California - Stanislaus National Forest Motorized Travel Management DEIS Available

The Lyin King

Public Lands Advocate

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

Stanislaus National Forest Motorized Travel Management DEIS Available

The Stanislaus National Forest, located in west central California, has announced the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Motorized Travel Management Project. The goal is to develop a sustainable system of routes that provide an array of opportunities for access and recreation on National Forest lands, as well as protection of various resources by curtailing motorized cross-country travel.

A 60-day public comment period is expected to start on March 6, 2009, and end on May 5, 2009. The purpose of the comment period is to give the public an opportunity to provide early and meaningful participation on the proposed action prior to the project decision being made.

The DEIS displays five different alternatives, each of which includes a distinct system of motorized routes and addresses the following components:

-Prohibition of cross-country travel
-Additions to the National Forest Transportation System (NFTS) including
specified vehicle class and season of use
-Changes to the existing NFTS in terms of vehicle class, season of use and wheeled over snow use

Compact Discs containing the DEIS documents, resource reports, supporting documents and maps are available by request. The DEIS is also available for review at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or online at Motorized Travel Management.

A Final Environmental Impact Statement and decision by Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski are expected this summer, with a Motor Vehicle Use Map scheduled for release by the end of 2009.

In order to help the public understand the DEIS, the Forest Service will hold a series of public meetings over the next few weeks. Meetings will include optional time for learning how to use the DEIS, maps and compact disc; browsing maps; and asking questions. They are scheduled as follows:



Wednesday, March 11, 2009
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Core 6:00-8:00)

White Pines Independence Hall
1445 Blagen Road
White Pines, CA

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Core 6:00-8:00)
Sonora Opera Hall
250 S. Washington St
Sonora, CA
Greeley Hill

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
4:00 pm to 9:00pm (Core 6:00-8:00)
Greeley Hill Community Club House
Fiske Road
Greeley Hill, CA

Saturday, March 21, 2009
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Core 3:00-5:00)
Lodi Grape Festival Grounds
413 Lockeford Street, Jackson Hall
Lodi, CA
West Point To be Determined (March 24 tentative) Community Hall

Saturday, April 4, 2009
3:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Core 5:00-7:00)
Stanislaus County Harvest Hall
3800 Cornucopia Way
Modesto, CA

Comments are invited on the DEIS. The Environmental Protection Agency will publish a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the DEIS in the Federal Register (expected on March 6, 2009); the opportunity to comment ends 60 days following that date.

While comments may be submitted anytime during the analysis process, only those individuals and organizations who provide comments during the comment period are eligible to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215.

Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
Stanislaus National Forest
Attn: Motorized Travel DEIS
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370

Hand-deliver comments to the address shown above, during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm). Oral comments may be provided by calling (209) 532-3671 ext. 350.

Email Comments To:

Put "Motorized Travel DEIS" in the subject line of e-mail comments. Acceptable formats are email message, MS Word (.doc), plain text (.txt), or rich text format (.rtf). Comments should include your name and address.

Fax Comments To:
(209) 533-1890


To request additional information regarding this project, contact Sue Warren, Team Leader, Stanislaus National Forest, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or e-mail ensure a timely response, it is important to include "Information Request" in the subject line).

The project web page includes the latest project updates, schedules for public meetings, and other information.


Thanks in advance for your support,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107
Re: California - Stanislaus National Forest Motorized Travel Management DEIS Availabl

Thanks for taking the time to post this Lyin King!!!
My Letter

Stanislaus National Forest
Attn: Motorized Travel DEIS
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370

Dear Forest Supervisor,

We have been residents of XXXXXXX County for nearly twenty years, our family spends many enjoyable hours recreating in our National Forests, National Parks and on BLM lands in the surrounding area.

I have reviewed the Stanislaus National Forest Motorized Travel Management Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and as avid OHV enthusiasts, of the alternatives provided we strongly support and prefer alternative number four in support of continued public OHV recreational opportunities.

We take issue with all of the alternatives in that they do not provide the flexibility that accompanied the recently passed bill H.R. 146 known as the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. We would prefer to see the accommodations offered in the amendments by Senator Bingaman which allowed expanded “off-route” OHV access for disbursed camping and game retrieval. We believe that the “one vehicle length off designated route” rule is far too restrictive for parking, game retrieval and disbursed camping opportunities.

The OHV community generally supports the idea of travel being limited to designated roads, trails and areas. We are also in support of a thorough environmental review and analysis as well as ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the OHV infrastructure. Indeed, we as an OHV community have voluntarily taxed ourselves in order to provide funds to the agencies involved so they can actively and effectively accomplish these tasks. What the OHV community does not support is being presented with a "range" of management alternatives where many or all of the alternatives represent a significant reduction in OHV opportunity. Fiscal constraints are no excuse for the lack of proper management of our public lands and public access should not suffer as a consequence.

Continued public access to the forest roads in these areas is critical to outdoor recreational opportunities in the county as they have historically provided access to many creeks, streams, rivers and hunting locations for XXXXX County residents and visitors to our area. These forest roads have provided OHV opportunities and allowed our children to experience the wonders of nature right in their own back yards rather than having to travel countless miles to do so, this is why many of us have chosen to live in this area. Right of way issues with Sierra Pacific Industries or other logging companies which currently prevent many travel opportunities should be given a high priority toward reaching a resolution and every effort should be made to secure passage for the public.

We are opposed to the “blanket” seasonal closure of all of the forest roads within the Stanislaus National Forest and think that seasonal closures should be based on an assessment of environmental impact in areas of concern. There are great opportunities for family outings during the winter months in this national forest that would be forever lost to ours and future generations should this plan be implemented.

We believe that there should be a provision included for preservation and maintenance of the four wheel drive and OHV trails currently designated, the plan should allow for future growth and expansion as pressure on our present trail network increases. These areas should be open for multiple uses and where ever possible, existing roads or user created trails which would enhance the off-highway experience should be used to create trail loops and relieve congestion. Dispersed camping opportunities should be maintained to ensure that a quality outdoor experience can be had by all.

We would like to suggest that your agency address any legitimate maintenance, resource and environmental concerns by incorporating a training protocol into your travel plan that would train agency staff on how to effectively manage volunteer programs, apply for grants, use the challenge cost share program and learn about and apply for other funding sources.

Additionally, a visitor education program and proper signage should be incorporated to better inform users of Forest so their expectations and understanding of an area’s uses are clear. If there is an obvious opportunity to re-direct a hiking or equestrian trail where it may coincide with an established motorized route then we believe there could be an opportunity to enhance the experience for all parties concerned. Creating areas that are available for only one or two types of users is absurd and we are opposed to it.

In closing we want to reiterate that our family, friends and fellow public land users oppose closures as the main solution to management issues. Please give serious consideration to the trail system proposals submitted by we concerned OHV users.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



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