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MICHIGAN - Forest Service to Study Huron-Manistee NF Road System

December 03, 2014 9:20 PM

MICHIGAN - Forest Service to Study Huron-Manistee NF Road System

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The U.S. Forest Service plans to study the risks and benefits for visitors and the environment associated with the road system on the Huron-Manistee National Forests.

The analysis, a part of the implementation of the 2005 Travel Management Rule, 36 CFR 212, will identify a road system that provides access for the public and forest management activities, minimizes environmental impacts and can be maintained within budget constraints.

Public use and road maintenance needs continue to grow on the Huron-Manistee. At the same time resources for road maintenance are decreasing.  Roads that are not adequately maintained can be unsafe to visitors and threaten forest health. They can increase soil erosion into rivers and streams, degrading water quality and impacting fish and wildlife. This analysis will not result in any final decisions regarding the future of roads within the Forests; the information gathered will be used in future site-specific analysis as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Huron-Manistee National Forests include more than 3,000 miles of roads managed by the Forest Service. Additional roads within the National Forests are maintained by the State of Michigan and the counties.  To assess the impacts of each Forest Service road the Forest Service, with input from the public, will consider conditions such as access, invasive species, heritage, wildlife, watershed, soils, fire, recreation and vegetation management.This process will integrate that information to identify positive, neutral or negative factors related to each road.

The Forest will involve the public, local, state, other federal agencies, tribal governments, and other stakeholders in this information gathering effort. Public comments will be used to identify priorities and opportunities for potential changes to the road system. The Huron-Manistee National Forests will host three open houses in January to explain the analysis process. Open house forums will be scheduled for Baldwin, Mio and Oscoda in January.

 "The Subpart A analysis is an information-gathering study, not a decision-making process," Auriemmo said. "The knowledge that we gain now will be used in the future to develop site-specific proposals."

The national forest will complete the Subpart A study by October 2015.

For more information about the Huron-Manistee National Forests, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/hmnf.

Members of the public may also contactKenneth Arbogast at karbogast@fs.fed.us or (231) 775-5023, Ext. 8726.

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
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