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Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
John Stewart

Planning Tomorrow’s Forests Today: Sierra Cascade Dialog 15

USFS LogoAgenda items include -- Pacific Crest Trail, Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Species of Conservation Concern
 
Thursday, October 15, 2015
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 
Sacramento Location: Lions Gate Hotel
3410 Westover Street, McClellan, CA 95652
REGISTER: Please Visit the Online Registration Page

Bishop, California, Satellite Location:
Inyo National Forest Supervisor’s Office
351 Pacu Lane, Bishop, CA 93514
RSVP: Please email or call Deb Schweizer at (760)-873-2427

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John Stewart

Forest Service makes progress on plan revisions for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests

USFS LogoVALLEJO, California, May 5, 2015 – The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region continues to make progress revising the land and resource management plans for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests.

The Forest Service is revising the plans under the 2012 planning rule, which also tasks the agency with evaluating lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, and addressing potential Wild and Scenic River (WSR) designations during plan revisions.

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John Stewart

Forest Service Monitoring Workshop Scheduled

 

Workshop attendees will discuss needs, trends and options for monitoring forest health and productivity to support adaptive management of forests. Additionally, participants will consider which indicators are useful for monitoring social, economic and environmental trends. There will also be time to discuss possible opportunities for partnering with the Forest Service on monitoring programs.

The Dialog will take place Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and may be attended at two locations:

In preparation for the dialog, participants are encouraged to consider the following questions:

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John Stewart

King Fire Restoration Open House Set

b2ap3_thumbnail_usfs-logo.jpgEldorado National Forest to Discuss King Fire Restoration Project at Public Open House January 13 -- Comments Invited on Proposed Action

The Eldorado National Forest is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the King Fire Restoration Project and is inviting public comments on the Proposed Action. "The planning team has worked hard to develop a proposal that balances multiple objectives. Our goal is to work collaboratively with our partners and the public to begin the restoration work as soon as possible," said Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree.

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John Stewart

Sequoia NF Conceptional Alternatives Revealed

As noted from the Sierra NF meeting, the Recreation Concept is ill-defined as presented in the four conceptional alternatives.  The concepts are based of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum that was defined in 1986; almost 30 years ago when recreation pressures and public demand for recreation were different than they are in 2014.  The concept includes “minor edits to resolve GIS conflicts” and is consistent through three of the concepts. 

This begs the question “If minor edits to resolve GIS conflicts are recognized, what additional changes would be revealed with a more comprehensive review of the outdated ROS?” Addressing “minor edits to resolve GIS conflicts” are not framework/programatic actions.  They are fundamental activities that are required within daily work activities to maintain accurate records.

These issues were again articulated to another cast of characters with the charge to present agency points and receive public feedback.

The agency did receive a message that “recreation” as defined in the conceptional alternatives was ill-defined and need a complete description that articulated the current status and aspirational goals to achieve a desired condition that addresses the needs of current and future recreation needs within the framework of the forest plan.

In other words, a few ill-defined sentences are not sufficient to provide a robust description of current recreation needs.  This description should include such issues as travel management and the Motor Vehicle Use Maps, National Visitors Use Monitoring, and other agency programs dealing with recreation management.

These need to be included as reference documents (and data points) to conceive management alternatives that provide a future management framework.

Understandably, this is a “conceptional” document.  However, with respect to recreation, the “concepts” are vague and lack a foundation to develop the aspirational “guidance framework” envisioned for the forest plan.

The Pacific Crest Trail is part of the National Trail System designated by Congress.  As such, it is a linear feature on a map.  Congressional intent did allow for developing “right-of-way” corridors to ensure the PCT (and other trails within the National Trail System) provided a contiguous 100 minimal experience.  The “right-of-way” corridors were to account for segments where private or state lands impeded a contiguous 100 mile experience on federal lands.

One concept proposed is that a “corridor” be established for the PCT within the area of forest plan coverage.  A briefing paper was provided that addressed this issue.  While there is a proposal floated to establish a one-mile corridor for the PCT, the briefing paper makes it clear that this pending forest plan revision does not make travel management decisions. 

A study of the briefing paper shows an attempt to define a “corridor” that does not change existing approved uses; however, it does create a situation where future multiple use could be subjected to restrictions in future management reviews.  While there is an implied intent for no restriction on other activities, there is no prohibition of such a restriction.

Overall, the concept of a corridor is a consideration that needs review to determine if it will enhance the recreation experience of the user and provide for protection of the resources.  Such a the trail corridor should be of sufficient width to address primary uses or users in keeping with the congressional intent is designating the trail.  In other instances, the agencies do define “corridors”; generally, 30 feet from center-line, as a means to protect resources while allowing opportunity for off-trail activities such as camping.

Overall, these are conceptional alternatives and will be adjusted based on feedback received from this round of listening sessions.  These goals are expected to be the foundations for a document that defines goals and objectives that can be translated into implementation activities that can be monitored.  Monitoring implies being able to determine success or failure in achieving goals and objectives.

With the Sierra and Sequoia meetings complete, the Inyo NFs is next in hosting their public outreach meeting.  Stay tuned, more information is coming out as to the direction these plans will take.

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John Stewart

Sierra NF Conceptional Alternatives Revealed

The Recreation Concept is ill-defined in presenting the four conceptional alternatives.  The concepts are based of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum that was defined in 1986; almost 30 years ago when recreation pressures and public demand for recreation were different than they are in 2014.  The concept includes “minor edits to resolve GIS conflicts” and is consistent through three of the concepts. 

This begs the question “If 'minor edits to resolve GIS conflicts' is recognized as a need to accomplish, what additional changes would be revealed with a more comprehensive review of the circa-1986 ROS?” 

Understandably, this is a “conceptional” document.  However, with respect to recreation, the “concepts” are vague and lack a foundation to develop the aspirational “guidance framework” envisioned for the forest plan.

A briefing paper was provided that addressed the Pacific Crest Trail.  While there is a proposal floated to establish a one-mile corridor for the PCT, the briefing paper makes it clear that this pending forest plan revision does not make travel management decisions.  Further, the trail corridor will be of sufficient width to address primary uses or users in keeping with the congressional intent is designating the trail.

Overall, these are conceptional alternatives and will be adjusted based on feedback received from this round of listening sessions.  It is troubling that framework guidance for the future will rely on outdated information from the past.

Sequoia and Inyo NFs will be hosting similar public outreach meetings this week.

  1972 Hits

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