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Rocky Mountain Access Issues

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by neduro, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    This thread is a central place to watch advocacy issues, in particular land use issues, for the greater Rocky Mountain region.

    With all the hubbub, I started thinking about what the most effective way to use the (great) community that we have here is- obviously, advrider has no place in an advocacy role, but all of it's members may or may not depending on their inclination.

    Here's some ideas that I have, for how a group with large numbers (like we are these days) and reasonable funding (very few of us are starving) and, apparently, a reasonable amount of spare time on our hands (as evidenced by our presence here) could make a positive difference.

    Here's some ideas I came up with- if you have more, please post them.

    1) Join existing groups. All of these groups have proven not only their good intentions but also their effectiveness.

    Blueribbon Coalition
    COHVCO
    USA-ALL
    AMA

    Any others? I'll put them in this first post if you've got 'em...

    2) Get a number of us subscribed to all relevant "action alert" email lists for the groups above, so that when a need arises, we can make sure that someone gets it posted here for people to learn about and take whatever action they deem appropriate.

    3) Eventually, organize some volunteer days, whether they are cleanup, trail construction, mapping, whatever. This comes later.

    4) What else? There's gotta be more... :ear We all love our riding, and I think most of us are willing to do our part in trying to keep it available.


    Since some of the other threads have turned so contentious, which is healthy but makes it difficult to wade through to the actual material, my vote is that we use this thread to post information as it comes along, not to debate the merits of a particular action or law. We should debate all that, but let's do it in seperate, timely threads, and keep this one as the master. The parallel is with 309's craigslist thread, which keeps popping up as the good deals come through, but isn't really the place to decide which bike to buy.

    Does that seem like a good approach to everyone? I don't want to be a third world dictator here (:evil), I just want to make a good system for working on this stuff.
    #1
  2. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    Good points.

    Regarding your last- I see this less as a project, and more as a process. If something comes along that we want to get involved in, then it seems to me we should set goals and work toward them. In the meantime, my goal was less lofty- just giving us a structure to communicate about the issues at hand.

    But I'm only one of many, and I don't mean to presume to speak for everyone.

    :dunno

    #2
  3. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    Not at all, and it may be me who is off base. And I'd hate for this to be just a bunch of blowhards on the internet...

    My thinking was to start with baby steps. Make sure people are aware of organizations that may represent their views. Make sure people are aware of opportunities to send letters where they are needed. Begin a discussion around access.

    As things take shape from there, if they take shape, we can move forward. In the meantime, I suspect many of us are already involved in some way as it stands.

    But again, I don't mean to determine the direction, or what people should or shouldn't do. I just see the need for a structure to get started on all this stuff, and it seems to me like this conversation is the right first step.
    #3
  4. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    In my work as Land Use Coordinator for Rising Sun 4x4 Club, I will be thrilled to pass on MC-related issues and opportunities as I become aware of them. Of particular interest would be issues and needs in the Boulder Ranger District- I am advocating more singletrack every chance I get.

    There is an OHV meeting in the Boulder Ranger District office every month (November and December excluded) that could really use some more motorcyclist attendees. I will post info as I have it. The Sierra Club and Wilderness Society, as well as the James Creek Watershed group have representatives there most meetings. It's civil. 4x4 clubs are well represented, but not so motorcyclists. The need is great.

    Also, on work days on 4x4 trails that are frequented by MCs/dualsporters, I will be sure to post volunteer opportunities so we get multiple user groups represented in the work.

    Goodonya Ned, make it a sticky.
    #4
  5. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    Do I get a free beer for being first? :wink:
    ***************************************************
    RED CANYON TRAVEL MANAGEMENT PROJECT RELIES ON CLOSURES TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.

    PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TODAY ASKING FOR BALANCED AND FAIR SOLUTIONS - - NOT CLOSURES!
    Dear Action Alert Subscriber,
    The BlueRibbon Coalition is working with a Telluride, Colorado based recreational access group called the Public Access Preservation Association (PAPA) on a Travel Management Project for the popular Uncompahgre National Forest.
    If you are under the impression that "Travel Management" might be a euphemism for "trail closure," well, you'd be about right.
    As is all too common these days, federal land managers are responding to some legitimate problems by closing trails. BRC and the local trail users know that solutions to these problems are best found by working with the local trail user-group and "thinking outside the box," - not by arbitrarily closing routes.
    But we need your help. The Norwood Ranger District on the Uncompahgre NF is convinced closure is the answer. We need you to send them an email asking them to work with the local user groups to try to work out a better solution.
    Please take a minute to help us out with a quick email. I've pasted a brief explanation of the project, its problems and instructions on how to email. I've also included some comment suggestions.
    Thanks in advance for your help. As always, if you have any comments or questions please give me a call.
    Brian Hawthorne
    Public Lands Director,
    BlueRibbon Coalition
    208-237-1008 ext 102


    ACTION ALERT:
    RED CANYON TRAVEL MANAGEMENT PROJECT RELIES ON CLOSURES TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.

    PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TODAY ASKING FOR BALANCED AND FAIR SOLUTIONS NOT CLOSURES!
    SITUATION:
    The Norwood Ranger District on the Uncompahgre National Forest is planning a Travel Management Project in the Red Canyon area on the southern half of the Uncompahgre Plateau.

    The Red Canyon area is a popular recreational destination for OHV and mountain bike users. The FS has identified some legitimate issues regarding off-trail travel and resource impacts that will be addressed by this project.
    Sadly, the agency is relying almost exclusively on closure as a method to solve the problems. A local trail user group, the Public Access Preservation Association (PAPA) is proposing a more reasonable approach.
    As of the writing of this Action Alert, we could not locate the Proposed Action on the Forest Service's website so for more information or details about the project contact Brian Hawthorne, BRC's Public Lands Director at: 208-237-1008 ext 102 or Craig Grother at the Forest Service at: 970-327-4261
    WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
    Email comments are needed that ask the Norwood Ranger District to cooperate with PAPA on more reasonable solutions.

    IMPORTANT:
    The FS routinely discards anonymous comments so be certain to include your name and address!

    Email address:
    Comments-rocky-mountain-gmug-norwood@fs.fed.us
    Attention: Red Canyon Travel Management Project
    Norwood Ranger District
    P.O. Box 388
    Norwood, CO 81423

    First, write a brief sentence or two telling the FS how much you enjoy OHV use and how much you enjoy riding on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
    Then use the comment suggestions below to write your letter. It's ok to use the "cut and paste" but be sure to review your letter before you send it.
    The most important thing to say in your email is that you believe the Proposed Action is not the answer to the problems in this area and that you are requesting the Forest Service work with Public Access Preservation Association (PAPA) and Motorcycle Trail Riding Association: Montrose Chapter (MTRA) to find more reasonable solutions.
    Other comments you may want to make:
    Issue:
    Local trail enthusiasts say the Norwood Ranger District is planning to close a few of the more important Red Canyon area trails. The proposed closures include FSR540.ia, FSR512.2c, FSR512.1h, and re-routing the north section of single track Red Canyon Trail to a logging road.

    Comment:
    Tell the FS that there is a need to provide additional motorized opportunity in this area. OHV registrations in this region are the highest per capita in the state. The FS should be looking for opportunities to provide for OHV use, not eliminate it.

    Issue:
    Local trail users are concerned that the FS staff are reluctant to consider other options and don't seem to want to formulate a "pro-access" or "pro-recreation" alternative.

    Comment:
    OHV use is a very popular activity. It is a legitimate use of USFS managed lands. When properly managed OHV use has minimal environmental impacts. Please formulate an alternative that maximizes recreational uses, especially OHV use, in the Red Canyon Travel Management Project.

    Issue:
    This area is home to a couple of premium single track trails. The agency needs to know how rare and valuable single track trails are.

    Comment:
    Tell the FS that you value the single track trails in this area. Tell them the Red Canyon, Hornet and Aspen trails are some of the best single track trails on the south section of the Plateau.

    Issue:
    Local trail users are concerned about the agency allocating resources for closures, but not any other management solutions.

    Comment:
    Instead of using scarce budgets and OHV funds to close campgrounds and trails please consider using the same money to bring the trails up to standards and mitigate any erosion problems.

    Issue:
    There is a problem with ATV riders using routes that are closed to ATV's. Local trail users understand the real reason for this is that the Travel Plan didn't provide enough routes for the growing ATV population. Closures will only make this problem worse.

    Comment:
    I agree that a solution needs to be found for "unauthorized ATV use." But the situation shows that there is a need for more ATV trails in the area. It should be noted that this area was heavily logged in the past and has a maze of old roads that could be included in the Travel Plan in order to provide for the increase in the popularity of ATV use.

    Issue:
    The FS wants to close a key connector route because a small portion of the route crosses private land. The FS will not consider re-routing this trail.

    Comment:
    I support connecting FSR 540.1a and FSR 512.1h to the Hanks Valley Road FSR 512. Please do not decommission both trails from Old Hwy 90 to the Hanks Valley Road. Those trails make a lot of sense and should simply be re-routed around the relative short sections of private land.

    Issue:
    The FS wants to impose a seasonal closure to benefit the big game herds. Local trail users normally support this sort of management, but according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife the deer and elk herds in this area are thriving!

    Comment:
    I strongly oppose the seasonal closures suggested in the Proposed Action.

    Issue:
    The FS wants to close a section of the Red Canyon Trail because it has a 'bad section' in it. Local's say this trail is one of the few remaining high-difficulty single track trails. Closure should be the last resort.

    Comment:
    Please do not decommission the entire north section of the Red Canyon Trail. I recommend that instead of closure a properly designed switch back should be constructed to alleviate any damage that might be occurring.
    #5
  6. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    Whoa, here's another.

    The comment letter attached represents just about the epitomy of comment letters IMHO, and is likely to gain a hearing. It was paid for by YOUR COHVCO dues. This has to do with the Snowy River Range near Laramie. Comments are due 12/14, so take a minute, borrow some of the form of COHVCO's comment letter, and submit your own!
    ********************************
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Dennis Larratt



    Hi All,
    Attached are the final comments from COHVCO on the Snowy Range TMP. I want to thank Jim Maucker, Roger Dowden, and Rob Stickler for providing additional input on my draft from Sunday morning. They have all committed to getting their comments in as well. Can the rest of you do likewise?

    Glen Akins,
    Could you please post to the website, with a note that comments are due on December 14, 2006, and can be sent to:
    Comments-rocky-mountain-medicine-bow-laramie@fs.fed.us ?

    Any other postings and suggestions for getting comments in would be appreciated. The .pdf includes my signature, the Word file does not, so it can be modified for others’ use.

    Thanks for helping keep this great area open!


    Dennis Larratt

    <edit: well, darn. Cannot upload a Word doc. Too bad! Yo, mods... permission por favor?>
    #6
  7. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    Well, to remain undaunted, let me make an UGLY LONG copy/paste post in the interest of access.
    _________________________________________________
    December 11, 2006

    Mr. Clint Kyhl, District Ranger
    Laramie Ranger District
    2468 Jackson Street
    Laramie, WY 82070

    Also via email and fax


    Dear Planning Team,

    The Colorado Off-highway Coalition, or COHVCO for short, represents nearly 200,000 Coloradoans, and thousands of visitors from outside Colorado, including hundreds from Wyoming, who enjoy recreating on our public lands with off highway vehicles. COHVCO is a volunteer based non-profit environmental organization that has focused on preserving and enhancing the opportunities of all OHV users in Colorado since 1987. We represent Motorcycle, 4WD, ATV & Snowmobile enthusiasts. COHVCO, its participating clubs, and enthusiasts provide not only thousands of volunteer hours, but contribute over $1.5 million each year to public lands, through Colorado’s OHV Registration Program.


    It is important to note that COHVCO doesn’t expend its energy opposing other forms of recreation, or trying to undermine other activities on public lands. We recognize the diverse interests and needs of all Americans and applaud, rather than oppose them.


    COHVCO acknowledges the challenges and complexities in preparing a travel management plan, and trying to balance the diverse interests of the public. The Forest Service is a leader in providing outstanding outdoor recreation to a broad range of visitors. COHVCO and its members respect the planning team and their efforts to provide the information necessary to allow the public an opportunity to comment and provide data to assist the decision making process. We believe that the District has done a good job in addressing the overall needs of motorized recreationists, while protecting the resources of the Forest. We will point out why we support Alternative 2, as well as providing a number of other comments.


    The Travel Management Plan was correctly kept separate from the process that resulted in the 2003 Forest Plan, and it is now appropriate to fully reference the Forest Plan. The fact that there were no designated summer use trails in 2000, makes this EA a particularly important process. Limiting the scope of the EA to summer recreation, and addressing winter recreation in the future is also appropriate, and makes the review and comments by individuals and groups more manageable and meaningful. Thank you!


    COHVCO was especially pleased to read the acknowledgement in the Background Information, p3, that “Many of the unauthorized routes were created over the last few decades as a result of a dramatic increase in off-road vehicle (ORV) use on the Forest. The Forest’s own policy of allowing unrestricted cross-country motorized vehicle use prior to 2000 further contributed to the creation of unauthorized roads and trails”. The analysis of the Existing Condition, p5-6, further notes “the condition of the unauthorized motorcycle trails is quite good in terms of trail tread stability, stream crossings, wet meadows and riparian zones, erosion and rutting, and lack of trail “braiding” or route proliferation.” COHVCO is particularly please with the acknowledgement that creation of these routes was allowed, not illegal, as is often times argued by non-motorized groups. We thank you for your objectivity. We also ask that you maintain the trails in the fashion in which they were made – low impact, narrow, winding, and technical, so that the speeds are slow and the impacts are low. This is a character that appeals to very many motorcyclists, and many 4WD and ATV users as well.


    The Existing Condition also notes forethought in the development of the motorcycle trails, while there doesn’t appear to be as much thought in development of the user created roads and ATV trails. COHVCO would like to offer the following input for the District on why the roads and ATV routes may not appear to have destinations, or be formed in loops to the degree that the motorcycle trails are. On a simplified level, OHV users tend to fall into one of two categories, they are either primary or secondary OHV users. Those that are primary OHV users are looking for a motorized recreational experience, and thus tend to look for loop routes, rather than back tracking, quality of experience (often times rated in terms of difficulty), and they typically enjoy long mileage opportunities. Those that are secondary OHV users, tend to be using the OHV for transportation in conjunction with another form of recreation, and are more likely to be satisfied with a dead end experience. The secondary user could be a hunter, angler, sight seer, firewood collector, camper, etc. Beginning OHV users and families also enjoy these short spurs, where they know that the difficulty level is low and there is little chance of seeing other traffic. Both user groups enjoy experiences that the back country offers, in terms of scenic overviews, solitude, range of togography and geology, and enjoying the many wonders of nature. And both groups enjoy exploring to see where the route takes them.


    Alternative 2 does a good job of addressing the needs of the primary OHV users, but the closure of 232 miles of the 262 miles of unauthorized roads will have a large impact on the secondary users. COHVCO recognizes that the vast majority of these roads are short spurs that don’t have destinations, or create loops. I had the good fortune of spending time with District Ranger Kyhl at the Cheyenne open house, and we agree that the secondary users are the most difficult to contact and get engaged in the planning process. But it doesn’t mean that their needs should not be met, and those spurs that have the highest use should remain open to access, and we therefore urge you to consider keeping more of the spur routes open to satisfy the needs of the secondary users. While we acknowledge the need to have a managed system, it is suggested that the District closely monitor the unauthorized use of these spurs, and either open, or reopen after closure, the most heavily used.


    One element that doesn’t appear to be adequately addressed by the EA, as directed by the 2005 Travel Management Rule, is the accommodation of dispersed camping. Many of the spur roads that are scheduled for closure in either Alternatives 1 or 2, may well have been born out of desire by users to have desirable campsites. While we haven’t been able to review and comment on site specific locations, it is hard to argue that this isn’t the genesis of some of these spur routes. COHVCO does acknowledge and agrees with the District’s continuation of the 300 foot rule for dispersed camping.


    Alternative 2 is supported by COHVCO, as it retains Trail 100 and the ATV connector trails near Albany, as shown on Map 9 on p41. It also provides the Douglas Creek trail connector associated with Trail 129, through the Middle Fork IRA, as shown Map 8 on p40. It is significant to note that the Forest Plan acknowledges the existence and use of Trail 100 near Albany, but still designated the area as MA 1.33. The EA demonstrates that there is very little impact in Proposed Amendment 2 of the Forest Plan to shift the trail corridor from MA 1.33 to MA 3.31. Similarly, the Proposed Amendment 1 to the Forest Plan for the Southern section also shows very low impact. The approach of only changing the designation of small corridors, rather than the entire MA’s, will help minimize impacts. Of the two elements of Alternative 2, the Northern section has a higher priority to the OHV community.


    Having ridden my motorcycle on Trail 100 near Albany for a number of years, I can attest that it is the experience that advanced motorcyclists enjoy. It offers tight turns, challenging rocks, short but fun climbs and descents, some down logs to cross, and at one point there is a great place for a break with a view to the North, including Centennial.


    The EA is not specific about the intent of the Forest Service in regards to management of the routes in the time between the Notice of Decision and the ultimate implementation of the plan. It is requested that the Notice of Decision expressly state that the routes that are open as of now, remain open until the new construction is completed on all bypass routes, and that the Motor Vehicle Use Map only be released upon completion of the project. This will minimize confusion for the recreating public on what is open. Once the MVUM is published, it would be most helpful to have it prominently displayed at trailheads, as well as having copies readily available.


    There is little mention in the EA of adjoining National Forests or other public lands with regard to their niche management direction to meet or focus recreation activities or opportunities. There is also no discussion or disclosure on maps of adjoining national forests or public land recreation prescriptions and travel plan regulations to evaluate compatibility of travel routes for motorized or non-motorized opportunities from one jurisdiction to or across another. This could cause loss of opportunity, dead ends or invite illegal use if not coordinated carefully. Perhaps the best example, while predominantly non-motorized, is the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST). Due to its length, the CDNST crosses more National Forests and affects more land management units than any other route. While the CDNST doesn’t run through this area, the concept of long distance opportunities appeals to many forest visitors. It is recommended that planning for long distance, destination routes be considered in this, and all future travel management actions.


    COHVCO understands the challenges, resource impacts and financial demands associated with roads and trails, and the diminishing financial resources available to the USFS. It was good to hear that the Wyoming OHV Registration funds are being used to help support route designations. COHVCO heartily recommends continued work with regional clubs, as well as tapping the funds available from Wyoming OHV and Snowmobile registration programs, as well as the National Recreational Trails Fund monies. Adopt-a-trail programs help reduce work load on the District, while driving a sense of stewardship to the enthusiasts who benefit most from the resource access. America is blessed with a strong sense of volunteerism, and it is incumbent upon the USFS to embrace and encourage it. If you are not aware of the resources available to assist you in this regard, please let us know and we will assist in getting programs in place on the Laramie RD.


    During discussions held with District Ranger Kyhl, the subject of paid parking for developed parking lots and trailheads for both summer and winter use was discussed. Subsequent discussion within our group appears to indicate a preference for less developed lots and trailheads, supported by registration fees, rather than additional fees. We urge you to explore this opportunity, prior to decision making.


    We look forward to working with the Laramie Ranger District on these planning issues and on-the-ground implementation of the final plan. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to respond.


    Sincerely,




    Dennis Larratt
    COHVCO Chairman
    #7
  8. Flaco

    Flaco Zombie Holocaust

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    Wow. I think closure on the Uncompahgre is pure laziness on behalf of the FS.

    I am up there often and often, I see no one else. They closed all the campgrounds last summer, I guess because they couldn't bear the expense of emptying the garbage cans. People still use the camp grounds, and they're in pretty good shape...or they were at the end of the summer.

    The reason quads are killing the trails is because the rules are not enforced. They think more rules will solve this problem? If a quad ruins a trail and there's no one around, does it make a sound?

    I just wrote my letter...without any neg stuff (of course)...even though I'm fuming.

    Flaco
    #8
  9. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    Yes, I will buy you a beer when next our paths cross!

    And in the meantime, I'll send a letter or two... thanks for getting us started!
    #9
  10. Wings

    Wings RockiesToSandbox

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    Excellent info Red-Chili, it would be great to see more of this in the other regionals as well. It would be great to see this stay at the top without a sticky, like the Craigslist thread, but it might not sustain-Ned, do you think a sticky would be worth a go-around?
    #10
  11. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    I'm hoping it has enough traffic to keep floated near the top. I'm guilty of often skipping over stickies after a while, out of the assumption I've already seen them, perhaps others are like me. If this thing doesn't tread water very well, though, it's gonna get stuck with an 18 penny nail... :D
    #11
  12. Wings

    Wings RockiesToSandbox

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    I agree, I block out some of the stickies as well unless they're new and fresh. It would be great to be able to keep this in the top rankings on it's own.
    Where's Random GS? Can the Pueblo PMI issues get some visibility under this label as well? It maybe too late for that one, but I think it would still be good to keep everyone informed of up-coming meetings and such.
    #12
  13. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    Thanks, man! I agree with you on ATVs, whenever I am participating in trail patrol (no additional rules are needed, just signage and enforcement, and we can help with both) ATVs are far and away the worst offenders due to ignorance and a low barrier to entry for Bubba.

    Nonetheless we all gotta stick together: 4x4s, ATVs, MX, JetSkis even, dualsports, off-road only MCs, everybody. Or we will certainly lose. I never tolerate division in the OHV ranks personally, in this arena.

    I would even include in that list, greens with legitimate environmental concerns. There are real (along with admitttedly imagined or contrived) problems on the ground which we can and must solve.

    Goodony'all (would that be southern Oz?):lol3
    #13
  14. Hondo

    Hondo **********

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    I'd recommend starting a dedicated website to bring forth your issues and concerns.

    Hosting a website is very cheap these days and almost all hosts will provide you with site building software to construct your pages. Also included is free forum software available so that you can openly discuss the issues.

    Getting a private domain will cost approximately $13.00 a year at Godaddy and hosting fees vary, but can be had for as little as $5.00 per month.

    Send me a PM if you want to talk about it via telephone.
    #14
  15. homerj

    homerj 742 Evergreen Terrace

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    I don't know how the larger environmental groups work so this may be off the mark, but what about joining the groups working to close areas? As paid members our opinion would carry much more weight with the group leadership.

    Does the Sierra club (for instance) represent the views of their membership (gathered through local meetings) or does the Sierra Club leadership set their own agenda and the public can either support them by joining or not support them by staying away.

    *If* SC activism for closing comes from a local (or regional) steering committee then wouldn't be in our benefit to have the OHV user point of view heard long before the SC has sets their sights on XYZ Nat'l Forest? If these groups that claim to represent the views of their members, then maybe some of the members should be OHV enthuiasts.

    Like I said, I don't know if this is how these groups are structured, but under the right circumstances it may be in our benefit to join these groups.
    #15
  16. Flaco

    Flaco Zombie Holocaust

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    I tend to show my distain for quads directly with roost as I pass them...but don't tell anybody. What happens on the trail stays on the trail, eh?

    f.
    #16
  17. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

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    BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

    Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Cruces District Office is preparing
    a resource management plan revision (RMPR) for Sierra and Otero Counties and
    a resource management plan amendment (RMPA) for Dona Ana County, as well as
    an associated environmental impact statement (EIS) to address the BLM's
    management of public land in Sierra, Otero and Dona Ana Counties, New
    Mexico. Combined these RMP efforts are being called the "TriCounty RMPs and
    EIS."

    An RMP can be compared to a county master plan where management direction
    and objectives are defined for specific resources and areas. They address
    issues including livestock grazing, recreation, wildlife habitat,
    off-highway vehicle use, camping and even energy and mineral development.

    The BLM is hosting three 'open house' meetings to ask for input from the
    public on preliminary alternatives for the future management of public land
    in Sierra, Otero and Doᄂa Ana Counties in New Mexico. The BLM will use the
    information gathered from these meetings to modify the range of alternatives
    that will be considered in two resource management plans and an associated
    environmental impact statement.

    Meetings will take place from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. in the locations listed
    below. Please call the District Office (505.525.4300) for specific questions
    or toll free at (877.877.0918) to request to be added to the mailing list.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006
    Otero County Courthouse,
    1000 New York Ave.
    Alamogordo, NM

    Thursday, December 14, 2006
    Civic Center,
    400 W. 4th St.
    Truth or Consequences, NM

    Each open house will include informational displays and selected maps to
    depict alternative management strategies for various uses of public land.
    BLM staff will be available to listen to comments and answer questions.

    Completion of the draft plans and EIS is anticipated in mid 2007. The draft
    will be released to the public for a 90-day review period, during which time
    they will conduct public meetings to gather comments on the draft document.

    For more information, visit the project web site at
    <http://www.sharetrails.org/alertlist/redirect.cfm?ID=1532&MID=380&LID=41>
    http://www.nm.blm.gov/lcfo/tri_county/tricounty.htmlor contact:

    Tom Phillips
    RMP Team Leader
    BLM Las Cruces District Office
    1800 Marquess
    Las Cruces, NM 88005
    (505) 525-4377

    PLEASE IF YOU RECREATE IN ANY OF THESE AREAS GET INVOLVED NOW! PUBLIC
    INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN.

    Thanks in advance for your support,
    Brian Hawthorne
    BlueRibbon Coalition
    208-237-1008 ext 102
    #17
  18. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,078
    Location:
    Evergreen, CO
    homerj, in my experience the local Sierra Club members have a range of what they want to see done. You may be surprised to discover we have a couple in our 4x4 club, and work with at least one OHV ranger who is a Sierra Club member (and does a great job btw). The former OHV ranger for the Rampart Range area was a Wilderness Society member, and could get exercised overmuch about little IMHO, but nevertheless did a fine job. The Wilderness Society and Sierra Club reps at the Boulder OHV committee are pretty fair.

    The national organizations, on the other hand, have lawyers, money and a black-and-white agenda. They are environmental fundamentalists. Compromise means hypocrisy to them. As amusing to watch liberal fundamentalists as it is to watch conservative fundamentalists - if the stakes weren't so high.

    The battle will be won on the ground. We have to give some, they have to give some. There is no conversation to be had with the national orgs IMHO. Not so, the local members and even regional offices, face to face.

    Itshondo, in fact the Blue Ribbon Coalition and COHVCO already represent that web need, as well as many OHV groups, especially 4x4 clubs' websites (ours posted above, Colorado4x4.org, pirate4x4 - in many respects a big JM - and others). Good thinking!

    www.sharetrails.org The Blue Ribbon Coalition
    www.cohvco.org COHVCO
    http://www.ufwda.org/landuse.htm The United 4WD Assoc., Carla Boucher, atty. She does a lot of work on behalf of MCs too, really thorough and good work. Email her with notice of concerns or specific issues; she is quite informative and goes out of her way to help.
    #18
  19. Esteban

    Esteban Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,787
    Location:
    Above Golden
    The Bridger Teton National Forest is revising their motorized use plan.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf

    Not many motorcycle trails proposed from what I can tell, but in reality I know little about the areas or the proposals for these areas.

    Public comment period until Jan 29th 2007.

    Too bad there is no National Land Use Forum here on ADV to get this message out to all concerned about our public lands from coast to coast.

    Steve
    #19
  20. Hair

    Hair no wants or warrants

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    18,351
    Location:
    Northern New Mexico
    Steve
    I think that most people feel that if it's not in their backyards. Then it&#8217;s not a problem.

    People don't have the appreciation for all the effort that it takes to keep a trail open. Every time you ride past a cut tree on the trial someone had to cut it. Every time you see an erosion project. Someone had to work the area to keep it ride able. Here in New Mexico trail maintenance is so high that we are thinking of "an adopt a trail" project here. I know that if it comes to pass I will defiantly own part of a trail.

    Now in addition to all that maintenance we can add this new directive that the National Forest Service (FS) has to work toward. This directive has increased their work load too. The default mode for the Forest Service is to leave open the minima amount of trails. This will allow them to declare mission accomplished while keeping their work load and reasonability&#8217;s to a minima.

    Over the past year a small group of guys in my area have Mapped, Cleared, Lobbied, and attended meetings all in an effort to communicate to the (FS) just how much our trail system means to us. In many cases the trails that we ride are historic trails that have been around for a very long time. Some of the trials in our area are part of the old security routes that were used to keep Los Alamos secure during the Manhattan project.

    Why are people all over the west doing this work? Well because for the first time in many years all the rules have changed. If we don't stand up we will loose many miles of trails. This loss will have a negative effect on all of us. Other groups will be affected too.

    We are not asking anyone to open any new areas. We are not asking anyone to place the environment at risk just for us. We are asking to be given access to some of the areas that we already have access to. We are asking to be given access to the trails that we have put so much effort into already. The trails that we keep open in our area are multi-use trails. Our efforts allow others such as hikers and equestrians to enjoy our efforts at no cost to them.

    As Steve suggest we can't be everywhere. And trails that are in less populated areas give the FS the impression that they are not important to us or anyone else. But they are. We all enjoy a trail riding get away. When you think about it that is a lot of what this site is about.

    So what can people do? If you&#8217;re not active you can join the Blue Ribbon coalition. Or some of the local trail groups such as http://cohvco.org/ http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178560. Many states have their own off road use groups. You can find the groups in the state that you ride in the most. These groups help us a lot. I know that I can't travel to every FS trail use planning meeting in the tri-state area. Also having an adult discussion on this forum and other forums also make a difference. I have not seen such discussions anywhere. The last time that I was at KTMtalk and the Husaberg website there was little or no discussion about this. These people have a vested interest in keeping our trails open.

    If we can't get a national forum on this topic. We can certainly monitor and contribute to regional forums on this topic. From what I see a lot of people who are not ADVriders monitor this forum. I know that Google Search on motorcycle topics link me to this forum all the time. ADVrider is becoming a powerful voice on topics of interest to us.

    So Steve is correct in asking for everyone's help on this topic. If nothing else a hand written letter to your Congressional Representative will let them know that there a lot of people who use these trails. Also letters to State Representative will inform them just how much these trail systems mean to the local economies. In many places business shut down when the riding season is over.

    So please consider helping us keep these trails open. The rules of the game are changing. I know that these changes will affect us all. We are just asking for everyone&#8217;s help to allow us to guide the FS to do the right thing.
    #20