-southern-north-carolina-nantahala-tusquitee@fs.fed.us

Be sure to put in the reference line to the project:

RE: Transportation System and Related Recreation Management Actions for the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle System and Temporary Closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System
Nantahala National Forest: Cherokee County, North Carolina

It is important to tell the Forest Service why Tellico is important to you and your family.

Oppose the temporary closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System effective April 1, 2009 and ask the Forest Supervisor to reconsider that decision.  
•    The emergency closure is unwarranted and unjustified based on the information provided.
•    Planning for many historic and permitted events in the area are and have been underway for sometime now based on the good faith of the Forest Service and the originally proposed action for planning in the area.  The immediate economic impact to the surrounding communities of this temporary closure order is devastating and cannot be replaced.  Communities affected by this sudden change in management are historically dependent on money brought into the area by OHV recreation and these events.
•    The decision for the emergency closure prior to the decision on the draft environmental assessment appears to point to a pre-determined outcome for the environmental assessment.

The Forest Service should/needs to conduct more complete planning.  
•    The draft environmental assessment needs to address findings and conclusions of the independent report from Caliber Engineering recently provided to the Forest Service which conflicts with much of the findings and the internal studies of the Forest Service in the draft environmental assessment.
•    The draft EA does not consider the report commissioned by and provided to the Forest Service by the Enterprise Team, USFS Trails Unlimited, assessing the Upper Tellico OHV System.  This report is also in conflict with the findings reflected in the Draft EA.
•    Neither the Caliber study nor the Trails Unlimited report recommended closure of trails in Tellico.  Both concluded the trails could be sustainably managed.
•    Failure by the Forest Service to consider other sources of sedimentation invalidates agency implication that the OHV system is the cause of high turbidity measurements.  This failure leads to an inaccurate and unsupported conclusion that closure of the OHV system will resolve turbidity issues, if such exist.  

Ask that the Forest Service to conduct additional study and planning in an Environmental Impact Statement.  
•    Given the potentially devastating economic impact to the local communities alone (as cited in the University of Tennessee survey), a finding of no significant impact cannot be a determined outcome.
•    The range of alternatives should be developed utilizing the additional science and information provided in both the Caliber report and the Trails Unlimited report discussed previously.

The Forest Service needs to exhaust all possible options to mitigate the issues prior to closure.  
•    The Forest Service must also recognize that closing the opportunity was never the intent or desire of the interested stakeholders.
•    Proper management for the use is the better solution.
•    Closure alone will not solve the stated issues.  Mitigation of those issues still must take place.
•    Resolving those challenges in partnership with the OHV community provides both the manpower and additional funding from the private sector necessary for proper mitigation.
Be honest, professional and polite.  Most importantly, be timely.  Don't put it off.
For more information and background, see our previous alert on Tellico here:  http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/?alert=958

 
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the staffthe staff   March 17, 2009   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tucson Field Office has announced the release of the Middle Gila Canyons Transportation and Travel Management Plan (TMP) and related Environmental Assessment (EA) for public review and comment.

The release of the EA and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) begins a 60-day comment period. During this period, the public is encouraged to review the BLM's findings and provide comments. The public is welcome and encouraged to continue their participation as this plan is implemented during the next three years.

The TMP describes actions for managing access and travel on approximately 96,319 acres of public land administered by the BLM near Florence and Superior, Arizona. The EA provides an analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed plan, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The plan and EA are available online at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/travel_mgmt.html. Copies are also available for review at the Tucson Field Office, Arizona State Office, and the Phoenix District Office.

Mail Comments To:
          Bureau of Land Management
          Tucson Field Office
          ATTN:  Mark Lambert
          12661 East Broadway Blvd.
          Tucson, AZ  85748-7208

Email Comments To:
          mgc_travel@blm.gov    

The Middle Gila Canyons Transportation and Travel Management Plan will be implemented beginning in the summer of 2009, after the BLM has reviewed and considered the comments they receive. For more information, please contact Mark Lambert or Francisco Mendoza at 520-258-7242.
REMEMBER THE COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 8, 2009
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   March 10, 2009   0

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Farmington Field Office, has proposed creating 38 miles of trail for ATVs in the Glade Run Recreation Area. As proposed, the 38-mile ATV trail would require minimal creation of new trails. Initial estimates map only three new miles of trail needed to connect existing trails, washes and dirt roadways that together would create the new loop. As proposed, the new route would prohibit Jeeps from using the full trail loop.

While the BLM has established numerous multi-use trails in the Glade, intended for hiking, horseback riding and biking, only a small fraction of the Glade paths permit ATV use. As ATVs have become an increasingly popular hobby in the Farmington area, riders have found limited trail-ways and often have turned onto bike paths or begun making new tracks.

The BLM hopes the large new trail will reduce the number of four-wheeled vehicles traveling on trails currently designated only for bicycles and motorbikes. Users of the Glade Run single-track trail have expressed concern that ATV use of the smaller route is widening the narrow pathway and damaging the condition of the trail.

Archeological and environmental surveys must be conducted on the proposed route before the trail can formally be designated for use by traditional ATVs and the wider ATVs known as Side by Sides.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) will be released for comment and available on their website at http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/fo/Farmington_Field_Office.html, later in the year. For more information, contact Rich Simmons, Recreation and Wilderness Specialist, at (505) 599-8900.

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 104

 
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the staffthe staff   March 09, 2009   0

FOREST SERVICE AND BLM IN COLORADO RELEASE

(TAYLOR PARK) AND SURROUNDING BLM LANDS

After months of delay, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest Service has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) addressing summertime travel management on the Gunnison National Forest and surrounding BLM lands. (Snowmobiles are not addressed in this plan.)
For over 30 years now, Taylor Park, and trails across Colorado's upper Gunnison Basin and North Fork Valley region, has been a world class recreation destination for OHV users. In relatively recent years, ever since the modern mountain bike was developed, the area has been a treasured destination by mountain bike enthusiasts.

This plan will decide which roads and trails will be open for use by motorized vehicles and mountain bikes, which uses will be allowed on each route and whether there are any restrictions on the seasons of use for each route.
ANY ROAD OR TRAIL NOT ON THE FINAL MAP WILL BE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED AND MOUNTAIN BIKE USE.

BRC encourages OHV and mountain bike enthusiasts to carefully view the maps on the web and check to see if the trails you use and enjoy are on any of the Alternatives. http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/gmug/policy/travel_mgmt/gun/deis.shtml#dm
The agencies have formulated a "Proposed Action" Alternative (Alternative 2). Simply stated, this Alternative is what the agencies want to do. If your favorite roads and trails are not on this map, then it extremely important that they hear from you!! CDs and hard copy versions of the DEIS and maps are available from the BLM and Forest Service Offices upon request. Contact and other info, including copies of the DEIS and associated maps, are posted on the web at: www.fs.fed.us/r2/gmug/policy/travel_mgmt.  

The BLM and FS are hosting "open house" style public meetings. Agency staff will give a short presentation, and maps will be available for review. Also, staff will be available to answer questions and explain the travel analysis process, and factors used to develop the four alternatives. These "open house" style meetings are great for gathering info, not for making comments. (Make comments in writing via email.)

Meetings will be scheduled from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM, with the 30-minute presentation at 5:30 PM at the following locations:

March 18 - Paonia Town Hall, Paonia Co.
March 23 - Community School, Lake City Co.
March 24 - Crested Butte Community School, Crested Butte Co.
March 25 - Aspinall - Wilson Center, Gunnison Co
Send Comments to: Gunnison Basin Travel Management DEIS, 2250 Hwy 50, Delta, CO 81416. You can fax comments to: (970) 874-6698
The email address for comments is:  r2_gmug_gunnison_travel@fs.fed.us  
The agencies have posted a helpful "how to comment" on their website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/gmug/policy/travel_mgmt/gun/deis/How_to_comment.pdf

IMPORTANT INFO:
The staff at the BLM and the FS know that this area is extremely popular with OHV and mountain bike recreationists. It seems they understand that their final plan has got to work on the ground. They also seem open to the idea that their Proposed Alternative may have flaws. We believe they are open to making changes. The point of this is to amplify the importance of road and trail specific suggestions.
It is also important to know that the anti-recreation coalition in Colorado is gearing up to make a very heavy show on this plan. You can expect to see them leverage the Wilderness Society and Sierra Club's public relations machine for numerous articles, op/eds (opinion/editorials) and letters to the editors. You can also expect this effort to generally vilify OHV people and misrepresent the situation on the forest in the attempt to sway public opinion and influence legislators.

State, local and national OHV groups will be working hard to counter these efforts. But resources are always meager in comparison to the Wilderness lobby, and unlike what you are about to read in the Denver Post, we are not funded by the OHV manufacturers. Groups like BRC and COHVCO depend on memberships and donations from individual OHV enthusiasts to fund the work we do. To us, membership is our lifeblood.
As always, if you have any questions or need additional info, please contact us.
Brian Hawthorne                               Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director              Public Lands Department Manager
208-237-1008 ext 102                        208-237-1008 ext 107

 
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the staffthe staff   March 05, 2009   0

Stanislaus National Forest Motorized Travel Management DEIS Available

The Stanislaus National Forest, located in west central California, has announced the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Motorized Travel Management Project. The goal is to develop a sustainable system of routes that provide an array of opportunities for access and recreation on National Forest lands, as well as protection of various resources by curtailing motorized cross-country travel.
A 60-day public comment period is expected to start on March 6, 2009, and end on May 5, 2009. The purpose of the comment period is to give the public an opportunity to provide early and meaningful participation on the proposed action prior to the project decision being made.

The DEIS displays five different alternatives, each of which includes a distinct system of motorized routes and addresses the following components:
•    Prohibition of cross-country travel
•     Additions to the National Forest Transportation System (NFTS) including specified vehicle class and season of use
•    Changes to the existing NFTS in terms of vehicle class, season of use and wheeled over snow use
Compact Discs containing the DEIS documents, resource reports, supporting documents and maps are available by request. The DEIS is also available for review at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/projects/ohv.
A Final Environmental Impact Statement and decision by Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski are expected this summer, with a Motor Vehicle Use Map scheduled for release by the end of 2009.
In order to help the public understand the DEIS, the Forest Service will hold a series of public meetings over the next few weeks. Meetings will include optional time for learning how to use the DEIS, maps and compact disc; browsing maps; and asking questions. They are scheduled as follows:

Community 

 Date 

 Location

Arnold  

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009          
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Core 6:00-8:00)

 

White Pines Independence Hall
1445 Blagen Road
White Pines, CA

Sonora 

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009  
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Core 6:00-8:00)

Sonora Opera Hall
250 S. Washington St
Sonora, CA

Greeley Hill 

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009   
4:00 pm to 9:00pm (Core 6:00-8:00)

Greeley Hill Community Club House
Fiske Road
Greeley Hill, CA

Lodi  

 

Saturday, March 21, 2009         
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Core 3:00-5:00)

Lodi Grape Festival Grounds
413 Lockeford Street, Jackson Hall
Lodi, CA

West Point

To be Determined (March 24 tentative) 

Community Hall

Modesto  

 

Saturday, April 4, 2009            
3:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Core 5:00-7:00)

Stanislaus County Harvest Hall
3800 Cornucopia Way
Modesto, CA

 

 Comments are invited on the DEIS. The Environmental Protection Agency will publish a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the DEIS in the Federal Register (expected on March 6, 2009); the opportunity to comment ends 60 days following that date.
While comments may be submitted anytime during the analysis process, only those individuals and organizations who provide comments during the comment period are eligible to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
          Stanislaus National Forest
          Attn:  Motorized Travel DEIS
          19777 Greenley Road
          Sonora, CA 95370

Hand-deliver comments to the address shown above, during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm). Oral comments may be provided by calling (209) 532-3671 ext. 350.

Email Comments To:
          comments-pacificsouthwest-stanislaus@fs.fed.us  
Put "Motorized Travel DEIS" 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:
           (209) 533-1890

COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 5, 2009
To request additional information regarding this project, contact Sue Warren, Team Leader, Stanislaus National Forest, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA  95370, or e-mail swarren@fs.fed.us(to ensure a timely response, it is important to include "Information Request" in the subject line).
The project web page includes the latest project updates, schedules for public meetings, and other information.
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   March 05, 2009   0

Black Hills National Forest to Release Draft Motorized Travel Plans

Forest Service (FS) officials will hold public meetings in March to familiarize the public with new draft plans for motorized travel management on the Black Hills National Forest. (See schedule below)

Meeting attendees will hear a presentation and Forest Service personnel will be on hand to help and answer questions about the documents. There will be detailed maps, which will illustrate the five alternative approaches to motorized travel in the Forest. The public will also be able to participate in a question and answer period. These formal public meetings will be followed by individual ranger district meetings that will be announced later in March.
The Forest Service has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which will be available for review and comment later in the month. Check the Forest's website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills/recreation/travel_management/ohv.shtml for a link to the DEIS and alternative maps. Comments received on the DEIS will be used to further refine alternatives for the Final EIS.

The public is being asked to review and comment on the DEIS during the official 45-day comment period, which will begin on March 20, 2009 and ending on May 4, 2009. Comments should be submitted during this formal comment period because of legal requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
They plan to release a final decision in late 2009 and implement the decision in 2010 with the publication of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM).
 
Schedule of Meetings:
Monday, March 9, 2009              6pm - 8pm
Crook County Courthouse
Sundance, WY
Tuesday, March 10, 2009           6pm - 8pm
Holiday Inn Express
Spearfish, SD
Wednesday, March 11, 2009      6pm - 8pm
Ramkota Hotel
Rapid City, SD
Thursday, March 12, 2009         6pm - 8pm
Crazy Horse Memorial
Custer, SD
 
For more information, call Travel Planner Tom Willems or Forest Planner Frank Carroll at 605-673-9200, or visit the Black Hills National Forest website at:  www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills
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 104

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   March 05, 2009   0

Attention Nevada Recreationists!

Located in central Nevada, the Austin and Tonopah Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest are preparing an Environmental Assessment for Austin and Tonopah Combined Travel Management Project. The Notice of Proposed Action (NOPA) was published (legal notice) in the Battle Mountain Bugle on March 4, 2009.

A description of the Proposed Action and a summary of the potential effects of the Proposed Action is available for review on the Humboldt-Toiyabe web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/projects/#austin.

Please keep in mind that any road or trail not on the final map will be CLOSED! The FS says it this way:
"Following issuance of this decision, all roads and trails designated for motor vehicle use would be identified on a motor vehicle use map. Motor vehicle use that is not consistent with the designations on the map will be prohibited under the terms of 36 CFR 261.13."

The Forest Service encourages your comments on this proposed action, along with supporting reasons, for consideration by the responsible official in reaching a decision. Comments should include the information required pursuant to 36 CFR 215.6(a)(3), as published in the Federal Register on June 4, 2003. Your comments will be used to help complete the environmental analysis and make a decision on the proposed action and any alternatives. If you would prefer to receive a CD or a hard copy of the document, please contact the Austin Ranger District at (775)964-2671.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
          Austin Ranger District
          District Ranger
          100 Midas Canyon Road
          P.O. Box 130
          Austin, NV 89310

You can hand-deliver comments to the address shown above during normal business hours (8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday), excluding Federal Holidays. Oral comments must be provided at the Responsible Official's office during normal business hours.
Email Comments To:
          comments-intermtn-humboldt-toiyabe-austin-tonopah@fs.fed.us   
Put "Combined Travel Management 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:
           (775) 964-1451

COMMENT DEADLINE IS APRIL 3, 2009

Additional information on the proposed action may be obtained by contacting James Winfrey, Austin and Tonopah Ranger Districts, Combined Travel Management Project Manager, 1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, Nevada 89431; phone (775) 355-5308; FAX (775) 355-5399.
JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN, PLEASE GET INVOLVED!
Thanks in advance for your support,
Ric Foster
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 10

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   March 05, 2009   0

BLM Seeks Input On The Draft Timber Mountain Recreation Management Plan EIS

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Medford District Office, has released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for managing Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use in the Timber Mountain Recreation Management Area, also commonly referred to as John's Peak. The 15,114-acre Timber Mountain Recreation Management Area is located on BLM-administered lands intermingled with privately owned lands, in Jackson County, southwestern Oregon.
OHV enthusiasts have recreated in this area for over 40 years and OHV use has significantly increased in recent years. The network of trails in the area has developed as a result of many years of OHV use and passive management of the area. A recreation management plan is needed to provide for a quality OHV recreation experience in a manner which: 1) protects the natural resources; 2) promotes the safety of all users; and 3) minimizes conflicts among the various uses.
The Draft Timber Mountain Recreation Management Plan will identify trails and roads to be designated and managed to provide for OHV use. Alternatives in the draft Timber Mountain Recreation Management Plan consider reductions in OHV trail use ranging from 63 to 92 percent over what is currently used.
The BLM is accepting public comment for 45 days before a plan is finalized.
Comment deadline is April 13, 2009
There will be two opportunities for the public to meet with the BLM to hear about the draft Timber Mountain Recreation Management Plan and provide the BLM with input:
March 5: An open house is scheduled to provide the public with information and answer questions concerning the draft Timber Mountain Recreation Management Plan and planning process.
April 2: A public comment forum will be held to allow interested publics to voice their ideas or concerns.
More details on this second meeting will be forthcoming in March.
Open House with Presentations
Date: Thursday, March 5, 2009
Time: 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Short Presentations: 4:00 PM & 6:00 PM
Location: Ramada Inn
                 2250 Biddle Road
                 Medford, Oregon 97504
Public Comment Forum
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2009
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: BLM Interagency Office
                 3040 Biddle Road
                 Medford, Oregon 97504
Written comments may also be submitted in person or by mail to the address below.
Bureau of Land Management
Timber Mountain DElS - Comments
3040 Biddle Road
Medford, OR 97504
Questions about the plan should be directed to Kristi Mastrofini of the BLM Medford District Office at (541) 618-2384. Additional information about the draft Timber Mountain Recreation Management Plan and copy of the DEIS is also available online at: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/medford/index.php.
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

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   February 23, 2009   0
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Extends Comment Period for Travel Plan

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has just announced an extension of the Scoping Process for the proposed Combined Travel Management Project. This project will revise the Travel Management Plans for the Mountain City, Ruby Mountains and Jarbidge Ranger Districts to accommodate increasing numbers and capabilities of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on the Districts and to protect natural resources.

The deadline for submitting comments is now March 9, 2009.

In order to give the public a chance to submit additional comments, the Forest Service has scheduled added public meetings (see schedule below). All meetings are scheduled for 5 -7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

> February 23 in Elko at the Elko BLM Office

> February 24 in Wells at the Forest Service Ranger Station

> February 25 in Jackpot at the Community Recreation Center

> February 26 in Mountain City Court House

This project includes adjustments to the current forest transportation system, additions of user-created routes to that system, and the prohibition of motor vehicles off designated routes. This project will not analyze over the snow vehicle travel, such as snowmobiles. At the end of the project, the District Rangers will identify the minimum road and trail system needed for safe and efficient motorized travel and for administration, utilization, and protection of National Forest System lands.

A scoping document describing the Proposed Action and maps depicting the project are available on the Forest's website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/projects/. A CD or printed version along with maps are available on request by contacting the Mountain City Ranger District Office at (775) 738-5171 or by written request to the address below.

Public involvement is encouraged and will be ongoing throughout the process. However, written scoping comments should be received by March 9, 2009. Comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposal and will be available for public inspection.

Send Written Comments To:
          Mountain City, Ruby Mountains & Jarbidge Ranger Districts
          Combined Travel Management Project
          c/o James Winfrey
          Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
          1200 Franklin Way
          Sparks, NV 89431

Email Comments To:
          comments-intermtn-humboldt-toiyabe-mtncty@fs.fed.us  or
          comments-intermtn-humboldt-toiyabe-rubymtns-jarbidge@fs.fed.us

Put "Combined 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.

Fax Comments To:
          (775) 355-5399 attention Jim Winfrey.

If you have questions regarding specific roads, or if you would like to arrange for a Forest Service representative to attend your meetings or visit with your group to provide additional information, please contact District Rangers, Tom Montoya, Mountain City District Ranger at (775) 738-5171, or Gar Abbas, Ruby Mountains and Jarbidge District Ranger at (775) 752-3357.

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 
 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   February 19, 2009   0
BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT

 
BLM's Bakersfield Office Plans Travel Management Workshops

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Bakersfield Field Office will host two public workshops in February to discuss travel management for the BLM's Bakersfield Resource Management Plan. The workshops will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Lake Isabella Moose Lodge
6732 Lake Isabella Blvd.
Lake Isabella, CA

Thursday, February 26, 2009
Taft Union High School
701 7th St.
Taft, CA

In order to ensure an accurate representation of all routes on the ground within the planning area and get a complete inventory for the route designation process, the BLM is asking the public to comment on the route inventory. Comments should be on specific routes and include as much information as possible.

Route inventory maps will be available at the meetings for the public to review. A short presentation about the travel management process will be followed by the opportunity for the public to review the maps and provide written comments. BLM staff will be on hand to help interpret the maps. The BLM will also accept written comments by mail to allow interested parties more time to look over the inventory maps. All written comments on the route inventory will need to be received by March 13, 2009, to be incorporated into the comment database.
 
For further information on travel management within the Bakersfield Field Office and the public workshops, or the resource management planning process, contact Peter DeWitt at (661) 391-6120, by email to peter_dewitt@ca.blm.govor at the Bakersfield Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, Calif. 93308.

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

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

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   February 19, 2009   0

BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!
Plumas National Forest Extends Travel Plan Comment Deadline

Just a quick update for those of you who have not yet sent in your comments, you still have time. Managers at the Plumas National Forest have extended the deadline for receipt of comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Motorized Travel Management, they are now due by March 13, 2009.
The DEIS, along with Alternative Maps, can be viewed on the Plumas National Forest's website at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/plumas/projects_and_plans/ohv_route_designation/

Written comments must be submitted to:

Mail Comments To:
          Pete Hochrein, Interdisciplinary Team Leader
          Plumas National Forest
          PO Box 11500, Quincy, CA, 95971
Hand Deliver Comments To:
          Plumas National Forest
          159 Lawrence Street
          Quincy, CA

Office hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Oral comments may be submitted to Pete Hochrein at (530) 283-2050 during business hours, in person at the address above, or at an official agency function (i.e. public meeting) that is designed to elicit public comments.
Email Comments To:
         plumas_ohv_mail_in_database@fs.fed.us  

Put "Travel Management DEIS" 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.
In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for appeal eligibility. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification.
COMMENT DEADLINE IS NOW MARCH 13, 2009

Please contact any of the following Plumas National Forest Recreation personnel with any questions.
ï¾» Deb Schoenberg, Feather River RD, Oroville, (530) 534-6500
ï¾» Peggy Gustafson, Mt. Hough RD, Quincy, (530) 283-0555
ï¾» Judy Schaber, Beckwourth RD, Blairsden, (530) 836-2575
ï¾» Pete Hochrein, Supervisor's Office, Quincy, (530) 283-2050
JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN, PLEASE GET INVOLVED!
Thanks in advance for your support,
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   February 19, 2009   0

BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

Travel Management Plan Ready For Public Comment


The Douglas Ranger District is seeking public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for Travel Management on the Thunder Basin National Grassland, located in northeastern Wyoming.
The draft EA and alternative maps are online at www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/projects/trans/index.shtml. The alternative maps are also on display for viewing and comment at the Douglas Ranger District Office. A hard copy of the EA is also available upon request.
Four open houses will be held to review the maps and EA and to provide comments. These open houses are scheduled from 4-7 pm on the following dates and locations. The open houses will be informal - come when you can and leave when you like. Forest Service personnel will be there to answer questions.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Town Hall
201 Wright Blvd.
Wright, WY
Friday, February 20, 2009
Converse County Courthouse
107 N. 5th St.
Douglas, WY
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
George Amos Building, Cottonwood Room
412 S. Gillette Ave., next to the courthouse
Gillette, WY
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
NRCS Bldg.
1225 Washington Blvd
Newcastle, WY
Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
          Robert Sprentall, District Ranger
          Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland
          Douglas Ranger District
          2250 East Richards Street
          Douglas, WY 82633
Comments may be hand delivered to the Douglas Ranger District office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.
Email Comments To:
          comments-rocky-mountain-medicine-bow-routt-douglasthunder-basin@fs.fed.us  
Put "Thunder Basin National Grassland Travel Management" in the subject line of e-mail comments. Acceptable formats are email message, MS Word (.doc) or rich text format (.rtf). Comments should include your name and address.
If comments are electronically mailed, the sender should receive an automated electronic acknowledgement from the agency as confirmation of receipt. If the sender does not receive such confirmation, it is the sender's responsibility to ensure timely receipt by other means.
Fax Comments To:
          (307) 358-7107
For more information about Thunder Basin National Grassland Travel Management, contact Misty Hays, Deputy District Ranger at (307) 358-4690, or at the address above.
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


 
0.0 (0)
the staffthe staff   February 19, 2009   0

BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

Comment Needed On Planned 1,000-Mile Vegas to Reno Off-Highway Race

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tonopah Field Office, will conduct an environmental review and hold two public meetings to gather public comments on a proposed off-highway race.
The race, planned for August 20-22, 2009, is called the "Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno Off-Highway Race" and covers 1,000 miles of Nevada's high desert. It begins north of Pahrump and runs through Beatty, Tonopah and Hawthorne before finishing southeast of Dayton.
The Best in the Desert Racing Association, which is seeking a special recreation permit from the BLM to conduct the race, bills it as the "greatest long-distance, off-road event in this decade on U.S. soil."
As many as 350 vehicles could be entered, including motorcycles, ATVs, dune buggies, high clearance SUVs and 4x4 trucks. The race route uses a combination of existing smooth and rough dirt roads on public lands in Nye, Esmeralda, Mineral, Lyon, and Douglas counties.
The proposed course includes routes that have been raced upon in the past. It would include 24 pit areas, several stop check locations and several highway and road crossings along the route. Time trials for the race will be conducted Aug. 18 on a five-mile course on the Upper Knight Ranch Road near Las Vegas.
The BLM will prepare an environmental assessment that analyzes the impacts of the proposed race and will accept written public comments until March 6, 2009.
The agency also plans to gather comment at two public scoping meetings to be held in Beatty and Goldfield (see schedule below). Both meetings are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• February 24, 2009, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Beatty Town Hall, Beatty, NV

• February 25, 2009, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Goldfield Community Center, Goldfield, NV
The meetings will be in an open house format and may include a brief presentation. At each meeting, there will be comment forms for your use.
Representatives from Best in the Desert and the BLM will be present to answer questions you might have. If you would like your name removed from this project's mailing list, please contact Eric M. Williams, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, at (775)482-7800.
The BLM prefers that written comments be mailed. Written comments on the scope of the EA must be post-marked or delivered by 4:30 p.m. on March 6, 2009.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment-including your personal identifying information-may be made publicly available at any time.
Written Scoping Comments Should Be Mailed To:
Bureau of Land Management
Attn: Eric M. Williams
Tonopah Field Office
1553 South Main St.
PO Box 911
Tonopah, NV 89049
COMMENT DEADLINE IS MARCH 6, 2009
For additional information regarding the Special Recreation Permit application or the EA, call Eric Williams at the Tonopah Field Office at (775) 482-7800.
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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