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Old 09-15-2006, 06:30 AM
Red_Chili's Avatar
Red_Chili Red_Chili is offline
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Default White River NF Comments- Holy Cross at risk!

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

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
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2006, 08:33 AM
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Holy long document Batman! I'll need a couple of hours to examine this one.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:12 AM
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Nice GIS, glad to see the USFS has made it to the 20th century

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

Nonmotorized recreation only
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili
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

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!
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:53 PM
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Seldom Seen Seldom Seen is offline
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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.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seldom Seen
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?
__________________
Jeff Z. (the "not quite as skinny" one)
TLCA #17037
'97 LX450 - aka "The Whale"
'97 FZJ80 Antique Sage AE #267, stock
12/74 FJ40, 2F, SM420, 4" Lift, ARBs, 33" MTRs

:

"...anything else i can do for you guys, how about i wash your car or mow your lawn while you figure out your firewall system? I am now boarderline insane/unibomber." Kipper

"That assumes I'm even capable of pulling and stabbing..." Jacket

"I really like having a detachable unit." Beater
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:05 PM
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Seldom Seen Seldom Seen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corsair23
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?
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.
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:14 AM
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This is where COHVCO's analysis is potentially very helpful. Be sure Valerie has your contact info.
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Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:31 AM
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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....
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Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
Abnormally aspirated
KDěRCH
Bio Page
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.
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:29 AM
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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/p...nt/index.shtml

Lewis and Clark National Forest:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lewisclark/p...ts_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
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Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
Abnormally aspirated
KDěRCH
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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.
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