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NORTH CAROLINA - Forest Service Announces Next Round of Plan Revision Meetings

October 07, 2014 3:02 PM

NORTH CAROLINA - Forest Service Announces Next Round of Plan Revision Meetings

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

The National Forests in North Carolina has announced the schedule for the next round of meetings held as part of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests management plan revision. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Each of the six meetings will be held from 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Every meeting will have the same agenda and present the same information, and provide opportunity for public review and comment.

Pisgah Ranger District: October 21 at the Forge Valley Event Center in Mills River;
    Forge Valley Event Center
    8818 Boylston Highway, Mills River NC 28759
Nantahala Ranger District: October 28 at the Tartan Hall in Franklin;
    First Presbyterian Church
    Tartan Hall
    26 Church Street
    Franklin, NC 28734
Tusquitee Ranger District: October 30 at the Tri-County Comm. College
    Tri-County Community College
    Enloe Multi-Purpose Room
    21 Campus Circle
    Murphy, NC 28906

Appalachian Ranger District: November 3 at Mars Hill College, Broyhill Chapel in Mars Hill;
    Broyhill Chapel, Mars Hill College
    100 Athletic Street
    Mars Hill, NC 28754
Cheoah Ranger District: November 6 at the Graham County Community Center in Robbinsville;
    Graham County Community Center
    196 Knight Street
    Robbinsville, NC 28771
Grandfather Ranger District: November 13 at McDowell Tech. Comm. College
    McDowell Technical Community College
    William Harold Smith Building (#19); Room 113
    54 College Drive
    Marion, NC 28752

BRC believes that OHV recreationists should ask the agency to develop travel management strategies as part of their forest planning efforts.

Here are several concepts that should be included in the forest plan revision process:

ML 3 Roads to Trails - Reclassify ML3 roads to ML2 roads. Reclassify ML2 road to motorized trails or manage appropriate ML2 roads as "roads managed as trails." Manage appropriate ML1 roads as  "motorized trails."

ML 2 Roads to Trails - Convert "roads-to-single track trails" or "roads-to-motorized trails less than 50 inches in width" and "roads managed as motorized trails greater than 50 inches in width" as a tool to help the agency achieve its budget objectives while still providing a substantive and high quality recreational route network.

Single Track Trails - 2005 Forest Service Travel Management Rule (TMR) Subpart B planning efforts in California and other Western States resulted in the loss of many, if not most, of our historic single-track motorcycle trails.  Historic and legal motorized single-track opportunities such as enduro trails, old pack-mule/mining or pioneer trails were simply eliminated from consideration due to time constraints.

During Subpart B of Travel Management, the Forest Service promised OHV leadership that once these initial "foundational" route networks were established and codified that they would work with the users to either bring some of these historic single-track opportunities "back onto the system" or construct new engineered single-track system trails.

BRC believes that a strategy should be developed to replace the lost single- track experience. Retention or enhancement of high quality single-track dirt-bike trails is no different than keeping or enhancing "quiet" single-track hiking, equestrian, and mountain-bike trails.

Wet Weather Closures - Any TMR-based wet weather closure strategy should allow for native surfaced trails  and roads to be open when soil conditions/lack-of-rainfall permits. If a wet weather closure is needed, the implementing Forest Order should be for the shortest period of time rather than a longer time period. In NEPA, it is always easier to extend a short closure versus repealing a longer closure.

Mitigate Trail Impacts from Non-Recreation Projects - The impacts from non-recreation projects such as vegetative treatments and wildlife protection efforts often include obliteration of the trail or removal of water control structures such as rolling dips and catch basins.  Those trail mitigations can often cost $15,000 to $20,000/mile to install (or replace).  BRC recommends that "trail mitigation" guidelines be added to relevant non-recreation projects.

During each meeting, Forest Service employees will share information about the proposed Forest Plan, including potential management areas and desired conditions. The meeting will open with a presentation on significant issues, management areas, and the development of plan components. The Forest Service planning team will share some proposed desired condition statements and information about watersheds and recreation settings during an open poster session.

Please share the aforementioned OHV related strategies with agency staff.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-BLUERIB - www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!


May 31, 2016 10:48 AM
MONTANA - Custer Gallatin NF Forest Plan Revision June Public Meetings Announced
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May 23, 2016 1:40 PM
Sawtooth National Recreation Area Wants Your Input on the Wood River Travel Plan
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May 20, 2016 8:32 AM
CALIFORNIA - Public Invited to Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area Tour and Comment
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