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Old 04-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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CA-Sierra NF Proposes Revision of Motor Vehicle Use Designations (Season of Use)

CALIFORNIA - Sierra NF Proposes Revision of Motor Vehicle Use Designations (Season of Use)

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Sierra National Forest (SNF) proposes to change the process for determining motor vehicle season of use for National Forest Transportation System (NFTS) roads, trails and areas. The purpose of this action is to allow flexibility in public motorized use on SNF roads, trails and areas when resource conditions allow. This action is needed because the SNF's Travel Management decision (FS 2010b) envisioned that the Forest would be responsive to changing conditions and public needs.

There is a need to provide for flexible seasonal designations that protect the natural resources and the Forest's financial investment during wet weather periods. The original Motorized Travel Management Record of Decision included a rigid system of "seasons of use" based on typical or average historic weather patterns. However, the Forest has been experiencing highly variable weather patterns where a rigid system of dates for seasonal open periods does not meet the public need.

The project will provide line officers the use discretion to modify the seasonal designation for a road, trail or area to address unpredictable conditions such as no rainfall, heavy rain or snowfall, fire danger or flooding.

The Forest Service is excepting comments on this proposed action through April 23, 2012. If you wish to submit a comment, please send written comments to Judith Tapia, 1600 Tollhouse Road , Clovis, CA, 93611-0532 or by email to jetapia@fs.fed.us.

The Environmental Assessment for this project can be found on the forest's website at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_proje...?project=38017

If you have questions, please contact Judith Tapia, Environmental Coordinator at (559) 297-0706 ext 4938 or by email to jetapia@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 107
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I was told by someone in the Forest Service many months ago that Eldorado National Forest was looking at the same thing. Making the seasonal closure flexable to be more in tune with conditions.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The Sierra National Forest (SNF) proposes to change the process for determining motor vehicle season of use for National Forest Transportation System (NFTS) roads, trails and areas. The purpose of this action is to allow flexibility in public motorized use on SNF roads, trails and areas when resource conditions allow. This action is needed because the SNF's Travel Management decision (FS 2010b) envisioned that the Forest would be responsive to changing conditions and public needs.

There is a need to provide for flexible seasonal designations that protect the natural resources and the Forest's financial investment during wet weather periods. The original Motorized Travel Management Record of Decision included a rigid system of "seasons of use" based on typical or average historic weather patterns. However, the Forest has been experiencing highly variable weather patterns where a rigid system of dates for seasonal open periods does not meet the public need.
Love that Forest and it's personnel...nothing like Eldo and Tahoe.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Perhaps some precedent for other Forest Systems can be set should they succeed in this action.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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so, do we need to get a letter campaign for this?

i would imagine our enemies are going to have a bunch of comments about how it should be determined and ran for closures.

we(i at least) would need a list of talking points and suggestions.

if we leave it up to the decision of an individual with the FS.... whats to say that some ranger who is against the OHV says its too muddy or there is to much of a fire danger summer long and close us out?
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Perhaps some precedent for other Forest Systems can be set should they succeed in this action.
I've subtly rubbed it in both Forests noses for a couple of years now.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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so, do we need to get a letter campaign for this?

i would imagine our enemies are going to have a bunch of comments about how it should be determined and ran for closures.

we(i at least) would need a list of talking points and suggestions.

if we leave it up to the decision of an individual with the FS.... whats to say that some ranger who is against the OHV says its too muddy or there is to much of a fire danger summer long and close us out?
I can get to it, but I have a couple of days worth of other project going....if anyone else can get it sooner that's better, We should have at least 30 days.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been thinking this for a long time. It seems to me that they already open them based on conditions however they close them at an arbitrary date regardless of conditions. This year was an exelent example we were up in December and the trail were closed with very little snow. does anyone know what comments are the most helpfull, or do they just want a simple yes, i support this? One concern I have is the fire danger statement. I could see trails being closed in dry times. I would like to see some record of proof that properly equiped motor vehicles on ohv trails are elevating the danger of fire. As we know, they already put campfire restrictions when conditions warrant, I would hate to see the trails closed at the same time. One thing we deal with here in the Los Padres nf is that the officers will close the trails in advance of a rain event. I have been out to ride on occasions when there has not been rain in weeks, but the officers close the trails and state "its going to rain tomorrow and we don't have the staff to close the trails then".
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I was told by someone in the Forest Service many months ago that Eldorado National Forest was looking at the same thing. Making the seasonal closure flexable to be more in tune with conditions.
Drives me nuts that they didn't do that from the start with travel management... I know I sure asked 'em to in written comments, and I know I was not alone. At the time, Region 5 seemed to be running the process from Vallejo, wonder if that has changed? I trust the Forests more than I trust the Regions, though it may take a micrometer to measure such small amounts.

FWIW, I have *WAY* more trust for the Districts, who generally are willing to work with recreationists, as opposed to their administration, who seems more geared to working around us.

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Old 04-11-2012, 12:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Make your comments objective. Insist that they develop measurable criteria for the closures and openings. Most of the forests have different climate zones so have them divide the forest up accordingly.

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Old 04-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Have to give props to the Forest Supervisor in this case - he met with, rode the trails with and listened to the Stewards of the Sierra on this. The Stewards of the Sierra were able to convince him that having flexibility on the seasonal closures would benefit the public.

I haven't been a fan of many of the actions by the different forests, here, I have to give the Forest Supervisor credit for what he is doing!
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Greg (OHV Mgr retired) and Anthony (I believe is the current OHV Mgr) were and are pivotal to the relationships with volunteers, and are proactive on all accounts.

It's an incredible team there. ONE THAT SHOULD BE THE MODEL FOR ALL NATIONAL FORESTS.

Did I say that loud enough?
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by randii View Post
Drives me nuts that they didn't do that from the start with travel management... I know I sure asked 'em to in written comments, and I know I was not alone. At the time, Region 5 seemed to be running the process from Vallejo, wonder if that has changed? I trust the Forests more than I trust the Regions, though it may take a micrometer to measure such small amounts.

FWIW, I have *WAY* more trust for the Districts, who generally are willing to work with recreationists, as opposed to their administration, who seems more geared to working around us.

Randii
Remember the load of BS we got on that "We can't make it like Rock Creek, that would be too difficult", and my favorite "Our legal team tells us they have to be fixed dates, we can't change them going into the season, but we can extend them at the end of the season"

They look down on us like we are the idiots who don't 'understand' and yet they are one's who lack common sense and any form of reason.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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(SBNF) an incredible team there. ONE THAT SHOULD BE THE MODEL FOR ALL NATIONAL FORESTS.
Did I say that loud enough?
Say it again... and again. Definitely a role-model group for most!

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Remember the load of BS we got...
Sadly, I do.

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Old 04-11-2012, 04:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Eldorado just extended there closure till April 30th
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Lucky us

No offense intended!
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Greg (OHV Mgr retired) and Anthony (I believe is the current OHV Mgr) were and are pivotal to the relationships with volunteers, and are proactive on all accounts.

It's an incredible team there. ONE THAT SHOULD BE THE MODEL FOR ALL NATIONAL FORESTS.

Did I say that loud enough?
I wouldn't say that - the personnel in that Forest has alot to be desired. They have a district ranger that is anti ohv and anthony still has to prove himself - he has done some things that are questionable. The Sierra has staff in the Supervisors office that are still incompetent - although, the addition of Scott as the Forest Supervisor is good. And, I think in time - it will be better.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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At the time, Region 5 seemed to be running the process from Vallejo, wonder if that has changed? I trust the Forests more than I trust the Regions, though it may take a micrometer to measure such small amounts.
Randy, I couldn't agree more. I think the evidence of that fact: I don't think it's any coincidence that the signature on that TM is now working in Region 5.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wouldn't say that - the personnel in that Forest has alot to be desired. They have a district ranger that is anti ohv and anthony still has to prove himself - he has done some things that are questionable. The Sierra has staff in the Supervisors office that are still incompetent - although, the addition of Scott as the Forest Supervisor is good. And, I think in time - it will be better.
I think it's true, especially since all I know is the Eldo/Tahoe crowd. (I can say there are a couple of exceptions in those teams)

Anthony is very open in my experience, we spent many hours on the phone discussing Dusy when the Rubicon was being water boarded. If he did anything questionable, he did it to keep his job.

IMO.

I did a tread lightly/Hummer project with he and Greg just before Greg retired. We were fast friends. They get it. They work it. They succeed for the most part.

They value their volunteers highly. And they frequently show their appreciation.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Eldorado just extended there closure till April 30th
Sh!za.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:53 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Over the years we have worked well with the staff of the Sierra NF, this is what we have been asking for. Scott is very easy to talk to and they appreciate the volunteers for what we do. Anthony is also easy to work with.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Over the years we have worked well with the staff of the Sierra NF, this is what we have been asking for. Scott is very easy to talk to and they appreciate the volunteers for what we do. Anthony is also easy to work with.
Thank you Steve for confirming, you were there when I met them, in fact that's when I met you for the first time. And, all I have to say is it was an eye opening experience, not to mention, very uplifting....showed what the forest service should be like.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think it's true, especially since all I know is the Eldo/Tahoe crowd. (I can say there are a couple of exceptions in those teams)

Anthony is very open in my experience, we spent many hours on the phone discussing Dusy when the Rubicon was being water boarded. If he did anything questionable, he did it to keep his job.

IMO.

I did a tread lightly/Hummer project with he and Greg just before Greg retired. We were fast friends. They get it. They work it. They succeed for the most part.

They value their volunteers highly. And they frequently show their appreciation.
I got to meet Greg before he retired - was sorry to see him go. Glad you have had good experience with Anthony - perhaps I just haven't worked with him enough.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:58 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It is also my understanding that the Sierra wanted to do a seasonal (wet weather) closure like the Mendocino - but, the Vallejo office wouldn't go for that.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It is also my understanding that the Sierra wanted to do a seasonal (wet weather) closure like the Mendocino - but, the Vallejo office wouldn't go for that.
It was my understanding that Region was/is not supposed to influence Forest decisions in regards to Travel Management.
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