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U.S. Forest Service To Severely Restrict OHV Use

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by SummitXMK, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. SummitXMK

    SummitXMK 1/2 ton status

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    U.S. Forest Service To Severely Restrict OHV Use




    Five out of the six National Forests in Arizona are considering new rules for use of off-highway vehicles on 9.5 million acres of public lands in Arizona. Of the five alternatives being considered by the Forest Service, the preferred alternative for Arizona is a complete yearlong ban on all cross-country travel. This is the proposed plan amendment, Alternative No. 4. Off-highway vehicles will be severely restricted to use on designated trails only. The actual trail designations may not come for several years. The five National Forests to be affected by this ban include: the Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto National Forests.

    Cross-country travel is defined by the Forest Service as travel off of or away from open roads or trails. The Forest Service has noted that user created trails, particularly in areas adjacent to residential development, lack engineering and environmental elements of design and they will be shut down with the issuance of this new policy.

    The implementation of this policy in Arizona will create a precedent for other National Forests throughout the U.S. This is a policy decision that has the potential to affect everyone.

    Throughout Arizona, comment was received by the Forest Service in response to its March 27, 2001 Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS. The Draft EIS containing the five alternatives and the Proposed Action Alternative is now in the final drafting stages and it is anticipated that it will be released by late July 2002. Opportunity to comment on the Draft EIS and Proposed Action Alternative No. 4 will occur at that time. There will be a 45 day comment period.

    The second part of the National Forests new OHV management strategy to be undertaken will be the local site specific planning that will occur following the final EIS. The site specific planning phase will then designate the trails open for recreational OHV use.

    First your riding areas will be closed outright. Then the Forest Service will consider which trails to designate for OHV recreational use. As you know, this can be a long process.

    PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO THE FOREST SERVICE.

    To add your name to the mailing list for future announcements contact: Jim Anderson, Land Management Planner at the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, 928-333-6370. Email: janderson08@fs.fed.us

    Contact the Forest Supervisors in the 5 National Forests:



    John C. Bedell
    Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
    Forest Supervisor’s Office
    PO Box 640
    Springerville, AZ 85938
    928-333-4301
    web: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf

    James W. Golden
    Coconino National Forest
    Forest Supervisor’s Office
    2323 E. Greenlaw Lane
    Flagstaff, AZ 86004
    928-527-3693
    web: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino

    Mike King
    Prescott National Forest
    Forest Supervisor’s Office
    344 S. Cortez
    Prescott, AZ 86303
    928-771-4700
    web: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott
    Karl Siderits
    Tonto National Forest
    Forest Supervisor’s Office
    2324 E. McDowell Road
    Phoenix, AZ 85006
    602-225-5200
    web: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto

    Mike Williams
    Kaibab National Forest
    Forest Supervisor’s Office
    800 S. 6th Street
    Williams, AZ 86046
    928-635-8200
    web: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai



    For more information, check out the ARRA website: http://www.responsiblerecreation.com
    [L=Text]http://[/L]
     
  2. SummitXMK

    SummitXMK 1/2 ton status

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    opps I put this in the wrong place. Is there a way to move it to land use?
     
  3. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    i'm sure grim can move it. But being in the Environmental Business gives me a unique aspect on this situation. You are correct about the issuance of an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement). I assume that they have already submitted the EA if applicable, in order to get to the EIS stage. If the EIS has been submitted, then there will be a time for public hearing, but i seriously doubt that it will come back with a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact). Because as we all know, ORVs do cause damage and wreckless use of such vehicles is damaging to the environment. It is not an unlikely proposition that they will close Off-trail-travel as you have defined it. I think it is a good idea to prohibit off trail travel. It kind of reminds me of the uncle that everyone has who can't park in the driveway when he comes to visit but pulls his old jolopy right up to the front door messing up you whole front yard. Wilderness OHV trails can be maintained, must be maintained, for not only the good of the environment, but for the good of all outdoor recreationists (that would be us) Irresponsible use of public land and even private land will result in closure to vehicles. I believe it is a good idea to have designated trails or even a national trail system. I believe that the creation of ohv areas like Tellico are excellent ideas. I wish more states would adopt this policy. Virginia has to some extent adopted a policy like this, but only offer 1 mile of mediocre trail for OHVs. Paragon Park is an excellent example of how things should be run. There are plenty of other examples too. Eisenhower had a dream of connecting the entire country with highways and now roads are everywhere and they are just as harmful to the environment as unpaved trails. What this country needs is a properly engineered trail system accessible by recreationalists and maintained/policed by the national parks service of other federal agency. I am not one to set by lightly and watch our freedoms be taken away, but i feel that unless some sort of federal intervention on our behalf is taken there will be no trails at all. So in the mean time, Please stay on the trail, dont turn into the lake to see if you can float, or turn into the mountain face to see if you can climb the wall and in the process cause a landslide. Well that is enough preaching for one day. In all honesty, I think that the EIS will come to a Finding of Significant Impact (FOSI) and the land will be closed. However, if you are not involved in the process and help them plan what routes will stay open then there probably won't be any. STAY INVOLVED.
     
  4. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    So, are they letting you wheel on trails only or closing down the trails?
     
  5. SummitXMK

    SummitXMK 1/2 ton status

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    74k5inVA

    I agree with most of what you say and would like to hear your thoughts on snowmobile use. This thread will most likely die after it is moved but since you are acutally in the business I would like to know. Snowmobiles don't cause instant visual damage when they climb up a hill or cross a frozen lake. How should they be handled. I snowmobile more than wheel so thats where my interest lies. And where I recieved the alert from. Also what about sand dunes like Glamis and St. Anthony? I know its not forest service but it is government run. Anyway I just wanted to hear your side.

    SummitXMK
     
  6. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    snowmobiles, i would believe are less intrusive becuase like you said leave no visual damage. They do produce smoke and noise and other contaminants (are they 4-stoke or 2 stroke) I have never been around snowmobiles that much, just at the ski resorts. as for sands, they are even more fragile than the dirt, mud, rocks, clay, or anything else. Here in virginia the sand dunes (and especially the grasses planted in them) help to preserve the shoreline. It has been realized that building houses on the sand is not a good idea. (apparently they did not go to bible school as kids becuase i still remember that story about the guy who built his house on the sand and the guy who built his house on the rock) Either way erosion is more pronounced in sand. Floods can become more prominent, high winds, effects of hurricanes. The dunes act as a protective barrier. Places where the dunes have been tampered with (Sandbridge Beach here in Virginia) have resulted in lots of erosion, to the point that bulkheads collapsed and tons of property damage was done. It is not to say that we cannot wheel in the sand. With the advent of dredging seaways to make passage by ships safe, and the replenishment of beaches via this dredging. And of course there are dunes that are not on the shoreline, that do not have such an important role or deal with erosion on such a heavy level. Deserts, for instances are loaded with sand and the only thing around to cause erosion on a continual basis is the wind. You have the occasional flash flood to rearrange everything, but no daily massive force causing erosion. So that sand would probably be a better place to wheel. No matter where you go, it is always going to be the habitat for something and somebody is always going to bitch about how we are destroying the earth. Well it is not us that just leveled 10,000 acres to build a mall. My point is with the proper land management practices we will be able to wheel for generations and generations. We will run out of gas before they can make us stop if we can manage the land.
     
  7. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    forgot to mention, but i heard that in Michigan, I believe, they have a trail system that is 4X4 when there isn't any snow and snowmobiles when there is. Maybe they got it right up there.
     
  8. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with what you say here, too, about restricting OHV use to marked trails. I do believe there should be a provision for legally creating new trails as well. I enjoy wheeling on marked trails and often find them plenty challenging. I find most off-trail destruction is done when someone with a tricked out rig is on an easier trail with someone else and they feel as though they need a challenge. The adventure usually starts with something like, "Hey y'all, check this out...".

    I spent a great deal of time backpacking as a youngster. One of the biggest rules of backpacking is to stay on the trail. Especially you should never cut switchbacks. But I don't think I can think of a single set of switchbacks that I ever went on that hadn' t been cut by someone. I see this as no different.

    Nature is for us to enjoy just as much as it is for the "environmentalists". I think we should respect it and appreciate it as much or more than they do. And I think 90% of us do. I don't really see how such regulation would truly hurt the 4x4 community. As a matter of fact, I see it as legislation that could be backed by the environmentalists AS WELL AS the 4x4 community. That would demonstrate how we are responsible and demonstrate that we care for our lands, too.
     
  9. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    right on. Do you remember the huge post about the "anti-recreationalists"? It adressed alot of this too. Remember everyone support UFWDA and other lobbyists for our cause and make them see what the right way should be. Best of both worldds.
     

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