Draft EIS for Public Comment for Rico West Dolores Roads and Trails

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by The Fist, May 5, 2016.

  1. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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    I can send (via email) anything shown under Projects Documents:

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    :ricky
    #61
  2. wzd1a

    wzd1a Long timer

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    How many acres of land (w/ homes) has the FS destroyed this year alone? Well you can start your search in NM:

    Acres: 17,912 ... Start Date: June 14, 2016 Jurisdiction: Cibola National Forest, NM State Forestry, Southern ...

    Cause: USFS personnel and contractors. Took USFS over a month to admit they were the cause, and have no plans in place react to a fire that they start. (Sounds alot like the EPA with mine waste drainage...)

    Wonder how the fish are doing in the region?

    The USFS is a anthropogenic disaster to the environment.
    #62
  3. dmac1

    dmac1 Long timer

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    Thanks Rick...the site is back up, so I'm good now.
    #63
  4. OldenSlow

    OldenSlow Been here awhile

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    true, but still -- quiet pipes take one more bullet out of the non-motorized crowds gun.

    RE Derek: Clearly some sort of leverage being applied
    #64
  5. dmac1

    dmac1 Long timer

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    That took awhile, but my comments are drafted, but need a little more input:

    Whats everyone's take on Horse Creek (626). I haven't seen it called out but its slated for closure in some of the alternatives...including C. I'm guessing thats ok.

    I'm concerned that most of the stuff I've seen say's simply says B, D & E are unacceptable. I think we should try to provide some solid content in this regard. Reference to previously mentioned proposed closures should work (e.g. see previous comments pertaining to Alternative C about Winter Trail).

    Is the addition of Loading Pen and Taylor OHV worth it? I mean...what advantage would they provide vs Priest Gulch or Calico South approach to Burnett? Is the idea to provide a better loop back to Stoner Mesa with less slab?

    Lastly, the SJTR talk about access to Haycamp Mesa via Morrison Trail 610 easement. Anyone know what/where this is?

    Thanks!
    #65
  6. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Horse creek is one of my favorites. Quick access to and from Calico ridge. Its steep, techy, and gorgeous. Its where I park 75% of the time. There is no valid reason for closing any of these trails, so that one is def NOT ok to lose. Its in really good shape and it really is important to have bailouts off the ridge for when the lightening comes in. I've high tailed it down that one on more than one occasion due to thunderstorms. It also provides another access point into Rico with just a mile or so of pavement. I ride this one far more than I ride Burnett, its a way better trail IMO.

    I don't know much about loading pen or the taylor option but opening up Tenderfoot and all of Wildcat would make for easy loops with stuff on the south side of 145. Basically if tenderfoot doesn't get opened to motorized it will disappear. Its extremely hard to follow as is, all you get is the random sign on an aspen every couple miles..

    Morrison should definitely be open. Land owners at the bottom are ok with it as long as there is adequate signage to keep riders off their driveway and bridge. Opening Morrison would make it possible to loop it with gold run and bear creek, which would reduce traffic on lower bear creek because as it is now most riders probably just go out n back on the 8 miles of bear creek. if the loop was an option then most would just go one way on bear creek.
    #66
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  7. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    What the reggae mon said
    #67
  8. dmac1

    dmac1 Long timer

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    I've reviewed all the alternatives and the comments from the SJTR....only alternative A keeps Horse Creek open. The SJTR don't address it in their draft modified C. I'm checking to see if that was an oversight. I've learned that the comments I posted from them was a draft.

    SJTR's modified C proposes trading Tenderfoot for full moto designation of Wildcat. I'm gonna guess we won't get both. My comments state that, in general, I support those of the SJTR where theirs go beyond mine, so I think thats where I'm gonna leave it.

    I have found Morrison Trail 610 on my Gazetteer (goes SW from where Bear Creek meets 145) but don't see that it connects to anything other than roads...which might be ok to loop back on them...I dunno. Is there another whole set of trails on Haycamp Mesa that are outside of the scope of the RWD issue? SJTR has a couple comments about Morrison, but I don't understand what all they are talking about, so I think I'm going to leave it out of my comments....at least for now. I'm getting close to final copy.
    #68
  9. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels

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    Ivan is still evidently the wildlife biologist for the Dolores office AND his name is on the Wildlife Specialists' Report for the Travel Management EIS. This certainly creates some difficulty for the FS and this EIS. Here is how it works:

    Ivan said this in his 2012 deposition:

    "Trail traffic -- both motorized or non-motorized -- does not affect big-game individuals and I have no concern for the population viability of big game based on current existing uses."

    And it is important to recognize that "current existing uses" at the time meant NO seasonal restrictions.

    In his 2016 Specialist Report, he states (about elk):

    "Currently meeting Forest Plan Objectives, Guidelines across all alternatives. In addition we are meeting State population objectives. We have analyzed security areas and associated cover and forage along with connectivity and are maintaining habitat effectiveness across all alternatives."

    Yet the EIS states:

    "Spring restrictions are proposed to further enhance/expand wildlife security" p. 30

    and

    "Spring timing restrictions on motorcycles, ATVs and OHVs travel on trails also results in a similar expansion in the size of wildlife security habitat during the time when the restrictions are in place." and " Fall timing restrictions on motorcycle use reduce human disturbance to elk during the season when most human disturbance occurs. Heavy use of the road and OHV trails would continue to pressure wildlife but restricting motorcycle use of single track trails increases the size of the security areas near those trails." p. 117.

    The EIS also states (in direct conflict to the implementation of timing restrictions):

    "Based on the above analysis of security areas and associated cover and forage along with connectivity, habitat effectives for elk is maintained across all alternatives. Although some seasonal displacement of individual elk will occur along roads and motorized trails, there are sufficient security areas with adequate cover and forage across all alternatives."

    So.....the EIS is attempting to apply seasonal riding restrictions in conflict to its Wildlife Biologist and his report and in conflict to its own conclusions that even Alternative A (no change) is supplying sufficient security areas for the elk!

    Make sure you mention this in your comments as this exactly is the type of "decision is in conflict with the environmental analysis" that judges look for!!!!
    #69
  10. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels

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    The google drive address below contains the draft for NMOHVA's comments on the Rico-West Dolores Travel Management EIS. The comments are essentially complete with the exception of a little final "polish". I am posting them here a few days before the comment deadline (7/15/16) to help people craft their own set of comments. Hopefully our ideas will help get your juices flowing and result in additional input to the Forest Service.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B56Z52bw4Q_7dHJ5R1Y4WTBkaW8
    #70
  11. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    It says folder not found when i check that link
    #71
  12. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels

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    Argh! Forgot to make the link public. Try it again.....
    #72
  13. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Pure Gold!! Thank you!!
    #73
  14. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    Thank you, I reviewing it now but am already more than impressed with the thoroughness of your work
    #74
  15. Sladep

    Sladep Adventurer

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    Very nice piece of work by Mr. Workmeister and the NMOHVA. Bravo to all of them. While I am not capable of making such a quality analysis and response, I would recommend including the specific other good points mentioned in posts above which refers to the 180 degree opposite position they are proposing currently vs. the positions their own analysts determined only about 4-6 years ago in their systemic review. I also sent the USFS a detailed proposal which can be found in my post above, which contains some points and ideas which may be useful as well in the NMOHVA's efforts to the fight the unjust proposals of the USFS. By confronting them with their illogical and inconsistent approaches, the NMOHVA's points have made it clear to them they have conducted a very unprofessional and biased review, not based on data and fact, and their proposals are being influenced by individuals who are somehow tainting their judgement. This leads to strong suspicion of illicit actions and benefits to the USFS staff who are in a position to steer this in a direction that benefits Duncan Hot Springs owners and management, at our expense. The public is NOT being served.
    #75
  16. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    Its clear to me that USFS engaged in a result oriented analysis by failing to follow the logical issue identification then, and only then, the proposal of alternatives. They decided what they wanted to do, then set about finding justifications for it. It is a blatant attempt to favor one user group over another and give a private landowner outsized influence over the decision making with respect to public lands. I applaud the effort and rigorous analysis of the New Mexico group and believe it sets the stage for how any ensuing litigation will proceed. I was just on Winter Trail a couple days ago and there is absolutely no negative impact to the wetlands, only a tiny narrow strip that constitutes the trail with no braiding or evidence of large mud holes forming. Of course, I saw no one all day on any of the trails.
    #76
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  17. Sladep

    Sladep Adventurer

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    jimmex, good comments. Do you have any pics of what you observed that you could send to the USFS along with your observations to discredit their claims, as well as send them to NMOHVA so they can utilize this data as well?
    #77
  18. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    Sure, it'll give me a reason to go back up there soon.
    #78
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  19. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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    #79
  20. dmac1

    dmac1 Long timer

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    Wow Mark! That sure sets the stage for a challenge. I've got the elk stuff and a few other things at a high level in my comments which I'm gonna send in a few minutes.

    One important note...Ivan Messinger's Biological Assessment is indicated as a 'DRAFT'...it seems to me that, if a document is supposed to be substantive to the determination of alternatives, and supposed to help us understand the proposed alternatives based upon it, it should be a final copy. Other supporting documents too are DRAFTS...the Hydrology Report and Wildlife Report. This appears to me to be yet another 'flaw' in the whole process. Thus, I have included, in my comments, by reference, the sworn testimony of Wu, Messinger and Bouton, and I'm going to point this out.

    To those who might be new to this issue...and don't have time to get intimate with everything...even if you can make some simple comments, it could prove to be important because it establishes you as a party who could later challenge any subsequent action. In other words, if you don't comment, you have no standing to challenge the result.
    #80
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