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Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
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

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  It is troubling that framework guidance for the future will rely on outdated information from the past.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.

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John Stewart

CA4WDC NRC South November 2012 Report

Carnegie SVRA is developing a general plan and Environmental Impact Report.  The GP and EIR are different documents and both will require review and comments.  The timeline calls for public workshops in January/February 2013 to review a draft of the documents.

Of note, the plan is prompted by the acquisition of the Tesla properties with OHV Trust Funds several years ago.  The GP/EIR will cover the new and old sections of the SVRA.  State Parks has about 440 acres that are adjacent.  This planning effort will not cover that land; however, that some of that land is available to address potential mitigation within the SVRA.

There is a desire to increase the 4x4 opportunity at Carnegie as well as provide additional motorcycle/ATV opportunity that is not highly technical in nature. Current use of the park is for technical motorcycle riding.

Sierra NF (DLRP) - is proceeding with the Bald Mountain Project in the Sierra National Forest. A NEPA scoping notice has been released and comments are due Nov 19, 2012. (As part of the Dinky Landscape Restoration Project collaborative team, I have submitted comments for CA4WDC.) A series of Proposed Actions within the scope of the project are described in the scoping letter. The overall purpose of the action is to improve the resilience of the forest; retain and improve key wildlife habitat, ecosystem components and processes; protect people and adjacent property from the effects of wildfire; and protect forest resources from unnatural fire.

Read more of CA4WDC NRC South November 2012 Report

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