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Old 06-13-2012, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blueribbon Coalition Criticizes U.S. Forest Service Proposed Rule

BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC.
MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Greg Mumm, BRC Executive Director
Phone: (208) 244-2112
Date: June 13, 2012

BLUERIBBON COALITION CRITICIZES U.S. FOREST SERVICE PROPOSED RULE

POCATELLO, ID (June 13)--The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) today strongly criticized a U.S. Forest Service proposal to exempt major ground disturbing activities from environmental analysis and public comment.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) today began accepting public comment on a proposed change in regulations (https://www.federalregister.gov/arti...ion-activities) that would allow certain activities, including road obliteration, to be exempt from any public comment or analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The proposed rule would allow the agency to bypass normal environmental review for projects that remove, replace or modify water control structures and remove debris and sediment after natural or human-caused events including floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. The rule would also exempt road decommissioning efforts such, as stabilizing slopes, restoring vegetation, blocking the entrance to the road, installing waterbars and removing culverts.

However, the proposal would also exempt major ground disturbing activities such as completely eliminating the road bed by restoring natural contours and slopes.

"Some of the agency's recommendations make sense, but as usual, they go too far," said Brian Hawthorne, Public Lands Policy Director for BRC. Hawthorne said, "If 40 years of NEPA has taught us anything it is that noble intentions don't justify half-baked analysis. A bulldozer moving dirt is a bulldozer moving dirt. Environmental impacts don't magically disappear because the source of sediment is called a restoration project."

"This borderlines on willful mismanagement," said Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director. "The Forest Service is sitting on 20 to 40 million acres of beetle-killed fire hazard and the fuse is lit. Their priorities are out of whack." Mumm said.

As an example, Mumm said that just in Colorado some 6.6 million acres are affected by the mountain bark beetle epidemic (https://www.sharetrails.org/public-l...eetle-epidemic). The agency estimates that, over the next 10 years, an average of 100,000 trees will fall daily. Visitors to USFS lands are affected not only by the visual impacts, falling trees pose serious risk to human life and the infrastructure our rural communities rely on. Dead trees across the state have created heavy fuel loading which can result in intense, so-called "fatal wildfires." Beetle-killed trees now threaten thousands of miles of roads, trails and developed recreation sites. Mumm said; "Exempting culvert removal is all well and good, but the agency crosses a line when, at the same time, they increase analysis on such things as maintaining safe power transmission corridors."

Hawthorne also expressed frustration with the proposed changes. He noted that the USFS is saying the majority of issues associated with road and trail decommissioning arise from the initial decision whether to close a road or trail via the travel planning process. "That's not our experience," Hawthorne said. BRC has been urging the USFS (https://www.sharetrails.org/public-l...el-plan-appeal) to develop a streamlined procedure to allow public comment before any ground disturbing or road obliteration activities are proposed precisely because the travel planning is usually focused on recreational users of the Forest. Other users are often assured their access and activities could still continue under stipulations of their permit, lease or other agreement.

Hawthorne said few, if any, USFS travel planning projects get it right the first time. "Many travel planning projects we are aware of have been amended within one or two years after completion, and many have been amended even before the plan has been completely implemented on the ground." It is quite likely that routes proposed for decommissioning will be necessary additions in future recreation and travel planning. Hawthorne said the fact the agency doesn't want any public involvement means the agency probably doesn't care about any potential recreational uses of these routes.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is HUGE but nobody cares?

Last edited by LYIN' KING; 08-12-2012 at 09:24 PM. Reason: shoot me for a spelling error
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Start MOTHBALLING YOUR SHIT........
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not seeing the impact that it's carrying, king.
What's it all mean??
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) today began accepting public comment on a proposed change in regulations (https://www.federalregister.gov/arti...ion-activities) that would allow certain activities, including road obliteration, to be exempt from any public comment or analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not seeing the impact that it's carrying, king.
What's it all mean??
More here . . . http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...6#post14674836
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I see it as smooth sailing for the FS to start taking roads out..No public comment needed, git r done.. But, I'm new to the scene, so hey, wtf do I know.?
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitC...RDOC_0001-1311
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It will not save my comment on the link. Bummer.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 66cummins View Post
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) today began accepting public comment on a proposed change in regulations (https://www.federalregister.gov/arti...ion-activities) that would allow certain activities, including road obliteration, to be exempt from any public comment or analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
What .gov agency does a public release on a Sunday unless they are politically trying to divert attention.
Who in the the office side of .gov works on a Sunday....
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What .gov agency does a public release on a Sunday unless they are politically trying to divert attention.
Who in the the office side of .gov works on a Sunday....
I'm not sure when they actually posted this BEAR, I copy and pasted that more for the second part that stated the FS would not need public comment to obliterate a road.....

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitC...RDOC_0001-1311
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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What .gov agency does a public release on a Sunday
BRC announced this June 13, 2012.
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showp...20&postcount=1
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Exclamation Last day to comment

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Originally Posted by mannysouza View Post
It will not save my comment on the link. Bummer.
Was it the link posted in the intial BRC release? If so, try this one: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitC...RDOC_0001-1311


TODAY IS THE LAST DAY THEY WILL ACCEPT COMMENTS FOLKS!!!
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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They allow the green crew to use NEPA to close public roads and trails when there is the slightest possibility of sedimentation yet want to . . .

"allow the agency to bypass normal environmental review . . . exempt road decommissioning efforts . . . blocking the entrance to roads . . . exempt major ground disturbing activities such as completely eliminating the road bed".

Hawthorne said, "If 40 years of NEPA has taught us anything it is that noble intentions don't justify half-baked analysis. A bulldozer moving dirt is a bulldozer moving dirt. Environmental impacts don't magically disappear because the source of sediment is called a restoration project."
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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China wants its land restored. They won't need roads for logging when they have millions of American slaves to pull logs out with ropes slung over our shoulders.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LYIN' KING View Post
Was it the link posted in the intial BRC release? If so, try this one: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitC...RDOC_0001-1311


TODAY IS THE LAST DAY THEY WILL ACCEPT COMMENTS FOLKS!!!
Done
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I received a call back from DC today...Conversation was good and they sounded interested in some comments we brought up regarding FS employees being the ones doing the research and planning. Voiced concerns with the roads and structures that they were talking about fast tracking if this was passed. So call, write, just do something!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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call, write, just do something!
^^^this^^^
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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So they think the public won't whine as much if they just call it a "restoration Project"??????



"Activities that restore lands occupied by a road or trail may include reestablishing former drainage patterns, stabilizing slopes, restoring vegetation, blocking the entrance to the road, installing waterbars, removing culverts, removing unstable fills, pulling back road shoulders, and completely eliminating the road bed by restoring natural contours and slopes. The Forest Service experience is that the majority of issues associated with road and trail decommissioning arise from the initial decision whether to close a road or trail to public use rather than from implementing individual restoration projects."
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have read this several times, would be nice if more read it!



2. In 220.6, add paragraphs (e)(18), (19), and (20) categorical exclusion categories read as follows:Show citation box

220.6 Categorical exclusions.

* * * * *

(e) * * *Show citation box

(18) Restoring wetlands, streams, and riparian areas by removing, replacing, or modifying water control structures such as, but not limited to, dams, levees, dikes, ditches, culverts, pipes, valves, gates, and fencing, to allow waters to flow into natural channels and floodplains and restore natural flow regimes to the extent practicable. Examples include but are not limited to:Show citation box

(i) Removing, replacing, or repairing existing water control structures that are no longer functioning properly; only minimal dredging, excavation, or placement of fill is required and do not involve releasing hazardous substances;Show citation box

(ii) Installing a newly designed culvert that replaces an existing inadequate culvert to improve aquatic organism passage or prevent resource or property damage where the road or trail maintenance level does not change; andShow citation box

(iii) Removing a culvert and installing a bridge to improve aquatic and/or terrestrial organism passage or prevent resource or property damage where the road or trail maintenance level does not change.Show citation box

(19) Removing debris and sediment following natural or human-caused disturbance events (such as floods, hurricanes, tornados, mechanical/engineering failures, etc.) to restore uplands, wetlands, or riparian systems to pre-disturbance conditions, to the extent practicable, such that site conditions will not impede or negatively alter natural processes. Examples include but are not limited to:Show citation box

(i) Removing deposited debris and sediment resulting from natural or human-caused disturbance events from impacted sites using manual or mechanized equipment where minimal excavation is required;Show citation box

(ii) Clean-up and removal of infrastructure debris, such as, benches, tables, outhouses, concrete, culverts, and asphalt following a flood event from a stream reach and/or adjacent wetland area;Show citation box

(iii) Removal of downed or damaged trees that limit or reduce public access, result in potential risks to public safety, or where removal is needed to restore wildlife, or protect infrastructure; andShow citation box

(iv) Stabilizing stream banks and associated stabilization structures to reduce erosion through bioengineering techniques following a natural or human-caused event, including the utilization of living and nonliving plant materials in combination with natural and synthetic support materials, such as rocks, riprap, geo-textiles, for slope stabilization, erosion reduction, and vegetative establishment and establishment of appropriate plant communities (bank shaping and planting, brush mattresses, log, root wad, and boulder stabilization methods).Show citation box

(20) Activities that restore, rehabilitate, or stabilize lands occupied by non-National Forest System roads and trails to a more natural condition that may include removing, replacing, or modifying drainage structures and ditches, reestablishing vegetation, reshaping natural contours and slopes, reestablishing drainage-ways, or other activities that would restore site productivity and reduce environmental impacts. Examples include but are not limited to:Show citation box

(i) Decommissioning of anon-system road to a more natural state by restoring natural contours and removing construction fills, revegetating the roadbed and removing ditches and culverts;Show citation box

(ii) Restoring a non-system trail by reestablishing natural drainage patterns, stabilizing slopes, reestablishing vegetation, and installing water bars;Show citation box

(iii) Completely eliminating the roadbed of unauthorized roads by loosening compacted soils, removing culverts, reestablishing natural drainage patterns, restoring natural contours, and restoring vegetation; andShow citation box

(iv) Installing boulders, logs, and berms on a non-system trail segment to promote naturally regenerated grass, shrub, and tree growth.Show citation box

Dated: May 11, 2012.

Thomas L. Tidwell,

Chief, Forest Service.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:53 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Gee, doesn't this sound like they want "official approval" to do EXACTLY what they've already done here . . . /forum/southeast-regional-land-use/960348-tellico-update-02-27-11-a.html

Check out the pictures and comments . . . perfect fit!!!
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:06 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LYIN' KING View Post
COMMENT TODAY
Do it here . . . http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitC...RDOC_0001-1311
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mannysouza View Post
It will not save my comment on the link. Bummer.
It didn't "save" mine but it submitted it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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done
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[QUOTE=climbit;14733286]you guys take this shit way too seriously.[/QUOTE]
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Done, why do we have to keep fighting this stupid shit?
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