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Old 03-23-2001, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
1962 YellowSubmarine
 
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Exclamation *** BLUERIBBON ALERT ***

*** BLUERIBBON ALERT *** BLUERIBBON ALERT *** BLUERIBBON ALERT ***

Dear Subscribers:

In the last few weeks before the Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree last year, extremist groups led by Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), through threats of last minute legal action, reached an agreement with the Forest Service to have an Environmental Assessment for the coming year.

The Forest Service has completed their Environmental Assessment regarding group use of OHV trails in south central Utah. That EA is now out for public comment. The permits for two major ATV events for this year and future years are at stake.

The document is available at www.fs.fed.us/r4/fishlake/gis/gis_index.htm

This document describes and analyzes two alternatives for organized OHV events proposed to be held on three national forests and two BLM districts in south central Utah. One alternative, of course, is "no events." The other is to permit such events and allow controlled use of public lands. In summary, the study indicates that neither alternative "would create significant impacts to the natural environment." Some sample comments are included below for your reference. You are welcome to make very similar comments or voice your other concerns.

As we know from past experience, the opposition will undoubtedly mount a letter writing campaign from their constituents. It is critically important to OHV activities on public lands that you respond to express your views. If you don't, we could eventually loose another battle for equal access to public lands. Letters must be received by April 14, 2001, so don't wait. Please forward this message to everyone you know who has an interest in public lands issues.

Letters work better than E-mail, but please do one or the other. Try to address a couple issues rather than just general support of Public Land use. In this case however along with addressing some of the issues you should also reference the "action" option over the "no-action" option (see page 10 of ES).

Address your letters or E-mail comments to:

Max Reid, EA Team Leader
Fishlake National Forest
115 East 900 North
Richfield, Utah 84701
mreid@fs.fed.us

Thanks to all who support us in our continued efforts to provide such an excellent ATV experience. Please, let's overwhelm Max with the number of comments and show the team how serious we are.


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NOTES

1. The study considered wear on existing roads and trails and adequately addressed that subject. I am satisfied that nature itself, through wind, rain, runoff and erosion, does more damage to existing roads and trails than normal OHV use. I appreciated an honest and realistic evaluation of the potential "wear" as a result of OHV activities.

2. On page 4, under the main heading "Proposed Action," the last paragraph under that heading indicates OHV use on the Fishlake National Forest in the year 2000 included 56,421 riders. It also indicates that during the Jamboree last year, the same counters indicated 3,789 riders on those trail segments. This number may be a little misleading to outsiders who may not realize what the count actually represents. The number actually represents "hits" on the counters. If one rider goes through two or three counters on the same day, that is represented as 3 separate "riders." For fear that some will worry that the Jamboree actually involves 3,789 separate riders, maybe we should be more specific in indicating the actual nature of that count. Of course the same may be true for the seasonal count, but the extent of the discrepancy will be significantly greater during the "concentrated" Jamboree.

3. On page 13, under the main heading "Water and Fisheries," the study indicates that "OHV use could generate offsite erosion from wind born dust, would expose in-channel and bank sediments, and may result in small amounts of organic contaminants being delivered to perennial streams." Those of us who have ridden these roads and trails so often know that natural wind, rain, snow and erosion normally do much more damage to mountain roads than could be anticipate from normal ATV event use. In addition, if water quality and fisheries can survive the usual spring runoff from snow melt in the high country, OHV use should be relatively unnoticeable. I also wonder about the use of "organic contaminants" in this paragraph. While I realize the soil specialist was obviously referring to 'soil' as the contaminant, in my business the term 'organic contaminants' may also refer to pesticides, herbicides and petroleum contaminants that might find their way into surface waters from any number of sources; which would be considerably more serious than natural soil in the water.

4. I complement the agency representatives who have put significant effort into considering every possible likelihood of environmental harm that could result from the proposed use. I appreciate their willingness to indicate no significant results from the proposed use. It would appear that every possible aspect has been adequately evaluated and assessed, and every effected land management agency represented.

*** END ALERT *** END ALERT *** END ALERT *** END ALERT ***

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Old 03-25-2001, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well here is what I sent him.After reading the Fish Lake report I feel that it not only shows that proper use of and management of public land can support and even benefit form OHV use. I applaud you on the thoroughness of the report and hope that it is used to further support keeping public land open to the public. So my vote would be for the action option of this report.

Thanks
Dean Reed.


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