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Old 06-09-2008, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bad News

I don't know if any of you have gotten an email from the USFS but it's bad. I just recieved a proposed plan outlining the closure of many trails at Tellico. Examples:

1) Schoolbus GONE
2) Slickrock GONE
3) Lower 2 GONE
4) If Helicopter Pad bypass cannot be successfully bypassed... GONE
5) The Ledge at Peckerwood GONE

Plus they will have closures after heavy rain events with the usual annual closure for the winter months. There will be an open house on June 28 from 1-4 PM at the First Baptist Church 517 Hiwassee Street in Murphy. I suggest that everyone who can, ATTEND!!!!
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's the documents for those that are interested, I uploaded them to my server

Tellico Scoping Details

Tellico Scoping Map

Meeting Flyer
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What is SFWDA plan to do about this and how does the pending lawsuit affect this proposal? Basically if this proposal goes through you might as well close the damn place.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redneckengineered View Post
What is SFWDA plan to do about this and how does the pending lawsuit affect this proposal? Basically if this proposal goes through you might as well close the damn place.
I hate to say it but I agree. They're essentially turning one of the best in east into an Unlimited and Hummer park
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Will they accept written comments prior to the open house? When is the transition from "proposed" to Final?

I've already shared my thoughts on the USFS website. http://www.fs.fed.us/ Click on "Contact Us" for a feedback form.



Anybody up for a carpool to Murphy on June 28?

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Old 06-09-2008, 11:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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this MUST be fought tooth and nail.
please provide an address for us out of towners. I will certainly send more letters.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Address:

Tusquitee Ranger District
Atten: Steve Lohr
123 Woodland Drive
Murphy, NC 28906

comments-southern-north-carolina-nan...itee@fs.fed.us
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is not good, e-mail sent.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, what really brings the suck is that they are upholding their end of the bargain by providing an OHV area. It'll be the laughing stock of all OHVs but it's still one and more than likely will cover them on the use policy.

The whole tone of the proposed plan is what bothers me. One paragraph will seem like they want to help but the next will act like the whole park is doomed and will be shut down. Then they go on to claim they don't have the resources despite countless hours by SFWDA and other groups.

This whole thing stinks. If I had to bet, I'd say the District Ranger doesn't want us there.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If this shit comes to pass the day before the closure I'm going to bolt on 54 boggers and run every trail there in 2wd turning 6 grand. At least then they'll have some real work to do. Fuckers
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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what i dont get is in the letter it states that some of the trails would cost to much to fix so they are just going to close them. it doesnt say how much. i think they should find out how much it would cost. before saying it is not worth it. i think trail 9 and trail 2 would be worth the money.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't even think money is the issue but rather an excuse. If they said "we will keep every trail open but we have to raise "X" amount of money each year" I guarantee you we would raise it in a heart beat. They just don't give enough of a shit to try.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I feel bad for you guys.. I've never visited Tellico, but grew up on the East Coast and understand the Off-Road issues.. Anything else we can do on the West Coast to assist? The worst part is we have two Socialist Senators in California who are trying to close everything that's not privately owned also..
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The TU people are getting exactly what they want. I really have no desire to drive 12 hours to go down there to run in 2wd all weekend. Regardless, email will be sent.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Over five miles of
the 15.5 mile reduction in the proposed system are simply due to a status change to what is
now known as Trail 1 (a.k.a. Davis Creek Rd. or Tipton Creek Rd.). It would be improved to
become suitable only for street-legal vehicles.
I called this as soon as I saw the bridge on Trail 5, That bridge is way bigger than any 4wd would need, they just got us to supply them a bridge so they will have less work when they pave trail 5 too.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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tellico

this may be a dumb thought but it could be, and i may just be pissed.

If we all give up and they do close the trails with that new bridge just how long till the gov sales the "useless" land to subdivsions, just how much tax money rasing homes can you but in that much acrage. I know most of you are west cost, I don't know how it is there, but they are cutting the piss out of the mountians here for people from other places just to build 2nd homes that don't even get used half the year. I've seen them sell local wildlife lands that have turned in to subdivsions and they don't care cause they made the money from the sale and the money from the taxes.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:41 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My suggestions from thousands of miles away:

Ok, I am not there and I do not know who is doing what on the ground in Tellico, but Nick, here is what I suggest for the grass-roots folks:

1. I *think* this is the scoping period. They have to go thru the NEPA process and I *think* do a whole EIS (Enviromental Impact Study) I suggest that you local guys start reading the threads in the regular LU forum on the Eldorado National Forest route designation/travel management fiasco and research what we did there. If the process is the same (and it should be), they NEED to get public input.

They are going to come up with several alternative maps (plans) for Tellico and pick one...

2. I found this in going thru the literature:

As it exists today, the OHV System cannot be maintained adequately so as to limit future edimentation. The money and people available to do the maintenance are severely limited. While current user fees and volunteer efforts make an important contribution, they do not meet the current or projected need. The resources to do the work must increase dramatically, the long term maintenance requirements must decrease dramatically, or some combination of both must occur to financially maintain the Upper Tellico OHV System. I will be weighing each alternative OHV system in light of how likely it is that we will be able to maintain it in future years.

There are basically saying they cannot afford to do the work to keep the trails open,

I HIGHLY suggest forming a "Friends of" group simular to what we have out here for many different areas and trails. (FOTR, FOE, FOG, FOF etc...)Basically it would be forming a group volunteers to work with the FS in order to keep trails open. I THOUGHT a few clubs out there did that, but one large group making a strong effort may lend some hope.

Even though John Stewart is from Cal4, maybe we can ask his opinion on this since the guy knows his stuff....
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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1. A one-year closure of Lower Trail 2 (from the intersection with Road 420 west to Road 402), Trail 7, a portion of Trail 8 (from the intersection with Trail 9 to the intersection with Trail 10A), and Trail 9 in the Upper Tellico OHV area which prohibits operating motor vehicles on these trails during the closure period and sets penalties for violating the provisions of this Order.
I wonder what happened to the whole not to exceed one year closure thing?
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:31 PM   #21 (permalink)
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You have two issues happening with Tellico:

1. the lawsuit
2. travel management

They are separate issues.

The legal issues are being handled by SWFWD, UFWDA, and BRC.

I am sure they are also involved (or will be involved) with travel management.

However, it is best to become informed. Take a look at these web links:

http://www.muirnet.net/4x4voice/index.php/civics-101
http://www.muirnet.net/4x4voice/index.php/get-involved

Briefly, it appears as the Forest Service has issued the formal scoping notice saying they intend to engage in travel management (route designation).

They will accept comment concerning issues, concerns, and ideas for the routes in Tellico.

They will prepare a Draft EIS for public comment. At this stage, you will have a real tough time introducing new information unless it was submitted during the scoping period and omitted.

After the draft will come the Final EIS followed by a Record of Decision. Then, the plan will be implemented.

Kurt stated a that you need to set up a "Friends" type group. Basically, that organization exists with SFWDA as they have been organizing a number of their member clubs with work parties to keep the area open.

My suggestion is that if you are not a member of SFWDA or and club within their region, join and pay your dues. I dare say they will be needing financial assistance and volunteers to work through the growing issues.

Basically, if your favorite route is on the closure list, now is the time to provide a solution as to how you (the recreation community) will work to address the resource (and financial) concerns of the land manager.

Dave Logan, Stefan Roth, Jay Bird and a few others in SFWDA are (and have been) working with SFWDA to keep Tellico open. Join them with your financial and volunteer support as it is going to be a tough fight.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:53 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Kurt and John are exactly right. The NEPA process is just beginning and we need everyone to comment on how they would solve the issues that the FS lists in their scoping letter and proposed action.

More than likely, this won't go to an EIS, but just to an EA. That's what we see on the East Coast that is different from out west. It's how they closed Anderson Creek in GA and how they made changes to Beasley Knob.

And, joining Southern and sending money is more important now than ever. We are in DIRE need for funds to continue the law suit to reopen the trails.

So, people always ask "what can I do?" Here's a list:

1) Join SFWDA ad BRC (UFWDA comes with the Southern Membership).
2) Comment on the proposal with your own feelings and solutions for your desired outcome.
3) Do your homework. Remember, if you present incorrect information, the rest of you opinion will be ignored (example: the trout they are referring to are NOT stocked, but native brook trout)
4) Attend the meetings. Come to the open house on the 28th.
5) No matter how pissed off you are, don't shoot your mouth (or type) stupid things. Stuff like "I'll just tear the place up then" doesn't exactly show that we are a responsible and caring group of folks.
6) Talk to 10 of your friends and have them write comments too!

I don't really know what else to say at this point. I am disappointed, pissed off, frustrated, and sick of being ignored! And I know everyone else is too. But I plan on continuing to fight this tooth and nail.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:36 AM   #23 (permalink)
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4) Attend the meetings. Come to the open house on the 28th.
5) No matter how pissed off you are, don't shoot your mouth (or type) stupid things. Stuff like "I'll just tear the place up then" doesn't exactly show that we are a responsible and caring group of folks.
All good points Heather, but these two are hugely important. As I posted on NC4x4, here's an excerpt from the PEER website regarding how they view off roaders and why they chose the "open house" format:

Quote:
One factor cited by Schambach in her testimony is the bullying tactics by some off-road groups, including threats and harassment and intimidation of Forest Service employees. In some national forests, the atmosphere created by off-roaders has gotten so intense that town hall-type meetings were replaced by day- or evening-long “open houses” to minimize opportunities for grandstanding and intimidation.
We need to be civil and well informed. And if all you can do is piss and moan then don't bother. That's obviously counter productive. We need voices of support now more than ever.

Their idea of compromise is nothing more than thinly veiled exclusivity. They close the good trails and retain the right to close the rest after a hard rain. So why would anyone plan a trip in advance when there's a chance it could be shut down after a rainstorm? Don't wait for somebody else to do it. Get your letters in NOW!

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Old 06-10-2008, 08:04 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Heather is right on the money about watching what you type. Please take her advice and edit your posts to remove ANYTHING that could be used against this endeavor.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:07 AM   #25 (permalink)
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i think land developers are behind this....they dont have money to fix trails but they have money to pave all of trail 1? i call bull there is a reason they want it paved and like was said before there is a reason that bridge is so big
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