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NEW MEXICO - Lincoln NF Hosting Public Workshops The First Two Weeks In November

October 30, 2015 5:26 PM

The Lincoln National Forest will be hosting public workshops during the first two weeks in November. During the Assessment Phase of Forest Plan Revision, the public is invited to help identify ecological, social, and economic conditions and trends as they relate to the Lincoln National Forest. This information will be beneficial as the team continues with the Assessment Phase of the Forest Plan Revision. These workshops are intended to provide a venue for two-way conversation and dialogue with regard to the Forest Plan.

NEW MEXICO - Lincoln NF Hosting Public Workshops The First Two Weeks In November

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Lincoln National Forest will be hosting public workshops during the first two weeks in November.  During the Assessment Phase of Forest Plan Revision, the public is invited to help identify ecological, social, and economic conditions and trends as they relate to the Lincoln National Forest. This information will be beneficial as the team continues with the Assessment Phase of the Forest Plan Revision.

These workshops are intended to provide a venue for two-way conversation and dialogue with regard to the Forest Plan. The goal is to share knowledge, plans and data; and to identify conditions and trends related to the Lincoln National Forest. 

Once finalized, the updated Forest Plan will describe the strategic direction for management of forest resources over the next 15 years. Your participation is crucial as the plan is developed!

Community Conversation Workshops are scheduled as follows:

  • Nov. 3; 6 pm to 8 pm - ENMU; 709 Mechem Dr, Ruidoso, NM
  • Nov. 5; 6 pm to 8 pm - Carrizozo Schools, 800 D Ave, Carrizozo, NM
  • Nov. 9; 6 pm to 8 pm - Alamogordo Civic Center, 800 E 1st St, Alamogordo, NM
  • Nov 10, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm - Mayhill Community Center, 19 Civic Center Dr; Mayhill, NM
  • Nov 12, 6 pm to 8 pm - Carlsbad Library Annex; 101 S Halagueno St, Carlsbad, NM

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 roads 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.

Review non-motorized land designations - BRC believes the Forest should review current non-Wilderness areas that could be reclassified, reopened, or have cherry-stemmed routes designated for connectivity and/or touring opportunities.  Many 1980-1990s-era Forest Plans used non-Wilderness "non-motorized" classifications to restrict or prohibit summer wheeled recreation. In many cases, OHV was simply not at the table or given substantive consideration during these programmatic planning efforts. In some areas these classifications such as "Near Natural" or "Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized" had the effect of functionally banning OHV use including designation of cherry-stemmed routes. The Forest Plan Revision process is the appropriate planning tool to reclassify lands for managed OHV recreation.

Please share the aforementioned OHV related strategies with agency staff.

For more information about the Forest Plan Revision process, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/lincolnforestplan, email lnf_fpr_comments@fs.fed.us, or call 575-434-7200.

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. 2
 

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.sharetrails.org
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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!

  

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