Blue Ribbon Alert, Roadless Management in CO
I'm posting this hoping for SeldomSeen's comments. This doesn't *quite* fit what I have heard of the meetings, and to be honest, when I see alternating colors in bold bullet points I think, "shrill" and "likely overstated". But I don't want to be an ostrich... so here goes.
URGENT ACTION ALERT
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED
Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,
Colorado's OHV Community Needs Our Help!
We are sending this alert to our supporters in Colorado and all adjacent states.
BRC is tracking the management of our nation's "roadless" areas, and we're becoming increasingly concerned about the anti-access group's press to make all "roadless" areas non-motorized, especially in Colorado.
Various States are participating in the Bush Administration's Roadless policy by either petitioning the Forest Service for specific management, or in cases such as New Mexico, California and Oregon, marching in to federal court and demanding the reinstatement of the Clinton/Gore Roadless rule nationwide.
Colorado, however, has taken a unique approach. In response to the Bush Administration's policy, the Colorado Legislature has formed the Roadless Areas Review Task Force. This task force will review and make recommendations to Colorado's Governor on how each Roadless Area in Colorado should be managed.
Unfortunately, powerful special interests are trying to use the Task Force review process to lock up millions of acres of Colorado's forests, ultimately paving the way for Wilderness designation.
Colorado's Off-Highway Vehicle community has responded with information and suggestions designed to protect the backcountry character of Roadless areas -- while still allowing recreational use.
However, our reasonable voice is in danger of being drowned out by the shrill cry of the radical environmentalists.
The danger here is that powerful out of state foundations and national Wilderness activist groups will attempt to pressure Governor Owens into endorsing restrictive management of Roadless areas.
That's why we're asking you to stand with BRC and others who want to protect responsible recreational access to Colorado's Roadless areas.
What you need to do:
We are asking our members to sign our petition to the Colorado Roadless Task Force. The Task Force will be holding the last of a series of public meetings in Grand Junction Colorado on June 22, 2006. The petitions will be hand delivered to the Task Force at the Grand Junction meeting and MUST BE RECEIVED BY JUNE 21, 2006. For More Detailed Information http://www.sharetrails.org/releases/media/index.cfm?story=482
THAT IS WHY WE NEED YOU TO PRINT AND SIGN YOUR PETITION TODAY!
Simply click on one of the links below to download the petition for printing.
IN ORDER FOR YOUR PETITION TO ARRIVE ON TIME - PLEASE MAIL IT TO:
MOTORCYCLE TRAIL RIDING ASSOCIATION
P.O. BOX 3204
GRAND JUNCTION, CO 81502
BRC is working in partnership with the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition, the Colorado Snowmobile Association, the Colorado Association of 4WD Clubs and their member clubs in this effort.
Your petition will be added to many thousands of others, so PLEASE -- do your part and help protect Colorado's recreational heritage by returning your petition today.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT:
Public Lands Director
(208) 237-1008 ext 102
Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
I'm that gun-totin', farm-raised, evangelical, pro-environment, OHV ridin'/drivin', Southern civil rights pro-labor Liberal yo' momma told you couldn't possibly exist.
Valiant effort, at one time valid points, but a day late and a dollar short.
The petition would have been more effective if they presented it at the 1st public comment meeting back in Jan.
If the BRC, it's self were not a California based, ummm....powerful OUT OF STATE foundation , they may have a better idea of what is going in Colorado and would be more effective at defending our right to recreate on our public lands.
All of the concerns stated in the petition have been addressed by the Task Force. The TF has gotten passed these generalities and is getting down to brass tacks.
The Task Force, at their 1st meeting, needed to define what an Inventoried Roadless Area is and is not, for their deliberations:
-An Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA) IS a list of public lands (USFS, BLM, NPS, Army Corps of Engineering, etc) that had been identified as having primitive characteristics and is relatively free of human impact.
-An IRA is an inventory,a list, it exists as lines on a set of maps some where in Washington DC. Much like a shop keeper would take an inventory of his stock, public land managers are required to keep an inventory of public lands that are roadless. Like a shop keeper's, a public land manager's inventory is dynamic. Land are added or deleted during the land management revision process.
-IRA is NOT a status and does not give the area special protection like a Wilderness Area. (the 2001 rule did prohibit commercial logging and new surface leases for mining)
-An IRA is NOT, never has been never will be, a stand alone management plan. IRAs have been, and will continue to be, managed under USFS management plans. The 2001 rule did prohibit construction of new roads and reconstruction of existing roads and land managers had to take the prohibition into account when developing management plans. It's the 2001 rule and NOT inclusion as an IRA that prohibited road construction and reconstruction.
The TF has agreed that:
-The language granting the USFS exceptions to road building was ambiguous at best. The TF has drafted proposed changes giving forest managers more latitude when making decisions on new roads for fire prevention, forest health and water shed management.
-Recreation is a vital part of Colorado's economy. Recreation has provided sustainable growth for our mountain communities better than the boom and bust extraction industries.
-Colorado's forest NEED to be managed to protect forest health, water quality and preserve recreational opportunity.
Given that the TF has already addressed the points in the petition. plus the fact that thousands of letters, all stating the same thing count a 1 comment, I don't think I'll waste my time. (feel free to disagree, sending in a copy is better than nothing.)
"So what should I do" you ask?
Well, I posted up an up date before the last meeting, let me go into more detail.
Below is the report the OHV group presented at the last TF meeting:
The Task Force has heard a wide range of input regarding off-road vehicle recreation in roadless areas (and national forests generally). This input has ranged from (1) halt all OHV recreation in roadless areas, (2) halt all NEW OHV recreation in roadless areas, (3) let the Forest Planning process determine where OHV recreation should occur in roadless areas, (4) preserve all existing OHV recreation in roadless areas, (5) expand OHV recreation in other areas of national forests if it is restricted in roadless areas, (6) leave this issue up to the 2005 Travel Management Rule process.
Some of this input seems based on some confusion about (1) the definition of roadless, (2) what is or is not allowed regarding OHV recreation on roadless areas in existing Forest Plans or under the 2001 rule, (3) the Task Force's authority in this area.
Clearly, the 2001 rule did not preclude OHV recreation on system trails in roadless areas. It would have precluded the construction of new roads for use by OHV recreation. As regarding the closing of non-system OHV trails, the 2001 rule is silent. As a result, some public comment has suggested that the Task Force defer to the 2005 Travel Management Rule (or individual Forest Planning processes) to address this issue--as well as the issue of creating new OHV system trails in roadless areas.
As for the scope of this issue as it relates to the Task Force, the issues are:
Should the 2001 rule's allowance of OHV recreation on system trails in roadless areas be preserved? If not, in what way should the 2001 rule be modified?
Should the 2001 rule's prohibition on new road construction in roadless areas for OHV recreation use be preserved? If not, in what way should the 2001 rule be modified?
What, if anything, should the Task Force recommend regarding non-system roads and trails in roadless areas? Should this be left up to the 2005 Travel Management Rule and/or Forest Planning processes? Or should the Task Force recommend that these be closed in roadless areas as they may impact other roadless area values?
There you go the 3 points (the ones below the bold) that the TF's OHV group is considering.
A simple letter stating how you as a Coloradan stand on these 3 points would go 100 times further than the thousands of BRC drone letters.
My next letter when I flesh it out will state
Point 1, YES!
Point 2, NO! The FS needs to consider a roads recreational value in its decision making process for reconstruction. When the FS is planning new road construction for forest health, they should consider the roads potential recreational value and if possible leave the road open, after the forest treatment, for recreation.
Point 3, The FS should defer final disposition of all "Non System Roads" until the inventory, evaluation and authorization process under the 2005 rule is complete!!!!!
Last edited by Seldom Seen; 06-15-2006 at 02:54 AM.
Greg Mumm, a TLCA member, is now the Executive Director of BRC. You think I should bring this to his attention, so that they can be more effective? I won't do anything until you guys say the word.
Matt Farr, Centennial, Colorado | Rising Sun Webmaster
1996 FZJ80 · TLCA #4189 · WØRDY
www.rustybrain.com/cruisers · my Rising Sun bio · Facebook · Twitter · Need satellite Internet? Check out: Exede Internet
If you think you can or think you can't, you're right.
Good job knowing your facts Brian.
When I read the letter. I couldn't get over the point that Morgan has made to us several times, that a mass mailing of the same letter on behalf of the same organization only counts as one vote. That's useless.
Scott Yoder KD0DHP
2000 4Runner, 2.5" lift on 33's, locked, geared & armored.