USFS to close a lot more roads

Western States

USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby therealsherlock » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:34 pm

US Forests in Washington State Begin "Sustainable Roads" Process

Designed to do one thing: Close access to all
The announcement on the USFS website indicates the USFS is considering closing approximately 75% of the remaining roads and trails open to public use:


Approximately 2,500 miles of roads crisscross the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, from the Canadian border to the Mt. Rainier National Park on the western Cascades. The Forest Service can afford to maintain about a quarter of them. By 2015, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest must identify a road system we can afford for safe travel, use, administration and resource protection.
Let me make this clear at the outset: Most, if not all, USFA programs are under funded. Indeed, the maintenance backlog for trails in designated Wilderness is well documented. We understand that funding for road and trail maintenance can be a legitimate concern. However, the recreating public will not accept the agency applying a strict maintenance budget criteria to any travel plan.
Subpart A or "Travel Analysis" is supposed to outline a "minimum road system" that can potentially be used by anti-access forces within or beyond the agency to allegedly drive future travel designations.
The analysis is intended to provide a "whole-forest" view of all the National Forest Transportation System roads in which all uses--not just recreation--will be considered. For example, roads needed for future forest health or logging will be identified. Ditto for roads that are primarily needed for emergency uses in case of wildfire.
According to the agency, the analysis process will incorporate ecological, social, cultural and economic information in identifying the road system needed to meet resource and other management objectives in the relevant Forest Plan, and various other factors.
While it is not a requirement that the USFS respond to your comments, that does not diminish the need to be involved in this important process. Your input is important because we can't always rely on USFS staff to identify the recreational uses of these roads or accessible through these roads. But please keep in mind that the analysis in Subpart A may not be the same as analysis used to comply with NEPA as in a Subpart B recreational travel planning decision. This process won't result in various alternatives, for example, but instead will produce a Travel Analysis Report or TAP that is supposed to "inform" future management and administration of the transportation system.
Will the USFS use this for another chance to close your trails?
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest says YES!
WILL MOTORIZED TRAILS BE INCLUDED?
YES! The travel analysis process, while emphasizing roads, must consider the entire travel network, including motorized trails, as part of the benefits and risks analysis, route density calculations, connections to recreation use, and other similar considerations in order to be comprehensive.
It is critical that OHVers and snowmobilers get involved in this issue. Our immediate action item is to respond to a Online questionnaire. DO THAT NOW! (Click the link below).
Sustainable Roads Questionnaire will close on October 31, 2013.
Sustainable Roads website
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby jauntygreengiant » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:22 pm

Sad Day. I can only buy so many forest passes. :cry:
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby robd0gg » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:02 pm

The best weapon to fight these closures is to partner with WOHVA and the NMA (Northwest Motorcycle Association).. The NMA has been fighting for our access rights to public lands since the early seventies. You can participate in public planning meetings, write and call your representatives, and donate time and cash. I've seen it work. I've gone to forest management meetings and seen where we were able to influence decisions in our favor. Todd Peterson and others have had lots of success fighting bad policies and poorly written regulations. They even maintain an alerting mechanism called CLOUT where you are notified of bad legislation allowing you time to take action. All hope is not lost.
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby Marvin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:48 am

robd0gg wrote: WOHVA


Who are these guys Rob? The legislative branch of AMA is working at a National level and good one to support also.
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby robd0gg » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:56 am

Marvin wrote:
robd0gg wrote: WOHVA


Who are these guys Rob? The legislative branch of AMA is working at a National level and good one to support also.


Washington off highway vehicle association. http://wohva.org/

They started up a few years ago to represent all off-road enthusiasts, not just motorcycles but they work closely with NMA

National groups like AMA and Blue Ribbon Coaliton do great work, but they rarely assist us with with local issues. Sometimes they do join us to bring light to an issue, or occasionally.offer legal counsel, like when our former governor decided to take our NOVA funds that was constitutionally intended to use for off road issues, and instead use it to fund whatever she wanted, but it's those two groups I mentioned that do the vast majority of the work here in Wasgington
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby Marvin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:11 am

Thanx, I'll check 'em out.
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby pnwroamer » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:41 am

...we do have to contend with the Sierra Club, Washington Trail Association, Audobon Society and Natl. Wildlife Assoc. (to name just a few)

They have a huge voting block and lots of political clout (at least in this state) :x
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby robd0gg » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:21 pm

by the way, here's the link to the questionaire

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VK6MYPB

and a link to a good discussion with lots of information on Advrider
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.p ... ght=survey

p.s. The last public meeting for the year was supposed to happen last week in Everett, but it was postponed due to the knuckleheads in DC. So if your up in the North end, keep your eye peeled for the meeting notice.. attendance at these meetings sends a big message to the federals running the show, and lack of attendance sends the opposite message, that we really don't give a rip... so if you camp, hunt, hike, pick mushrooms, drive your car, kayak, fish, 4x4, motorcycle, snowmobile anywhere in the vast central Cascades, this is something that should concern you.

thanks for sharing TheRealSherlock :)
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby therealsherlock » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:59 pm

There is a "senate" meeting at the Skagit County administration building on October 19th at 1:30 pm that is going to discuss Washington State issues including Washington State Dept of Natural Resources closing DNR properties/roads to recreation. I don't even know if it is an open meeting or not but I am going to attempt to attend. I spoke with two DNR department heads and they didn't even know about it....at least yet.
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Re: USFS to close a lot more roads

Postby therealsherlock » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:08 pm

Sort of related......
Subject: Fwd: Public comments on trails plan accepted through 5 pm on October 25, 2013

>
>
>>>> "RCO MI Policy Changes (RCO)" <policychanges@rco.wa.gov> 10/4/2013
>>>> 10:53 AM >>>
> You are receiving this announcement for public comment because you
> have expressed interest in trails and outdoor recreation in Washington State.
>
>
>
> WHAT
>
> The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) seeks public comments on the
> draft Washington State Trails Plan 2013-2018. The trails plan is a
> statewide plan that addresses current trail needs in Washington State
> and provides recommendations for action. The plan is approved by the
> Recreation and Conservation Funding
> Board<http://www.rco.wa.gov/boards/rcfb.shtml>.
>
>
>
> The draft trails plan reflects changes in trail priorities as
> demonstrated in the recently adopted State Comprehensive Outdoor
> Recreation
> Plan<http://www.rco.wa.gov/documents/rcfb/WA-SCORP_REPORT.pdf> (2013) as well as additional findings from a Trails Advisory Committee.
>
>
>
> Materials related to the draft trails plan can be found on RCO's
> Website on the public comments
> page<http://www.rco.wa.gov/about/rule_making.shtml>. More information
> on RCO's grant programs that fund trails can be found on the agency's
> Web Site on the trails page<http://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/trail_grants.shtml>.
>
>
>
> HOW TO COMMENT
>
> Reply to this email to provide comments or ask questions on the draft
> trails plan. Please include in the subject line the following text:
> Trails plan comments.
>
>
>
> DEADLINE
>
> Comments are due by 5 pm on Friday, October 25, 2013.
>
>
>
> NEXT STEPS
>
> Comments received will be reviewed with the board at its public
> meeting on November 6 in Olympia. Based upon public comment and board
> direction a final draft will be presented to the board for adoption at
> its meeting on January 9 in Olympia.
>
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