Badger Flats - Colorado

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Big_John, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Big_John

    Big_John That'll be the day

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,778
    Location:
    Black Forest, CO
    Badger Flats Project - South Park Ranger District

    The US Forest Service is asking for input on road, trail and camping changes in this area


    Where is Badger Flats: This area, popular for camping and OHV recreation is on the east side of Wilkerson Pass and is most often accessed by Park County Roads #77 or #31. The Badger Flats area is near the USFS Round Mountain campground off of US Highway 24 and is about 6 miles northwest of Lake George, CO.

    Why is the project and area important: This area provides unique opportunities for Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) riders (especially beginners) and families and provides multiple and diverse camping opportunities. The area is approximately 60 miles west of Colorado Springs and is a popular destination for people living along the southern Front Range.

    Why is it important to get involved?

    · The USFS is proposing changes and modifications to the existing trail and road network and camping locations.

    · There are new routes and loops proposed along with some trail closures.

    · If users of the Badger Flats area, like OHV users and campers, do not review and provide feedback on the USFS proposed changes and modifications, the USFS will base their decisions using their own judgement and experience and or the input provided by others. There are several groups and individuals that feel OHV recreation and camping in the Badger Flats area should be reduced or eliminated. This is your opportunity to share your ideas with the USFS Decision Makers, and let them know what opportunities, places and activities in Badger Flats are important to you.

    What can I do?:

    · The South Park Ranger District is hosting an informational Open House for the public on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at the Woodland Park Library (large meeting room) at 218 East Midland Ave. Woodland Park, CO 80863 from 6:00 PM to 7:45PM.

    · The Open House will allow the public to review the project, ask questions and gather more information. This will be an informational sharing event.

    · Maps showing the proposed changes and modifications to the area can be viewed here along with the Official USFS Notice: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48069

    · When making specific comments about this project, here are a few suggestions to think about:

    o Do the new proposed routes provide access to locations and recreational places you want to go to?

    o Are the proposed designated camping areas in the locations that make sense, are they in locations where you would want to camp and do the proposed camping locations provide access to the activities you desire to do?

    o Are there other opportunities to connect or loop other routes that should be explored by the USFS?

    o Does the network of routes take you were you want to go, to see the sites you want to see and enable you to do the activities that are important to you?

    Where do I send my comments?:

    · Comments must be received at the South Park Ranger District by January 4, 2016.

    · Written comments should be submitted to:

    o Badger Flats Management Project, C/O Josh Voorhis, District Ranger, South Park Ranger District PO Box 219, Fairplay, CO 80440

    o Electronically by the web: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?Project=48069
    #1
  2. Big_John

    Big_John That'll be the day

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,778
    Location:
    Black Forest, CO
    Comments from: Environmentalist Group - Quiet Use Coalition



    Comments submitted electronically on Jan 4, 2016 via

    https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?Project=48069


    Josh Voohis

    District Ranger

    South Park Ranger District

    P.O. Box 219

    Fairplay, CO 80440


    Dear Josh;


    Thank you for allowing us to comment on the proposed Badger Flats Management Project. Please accept and consider the following comments on the on behalf of the organizations signed onto this document.

    We agree with the stated purpose of this proposal which is to address resource damage due to the unauthorized development of non-system roads and trails and the high levels of recreational use in this area.

    We agree that there is a need to better manage and reduce existing resource impacts caused by roads, motorized recreation, and dispersed camping in order to make these uses sustainable into the future.

    We thank the South Park District for considering and prioritizing this proposal.


    We support the proposal to close and decommission roads

    The current proposal will close and decommission over 28 miles of roads. We fully support this aspect of the proposal.

    Closing and decommissioning these roads will have minimal impacts on current users yet will provide many benefits:

    · Many of these roads are dead end roads which provide no, or minimal benefits to the public or the Forest Service.

    · Some of these roads are duplicative and other system roads will remain open to provide motorized access to the same areas.

    · Many of these roads have numerous unauthorized routes branching off of them and it would be more effective and efficient to decommission the one road as opposed to closing the many unauthorized routes.

    · Decommissioning problem roads will reduce management and maintenance costs.

    · Decommissioning of system roads is a onetime cost and no further maintenance expenditures are required.

    · Reducing the maintenance and management expenditures by decommissioning roads will help focus limited funding on providing a more effective and safe travel system.

    · Decommissioning roads will reduce route density which will improve habitat security and effectiveness, reduce fragmentation, and increase wildlife connectivity.

    · Decommissioning roads helps return areas to a more natural state, which can enhance desired surrounding recreational experiences.

    · It is not known if decommissioning roads will reduce the number of human caused fires in the area but with reduced accessibility to human travel, the number may be reduced (see Forest Plan Preface, pg. iii).

    We especially support the proposed decommissioning of FR 277, 280, 44 and 44.2B; and also the proposed conversion of FR 229 and 44.2A to administrative use only roads. These roads are cherry stemmed into, or directly adjacent to, the Schoolmarm Mountain Roadless Area. Closing these roads to public use, and decommissioning them, will help limit the negative impacts these roads and their use are having on roadless characteristics.


    We support the proposed creation of designated dispersed camping areas

    We support limiting most camping in this area to many of the identified designated dispersed camping areas. (hereafter referred to as “DC”)

    This will have many positive benefits, including;

    · Concentrating overnight human occupancy and its associated impacts into designated areas.

    · Concentrating campfire impacts and the threat of human caused wildfires, to limited designated areas.

    · Limiting overall impacts to wildlife due to occupancy and use

    · Limiting nocturnal impacts due to noise, lights and human presence on wildlife and cattle.

    · Limiting vegetation and soil disturbance resulting from off route motorized camping and campfires.

    · Limiting the spread of noxious weeds.

    · Limiting improper disposal of human waste to smaller areas.

    · Helping to maintain a more natural appearance on most of the landscape adjacent to designated routes.

    · Improving hunting opportunities by limiting human occupation to certain areas. Regular human presence displaces game and restricts safe shooting.

    · Improve the experience of searching for and finding a suitable and legal location in which to disperse camp.

    · Helping to minimize unauthorized off route vehicle use and resource damage related to dispersed camping.

    · Limiting illegal trash dumping and littering sometimes associated with dispersed camping to smaller areas.


    We highly recommend the following actions be included as part of a decision in order to compliment and improve management of the designated dispersed camping areas:

    · All camping within a quarter mile of any designated road, motorized trail or designated dispersed camping area boundary must be prohibited within the analysis area, except for camping within the DCs. This additional regulation is required in order to provide incentive and to concentrate most camping within the designated dispersed camping areas.

    · Tent, tarp. hammock or other more primitive forms of camping further than a quarter mile from a designated road, motorized trail or designated dispersed camping area should be permitted, using legal methods of travel allowed off of designated routes to access the camping location. If someone is willing to hike or use a horse to carry their gear at least a quarter mile, they should be allowed to camp.

    · No day use parking for the purpose of OHV staging should be allowed within the designated dispersed camping areas. These areas are for camping, and OHV staging would take up limited space and result in conflicts due to noise and dust concerns within the DC.

    · Designated dispersed camping areas must be clearly signed as such from the system road used to enter or exit those areas. This is to prevent recreational joy riding through the areas by non-campers, as this creates conflicts due to noise, dust and desired privacy.

    · New roads that are clearly created for dispersed camping must be marked as “Dispersed Camping Access Only”.

    · OHV and other motorized users camping within a DC should be permitted to ride directly in and out from their campsites. Drive through recreational motorized use within the DCs should be prohibited.

    · No recreational motor vehicle driving within the designated camping zones. Motorized use should be limited to entering/exiting the area to access dispersed campsites.

    · The outer boundary lines of the designated dispersed camping areas must be clearly marked and delineated on the ground, with signage and/or natural or human installed barriers. This is to prevent the DCs, and their associated impacts, from expanding.

    · Motor vehicle use within a DC must be limited to within 30 feet of any designated motorized route. DC should not become open motorized play areas.

    · Dogs must be leashed or under control within the DC. This is to prevent disturbing other campers and for safety of animals and people.

    · Recreational target shooting must not be allowed within the DC. This is to prevent conflicts due to noise and safety concerns in the DCs.

    · Certain DCs should be seasonally closed in order to protect road tread surfaces from damage, concentrate use when demand is low, and protect wildlife habitat from disturbance.

    · We caution against designating new roads within DCs as to form new OHV connecting routes.

    Campers, including OHV campers, generally do not want to deal with the noise and dust that OHV use creates. National Visitor Use Monitoring data indicates that the vast majority of forest visitors are not OHV users, and thus the vast majority of campers in these DCs will not be OHV users.

    · It may be necessary to develop additional regulations or suggestions for some DCs. These could limit creation of new fire rings, improper disposal of human waste, the number of vehicles allowed in one campsite, noise, etc. We have found that some people prefer to camp in dispersed sites because they know they will be doing things that other groups or individuals may find irritating, offensive or irresponsible. Concentrating these types in DCs where they will be closer to others may result in conflicts.


    Allowed distance to drive off designated routes must be consistently limited

    The distance motor vehicles are allowed to travel off designated routes for the purpose of dispersed motorized camping must be limited to 30’ or less within the proposed designated dispersed camping areas.

    It is not clear from the proposal whether or not cross country motorized travel will be permitted anywhere within the DCs.

    On the maps provided, there are locations within proposed DCs that are over 1200’ away from designated routes (including any new proposed roads within the DCs).

    A maximum distance of 30’ would help establish and reinforce expectations regarding off route travel for the purpose of dispersed motorized travel to camp. This would be consistent with existing regulations for the entire forest.

    It is not clear why the proposed DC area boundaries are set in the locations they are shown on the maps. For example, the proposed DC along FR 861 appears to extend to a maximum of 300’ from that road. Other boundaries extend much further.

    Some examples of the DC areas where there is a significant distance from new or proposed designated roads to boundary lines include:

    · South of 44.2A (1250 feet)

    · South of 204 (400 feet)

    · West of 225, just north of Round Mountain Campground (620 feet)

    · South of 230 (685 feet)

    · North of FR 224 (450 feet)


    Some of the areas above have not been previously disturbed by off route motorized travel, and there is no reason to permit additional motor vehicle use to extend into these locations now. A distance of 30’ off of a designated route provides more than enough land for individuals to drive and park a vehicle in order to select a suitable site for motorized camping.

    We believe there is value in having locations within designated dispersed camping areas that do not permit motorized use. These locations would provide an opportunity for people to walk in a short distance from vehicles to set up a tent/tarp and camp. Colorado Parks and Wildlife SCORP survey data from 2013 (available online at http://www.recpro.org/assets/Library/SCORPs/co_scorp_2014.pdf ) indicates that tent camping is by far the most popular form of camping in the state and is over twice as popular as RV camping. It would be valuable to include and specifically delineate these areas within DCs for tent camping away from motor vehicles.


    Dispersed camping opportunities accessible to passenger cars must be provided

    If the intent of this plan is to restrict motor vehicle accessible dispersed camping to a limited number of areas, opportunities must be provided for passenger car/lower clearance vehicle access to designated dispersed motorized camping areas.

    Many of the forest roads in the area, and all the forest roads that provide access to designated dispersed camping locations, are Maintenance Level 2 (ML2) roads. These roads are not maintained for lower clearance passenger cars, and are not suitable for passenger cars.

    Although passenger cars might be able to currently travel on some of the better ML2 roads without vehicle damage, this is not a given. Passenger car use on ML2 roads is not a consideration, and the Forest Service has no obligation to maintain any ML2 road for passenger car travel. With current and expected future, funding deficits for proper road maintenance on the District, the condition of ML2 roads will likely deteriorate.

    The current proposal will prohibit dispersed motorized camping on Forest land adjacent to all passenger car accessible roads, including State Highway 24, all county roads, and FR 652 and FR 210 (the two forest roads in the analysis area which currently provide dispersed motorized camping opportunities that are maintained for passenger car use).

    The vast majority of motor vehicles purchased and driven in Colorado and nationally are regular passenger cars, and not specialized 4WD or high clearance vehicles. This plan must provide some appropriate dispersed motorized camping opportunities to the majority of automobile drivers using passenger cars.

    We suggest consideration of proposed dispersed camping areas adjacent to CR 31 and FR 216 and 896 to possibly provide passenger car accessed camping.


    We recommend the following changes to dispersed camping areas

    · We do not support the proposed DC associated with FR 206.A1. FR 206.A1 was recommended for decommissioning in the 2015 South Park TAP. We recommend this road be decommissioned and no dispersed camping area or new roads be approved in this area. This road is a dead end route with minimal public value. There are two designated public USFS campgrounds just to the east of this route along CR 77, and anyone who wishes to camp in this area should use those facilities. Identifying a dispersed camping area nearby has the potential to diminish the attractiveness of designated camping areas.

    · We do not support the proposed DC associated with a new road at the end of FR 212. This road will come within ~20 feet of Tarryall Creek, and help facilitate dispersed motorized camping within 60 feet of the Creek. This will have negative impacts on this waterway and associated riparian areas. The PSI Forest Plan at III-23 has direction which states “Prohibit camping within a minimum of 100 feet from lakes or streams unless exceptions are justified by terrain or specific design which protects the riparian and aquatic ecosystems”.

    · No DC areas should be approved within one half mile of the designated Round Mountain Campground. Camping should be concentrated in this designated campground in this area.

    · The boundary of the DC south of road 44.2A should be set back from the USFS/private land boundary by 300 feet. It is not appropriate to encourage dispersed camping directly adjacent to private land, especially private land with houses on it. The boundary should be adjusted to help prevent trespass and potential conflicts.


    Settlement terms of the PSI MVUM lawsuit must be followed

    In 2011 a legal challenge (Pike San Isabel Forest vs. The Wilderness Society and 4 other organizations) contested the legal status of 64 roads within the analysis area of this proposal. In November of 2015 a settlement agreement was reached between the USFS and the 5 organizations involved in this lawsuit. This settlement was finalized before legal notification was initiated on the Badger Flats Management Project proposal.

    Three aspects of the settlement require that the USFS follow certain procedures in motorized travel management planning, described below.

    1) All planning regulations must be followed

    The Travel Management Rule and Executive Orders 11644 and 11989 require the Forest Service to demonstrate that it minimized, and not merely considered, impacts when making motorized route and area designations. The Forest Service must implement Executive Order 11644, as amended by Executive Order 11989, in compliance with all applicable federal statutes and regulations, including NEPA, ESA and NFMA. The Forest Service must provide an explanation in its NEPA analysis of how it considered the criteria set forth in 36 C.F.R. § 212.55(a) in designating roads, trails and areas and considered, with the objective of minimizing, the criteria set forth in 36 C.F.R. § 212.55(b) in designating

    trails and areas.

    2) Roads contested in the lawsuit must be considered differently

    The settlement agreement states that all challenged routes (routes included in Exhibit A of the settlement) must be depicted differently than other routes when displaying the baseline motorized travel system.

    The Settlement at 1(b) states that the Forest Service, when preparing an analysis pursuant to NEPA for travel management route designation, must acknowledge that the legal status of many of the routes on the MVUM baseline is contested. Maps and/or other depictions of the baseline system of roads and trails in the no-action alternative will include a visual indication of the routes or route segments listed in Exhibit A.

    The Settlement at 1(c) states that any travel analysis will consider an alternative that does not include in the proposed action any of the routes or route segments listed in Exhibit A.

    3) Roads in 5B Big Game Winter range must be reviewed by CPW

    The settlement requires that the USFS meet with Colorado Parks and Wildlife by March of 2016 to determine if further action is needed regarding seasonal closures on the following subset of roads within the analysis area that are within a 5B Big Game Winter Range management prescription area: 44, 44.2A, 44.2B, 226.A, 252, 704, 704.E, 860, 860.C 862 and 864.



    We expect the South Park District to fully comply with the agreed upon terms of this settlement.

    The initial maps associated with this project proposal which were posted online do not identify any of the 64 contested routes differently. In the spirit of this settlement agreement, we request that any maps associated with this project identify those routes as having their legal status contested.


    Recreation and travel routes must be sustainable

    The legal notice letter states that a need of this project proposal is to “manage and reduce existing resource impacts caused by roads, motorized recreation, and dispersed camping in order to make these uses sustainable into the future.” This project must create a recreation and travel system that is sustainable.

    The 2012 Forest planning rule establishes the concept of sustainable recreation and requires the Forest Service to provide for it. 36 CFR § 219.8(b)(2). The rule states that sustainable recreation is “the set of recreation settings and opportunities on the National Forest System that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable for present and future generations.” 36 CFR §219.19.

    We urge the South Park District to consider long term ecologically, economically and socially sustainable settings and opportunities in this planning process.




    We support the conversion of roads to administrative roads

    We support the proposed conversion of certain roads to administrative roads.

    The PSI Forest Plan at II-67 states that the use of a road generally has greater impacts than the presence of a road. Allowing only administrative use on a road lowers the volume of use, and thus lowers the overall impacts. Maintenance and management needs, and wildlife impacts are reduced when roads become administrative routes.

    It must be recognized that 80% or more of the benefits identified for roads in the 2015 South Park District Travel Analysis Process (TAP) are benefits that can be met with an administrative road.


    The costs of adding new roads must be determined and specified

    The project proposes to add numerous new roads, primarily in designated dispersed camping areas. The full individual and cumulative costs of adding these roads to the designated system must be considered and specified.

    Many of the roads that are proposed to be added already exist on the ground as unauthorized user created routes. These roads were not designed, planned or created according to any engineering standard. Additional work will need to be completed on these routes to bring them up to Forest Service engineering standards to ensure that they are safe and sustainable. This work would likely include, but not be limited to, installation of water control and drainage features, grading, installing signage, possible logging out and brush work, some minor rerouting, etc. The full cost of this work must be considered and specified in the EA.

    Annual costs for these proposed new roads must be considered. This should include all costs associated with these roads, including annual maintenance costs, the wages of staff and workers performing maintenance, monitoring or other work associated with these roads.


    The route system must be fiscally responsible

    Currently, road maintenance costs on the South Park District are greater than funds allocated. The 2015 TAP estimated that there is a shortfall of ~$227,741 each year between desired road maintenance funding and actual maintenance funding. Therefore, there is a need to reduce road maintenance costs, and one of the best ways to do this is through the decommissioning of roads.

    While we agree with and support the proposed decommissioning of roads in this plan, it may not be enough to significantly reduce overall costs. If all roads proposed to be decommissioned in this plan are actually decommissioned, it may only reduce annual maintenance funding by ~$5350.

    This low figure is based on an estimated annual maintenance cost of $190 per mile of Maintenance Level 2 road and just over 28 miles of road proposed for decommissioning.

    The addition of an undetermined number of miles of new roads that will be added to the system in this plan will add costs and further reduce any cost savings attained through decommissioning.

    Page 2-6 of the 2015 South Park TAP states “During future travel planning NEPA compliance actions, the responsible official/line officer will use this data to inform that process and to help identify a minimum road system that will reflect long term funding expectations.” The District should publicly identify a minimum road system in this area based on long term funding expectations.



    The proposed allowed uses for the proposed new motorized trails are not specified

    There are 3 possible managed/designed/permitted types of USFS motorized trails: motorcycle, ATV and 4WD vehicle >50” wide. The proposal does not specify which new proposed new motorized trails are proposed to be opened to which uses, and it must do so.

    The three different allowed trail uses have significantly different impacts on user experiences, management and the environment. All trail users ideally want a trail that is, at best, managed and designed for their specific use. All user groups complain when the user group above them on the trail use hierarchy uses and invades their trails (normally resulting in wider trails and modifying the tread surface). Motorcyclists do not like ATVs on their trails, and ATV riders do not like UTVs or wider vehicles on their trails.

    It is difficult to effectively comment on this proposal without further information regarding the allowed uses on these proposed new motorized trails.

    We generally do not support the conversion of roads to motorized 4WD trails >50” wide. These essentially do not modify existing roads, except that the change requires licensed 4WD users to purchase OHV registration stickers. Such routes only transfer the burden of management and maintenance to another administrative layer by changing the label of the route. These conversions do little to actually mitigate TAP identified risks for these routes. The route and risks associated with it remain, no matter what the route is called. Calling a road a trail may increase risks due to additional use and users seeking out “new” trails.


    Wildlife habitat must be protected

    2015 Colorado Parks and Wildlife GIS data indicates that roads 204, 212 and the proposed new motorized trail connecting FR 204 to 212 are all in Bighorn Sheep Winter Range, Winter Concentration Area, Severe Winter Range and Summer Range. They are also in a <2400 acre Mule Deer Concentration Area. FR 212 and 212.A are also in a Mule Deer Winter Concentration area. These existing roads pose a high risk to wildlife, and we thus oppose the proposed addition of additional routes in this area connecting 204 to 212 and 212.A to 213,

    It must be recognized that all the roads in the analysis area are within CPW identified elk and deer winter range. Only 2 roads in the analysis area are seasonally closed.

    The following roads intrude into USFS management area 5B, and should be managed as seasonally closed to protect big game on winter range: 704.E, 704.B, 704, 860.C, 860.D, 860 and 861. 252 end half, 862, 864, 229, 44.2A, 280, 44.2B, 228, 226.A, segment of 44, and the west end.

    Roads, trails and DCs should be closed, seasonally closed or not developed in areas near raptor nests. We recommend that the District use CPW identified buffer zones and seasonal restrictions for raptor nests from 1995. Generally this buffer zone extends between 1/4mile and one mile of nest sites, depending upon the species.

    This entire process must mitigate, minimize and eliminate the risks routes pose to wildlife though seasonal closures, not allowing dispersed camping, eliminating the volume of use through administrative road conversion, and/or closing/decommissioning roads.

    There are a number of high benefit roads which are proposed for retention in the route system which have been identified as posing high risks to wildlife. Additional actions must be considered in order to mitigate or minimized those risks if these roads are to remain part of the designated route system.

    The additional negative impacts to wildlife from DC roads must be considered. These roads will facilitate short and longer term human occupancy, presence and use. These routes will bring additional risks such as improper food storage and waste disposal, which could attract bears. The presence of leashed and unleased dogs in these areas will pose additional risks to wildlife.

    There is a rather large amount of currently undeveloped private land within the analysis area. This land currently contributes to providing habitat for wildlife. This land is not guaranteed to remain in its current relatively undeveloped condition. With increasing human populations, it is likely that these private lands will be developed. Private land development will increase wildlife dependence on Forest Lands in this area to fulfill its habitat needs.


    Close shorter ML 2 road segments that connect to designated routes which do not permit OHV use

    We recommend this project include a decision to close short segments of designated roads to mixed OHV use where they connect to another route which does not permit mixed OHV use. This action will help with management and prevent unauthorized use on roads closed to OHV use. It will provide more flow and enhance the OHV riding experience. This will help concentrate OHV staging and associated off route parking in certain areas. As examples:

    · Closing the short segments of FR 230 and Fr 231 between CR 31 and the end of the designated dispersed camping areas will help prevent unauthorized unlicensed OHV use on CR 31 and nearby FR 652.

    · FR 225 should be closed to mixed OHV use between FR 247 and Highway 24. This would improve desired experiences for the majority of campers in the Round Mountain Campground by limiting noise and dust. It would prevent unauthorized OHV drive through in this campground in violation of CFR 36 261.16 (o). FR 203 in the campground is only open to licensed vehicles, yet unlicensed OHVs frequently use it.

    · FR 223 should be closed to OHV use west of the proposed trailhead to CR 31, to prevent unauthorized use on CR 31.


    We have concerns about the ability of the District to enforce regulations

    The large number of unauthorized motorized routes in this area is a testament to the amount of irresponsible behavior that has occurred, and has been permitted to occur, in this area.

    Although the District has made a welcome commitment to address unauthorized use that in the previous Badger Flats Habitat Improvement Project decision, enforcement concerns remain.

    We question the District’s ability to adequately enforce travel regulations in this area.

    This area is remote, and is a long way from the District Office in Fairplay. This slows response time and makes quick access difficult. Park County Sheriff deputies can enforce federal travel regulations in this area, but it is not a priority for them. Enforcing travel management violations is not a priority for Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers, based upon our experience and personal communications where they stated this.

    If approved and implemented, the addition of new OHV trails will likely attract additional OHV users to this area. This will create additional OHV management and enforcement concerns.

    State OHV grant funded enforcement may help, but there is a reluctance to devote attention to OHV use on roads. The majority of OHV use in this area will continue to occur on roads.

    We think this proposal could be a positive step towards a more easily enforceable travel system.

    We have continued concerns that unauthorized motorized use off of designated routes will be improperly rewarded by this proposal which could legitimize routes created by illegal motorized use. This sets a poor precedent and has the potential to encourage continued renegade behavior.
    #2
  3. Big_John

    Big_John That'll be the day

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,778
    Location:
    Black Forest, CO
    Continued.......


    A mixed use judgement on FR 210 should be included

    FR 210 is a Maintenance Level 3 road which allows both passenger cars/licensed vehicles and unlicensed OHVs. We are not aware of the existence of an engineering judgement or analysis regarding mixed use has been made for this road segment. This proposal should consider the safety and appropriateness of mixed use on that road.


    Allowed uses on decommissioned roads must be determined

    This proposal must consider what travel and uses will be permitted on decommissioned routes.

    Will bicycle, snowmobile, horse and/or hiking use be permitted on these decommissioned routes?

    We recommend that the decommissioning of routes generally be implemented so that all linear travel on the routes is difficult for all users. This will maximize the intent of the decommissioning work, and prevent continued travel and use of the route from interfering with rehabilitation.


    The proposal should consider winter motorized use

    This proposal should consider winter motorized use on all proposed and existing routes. Winter wheeled vehicle use and motorized over snow vehicle use must be considered in this decision.

    The current Pike National Forest Visitor Map indicates some of the areas within the analysis area prohibit snowmobile use. This proposal should reaffirm those restrictions, and close those areas to winter wheeled vehicle travel.


    The individual and cumulative effects of the proposed action need to be considered

    The individual site specific and cumulative area specific implications of actions must be considered.

    For example, it appears as though one of the outcomes of the proposal is to provide a legal connecting link for unlicensed OHVs throughout much of the analysis area. This will increase OHV use on routes which currently do not receive much legal OHV use. For example, the proposal will facilitate a legal connection between the China Wall area routes and the rest of the area for unlicensed OHVs. It will also legally link roads in the northern part of the analysis area with the southern part.


    Seasonal closures for mud and wildlife should be approved

    We encourage the District to install gates on any new roads or trails which might be approved with this plan, and seasonally close these route systems.

    Gates would allow seasonal closure of road or trail system to protect wintering wildlife; they would permit closure of the route system during mud season to protect route tread surfaces, and they would help facilitate temporary closure of the trail system due to fires or other occurrences.

    For example, we agree with and support the proposed gate on the suggested new FR 247 conversion to a motorized trail.

    Gates and seasonal closures should especially be considered for roads in DC areas and new motorized trails. Gates on motorized trails will limit use on them during the season when few riders are using those routes, and extra forest service staff/OHV crews are not available to patrol, monitor and/or work on the routes.


    A cooperative agreement should be developed with Park County so USFS can enforce CO State OHV laws.

    We suggest that the USFS pursue a cooperative agreement with Park County so that USFS staff has the ability to enforce CO Revised Statute 33-14.5-108 which prohibits OHV use on Park County roads 77, 211, 31, 90 and 112. Cooperative enforcement which permits the Park County Sheriff to enforce federal land travel regulations already exists, and this proposed new agreement will compliment that.

    A draft bill will likely be introduced in the CO State Legislature in 2016 which suggest such an agreement.


    Adaptive Management/Provisional route/area designation should be used

    We believe new, and some existing routes, with known or potential concerns, should be conditionally

    and provisionally designated as open.

    Clear desired conditions which address these concerns must be developed. Monitoring must occur to ensure that desired conditions are being maintained. standards should be developed and set forth in the Decision Notice which, when violated, trigger a series of management actions, increasing in intensity and ending ultimately in route closures. This would apply both to part of the existing system and to new route designations.

    Keeping existing routes open, and especially new route designation, should be made contingent on a

    decisive shift towards user compliance. This will help place some of the burden on the recreating public

    to properly adhere to regulations and restrictions. Peer pressure from responsible users would develop

    in order to educate and even maintain routes and monitor area violations by other less responsible

    users.

    Knowing that their right to responsibly use a dispersed camping area or new trail may be lost if trash

    dumping, vandalism, or unauthorized use continues is a powerful incentive for responsible users to step forward and assist with monitoring and public education. Identifying routes that are provisionally

    designated would help catch the attention of responsible user groups that may come forward to help

    with proper management of these areas.

    A good precedent for creating user accountability is found in the San Juan Public Land Lakes

    Landscape Decision Notice, page 5, 2008, a provision which was in fact invoked in August, 2011.


    “A requirement of my decision is monitoring of motorized designations in the Tuckerville area for a

    three year period after the Decision is implemented. Compliance with this Decision becomes the Desired

    Condition for the area above Tuckerville. Monitoring after the implementation of the Decision will

    include site visits to determine if signage is in place, road closures are effective, the Tuckerville gate is in

    place, evidence of vehicles or vehicle tracks into the Wilderness, and new user created non-system

    motorized routes are visible. Monitoring will be conducted using a reporting form, GPS points and

    photos by staff, user groups, and volunteers.

    Annually, the ID Team will meet to review monitoring results and determine whether progress is being

    made towards meeting the Desired Condition. There should be a visible upward trend in the resource

    conditions beyond Tuckerville from the current conditions. The actions taken to implement this decision

    (signs, gate, closures) should, for the most part, remain in place and not be vandalized.

    If after three years from implementation, the Desired Condition is not being met, or satisfactory

    progress being made towards meeting it, all over-the-ground motorized use beyond Tuckerville will be

    prohibited. The Line Officer, in consultation with the Columbine staff, shall determine whether the

    Desired Condition is being met or satisfactory progress is evident. User-groups and advocacy groups may

    also be consulted. Beyond the three year period, if monitoring indicates a downward trend, the decision

    to leave the gate open will be revisited. It is imperative that the motorized user groups help to educate

    the public about the designated roads and trails. User groups and volunteers will be solicited to help

    with the monitoring efforts. “

    The 2014 Tenderfoot Mountain Motorcycle Trails System on the adjacent Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest contained extensive adaptive management strategies which also conditionally opened new trails.

    Conditionally opening new routes is an excellent proactive strategy which encourages compliance and self- regulation of recreational use.


    Long term management commitments from established local user groups must exist before new trails are approved and developed
    We question the capacity of the USFS South Park District to properly manage any of the new proposed motorized trails on its own.
    District staff is limited, time is limited, and USFS funds are limited. Existing staff have existing
    responsibilities and priorities which already occupy much of their time.
    User groups and volunteers sometimes are willing to assist with the construction of new trails, but additional assistance is needed to ensure proper comprehensive long term management of these routes.

    Comprehensive management of trails includes much more than trail maintenance and construction.
    Comprehensive management includes the following: ·Repairing/replacing signage·Installing new signage when needed·Monitoring overall use of trail, trailhead, capacity, unauthorized use, and user created routes.·Closing, signing, rehabilitating unauthorized user created routes·Enforcing regulations, or at least reporting violations·Managing use at, and maintaining access routes and trailheads·Managing special uses and events·Developing and implementing policy for seasonal uses, daily uses, non-standard uses (ebikes)·Managing implementation·Managing cumulative effects in other areas·Managing growth·Managing conflict·Managing dispersed camping associated with trail and event use·Litter, trash, human/dog waste removal·Educating users about responsible use/legal use/regulations·Obtaining funding·Managing volunteers·Managing noxious weeds·Managing new proposals·Managing Adaptive Management·Maintaining the trail tread.
    The South Park District alone cannot be expected to bear the full burden of properly and comprehensively managing new trails. This must be emphasized in the EA.
    The proponents of these new trails must be willing to commit long term to significantly assisting with
    the long term management of the new trails they desire. This commitment must be specifically
    documented. Groups should be willing to commit to assisting the USFS with as many of the above bullets as possible.

    New trails should be conditionally opened, providing key commitments from volunteer groups continue. If the USFS does not obtain necessary continued support at any point in the future (due to a lack of committed volunteers or the collapse of the organizations) documented adaptive management must specify that permanently closing the trails will be considered.
    The USFS must realistically evaluate the capacity of local user groups proposing these trails, and their
    ability to commit to managing new trails. How organized are the groups? Are they a registered legal
    entity? How many members do they have? Do they have a Board of Directors? What is their annual
    budget? How long have they been an official group? What is the history of their commitment to public
    land management? Have they proven their willingness to implement all aspects of a decision
    concerning trails they supported? Are they willing to responsibly educate their own and other user
    groups about restrictions and regulations that may limit a perception of freedom?

    The South Park District must evaluate its own internal capacity to fund and provide staff to authorize, manage, oversee and manage large numbers of volunteers.

    It also must be recognized that while volunteers are great, it is the Forest Service that is ultimately responsible for these route systems.


    Noise must be considered in this planning process

    Noise from OHV use must be considered in this planning process. OHVs are allowed by Colorado Law to emit noise up to 96 dBA . This is over four times as loud as the average licensed passenger car.

    Anthropogenic noise has been proven to be a significant stressor for all forms of wildlife. Noise leads to conflicts between forest visitors, and can cause conflicts with adjacent land owners.

    A recent study conducted near the Pike National Forest found that noise from adjacent forest lands (including OHV noise) lowered private property values.

    We recommend that this process attempt to restrict noise producing activities to smaller areas, provide some areas where noise producing actions are limited or prohibited, and use planning to avoid noise related conflicts.



    Policy must be developed to address innovations in technology
    Technological advances in recreational machines — mechanical and motorized — that were unanticipated in the last Land and Resource Management Plan have resulted in considerable unplanned recreation on the District over the past 30 years.

    In order that history does not repeat itself, we urge the District to state in the final EA that if a new and unanalyzed form of recreation occurs that is significantly different from analyzed uses in terms of impacts, the forest would exert its authority to issue an interim forest/field office wide closure to the new form of recreation until it can be publicly studied, analyzed, and designated pursuant to NEPA.
    Motorized , and increasingly mechanized, users repeatedly assert that public land managers have an obligation to provide them with a range of challenge on routes, and that trails that are too easy are no fun. Because technology will forever propagate the trend identified above, there will always be a gap between these machines’ capability and the challenge provided on public lands. Is the Forest Service forever obligated to devise new, more challenging route systems to continually accommodate technological advancement that renders today’s challenge tomorrow’s cakewalk, even if the result is ever-increasing and hard to control impacts?

    We urge the District to explicitly recognize this concern, setting clear policy that public lands are not the place to continually accommodate this insatiable demand for more challenge. Perhaps the agency should essentially freeze the current travel system in place, sending a very clear signal to industry that public lands are not obligated to accommodate each successive technological evolution.
    The same concern applies to demands for increasing route length. If today’s technology allows a motorized user to comfortably travel 50 miles/day on ATV and 120 miles/day on a dirtbike, what will the comfortable travel distance for a full day’s fun be in the future? Does the Forest Service intend to keep providing longer and longer opportunities to forever meet expanding machine capability?
    There is no crystal ball to tell what future methods of transportation will appear. While what specific types of vehicles will be developed is unknown, the trends are well established. The Forest Service should now develop policy for how it intends to address these trends. Waiting will only force the agency to play catch-up as policy development will always lag behind the curve of technological innovation.


    Best Management Practice guidance should be used in this process

    We recommend that the District use the best available science, methodologies, and strategies in developing this proposal. An excellent reference for this is a 2012 literature review and Best Management Practices published in the Journal of Conservation Planning.

    These Best Management Practices provide guidelines, based on peer-reviewed science, for motorized travel designation decisions, implementation actions, and monitoring activities that are intended to minimize impacts to soils, wildlife, vegetation, water quality, vegetation, and conflicts with other recreational uses.

    This is available online via http://www.journalconsplanning.org/2012/JCP_v8_2_Switalski.pdf

    T. Adam Switalski and Allison Jones, Off-road vehicle best management practices for forestlands: A review of scientific literature and guidance for managers, 8 Journal of Conservation Planning 12-24 (2012)


    Do not label OHV staging areas as trailheads unless they provide trail access

    Labeling an OHV parking and staging area as a “Trailhead” is deceptive and improper, unless the location provides direct access to a designated USFS trail.

    For example, the proposed trailhead at the intersection of CR 77, FR 213 and FR 896 does not and will not provide any direct access to any officially designated USFS trails.

    Hikers, walkers, mountain bikers and equestrian users pulling into this area upon seeing a trailhead sign off CT 77 would be very disappointed to discover that there are no actual trails emanating from this location, and that only roads leave this “trail” head. Although roads are open to all of these uses, roads provide less desirable opportunities and present safety concerns to these users as opposed to trails.

    We believe that bicyclists and OHV users can and do obtain valuable desired experiences from using roads, and the vast majority of bicycle and OHV use in Colorado occurs on roads. The higher speeds of travel by bicycles and OHVs make traveling on roads more acceptable to these user groups.

    One of the largest, most detailed, and comprehensive Travel Management Plans in Colorado was the
    White River Travel Management Plan completed in 2011. This plan found that OHV riding on roads
    provides a quality and desirable experience for OHV enthusiasts. Chapter 3 page 87 of the Final EIS for
    this plan stated “Public comments stated that ATV and motorcycle riders enjoy riding on trails designed
    for their use as well as native surface roads. Therefore, a quality experience for ATVs and motorcycles
    will include trails and level 2 and 3 roads open for this use by alternative. This also addresses public
    concerns relating to the inclusion and consideration of the connectivity of routes to enhance ATV and
    motorcycle riding experiences” and “Quality experiences for ATVs and motorcycles is assumed to
    include level 2 and 3 roads and trails open to ATVs and unlicensed motorcycles.”

    Please do not label parking or staging areas that provide access only to roads as trail heads.


    A sequential implementation plan must be developed as part of this decision

    This plan should balance the requirements of resource protection with the desires of user groups. Route decommissioning must occur at a pace equivalent to new route and area opening.

    In addition, new routes with known resource impacts that are ultimately approved for designation

    should not be opened for public use and remain closed until those impacts are mitigated, repaired or

    resolved.

    Road decommissioning must address identified risks so that the decommissioning process eliminates or greatly reduces the risk impacts.

    It should be specified in a decision that routes approved for decommissioning can be closed to public use before the full decommissioning process is scheduled to occur.

    A prioritized sequence of implementation actions should be developed, which schedules implementation actions which provide the highest benefits and eliminates the greatest risks first.



    Comments on proposed additions of new routes



    Oppose connection between FR 204 and 212

    We oppose the proposed motorized trail connecting FR 212 and 204. This is a steep unsustainable route which has been improperly depicted on signs and maps as open. We have not noticed any attempts to discourage unauthorized motorized use on this non-system route. If attempts have been made (sign or barrier installation) to close this route to motorized use, they have been improperly removed or vandalized. Designating this route as an open system route will set a poor precedent as it will be rewarding continued illegal and unauthorized behavior.


    FR 230 to FR 231 connector

    This is a steep eroding route that the USFS has previously improperly invested funding in for maintenance and management. A significant investment would be required to make this route sustainable. Opening this route will create a legal connection for OHVs between the northern and southern parts of this analysis area. Opening this route will be rewarding unauthorized use and illegal behavior. We could better accept the opening of this route if the western segment of FR 231 became an administrative route.


    Oppose new connecting road parallel to CR 77

    This road will connect FR 212.A to FR 213. A new road in this location is not necessary to provide licensed vehicle connection as CR 77 already exists.

    This route would provide legal OHV connectivity to the China Wall area, which will create additional management concerns in the China Wall area from additional OHV use. There are already concerns and problems with unauthorized use off designated routes in the China Wall area, and these problems will increase substantially with the opening of this route. This is especially true as this route will begin at a new proposed OHV trailhead.

    Designating this unauthorized route as a new system route rewards illegal behavior unauthorized use. This sets a poor precedent and could help encourage additional unauthorized use.

    Opening this route will increase OHV use on CR 77 as a crossing. Park County must be consulted to determine if this area provides a safe location for this crossing. The fact that OHV operators as young as 10 years old will be crossing this county road must be considered.


    Oppose new addition of road north of FR 704

    This ~300 yard long route leaves FR 704 at ~ 39° 1'59.78"N 105°29'5.55"W and heads up the hill. This route has an average slope of over 19%, and has segments near the end that exceed 40% slope. The route is already eroding, is braided in areas, and has additional unauthorized routes forking off of it. It will require an additional investment in management funding in order to install and maintain water control structures; and close and maintain signage and barriers to prevent unauthorized use off this route; and monitor this route. We cannot identify any purpose or need for adding this dead end route. It does not provide access to any significant destination and will not permit dispersed camping.


    FR 213 Marksbury reroute

    We support this proposed relocation. The existing road poses a high risk the waterway in this area, as it is located just a few feet away in some locations. Relocating this road, and decommissioning the existing route, will help mitigate these risks. This action must occur before a proposed new trailhead is installed along CR 77.


    New FR 227.1A to FR 227 connector road

    We do not oppose this new connection, as long as the majority of FR 227.1A will be closed and decommissioned.

    This non-system route already has evidence of past maintenance on it. Using this route instead of 227.1A will limit fragmentation.


    Highway 24 to 704.B

    As we do not believe 704.B should remain open we do not support the creation of this new road segment.


    Oppose extension of the end of FR 212

    This new road will come within a few feet of Tarryall Creek, and will have negative impacts on the Creek and associated riparian area.


    Connector between 896 and 216, parallel to CR 31

    The only purpose of this proposed road that we can identify is to provide a legal OHV connector between DC along CR 31. We do not see the need for this road, since other legal OHV connectors exist in other areas.



    Additional proposed actions to consider



    Low value roads should be considered for additional actions

    There are a number of low value roads that were identified in the 2015 TAP that must be considered for additional action. The proposal did not include any actions for these roads.

    Low value roads are generally not part of the minimum road system. These roads are a financial and managerial burden and add no real value to the route system.

    The following low value roads should be considered for decommissioning: 211.A, 211.E, 211.F, 230 and 704.B.


    Additional actions must occur on high risk roads proposed for retention

    There are a number of roads in the analysis area which are proposed for retention, but were ranked as overall high risk roads in the 2015 TAP. Additional actions must occur on these roads to minimize, mitigate or eliminate these risks.

    The 2015 TAP suggested that high benefit roads should remain as part of the route system if the risks associated with these roads can be adequately mitigated. High benefit and high risk roads are high priorities for capital improvements, presumably as a way to mitigate risks.

    Road maintenance alone is not always sufficient in order to properly mitigate high risks. Risks to wildlife, botanical resources, and archaeological resources may require additional management actions beyond increased road maintenance.

    The following roads are proposed for retention in the system and have high risks associated with them which require additional action if they are retained: 204, 211.B, 213, 228, 231, 295, 44, 44.2A and 896.

    This decision must specify what actions will occur, and when, to mitigate the high risks that these roads pose. If the risks cannot be adequately mitigated, these roads should not be retained as open public roads.

    There are two roads identified with low values and high risks for which no further actions were proposed in this plan: 864 and 865. We recommend that 864 be closed and decommissioned and 864 be either all or partially closed and decommissioned, with the rest converted to administrative use.


    Eliminate duplicative roads

    We agree with proposed actions to eliminate one of two essentially parallel roads which provide access to the same destination.

    There is no need to keep and maintain duplicative roads. Eliminating duplicative roads reduces road maintenance needs, habitat fragmentation and road density. It increases the value of the roads that remain open, helps focus limited maintenance funding on open roads, and increases desired natural vistas from the open roads, among other benefits.

    For example, FR 230 and 231 both provide access to the same general area. The west segments of FR 44 and 44.2A are similar. Also 287.B and 225; & 223.A and 225. We agree with proposed actions that would keep one of the roads in these pairs while closing and decommissioning the other.

    Other sets of roads which are duplicative include:

    · 863 and 864 (we recommend closing and decommissioning 864)

    · 247 and 247.C (close 247.C)

    · 861 north segment and 861 south segment (we recommend closing the south segment, at a minimum between 860.C and 861.B to minimize wildlife impacts)

    · 287, 223 and 290 (agree with keeping only 290 open)

    · 229 and 44.2A (agree with keeping 44/2A open administratively)

    · 213, 896, 215, 255 and 223 all connect CR 31 with FR 225/216/896 within the space of a couple miles. (We agree with closing/decommissioning 255, and recommend closing/decommissioning 896 between CR 31 and FR 216)


    Route density limitations are needed

    The existing and proposed motorized route density in sections of this travel planning area exceeds the minimum necessary which results in a travel system that is both unsustainable, has negative environmental impacts, and is unaffordable. Current and future funding and staffing limitations (for maintenance, monitoring, education, administration and enforcement) point to the need to reduce the number and miles of motorized routes in this area.

    Areas of this proposal within management prescription area 2B of the Forest Plan have or may have sections where road and motorized trail density likely equals or exceeds 4 miles per square mile, which exceeds Standards and Guidelines in the Forest Plan. Steps should be taken to reduce the route density in these areas.

    The addition of more new routes in these areas, including new proposed motorized trails and roads may exceed limits set by the Forest Plan. We are especially concerned with high route densities being approved and/or developing within DCs.

    We recommend that the Forest Service include all motorized routes, whether classified as a road or trail; under other jurisdictions, and including special use permit routes, when considering the overall route density of an area.

    This proposal should actively strive to reduce route density as a desired outcome, and develop specific actions to accomplish this.

    The following areas may already be, or will exceed, route densities of 4 miles per square mile:

    · The area associated with FR 259 and side spur roads.

    · The area associated with FR 860 and 861.

    · The FR 262, 225 and 247 area.

    · The 206.A1 area, especially with additions of new DC roads.


    This proposal must consider mechanized travel

    This proposal must be a more proactive and comprehensive travel plan which limits mechanized travel to designated routes.

    Limiting mechanized travel to designated routes is a national and regional trend in travel management planning. Just about every recent travel management plan within Colorado has limited mechanized travel to designated routes. This includes the Gunnison, White River, and Uncompahgre Travel Plans, the West Magnolia Travel Plan, and the Fourmile Travel Plan on the adjacent Salida District.

    Every recent BLM travel management plan has limited mechanized travel to designated routes, including all travel plans for the local BLM Royal Gorge Field Office.

    The White River National Forest Travel Plan FEIS identified mechanized travel off designated routes as a contributing factor resulting in negative impacts to soils, vegetation, wildlife, archaeological resources, grazing cattle, waterways, riparian areas, public safety, scenic/aesthetic values, management objectives, and the desired experiences of other users.

    Increased management of mechanized travel provides numerous benefits, including the potential development of planned opportunities which can provide mechanized users with safe, sustainable, enjoyable and responsible travel routes and experiences.


    Close FR 864 to public use

    This road scored as an overall low value/high risk road in the South Park TAP. Keeping this road open is a risk for wildlife, as it’s in a 5B big game winter range area and is not seasonally closed, and it was scored as a high risk road for financial burden/public health/safety. This road has a .75 mile long unauthorized route emanating from it that connects back to FR 862. The TAP recommended closing this road to public use and keeping it as an administrative road. We agree with that recommendation and would like to see that suggestion added to this proposal.


    Convert the end segment of FR 231 to an administrative use road

    The 2015 South Park TAP recommended converting the western end of FR231 (beyond mile 2.38) to an administrative road. We recommend implementing this action with this decision, to minimize resource impacts. This road extends across and through Allen Creek, and the use of motor vehicles in this watershed and riparian area results in high negative impacts. This route poses risks to wintering wildlife and raptors. This route also likely improperly passes within the Schoolmarm Mountain Roadless Area boundary for ~350 yards at 39° 7'20.52"N 105°34'5.60"W, and is severely impacting roadless characteristics. This route is also steep in segments and will require a significant investment to keep it sustainable for public use. The 2015 TAP scored this road segment as having high overall risks. These risks can be significantly decreased, while still providing almost all benefits, if this road is open for administrative use only.


    Close FR 704.B

    This road was identified in the TAP as having very little value. It is a steep, dead end route which will not provide any dispersed camping opportunities. There are three locations where over a mile of unauthorized routes fork off of it, and these are in open areas where effective closures of these routes will be difficult. This route is on the edge of a CPW identified elk winter concentration area, so winter use of this route will create wildlife concerns. This route does not provide full access to private property. We recommend that it be closed and decommissioned.


    Close FR 865 to public use

    We recommend this road be all or partially closed to public use, with the rest decommissioned. At the very least all or part of this road should be converted to an administrative or special use access road. Road 856 scored as a low value, high risk route in the 2015 TAP and should be a high priority for additional action. It poses high risk for watersheds, wildlife and for financial /health & safety concerns. This road is very steep in sections and it will take a significant financial investment to sustain it long term. This road also has over a mile of unauthorized routes emanating from it, which must be closed.

    Closing and/or gating all or part of this road will help mitigate some of the risks it poses.


    We thank you for considering these comments.


    Sincerely;







    Tom Sobal

    Director

    Quiet Use Coalition

    POB 1452

    Salida, CO 81201

    quietuse@gmail.com

    719-539-4112


    Misi Ballard

    South Park Broadband Leader

    Great Old Broads for Wilderness

    5630 S Berry Lane

    Greenwood Village, CO 80111

    misi.ballard@gmail.com

    303-773-6765


    Robyn Cascade

    Northern San Juan Broadband Leader

    Great Old Broads for Wilderness

    Ridgeway, Colorado

    northernsanjuanbroadband@gmail.com


    James E. Lockhart, President
    Wild Connections
    2168 Pheasant Pl.,

    Colorado Springs, CO 80909

    jlock@datawest.net
    719-385-0045


    Roz McClellan

    Rocky Mountain Recreation Initiative

    1567 Twin Sisters Road

    Nederland, CO 80466

    Mcclelr@colorado.edu

    303-447-9409


    Shelley Silbert

    Executive Director

    Great Old Broads for Wilderness

    PO Box 2924

    Durango, CO 81302

    shelley@greatoldbroads.org

    970-385-9577


    John Stansfield

    Director

    Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition

    PO Box 588

    Monument, CO 80132

    jorcstan@juno.com

    303-660-5849
    #3
  4. modette

    modette TrailTaker.com

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,589
    Location:
    Monument, CO
    This is why we need to raise money, whether you come to an RMAR event or send a check in this is getting out of hand.

    Seriously they obviously never been to the area because that is an OHV area. I went on July 4th once int he Jeep, big mistake it was line and line of ATV's packed onto the road/trails. That area needs more trails to accommodate people, not less.
    #4
  5. co-drz

    co-drz Rather be Ride'n

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Woodland Park, CO
    First, Thanks John for taking the time to get this posted and putting this issue out front so folks can see the challenges we are facing. This written input by the folks desiring to curtail multi-use access is not unique to Badger Flats, but what we encounter each and every time these land use actions come up with the Federal Land Managers. I hope more enthusiasts do in fact read the very length post above to see the sort of written input submitted by these folks hoping to curtail OHV recreation on public lands. I feel it is important for all of us to appreciate the challenge facing multi-use/motorized recreation and see the order of magnitude of effort the opposition puts into these comments. If it makes you angry (a little or a lot), it probably should and why it's important for each of us to step up, do our homework, individually participate in the process with the USFS, BLM, etc. The environmental laws are certainly written in favor of the folks wanting to impose more and more restrictions on multi-use recreation, but if we just get mad, blame someone else or give up, we've lost. Organizations like COHVCO, TPA, BRC and others can not fight this on their own. Each of us must do our individual part to get informed, do our own research, then provide thoughtful, reasonable and logical input to the Federal Land Managers using the process that the law requires (e.g.,36 CFR Part 212, Subpart B). It's important to note that the initial comment period for this project has passed, that is why the comments posted above are now Public Record. But the Decision has not been made and there may be future opportunities to comment on the Badger Flats project along with many other future projects on public lands. Bottomline: please get informed, do your homework, get involved in the process (it's not easy and that's by design - it requires individual commitment) and continue to support groups that are working these issues on behalf of all of us like the TPA and COHVCO. There is certainly strength in numbers and the more individual folks working these issues the better for all of us.
    #5
  6. Big_John

    Big_John That'll be the day

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,778
    Location:
    Black Forest, CO
    Very well put....... Get involved or you will be riding in a circle on 40 acres in 5 years.


    #6
  7. dirtydoug

    dirtydoug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    519
    Location:
    Golden
    OK FOLKS TIME TO PUT UP OR SHUT UP !!!!!

    if you cant support your sport you might as well sell your bikes !!!


    WE need a lobbyist .... if your a good talker you can do this... just make buddies at the state house ..... and tell them our concerns ...
    this is how corporations ( and others ) get the gov to do what THEY want... we need to get laws in place to protect US for a change...


    when are these environmentalists ( and ya this is for you to read ) ....... going to realize that after they throw us off OUR OWN land .... THEY ARE NEXT !!!! .......see agenda 21........ wildlife corridors..... NO PEOPLE AT ALL !!!!!!!!! GOD I HATE IGNORANT PEOPLE.... happening so slow they dont see it.....
    you environmentalists need to educate yourselves......( do you really want to spend your life in a 300 sqft "tiny house" in some high rise.. and the only nature you see is an image in your wall... remember.... NO PEOPLE ALLOWED )


    if people ( hikers, campers, hunters, bikers, even just people........ everybody ) want to use public lands they need to stop this now... this land belongs to the people.... not the government !!!!!!





    doug




    .
    #7
  8. modette

    modette TrailTaker.com

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,589
    Location:
    Monument, CO
    I don't think riding will go away ever but we end up like this and I don't want to see this.

    #8