Sharetrails Archive Site
Return to Current Site

WASHINGTON - FS Announces Scoping of Greenwater Access and Travel Management Project

November 16, 2015 5:09 PM

The Snoqualmie Ranger District, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, is beginning environmental analysis for the Greenwater Access and Travel Management Project. The Forest Service (FS) is evaluating roads within the lower Greenwater and parts of adjacent subwatersheds to balance access needs with resource protection and budget. This Subpart A and B effort will determine which roads to retain and which roads are no longer needed, and will also propose road treatments

WASHINGTON - FS Announces Scoping of Greenwater Access and Travel Management Project

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

The Snoqualmie Ranger District, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, is beginning environmental analysis for the Greenwater Access and Travel Management Project. The Forest Service (FS) is evaluating roads within the lower Greenwater and parts of adjacent subwatersheds to balance access needs with resource protection and budget.

This Subpart A and B effort will determine which roads to retain and which roads are no longer needed, and will also propose road treatments in an effort to align the size of the Forest Service road system with projected road maintenance budgets.

The proposed action description and other information is available on the Forest's project website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47991 and at the Snoqualmie Ranger District Offices in North Bend and Enumclaw. The project website will be the primary avenue through which the Forest Service will provide information about the project.

Here are several concepts that OHV users should ask the agency to include in the forest road planning 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.

Advise the FS on Minimization: The agency has broad discretion applying the minimization criteria and is certainly not obligated to restrict motorized access, particularly in response to the subjective complaints or other "evidence" provided by self-interested non-motorized use advocates.  The agency cannot be strong-armed into motorized road closures or restrictions and a well-reasoned and documented balance affording reasonable opportunities to a spectrum of recreational uses will be upheld by the courts.

*BRC also urges the OHV community to submit road/trail specific information on what routes are important for access and/or recreational opportunity.

The FS will accept comments on this proposal for 30 days following publication of the Request for Scoping Comments Legal Notice in the Snoqualmie Valley Record and the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, which is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. Legal Notice was published in Snoqualmie Valley Record on October 28, 2015.

Electronic comments are preferred and should be submitted with the following subject line, "Greenwater ATM," and as part of the actual email message, or in another readable format such as plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), .pdf, or Word (.doc or .docx) to: commentspacificnorthwest-mtbaker-snoqualmie-snoqualmie@fs.fed.us.

Written comments should be mailed or dropped off in person to:
                    Martie Schramm, District Ranger
                    Snoqualmie Ranger District
                    902 SE North Bend Way
                    North Bend, WA 98045

Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00a.m. - 4:30p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Oral comments can be provided at the Snoqualmie Ranger District (address above) during normal business hours or via telephone at (425) 888-1421. Comments can be faxed to (425) 888-1910.

Comments received, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the Project Record and available for public review.

If you prefer to have paper copies of project documents, or for more information regarding the project, please contact either of the co-team leaders Karen Chang at kchang@fs.fed.us, or Andy Bryden at abryden@fs.fed.us.

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
_______________________________________________________

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
[Action Alerts Archive]