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NORTH CAROLINA - Comments Sought on Wilderness and Other Proposals by Jan. 5

December 03, 2014 9:40 PM

NORTH CAROLINA - Comments Sought on Wilderness and Other Proposals by Jan. 5

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina is seeking public input on the draft proposals presented at public meetings this fall. Comments will be most helpful if received by January 5, 2015.

In addition, the agency has posted its new online collaborative tool where people can post comments on potential additions to wilderness as part of revision of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests management plan. Click here to learn more about the potential wilderness inventory and evaluation process.

The Forest Service will use public input received this fall and early winter to develop desired conditions, standards, guidelines and objectives, and refine the management areas. The agency will examine different alternatives for the management plan and document the analysis in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which will be available to the public around June 2015. The Forest Service will then hold meetings and will give the public the opportunity to comment on the draft EIS and alternatives.

The Plan revision web page is

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.

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
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The Sawtooth National Recreation Area (NRA) is announcing the availability of the proposed action for the Big Wood Travel Management Plan. The purpose of this plan is to bring road and trail use into compliance with the Forest Plan, laws, and regulations; to provide a system of roads and trails for public access and recreational travel; to manage resource impacts that are occurring due to the use of roads and trails; and to rehabilitate non-system routes identified as a problem
May 20, 2016 8:32 AM
CALIFORNIA - Public Invited to Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area Tour and Comment
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