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View Full Version : White River NF Comments- Holy Cross at risk!


Red_Chili
09-15-2006, 07:30 AM
All,
The White River National Forest has released their Draft EIS
(Environmental Impact Statement) and is asking for comments on the Draft
and the Alternatives - this affects all 9 Ranger Districts in the White
River NF. To view the plan, click on this link:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/projects/travel_management/index.shtml (http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/projects/travel_management/index.shtml)

On the right side of the link above you will see an Online Interactive
Map link - this link will take you to a map that has all the
Alternatives available in interactive format (click on the button on the
right of the map that says Layers to change to different Alternatives
that are within the Draft EIS).

The Draft EIS boils down to the White River NF wants to create loop
trails, and to an extent only have loop trails within its forest. For
example, if you zoom in on Holy Cross trail and click on Alternative D
you will notice that this Alternative turns Holy Cross trail into a
mountain bike only trail (so does Alternative E). In order to keep
trails like Holy Cross open, the comments submitted need to be factual
data as to why the trail should be utilized by motorized recreation.
Holy Cross trail should be kept open because the Big Horn Jeep Club put
$65,000 worth of work into the trail two years ago, which gives
motorized recreation leverage and a reason for the Forest Service to
keep the trail open despite that it is an up-and-down trail.

COHVCO is compiling information for each Alternative (pros and cons, and
how we would change them) as well as data on trails that are slated for
closure to motorized recreation in any of the Alternatives. If you are
interested in assisting, or have information on any trail that could be
affected by any of the Alternatives, please contact me at
vdouglas@cohvco.org. COHVCO will be compiling information through
October 10th, incorporating comments into the response to the Draft EIS,
and submitting to the FS prior to the October 26th deadline. Your
comments are needed and much appreciated.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at
vdouglas@cohvco.org.

Valerie Douglas
vdouglas@cohvco.org

MDH33
09-15-2006, 09:33 AM
Holy long document Batman! I'll need a couple of hours to examine this one.:hill:

Seldom Seen
09-15-2006, 12:12 PM
Nice GIS, glad to see the USFS has made it to the 20th century :lmao:

Loops? Not so bad, may even set a precedent (if you get my drift :thumb: )

Nonmotorized recreation only :rant:

corsair23
09-15-2006, 05:14 PM
All,
The Draft EIS boils down to the White River NF wants to create loop
trails, and to an extent only have loop trails within its forest. For
example, if you zoom in on Holy Cross trail and click on Alternative D
you will notice that this Alternative turns Holy Cross trail into a
mountain bike only trail (so does Alternative E). In order to keep
trails like Holy Cross open, the comments submitted need to be factual
data as to why the trail should be utilized by motorized recreation.
Holy Cross trail should be kept open because the Big Horn Jeep Club put
$65,000 worth of work into the trail two years ago, which gives
motorized recreation leverage and a reason for the Forest Service to
keep the trail open despite that it is an up-and-down trail.


I'm with Martin...That thing is tough to decifer :eek:

That said, I must be seeing something wrong. I zoomed in right on what I believe to be the starting point for the Holy Cross trail (never been there so locating it was the first challenge :) ) and started with "Existing Conditions" set. Then I clicked through all the alternatives. The way I read the map the entire trail shows up as a hiking trail only existing or otherwise...Maybe my starting point is flawed (just East of Hunky Dorey Lake)? The one change I see between "Existing" and say "Alternative E" is that one of the lines changes to reflect a mountain bike route along FS 759?

I'm sure I'm doing something wrong...I've never been up Holy Cross but certainly would like to get the chance to someday!

Seldom Seen
09-15-2006, 05:53 PM
The Holy Cross Wilderness Area boundary is just east of Hunky Dory Lakes, so any trail head to the west will be hiking only. Try scrolling to the east so the western edge is Hunky Dory and the eastern edge is Hwy 24.

corsair23
09-15-2006, 08:21 PM
The Holy Cross Wilderness Area boundary is just east of Hunky Dory Lakes, so any trail head to the west will be hiking only. Try scrolling to the east so the western edge is Hunky Dory and the eastern edge is Hwy 24.

Thanks! I'll try it again. Do you see the same that I do that the Western edge looks to be the same under both "Existing" and all of the other Alternatives? :confused:

Seldom Seen
09-15-2006, 10:05 PM
Do you see the same that I do that the Western edge looks to be the same under both "Existing" and all of the other Alternatives? :confused:

Yea I did see that. I say i did 'cause I went back and messed around with it some more and I had a problem toggling between the different layers of the alternatives.

Any who, I don't think there will be any changes in travel management plans west of Holy Cross City 'cause it's so close to the Wilderness boundary.

Red_Chili
09-20-2006, 10:14 AM
This is where COHVCO's analysis is potentially very helpful. Be sure Valerie has your contact info.

Red_Chili
09-20-2006, 10:31 AM
By the way, Valerie is looking for specific info on this Co4x4 thread:
http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=75071
Post away. Esp. SeldomSeen....

Red_Chili
10-18-2006, 07:29 AM
BRC has an action alert. Be sure to write in comments! Also be sure to personalize them so they aren't just a copy/paste. Add your experiences in the WRNF, the value to your family, and your commitment to ethical land use.
______________________________
HIGH PRIORITY ACTION ALERT
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

BRC does not send URGENT ACTION Alerts to our National List unless the issue has national significance and your comments will help us keep roads and trails open. This alert is one of those requests.

Please read our alert, do the action items and pass along this alert to your friends and family.

As always, if you have any questions please contact us.
Brian Hawthorne
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

SITUATION:
Note: There are a lot of important details in this Action Alert, but for those of you who don't want to know the details, and just want to know what we need you to do, please scroll down to ACTION ITEMS below.

As you know, there are many U.S. Forest Service (FS) Travel Management planning projects underway across the country. Right now, there are two that are extremely important and will have national significance:
1) Colorado's White River National Forest
2) Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest

Both the Lewis and Clark NF and the White River NF are taking comments on draft travel management plans. Both forests want to eliminate a lot of motorized access. BRC needs our members to make several important comments to both planning teams right away! Comment deadlines are approaching so please take action on our ACTION ITEMS below.

National Significance:
Aside from the fact that these are the first two large planning projects to occur after the new FS Travel Management Rule, both of these projects are extremely important and will likely impact the way the agency does planning in other areas.

Both plans combine winter and summer recreation in one planning process. This unnecessarily complicates an already complicated process. Not to mention the fact that they are extremely different activities affecting totally different habitats. In addition, the White River apparently wants to "designate snowmobile trails" so snowmobile use off groomed trails will be illegal in some areas. One alternative in the Lewis and Clark NF would eliminate up to 62% of the available acres for snowmobiling.

Both forests have refused to formulate pro-recreation alternatives. Law and regulation require a wide range of management options. Despite numerous requests from recreational groups, all action alternatives severely limit recreational access.

Both plans are attempting to close a significant percentage of the forests to motorized users. I'd like to be able to tell you how many roads, trails and snowmobile areas will be closed, but the plan is so poorly written, and the maps are so bad it is impossible to tell! We can say, however, that even under the best alternative over 50% of what was originally open under the old forest plan will be closed to motorized use. The Lewis and Clark NF want to close 600 miles of roads (yes - ROADS) and one alternative closes 86% of the motorcycle trails and 65% of the ATV trails. (While non motorized uses would realize a 612% increase!).

Both forests are limiting OHV use on many of the system roads making it very difficult to connect loops. In addition, both plans are using faulty and biased analysis on wildlife disturbance and using that as justification to close routes to motorized users, but not to other activities with equal or greater disturbance to wildlife.

Both forests are taking a very disturbing approach to funding. Both are making decisions based on the ability to fund road and trail maintenance. Worse, the White River plan includes this: "Any future trail expansion will likely have to rely heavily on user groups to assist in taking on the costs associated with planning, construction, and maintenance of those routes." (Page 69 White River DEIS and TM)

The White River plan for the first time makes the motorized public responsible for planning, construction and maintenance of any future expansion or addition to motorized trail systems. Mountain bikers will likely suffer the same fate.

IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS?

Yes. Both forests have National, State and Local clubs working on the issues and sweating the details. But we need help from folks all over the country to counter the well-funded anti-access comment generators.

In Colorado, BRC is working with Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition and the Colorado State Snowmobile Association, as well as local clubs to identify routes and areas that need to be opened. Jerry Abboud and Valerie Douglas over at COHVCO are sweating the NEPA details and the Colorado State Snowmobile Association has hired Kim Raap to formulate winter recreation recommendations.

In Montana, BRC is working with Craig Osterman at the Treasure State Alliance and several local groups including the Meagher County Little Belters, the Great Falls Snowmobile Club, the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders, the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association and the Great Falls Chapter of the Safari Club International.


MORE INFORMATION ON THE WEB:
Each forest has information, maps and comment info on their website.

White River National Forest:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/projects/travel_management/index.shtml

Lewis and Clark National Forest:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lewisclark/projects/travel_mgmt/littlebelts_index.shtml


ACTION ITEMS:
We need you to make two email comments TODAY.

DEADLINE FOR LEWIS AND CLARK COMMENTS IS OCTOBER 20, 2006
DEADLINE FOR WHITE RIVER COMMENTS IS OCTOBER 26, 2006

We've included several important comment suggestions below. Please cut and past those comments into your email or use your own words.

Important note:
Please include your name and address in your email. Anonymous comments are often discarded.

Email 1: White River National Forest

Email Address:
wrnftmp@contentanalysisgroup.com

Dear Planning Team,

I enjoy using motorized vehicles and/or mountain bikes for access and recreation on public lands and National Forests in Colorado. It is important to me that the White River National Forest provides the American public with an abundance of recreational trails.

The Forest Service failed to provide an alternative that maximizes recreational use on the forest. Please create an alternative that at least does not reduce motorized vehicle trail mileage.

Of the alternatives provided for public review, I support Alternative D with changes to increase motorized use for summer recreation and Alternative C for winter recreation.

All segments of classified roads that provide a connector to "make a loop" should be designated open for unlicensed vehicles.

On page 69 of the plan it states: "Any future trail expansion will likely have to rely heavily on user groups to assist in taking on the costs associated with planning, construction, and maintenance of those routes." I oppose the agency charging the general public for recreational use outside what is lawfully permitted by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

While some winter recreation routes are designated routes, the majority of snowmobiling occurs in areas that are open to motorized use and are play areas and should continue to stay that way going forward.

DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS!

Email 2: Lewis and Clark National Forest

Email address:
comments-northern-lewisclark@fs.fed.us


Dear Planning Team,

I enjoy using motorized vehicles and/or mountain bikes for access and recreation on public lands and National Forests in Montana. It is important to me that the Lewis and Clark National Forest provides the American public with an abundance of recreational trails.

The Forest Service failed to provide an alternative that maximizes recreational use on the forest. Please create an alternative that at least does not reduce motorized vehicle trail mileage.

Of the alternatives provided for public review, I support alternative 3 for summer and alternative 1 for winter.

I do not support the proposed road and trail closures. The closures reduce access for hunting, camping, picnicking, fire wood cutting and just driving to your favorite place to get away (solitude).

I support the management alternative provided by the local snowmobile club, the Meagher County Little Belters.

DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS

Red_Chili
10-19-2006, 09:56 AM
My email-
__________________________
Dear Planning Team-
I am the Land Use Coordinator for Rising Sun 4x4, and our club does many cooperative projects with the Clear Creek Ranger District and Boulder Ranger District to help maintain 4x4 roads and mitigate the impacts of OHV use. We have also been involved in major projects in the White River National Forest, in particular with the Holy Cross Ranger District. I know the problems that can occur, and agree they must be mitigated - and our actions demonstrate our values. Off-Highway Vehicular recreation of all kinds is an important recreational value to me, my family, and my friends, and volunteer work has been an important means of communicating responsible recreation values to my children.

I enjoy using my 4x4 trucks and/or motorcycles for access and recreation on public lands and National Forests in Colorado. The White River National Forest provides very unique recreation opportunities to the American public with an abundance of recreational trails open to vehicular access, and I value these trails and roads very highly. The current forest plan alternatives are unacceptable for that reason.

The Forest Service failed to provide an alternative for the White River National Forest that maximizes recreational use on the forest. Every alternative reduces OHV access, and this is simply unacceptable! Not only will recreational values be reduced, but remaining open trails and roads will receive that much more impact, require more maintenance at MORE cost, and will therefore be environmentally irresponsible as well as nonresponsive to increased public demand for these opportunities. Public demand for OHV opportunities is increasing yearly, OHV registration is up (with resulting fees available for trail maintenance), and a forest plan that further constrains OHV use flies in the face of these facts. Please create an alternative that not only does not reduce motorized vehicle trail mileage, but offers the option of increased OHV access with careful - and reasonable - environmental evaluation on a case by case basis.

Of the alternatives provided for public review, I support Alternative D with changes to increase motorized use for summer recreation and Alternative C for winter recreation. But I remind you that the range of alternatives is unacceptable in its current form.

All segments of classified roads that provide a connector to "make a loop" should be designated open for unlicensed vehicles. This reduces per-mile impacts from these vehicles, and increases the enjoyment of the trail. Loops and connectors are important aspects of proper trail design, and your alternatives actually reduce them. Increased impact will be the result, which I am sure you do not want.

On page 69 of the plan it states: "Any future trail expansion will likely have to rely heavily on user groups to assist in taking on the costs associated with planning, construction, and maintenance of those routes." I oppose the agency charging the general public for recreational use outside what is lawfully permitted by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. On the other hand, our club has demonstrated significant volunteerism and contributions in kind and in monies toward trail maintenance, and I do appreciate your encouragement of this. However, this should not be a prima facie requirement. It is also confusing inasmuch as OHV opportunities are actually reduced in the forest plan alternatives. This should be clarified, and if the option of new trails and expansion of existing ones is a real option and not just rhetorical, it should offer that in the alternatives.

While some winter recreation routes are designated routes, the majority of snowmobiling occurs in areas that are open to motorized use and are play areas and should continue to stay that way going forward. The environmental impacts of modern, quiet and clean snowmobiles are such that play area use should be acceptable.

I also encourage the WRNF to enforce noise standards that exist, rather than close trails and roads. Closure is not the answer, and as stated above, only increases impacts on remaining trails and roads. Please use more thoughtful evaluation processes in proposing alternatives that affect OHV use.

Thanks very much for the opportunity to comment,
Wild Willy and the Bucking Buell






(no I didn't sign it like that, silly)
_______________________________
Feel free to take my email, alter it as it suits you, add your own personal information and favorite routes you would like to see made safe, how many times you visit the WRNF annually, that sort of thing. It is VERY IMPORTANT that as many of us as possible send in our comments, as the ultragreen groups are generating tons of letters automatically that we might not want to have an effect.

Good thing identical comments, even if they are 10,000, are counted as only one. So make yours count.

corsair23
10-23-2006, 02:59 PM
It is VERY IMPORTANT that as many of us as possible send in our comments, as the ultragreen groups are generating tons of letters automatically that we might not want to have an effect.

Done! :D

Red_Chili
10-25-2006, 01:34 PM
Here is Gene King's letter:
**********************************
All:
Below is an email I sent on behalf of CoA4WDCI re the White River Travel Management Plan. Feel free to use any or all of the points (or add your own points) of the below email. THE DEADLINE IS MIDNIGHT THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER.

Gene

_______
To:
wrnftmp@contentanalysisgroup.com (wrnftmp@contentanalysisgroup.com)

Dear Planning Team,

I am a big user of the White River forest for motorized recreation. I am a large supporter of access and recreation on public lands and National Forests in Colorado. It is
important to me that the White River National Forest provides the American public with an abundance of recreational trails.

I believe that the White River TM plan has failed to provide an alternative that maximizes recreational use on the forest. I would urge you to create an alternative that at least does not reduce motorized vehicle trail mileage as bad as these alternative will do. Of the alternatives provided for public review, I support Alternative D with changes to increase motorized use for summer recreation and
Alternative C for winter recreation.

I would like to see that all segments of classified roads that provide a connector to “make a loop” should be designated open for unlicensed vehicles.

As Land Use Chairman for CoA4WDCI, we have trail segments that are adopted by OHV clubs around the state and are maintained by that club, meaning funding has been put on the ground to maintain that road or trail over and above the Forest Service contribution and they should be designated open. Over a million dollars from Colorado State Parks OHV Grant program are provided to ranger districts and OHV clubs every year for trail work and maintenance in addition to thousands of man-hours per year on motorized trails and roads. In 2006, we (CoA4WDCI only) provided 6,500 man-hours of work on forests in Colorado.

On page 69 of the plan it states: “Any future trail expansion will likely have to rely heavily on user groups to assist in taking on the costs associated with planning, construction, and maintenance of those
routes." I strongly oppose the agency charging the general public for recreational use outside what is lawfully permitted by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. We pay taxes to help to help
manage recreation in the forests. I urge you to make a case to the Chief of the Forest Service and the U.S. Congress for additional funding to manage recreation, not screw the recreation user groups.

While some winter recreation routes are designated routes, the majority of snowmobiling occurs in areas that are open to motorized use and are play areas and should continue to remain that way.

In addition, I believe that both plans are using faulty and biased analysis on wildlife disturbance and using that as justification to close routes to motorized users, but not to other activities with equal or greater disturbance to wildlife.


The forest has refused to formulate a pro-recreation alternative. Law and regulation require a wide range of management options. Despite numerous requests from recreational groups, all action alternatives severely limit recreational access.

Respectfully,


Gene W. King
<address and phone> (addressGene@BigBlueToy.com)
Gene@BigBlueToy.com
CoA4WDCI Land Use Chairman
Member, BLM Front Range RAC
Member, CO State Parks OHV Grant sub-committee
2004 United Four Wheel Drive Associations
Jeeper of the Year
1999 United Four Wheel Drive Associations
Environmental Jeeper of the Year
1999 Mile-Hi Jeep Club Jeeper of the Year

nuclearlemon
10-25-2006, 02:41 PM
my message has been sent:thumb:

Kipper
10-26-2006, 05:33 PM
Message sent.

Red_Chili
11-17-2006, 08:10 AM
Hmmmmm????????

From Gene King, and hats off to Val with COHVCO for all the hard work she has done:



Great news, Val, hats off to COHVCO and all who jumped in on this one. WR
will most likely set the tone for the remaining TMP's around the State.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: WR News Flash
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 08:58:09 -0700
From: Jerry Abboud <g.abboud@comcast.net (g.abboud%40comcast.net)>
Reply-To: g.abboud@comcast.net (g.abboud%40comcast.net)

*Hot off the presses. WR is going back to the drawing board; our
comments and maps have led them to rethink an inadequate Draft. They
are going to consider the maps submitted by COHVCO, do the Mixed Use
Roads Analysis and this one is open to interpretation "incorporate
new information regarding additional managment direction". This
supplemental draft will allow for comment. They have stopped short
of pulling the plan; however, they should be creating new
alternatives or modify the existing ones.*

*Thanks to all who worked on the WR comments and maps and who submitted
their own.

Jerry
*
*<>Travel Management*

*November 14, 2006 - The White River National Forest will be releasing a
document between the draft and final versions of its travel management
plan and environmental impact statement.

Forest planners have reviewed public comment gathered on the draft
travel management plan released in late July. After discussing options
that would allow the Forest to move forward with efforts to develop a
quality plan for managing summer roads, trails and winter travel, Forest
officials have decided additional public input is warranted through a
supplemental draft.

The supplemental draft will:
Include updated and corrected information to the original draft;
Consider public comment received to date;
Incorporate new information regarding additional management direction
and the results of a safety study.

"The supplemental draft will allow an additional opportunity for the
public to comment on where the Forest is heading with travel management, before a final version is issued," said Forest Planner Wendy Haskins. "The supplemental draft will likely be released in late spring/early
summer of 2007."*


!!!.

leiniesred
11-17-2006, 10:16 AM
woohoo. glad I wrote in too.

Red_Chili
11-17-2006, 03:46 PM
Yep!:thumb:
Every one of us who did can feel proud of the fact we had something to do with it. And hat's off to Val! She did a BUNCH of work.