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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Sierra,Sequoia, Inyo NF's Extend Wilderness Evaluation Comment Deadline to Sept. 24 at Noon

Don Amador Near Bass Lake on the Sierra NF

The Recreation HQ wants to alert motorized recreationists who value OHV recreation on the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests about the Forest Service extending the public comment period
For the Wilderness Evaluation until 12:00 pm (noon) on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.

Here is text from the FS update:

Due to agency internal technical errors, our database for accepting wilderness evaluation comments (Talking Points) shut down prematurely on Monday, September 22 at midnight (12:00am instead of 8:00am).

The Forest Service is re-activating the Talking Points website to extend the wilderness evaluation comment period until 12:00pm (noon) on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.

Link to FS update:

Link to Wilderness Evaluation Webpage

BRC Comments on Wilderness Evaluation


HQ reminds riders that there are many high quality OHV opportunities in all three of these National Forests.   It is vital that you send in comments and attend public meetings.  The public comments for the Forest Plan Revision process are due on Sept. 29.

OHV Bridge Installed to Protect Water Quality
Sierra NF

BRC Alert on Forest Plan Revision Process

Update on those meetings

I/BRC attended the Early Adopter Forest’s public meeting last week in Fresno, CA,  regarding  the Forest Plan Revision process for the Sierra, Inyo, and Sequoia National Forests (early adopter forests) might impact fire related vegetative treatments, provide sustainable wood products for local timber or biomass businesses, and enhance recreational opportunity.

However, the lack of detail on the maps at the various stations made it hard for stakeholders to identify historic motorized and non-motorized areas and routes.  It was also confusing since the agency appeared to have a two tiered route/area analysis where they tried to clearly identify destination/developed OHV recreation areas but did not seem to focus as much detail on, or inclusion of, several important high elevation backcountry and alpine-type routes and areas.

 Although the agency has improved the “recreation” narrative, it appears that more attention should be given to development of a more substantive “recreation strategy” in the planning process.

We talked with agency staff at the “Fire” station about how the Forest Service should protect and mitigate engineered system trail infrastructure during any pre or post-fire treatments or in forest health vegetative projects.  Those projects should be reviewed as to how they might potentially impact motorized use on designated roads, trails, and areas.

I remains concerned that the Early Adopter Forest’s proposed action’s plan will apparently create “quiet recreation” expectations on all landscapes including both motorized (non-quiet) and non-motorized land classifications could be problematic on a number of fronts. Those impacts include obliteration of the trail or removal of water control structures such as rolling dips and catch basins.  Those soil erosion measures can often cost $15,000 to $20,000/mile to install (or replace).  Other sections such as at-risk species, water quality, and ecosystems have the same recreation mitigation deficiencies.

What may be of equal importance to the information gleaned at the public meeting is the visible presence of OHV leadership at the event.  That commitment was noted and appreciated by agency staff.  At the Fresno meeting, BRC was joined by representatives from AMA, AMA District 36, and CAL4WD.

If you value access to public lands, please take some time and review these plans and show that you have a vested interest in recreation by attending a meeting and sending in a comment letter.

Thanks!


Original author: Don Amador
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