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Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by The Fist, May 5, 2016.
let me know, i might be able to break away from work a bit this week.
Comments are due Friday...you don't have much time, but get er done!
I just sent my comments.
Hopefully we'll get some nice thorough analysis on the PSI issue too when it is time for comment.
Hit me up too. i might be able to sneak off for an afternoon as well. Need to finish my comments in a thoughtful way. The conflicting info from the FS wildlife guy, Ivan vs their EIS is interesting. I spoke with him personally at their open house and he is very much of the opinion that the wildlife has plenty of room, the space is basically double what is needed for the herd size, so the objections Dunton has is really grasping at straws.
The other thing to really hit in the comments is the seasonal restrictions. The primary reason given for the new restrictions is protecting wildlife (elk). There is very contradictory info on the need for those restrictions in the EIS, in the Wildlife Specialists Report (also available on the web site) and in the testimony of the wildlife biologist given in support of the recent lawsuit brought by the Backcountry Anglers and Horseman (which is really just a front for radical closurists). We really need to hammer them about that....the historical lack of seasonal restrictions has served the needs of both riders and hunters for (literally) decades. There is no evidence given that these new restrictions are needed....they are just part of the slow, steady pressure to force motorized use off of the land. Don't let it happen!
I sent in my comments.
Me too; I sure hope this turns out OK.
I have a good feeling. The studies and such don't justify the need to close anything...and none of the alternatives that would possibly close anything are 'preferred'. That leaves no action. Although SJTR's modified 3 would prolly be better. But we'll see.
I sent my comments a couple days ago.
Done! That was really hard for me. I just wanted to say fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you, but i didn't. Thanks for all the help here guys! You'll enlightened me to the process which I really needed. Now we sit back and see just how corrupt or not corrupt this district is. I'm sick to my stomach. Donate! I think we are going to need a lot of lawyer money!
I sent mine today. Tried to be appreciative for the work they do, but got jabs at catering to specific landowners, the issues with EIS conflicting reports, etc.
I basically said I want Alt A, plus more connections, to better spread out users.
Lets hope for reasonable decisions, or at least to pause and revaluate better..
The next step in the Rico West Dolores Travel Management planning project has started.....sort of.....except this "next step" is a step backward or at least sideways.
Today, many of us received the following update from the District Ranger, Derek Padilla:
"I wanted to update you on the status of the Rico West Dolores Roads and Trails Project. A draft decision was expected in January, but the public comment period revealed the Forest Service did not specifically state in the plan that a decision will also be made on the minimum road system for the Rico West Dolores project area. Because of the omission, the Dolores District will issue a Supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in January with the missing information, and initiate another 45-day public comment period.
The minimum road system standard is described as the fewest number of roads needed to manage the forest for all the different purposes. The minimum road system decision is a requirement of the Travel Management Rule. Decisions on the minimum road system will be made when the scope and scale of the particular project lend to making a decision on this component of the Rule. The Rico West Dolores project meets this criteria. The Supplement will explain that once an alternative is selected, that will then become the minimum road system for the Rico West Dolores area. This procedural error does not require any change to the five alternatives described in the first Draft EIS.
Even though the five alternatives do not change, I have directed the interdisciplinary team to take this opportunity to improve the analysis of environmental and social effects. Unless you have comments specific to the minimum road system, a re-submittal of your original comments is not necessary.
Look for media information, and another email, identifying when the Supplement to the Draft EIS will be released in January. Thank you for your continued participation in this project.
Dolores District Ranger"
Ranger Padilla identifies that the need to identify the "minimum road system" as part of the travel Management Rule is the driver for this "do-over". This is the portion of the Travel Management Rule that he is referring to:
36 CFR 212.5(b)(1):
"Road system -
(1) Identification of road system. For each national forest, national grassland, experimental forest, and any other units of the National Forest System (§ 212.1), the responsible official must identify the minimum road system needed for safe and efficient travel and for administration, utilization, and protection of National Forest System lands. In determining the minimum road system, the responsible official must incorporate a science-based roads analysis at the appropriate scale and, to the degree practicable, involve a broad spectrum of interested and affected citizens, other state and federal agencies, and tribal governments. The minimum system is the road system determined to be needed to meet resource and other management objectives adopted in the relevant land and resource management plan (36 CFR part 219), to meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, to reflect long-term funding expectations, to ensure that the identified system minimizes adverse environmental impacts associated with road construction, reconstruction, decommissioning, and maintenance."
But he then adds this KEY STATEMENT:
"I have directed the interdisciplinary team to take this opportunity to improve the analysis of environmental and social effects. "
My opinion on this development follows. YMMV.
Whatever really is driving this, the bottom line is that the Forest Service is going to re-issue the draft EIS with supplemental information and the public will get to submit comments. The statements that, "Unless you have comments specific to the minimum road system, a re-submittal of your original comments is not necessary," is a bit mis-leading. It would be more accurate to say that "Any additional comments by the public on the original draft EIS or the Supplement will now be accepted." The important thing is that the public can submit comments on any part or portion of the draft EIS! This means that any comments we neglected to submit in the first go-round can now be submitted during this second chance opportunity. If you submitted comments the first time around, you do not have to re-submit your comments.
The Forest Service has indicated that there will be a second email providing the details of this draft EIS and 2nd round of public comments when the documents are released sometime in January. Stay tuned! But get ready to take advantage of the opportunity to submit any missed or neglected comments you have on this project.
So I assume this is also a chance for those who didn't send comments during the last period to do so now? Even if the comments are just about the alternatives and how bad they all suck? (the alternatives not the office itself LOL)
I received Mr. Padilla's email as well. My take on this is that all the feedback provided by riders, plus the key legal threats/consequences brought forward by the NM riders' organization (sorry guys but my mind is slipping and I can't recall the formal name) have caused Mr. Padilla, his organization and the members of the interdisciplinary team to pause and realize they cannot simply adopt the desired views of the hunters and hunting resorts only, but must accept we are a force to be dealt with and must be accommodated. I suspect he is going back to the interdisciplinary team with instructions to them to back off on certain restrictions and be more accommodating to two-wheelers. If you haven't contributed your important comments yet, by all means do so now. If you have new input, provide it. I don't think providing the same input we have already submitted will be helpful; I believe that would just antagonize them.
Yes, this is the opportunity for anyone to comment who did not do so. Also the chance to add any additional comments/information.
Well, I certainly hope so but have to acknowledge that it may have also been something the opposition found and highlighted that is causing this "reset". All we can do is stay actively involved and keep giving them our best effort.
I am going to go back and review NMOHVA's initial comments, and see if I can improve upon them in any way (additions, clarifications, etc). I hope everyone else does the same.
Well if the Dolores office is legitimately taking the comments into consideration we should have this in the bag. I just read about 75% of the comments and the majority of the anti moto comments, including the comment from the dunton owner himself, were basic form letter type deals. There were very few with real knowledge of the trails at all. Its amazing that henkel has spent all that money and time fighting for motorized closures but couldn't put a simple comment together. LOL.. There were some amazingly well thought out comments from the motorized crowd though! I couldn't motivate my wife to write a letter during the last comment period and she felt bad not getting to it. She will now! I encourage everyone who has an understanding spouse to ask them to submit comments as well. There were not many pro moto comments from females, getting more ladies on board seems beneficial.
Like Groundhog Day...it keeps coming back. You'd best comment if you've not already. Don't want to lose any trails. Period.
Agreed 100% If you already commented and didn't mention anything about Horse Creek, Burnett, or Ryman please do. They seem to be the most targeted and the most crucial for us. Horse Creek provides relatively quick access off of Calico to 145 and is in as good or better shape than 90% of the trails out there. Horse also allows folks to access Rico without going thru residential areas. Its about 1.5 miles outside of town. Burnett also provides quick access off the Calico ridge and into Rico, I've used it three times this year to escape thunderstorms, allowing me to take 1,5 miles of pavement back to horse staging versus running the gauntlet on top of the ridge. scares the crap out me. Ryman provides access to the hermosa drainage via corral draw and also makes for good loops with East fork and rough canyon.
I have no idea WTF is going on with this whole thing but giving us another chance to comment could be very beneficial. The anti motorized folks already climaxed over this deal when they sent their letters in for the first round so lets let them smoke their post climax cigarette while we demolish that office with pro moto common sense!! Please!
This might not be much of an incentive but anyone who sends me a copy of their comment from this go around will receive 1 free download of my reggae bands album. Free!! We don't suck that bad either.
Can I say this in my words? I'll comment but I don't know as well as I want what to say.