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OREGON - Community Workshops Scheduled Across The Blue Mountains On Access, Grazing And Pace & Scale Of Restoration

June 30, 2015 7:23 PM

The Forest Service need and want your help in the continuing efforts to update the Forest Plans across the Blue Mountains National Forests -- including the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. In July and August there will be several opportunities for you to get involved and the public is invited to attend one of the public workshops listed below. As you may know, the current Forest Plans are from 1990. Over the past 25 years, the landscape has changed significantly. Social and econ

OREGON - Community Workshops Scheduled Across The Blue Mountains On Access, Grazing And Pace & Scale Of Restoration

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Forest Service need and want your help in the continuing efforts to update the Forest Plans across the Blue Mountains National Forests -- including the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests.  In July and August there will be several opportunities for you to get involved and the public is invited to attend one of the public workshops listed below.

As you may know, the current Forest Plans are from 1990. Over the past 25 years, the landscape has changed significantly.  Social and economic conditions have also changed across the Blue Mountains region since 1990.  For these reasons and others, it is time for new Forest Plans to guide our future land-management decisions.

Last summer, 2014, the Forest Service received over 1,300 comment letters on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to the Blue Mountains Forest Plans. Based on the comments received and the feedback shared in public meetings, the FS heard an overall sense of dissatisfaction with the Forest Plans from diverse perspectives. Thanks to input from a wide range of people, some of the topics that deserve more discussion across the Blue Mountains are: (1) access, (2) grazing, and (3) pace & scale of restoration.

This summer and fall, the Forest Service will attend or co-host public workshops in communities across the Blue Mountains. Most of the community workshops or meetings will be professionally facilitated by Jack Southworth of High Desert Partnership.

The schedule for upcoming community workshops is listed below and also posted on the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/BlueMountainsPlanRevision

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Malheur NF
Where: John Day, OR - Grant County Regional Airport

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Umatilla NF
Where: Clarkston, WA - Floch Hall, Asotin Fairgrounds, Asotin Anatone Hwy

Thu Jul 9, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Umatilla NF
Where: Walla Walla, WA - Walla Walla Senior Center at the Park, 720 Sprague St

Mon Jul 13, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Wallowa-Whitman NF
Where: Enterprise, OR Cloverleaf Hall

Tue Jul 14, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Grazing Workshop - Malheur NF
Where: Burns, OR - Burns Community Center

Wed Jul 15, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Umatilla NF
Where: Richland, WA - Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, 1943 Columbia Park Trail

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Umatilla NF / Malheur NF
Where: Ukiah, OR - Ukiah High School Gym

Tue Jul 21, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Grazing Workshop - Wallowa-Whitman NF
Where: Enterprise, OR Cloverleaf Hall

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Umatilla NF
Where: Pendleton, OR - Tam stslikt Cultural Institute, 47106 Wildhorse Boulevard

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Access Workshop - Umatilla NF
Where: Heppner, OR - Morrow County Fairgrounds Main Hall, 74473 Hwy 74-Lena

Tue Jul 28, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Pace/Scale of Restoration Workshop - Wallowa-Whitman NF
Where: Enterprise, OR Cloverleaf Hall

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Pace/Scale of Restoration Workshop - Malheur NF
Where: John Day, OR - Grant County Regional Airport

Tue Aug 18, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Pace/Scale of Restoration Workshop - Malheur NF
Where: Burns, OR - Burns Community Center

Wed Aug 19, 2015, 6pm - 9pm
Grazing, Pace/Scale of Restoration Workshop - Malheur NF
Where: Long Creek, OR - Long Creek Community Hall

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 feel free to urge the agency to include the aforementioned travel strategies in their forest planning process.

If you have any questions please contact Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision Public Affairs Officer, Peter Fargo at 541-523-1231 or email at pfargo@fs.fed.us.

As always, please call or email if you have any questions or comments.

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.
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 http://archive.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now 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
In January, the 3.1 million acre Custer Gallatin National Forest started on a Forest Plan Revision, a four-year process that will ultimately give way to a new forest plan. The Forest Service will host a second set of public meetings across various communities between June 14 and June 30. The focus of this second set of meetings will be the preliminary results from the Assessment of Existing Conditions to date and provide a forum for those attending the meetings and
May 23, 2016 1:40 PM
Sawtooth National Recreation Area Wants Your Input on the Wood River Travel Plan
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
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Barstow Field Office, has scheduled three tour rides of the Rasor Road Off-Highway Vehicle Area OHV area to identify locations used for riding, camping, as well as to assess use habits and general conditions of the area. The California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan of 1980 mandated a recreation plan to address the intensive OHV activity of the Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area. Public meetings were held on April 28, May 5, and May 12
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