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Covering recreation and environmental issues within California

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CA4WDC NRC South Report - April 30, 2012

CA4WDC NRC South Report - April 30, 2012

Los Padres NF - The Los Padres Conservation and Recreation Act of 2012 (H.R. 4109) provides for the designation of Ballinger Canyon and Mount Pinos as OHV Areas. 

In addition, the legislative language is clear that there “…shall be no net loss of recreational values, including off-highway vehicle recreational values…” in the two areas and sections 401 and 403 in H.R. 4109 adds particular roads and trails to the Los Padres National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map and call for a feasibility study on the construction of specified new trails.  

Existing language in the bill provides for boundary adjustments as necessary to keep existing trails outside the new designated wilderness.

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CA4WDC Statement on Eldorado NF

For background, the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservancy and their partners (PLAINTIFFs) filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service (DEFENDANTS) to CLOSE  routes in the Eldorado National Forest due to inadequate NEPA analysis during the Travel Management process. BlueRibbon Coalition, CA4WDC and AMA-D36 filed as INTERVENORS on the side of the Forest Service to keep the routes OPEN.  BRC, CA4WDC and AMA D36 stepped in and represented OHV interests. NO OTHER GROUP WAS WILLING TO STEP IN AND BECOME INVOLVED.

At a hearing in April 2011, the judge ordered the parties named in the lawsuit to enter into settlement negotiations and reach a mutually agreed settlement.

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NRC South Report - March 2012

NRC Report - March 2012

With March, a couple of important and long stalled projects have moved into active status.  The long awaited Forest Service Planning Rule has been formally released and (to date) survived legal challenges.

This effort may seems minor but it does have significant implications for those that recreate in national forests.  Each national forest is required to have a management plan.  The plan is known as “forest plan”, “land and resource management plan”, or “resource management plan”.   By which ever name, the forest plan is supposed to be updated at specified intervals.  With the exception of four national forests (Los Padres, Angles, San Bernardino, and Cleveland) in California, all other national forests have plans that are more than 15 years out of date.

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Updated NEPA Handbook Released

The Bureau of Reclamation has released an updated NEPA Handbook for use by Reclamation employees as they carry out their responsibilities to implement the National Environmental Policy Act.

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NRC South Report January 2012

The Forest Service released two important documents in January. The first is the long awaited Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule.  The second is Forest Service Watershed Condition Framework.

After review of nearly 300,000 comments received on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement issued February 2011, Forest Service has released their preferred course of action for the national planning rule.  The Record of Decision on the final planning rule is expected within 30 day of February 3, the official release date.

The preferred alternative emphasizes collaboration and strengthens the role of public involvement and dialogue throughout the planning process. It also would require the use of the best available scientific information for decisions.

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MUIRNet Land Use Resources Updated

Ever wonder what that acronym means?? When reading the various news reports about issues affecting motorized recreation and public lands, a number of terms and letter combinations are used. If you need to know the meaning of ACEC, NEPA, or WSA, MUIRNet Glossaries is now on-line and provides a definition of those and many other terms.

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