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Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
News-Bytes and information from the U.S Forest Service
Chief

WHAT IS A SPECIAL RECREATION PERMIT?

WHAT IS A SPECIAL RECREATION PERMIT?

Types of permits:

Special Recreation Permits are authorizations which allow specified recreational uses of the public lands and related waters. They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreational uses. Authorized by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, there are five types of uses for which these permits are required: commercial, competitive, vending, individual or group use in special areas, and organized group activity and event use.

1. Commercial Use – Commercial Use is defined as recreational use of public lands and related waters for business or financial gain. When any person, group, or organization makes or attempts to make a profit, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services, as compensation from participants in recreational activities occurring on public lands, the use is considered commercial.

Examples: Outfitters and guides, jeep tours, horse trail and wagon train rides, cattle drives, and photography associated with a recreational activity.

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Chief

Forest Certification

Forest Certification

National Forest System (NFS) Certification Study: An Evaluation of the Application of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standards on Five National Forest System Management Units is now available. This report, produced for the Forest Service, documents the study in which third-party auditors evaluated current forest management practices on five study national forest units with standards set by two certification programs, SFI and FSC, for private and state-owned forests in the U.S. The report summarizes and discusses the five third-party evaluations and captures lessons learned through a review of participant experiences.

The study was designed to help the Forest Service: 1) evaluate the potential consistency of certification with the Forest Service’s existing mission to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations, 2) evaluate the potential benefits and costs of third-party certification of national forests and grasslands to externally developed standards, and 3) study the lessons learned as a basis for determining what policy and management changes might be needed in the event the Forest Service were to pursue certification.

Read more about Forest Certification at: http://www.fs.fed.us/projects/forestcertification/index.shtml

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Chief

Recreation Site - Facility Master Planning (RS-FMP)

Recreation Site - Facility Master Planning (RS-FMP)
John Stewart
Natural Resource Consultant
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs

The Recreation Site - Facility Master Planning (RS-FMP) is a U.S. Forest Service process of national scope with local forest emphasis. Each national forest will use this process to create a 5-year proposed "Program of Work" to better manage and improve the quality of our recreation sites. All forests are scheduled to complete this initial phase of the RS-FMP process by the end of 2007.

RS-FMP is an administrative process for evaluating existing developed recreation facilities and projecting future management of them. Preliminary RS-FMP results have increased public interest and media attention, particularly in the western United States. Questions have been raised about the level and timing of public participation throughout the process. As a response to this increased scrutiny, a comprehensive public participation review was initiated by Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth in late January 2007. The report documents the findings and recommendations of the Review Team completed on March 30, 2007. A copy of the report is available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/rsfmp/2300-rsfmp-rev-team-report-05-16-2007.pdf

What Is RSFMP?

RS-FMP is an analysis tool developed nationally to help forests align their developed recreation sites with the unique characteristics of the forest, projected recreation demand, visitor expectations, and revenue. National forests across the country are undertaking this process. RS-FMP is driven by four strategic goals:

1. Provide recreation opportunities best suited for the national forest;
2. Operate and maintain recreation sites to meet national quality standards;
3. Eliminate/reduce recreation-site deferred maintenance.
4. Enhance recreation experiences.

A seven-step process is used to evaluate and prioritize sites for action. The results are contained in a proposed 5-year program of work. Public feedback is sought to ensure that these actions are sound and responsive to visitor needs. Annually, phases of the program of work are implemented; additional public participation is conducted at that time.

Seven Step Process

The RS-FMP process involves seven steps, each bringing the Forest's developed recreation sites in closer alignment with its unique characteristics, projected demand, visitor expectations and available revenue.

STEP 1: Prepare Site Data
Update and complete recreation site data for the Forest's developed sites, to provide information needed to make recreation management decisions for those sites.

STEP 2: Develop Recreation Niche for the Forest
Identify the recreation program “Niche,” or vision for the Forest, based on public desires and the unique characteristics of the forest. The Niche will help guide management of the Forest recreation program for the coming decade.

STEP 3: Identify Operational Efficiencies
Recreation sites are examined to determine if they can be operated more efficiently or reduce site management costs and uncompleted maintenance work. Proposed options to increase operational efficiency are developed for each site.

STEP 4: Rank Recreation Sites
Recreation sites are rated through evaluation of their contribution to the Forest recreation program Niche; their financial and operational efficiency; their effects on environmental sustainability; and their effects on community stability. A proposed ranking of all sites is developed based on the individual site evaluations.

STEP 5: Propose 5-year Program of Work to Stakeholders
The proposed 5-year program of work for recreation sites is prepared based upon the analysis completed in the previous four steps. Discussions with stakeholders are sought to explore alternative ways of operating sites and providing desired recreational services.

STEP 6: Finalize 5-year Proposed Program of Work
The 5-year program of work for recreation sites is refined, based upon information from stakeholders.

STEP 7: Implementation
Annually, site-specific projects are proposed to implement the 5-year program of work for recreation sites. Prior to implementation, National Environmental Policy Act and other agency coordination requirements are completed.

Public Participation

The Forest Service recognizes the importance of these sites and welcomes public comments and suggestions during this process. Public participation is important to ensure that the results of the RS-FMP process meet visitor needs and offer the best recreation opportunities in places important to people.

To track status of this program, check the web site for your local national forest. You will find links to all National Forests and Grasslands at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/finder.shtml

Forest recreation managers invite members of the public to work with them to identify how to best address these sites and specifically react to the proposed program of work. For more information about RS-FMP, refer to: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/rsfmp/index.shtml

 

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John Stewart

Roads by Definition

Roads by Definition
by: John Stewart
Natural Resources Consultant
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs

The Forest Service is embarked on a mission to evaluate and designate routes of travel within the National Forest System. The final product will be a Motor Vehicle Use Map. The central theme of the MVUM is to designate the routes of travel open for public use. Current policy stipulates the MVUM will be subject to annual review and update.

The map will highlight the terms and definitions which are provided below. The USDA Forest Service recognizes five road maintenance levels (Source: Forest Service Handbook 7709.58.10):

Level 1: Is assigned to intermittent service roads during the time they are closed. The closure period must exceed 1 year. Basic maintenance is performed to keep damage to adjacent resources to an acceptable level and to perpetuate the road for future use. The road may be of any type or construction standard or may be managed at any other maintenance level when open. When at level 1, roads are closed to vehicular traffic, but may be open and suitable to non-motorized uses.

Level 2
: Roads are for high clearance vehicles only. Passenger cars are not a consideration. Traffic levels are minor and usually consist of administrative, permitted, recreation, or other dispersed use.

Level 3: Roads are open and maintained for a prudent driver in a standard passenger car. User comfort and convenience are not considered priorities. These roads are typically low speed, single lane with turnouts and spot surfacing.

Level 4: Roads provide a moderate degree of user comfort and convenience at moderate travel speeds. Most roads are double lane and aggregate surfaced. Some roads may be single lane, paved, or dust abated.

Level 5: Roads provide a high degree of user comfort and convenience. These roads are normally double lane and paved. Some may be aggregate surfaced and dust abated.

Click on the MUIRNet Notebooks (Federal) menu option for additional information about the U.S. Forest Service.

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John Stewart

Objections

Forest Planning Process
STEP FOUR: Objections

WHAT IT IS: The 2005 Forest Service planning regulations do not provide citizens an opportunity for administrative appeal of a final forest plan. Instead, citizens can file an "objection" to a plan before a final decision is made. The objection is submitted to the Forest Service officer one level above the official who will approve the plan. Usually, this will be the Regional Forester, who may instruct the Forest Supervisor to modify the plan or conduct more analysis in response to the objections. Once the forest supervisor makes a final decision, there is no way to challenge it except by going to court.

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John Stewart

USFS Region 5 Travel Management Status

The following is USFS Region 5 Travel Management status as of Nov. 17, 2007.

Angeles Status (Updated 9/1/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have designated system
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Not planning to designate new routes
Step 4 - NEPA Not necessary if new routes aren't proposed
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Raina Fulton
626-574-5278

Cleveland
Status (Updated 9/1/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have designated system
Step 3 - Proposed Actions See motorized route maps
Step 4 - NEPA Fall 2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Anne Carey
858-674-2977

Eldorado
Status (Updated 10/25/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Complete
Step 4 - NEPA DEIS complete
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact
530-621-5276

Humboldt-Toiyabe - Bridgeport District
Status (Updated 8/27/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete for areas with resource concerns
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Winter 2007
Step 4 - NEPA Winter 2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact David Loomis
775-884-8132

Humboldt-Toiyabe - Carson District
Status (Updated 8/27/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Completed for areas with resource concerns
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Fall 2007
Step 4 - NEPA Fall 2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact David Loomis
775-884-8132

Inyo Status (Updated 11/01/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete -- View Forest Order #04-07-01
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Released sample proposals for Mammoth East & Inyo Mountains management areas on January 23
Step 4 - NEPA NOI Issued October 1
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008
Note: Public comment deadline extended to December 15

Forest Service Contact Marty Hornick
760-873-2461

Klamath Status (Updated 8/1/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Will not undertake - resource conditions don't warrant
Step 3 - Proposed Actions
Step 4 - NEPA
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2009

Forest Service Contact Bob Talley
530-841-4423

Lassen
Status (Updated 10/25/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Forest Order issued June 6, 2007
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Discussion Draft Released
Step 4 - NEPA NOI Issued October 25
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Allen Nosler
530-252-6637

Los Padres Status (Updated 10/3/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have a designated system
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Not planning to propose new routes
Step 4 - NEPA Will conduct mixed-use analysis on the Santa Lucia & Mount Pinos Districts in 2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Issued MVUMs on the Monterey, Santa Barbara & Ojai Districts in February 2007

Forest Service Contact Rick Larson
805-961-5744

Mendocino
Status (Updated 10/16/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A -- Already have designated system
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Released November 2006
Step 4 - NEPA
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008
Note: Documents cover two separate travel management proposals; Public comment period ends Nov 13, 2007

Forest Service Contact Mike Van Dame
530-934-1141

Modoc Status (Updated 10/30/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Area closures in progress
Step 3 - Proposed Actions December 2007
Step 4 - NEPA
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2009

Forest Service Contact Robert Haggard
530-233-8840

Plumas
Status (Updated 5/15/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete
Step 3 - Proposed Actions "First Cut" Proposal -- Issued on April 3
Step 4 - NEPA Fall 2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Fred Krueger
530-283-7840

San Bernadino
Status (Updated 2/8/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have designated system
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Plan on minor adjustments through NEPA
Step 4 - NEPA Proposed action issued January 30 (see maps)
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Chris Evans
928-443-8282

Sequoia
Status (Updated 7/1/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Will issue as part of NEPA
Step 4 - NEPA NOI issued on June 15
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Chris Sanders
559-784-1500 ex 1131

Shasta-Trinity
Status (Updated 8/20/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Projected completion Summer 2007
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Do not plan on issuing forest order
Step 3 - Proposed Actions
Step 4 - NEPA
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2009

Forest Service Contact Brenda Tracy
530-226-2340

Sierra Status (Updated 11/01/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Will not issue
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Proposed action maps available
Step 4 - NEPA NOI issued on September 11, 2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008
Note: Public comment period ends December 3, 2007

Forest Service Contact Susan Burkindine
559-297-0706 x 4921

Six Rivers Status (Updated 10/25/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Inventory maps released October 10, 2007
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Projected completion Fall 2007
Step 3 - Proposed Actions
Step 4 - NEPA EA released on Travel Management for Smith River NRA & Orleans District Roads EA
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Ray McCray
707-574-6233

Stanislaus Status (Updated 11/17/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Projected completion Spring 2007
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Discussion proposals released in December 2006
Step 4 - NEPA - Draft Proposal released 11/16/2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008
Note: Public comment period ends Jan 18, 2008

Forest Service Contact Sue Warren
209-532-3671

Tahoe Status (Updated 10/30/2007)
Step 1 - Route Inventory Complete
Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete -- View Forest Order
Step 3 - Proposed Actions Complete
Step 4 - NEPA NOI Issued April 11, DEIS to R5 Nov 16, 2007
Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008

Forest Service Contact Phil Horning
530-478-6210

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