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Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California; Shasta-Trinity National Forest Motorized Travel Management EIS

[Federal Register: August 8, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 154)] ----------------------------------------------------------------------- DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE - Forest Service

Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California; Shasta-Trinity National Forest Motorized Travel Management EIS

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

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Cleveland NF Travel Management EA Released for Comment

San Diego , CA - July 14, 2008. The Cleveland National Forest will be releasing an environmental assessment (EA) on motorized travel management for public comment on July 15, 2008. Public comments on the proposal will be accepted until August 13, 2008. Comments may be submitted by mail or by hand delivery. Activities proposed and analyzed in the EA include changes to the Cleveland NF transportation system by adding roads for highway-legal vehicles, motorized trails for a variety of vehicle classes and revising the size of OHV open areas. The EA discloses environmental impacts associated with a no action alternative, the proposed action that was released for scoping in January 2008, and an alternative that was developed using comments submitted by the public during scoping.

Comments may be submitted by mail or by hand delivery during normal business hours to Anne Carey, Recreation Officer, 10845 Rancho Bernardo Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92127. Comments may be faxed to (858) 673-6192, or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For more information, please contact Anne Carey at (858) 674-2901 or by visiting the Cleveland NF website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/cleveland/projects. Cleveland National Forest Open House Schedule Ramona: July 17, 4:00-7:00 pm, Palomar District Office, 1634 Black Canyon Road, Ramona, CA Alpine: July 24, 5:30-7:30pm, Descanso District Office, 3348 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, CA Corona: July 28, 4:00-6:00 pm, Trabuco District Office, 1147 E 6th Street, Corona, CA

After an extensive screening process, the Cleveland NF is proposing to add between 7- 12 miles of roads and trails and between 2-15 acres of small open areas to the Cleveland NF Transportation System. To comply with the 2005 travel management rule, the Cleveland NF will produce a motor vehicle use map after the final decision is made. This map will identify which roads, trails, and areas are open for motorized use on the Cleveland NF. Additional changes to motorized use on the Cleveland NF would require further environmental analysis and would occur gradually over time as staffing and budget allow. The map will be updated annually to reflect any such changes.

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Campground and Fire Lookout Rental Fees Reviewed

Campground and Fire Lookout Rental Fees ReviewedVALLEJO, Calif., Jul. 3, 2008—The California Recreational Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) held a meeting June 24 and 25 in Redding to review a wide variety of potential fee changes at BLM and Forest Service recreational sites in California. The RRAC was created with the implementation of the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act. This Act which was signed into law in 2005, provides guidelines for charging fees at federal recreation sites. Congress made a significant effort to ensure that there would be public oversight of the fee development process as well as opportunities for the public to provide input. RRAC's are comprised of 11 members representing a balance of various user groups, environmental organizations, as well as local, state, and tribal representatives.The meeting in Redding included a one-day field trip providing the RRAC members with the opportunity to view sites that are proposed for fee increases or changes, including areas that are free of charge and will remain free. In addition, the RRAC was able to see how recreation fees are used to improve and enhance recreation sites and services.The actual proposals presented at the RRAC meeting included fee proposals from as far south as the Cleveland National Forest in southern California, all the way up to the Shasta Trinity National Forest in northern California. As federal budgets remain flat recreation fees have taken on a different role in the management of our public lands. For example, in 2007, the National Forests in California were able to manage recreation through an additional 7.56 million dollars provided through fee revenue. These funds helped to operate and maintain campgrounds, remove trash, install bear-proof garbage receptacles, replace toilets and much more. The Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act allows for a significant amount of the fees charged on public lands to stay with the managing unit and be used for enhancing the site and thus provide a more quality recreation experience for the visitor.At this most recent meeting, the RRAC reviewed fees, many of which had not changed for as much as 10 years. Many of the increases for activities such as camping increased just a few dollars per site. The RRAC also saw the importance of keeping some locations open with no fee being charged at all and turned down new fee proposals for sites that were currently free of charge. These sites included a picnic area and fishing access on Shasta Lake as well as three campgrounds.Bob Warren, RRAC chair stated, "The RRAC continues to take its responsibility of representing the public seriously and understands that this representation is an important component of ensuring the original legislation continues to be implemented, as originally passed by Congress."The next meeting and review of fees for California will take place in Sacramento on October 16. For further information about the activities of the California RRAC, please contact the designated Federal official, Marlene Finley, at 707-562-8856, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bob Warren, Committee Chairman, at 530-225-4485 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Fire Risk Increasing

The green of spring is rapidly turning into the brown of summer. And, unfortunately, many areas are being turned into fire-blackened lands.

Public land managers in the western states have issued fire restrictions. Many homes are located in the "wildlands-urban interface" area and are at risk from fire.

Please do your part in reducing the risk to our public lands and ensuring the safety of yourself and others. Check with your local Forest Service Ranger District or Bureau of Land Management Field Office for the latest information on fire precautions and restrictions in your area.

For the latest fire information:

National Interagency Fire Center - http://www.nifc.gov/fire_info/nfn.htm


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COMMENT ON PROPOSED CHANGES FOR UPPER TELLICO OHV TRAILS NEEDED!

Date: 06/25/2008 BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

COMMENT ON PROPOSED CHANGES FOR UPPER TELLICO OHV TRAILS NEEDED!

The Nantahala National Forest today announced proposed changes in the 39.5 mile Upper Tellico OHV Trail System. The proposal calls for maintaining approximately 24 miles of trails, upgrading five miles of Davis Creek Road for street-legal vehicle use, and closing and restoring 11 miles of other trails. The Forest Service is asking for the public comments on the proposed changes.
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Superior National Forest Releases Travel Management EA for Comment

Date: 06/25/2008 BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!Superior National Forest Releases Travel Management EA for CommentAs part of the Forest-wide Travel Management Project, the Superior National Forest has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) that documents the analysis of four alternatives involving site-specific decisions regarding off-highway motor vehicle use within the boundaries of the Forest.  The EA is now available for a 30-day public comment period that began on June 5, 2008. The purpose of the Forest-wide Travel Management Project is to create recreation opportunities for riding off-highway vehicles by identifying loop routes and connections on existing roads and trails, and to make a decision on appropriate management of unclassified roads (existing woods roads that are not part of the official national forest road system). The Environmental Assessment, including maps of each of the alternatives, is available on their website at www.fs.fed.us/r9/superior.The Superior did a fairly good job with Alternative 3, which provides just over 90 miles of trail and tries its best to keep good loop riding opportunities. But Alternative 3 still closes some routes, and the anti-recreation groups are pushing Alternative 4, which would drastically decrease the number of roads on which ATVs can ride and only includes one mile of snowmobile trail. THE DEADLINE IS JULY 3, 2008, SO PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE AND SEND THE FOREST SERVICE YOUR COMMENTS.As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.Thanks in advance for your involvement,Brian Hawthorne Public Lands Policy DirectorBlueRibbon Coalition208-237-1008 ext 102SITUATIONThe Superior NF is accepting comments on a forest wide travel plan. The comment deadline is July 3, 2008. If you have any questions regarding this project or for additional information, please contact Duane Lula at (218) 626-4300. View all documents and maps for this project at the Forest's website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/superior/TMR.phpSend an email comment today. COMMENTS CONCERNING THIS ACTION WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL JULY 3, 2008WHAT YOU NEED TO DO Please send an email to the Superior National Forest. Use the comment suggestions below. Be sure to add a bit of personal information.If you want, you can use BRC's letter generator (http://www.sharetrails.org/letters/letter.php?id=15). It has an easy interface for adding additional comments and sending your letter.INSTRUCTIONS:Be polite. Be Professional. Be on time. (The comment deadline is Monday, July 3, 2008)EMAIL COMMENTS TO: *This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - Acceptable formats for electronic comments are: text (.txt), MSWord 6.0 or higher (.doc), Pportable Document Format (.pdf), or Rich Text Format (.rtf). *In the Subject Line of your email, please put: " Forest-wide Travel Management Project"*Paste in the name and address: Forest-wide Travel Management Project Superior National Forest 8901 Grand Avenue Place Duluth, MN 55808-1122*It's always good to include a brief paragraph about how much you and your family enjoy motorized use on National Forest lands.*Use the comment suggestions below in your email:MAIL WRITTEN COMMENTS TO: Forest-wide Travel Management Project Superior National Forest 8901 Grand Avenue Place Duluth, MN 55808-1122FAXED COMMENTS TO:  Forest-wide Travel Management Project, at (218) 626-4354.COMMENT SUGGESTION:The off-highway vehicle community generally supports the "travel limited to designated roads, trails and areas" paradigm. The OHV community also supports thorough environmental review and analysis in route designation process, as well as ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the OHV infrastructure. Indeed, we have taxed ourselves in order to provide funds to the agency so it may actively and effectively accomplish these tasks.What the OHV community does not support is being presented with Alternatives that fail to adequately address the need to provide for motorized recreation. OHV use is a legitimate use of National Forest lands. Much of the Superior National Forest has a motorized niche. OHV use continues to increase in popularity with the American public and forest visitors. There is a need to provide for this legal and popular activity. At least one Alternative should have been presented that maximized recreational uses in order to meet the current and future need for OHV use. Of the Alternatives developed, Alternative 3 best meets the need to provide for both motorized and non-motorized recreational uses while protecting the environment. It would also give ATVers more ways to access services, such as lodging, restaurants and gasoline. Increasing ATV mileage would actually reduce impact on roads and trails by disbursing ATV traffic over a larger area.There is a question of whether any of the Alternatives truly provide adequate opportunity for the increasingly popular uses, such as trail-based motorized uses. Please consider ways to enhance Alternative 3 with additional loops or other motorized opportunity. I strongly oppose Alternative 4. Alternative 4 fails to meet the current needs of the recreating public and totally fails to meet the stated Purpose and Need of the Superior National Forest travel planning. I am strongly opposed to Alternative 4 as it would decrease the number of roads on which OHVs can ride. Alternative 4 also only includes one mile of snowmobile trail. That is a wasteful use of our forest resources; snowmobile trails are already motorized during part of the year and already constructed so as not to interfere with non-motorized users.Most environmental concerns regarding OHV traffic in SNF have already been mitigated by the 2004 revised Forest Plan and the national rule against cross-country travel. Confining OHVs to designated roads and trails already protects sensitive species and prevents the spread of non-native invasive species. Keeping ATVs on roads and trails lessens the impact on stream crossings, as there are bridges and culverts on roads and trails. Implementation of the Travel Management Plan should not even need an environmental assessment, as there are virtually no new trail miles being constructed.The restriction against cross-country travel greatly reduced ATV riding opportunities - it eliminated a number of historically used local trails. The Travel Management Plan should increase road and trail use to offset that loss. Increasing OHV routes would also fulfill the directive of the 1978 Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act, which instructed the US Forest Service to expand motorized opportunities to make up for those lost with the creation of the non-motorized BWCAW.

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