Pirate 4x4 banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,961 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Dear Moab Partner,

A couple of recent news reports and "op-eds" about the Moab RMP and Travel Plan appeared recently in the Utah media and it motivated me to send out a quick email update.

There is a lot of talk about whether or not the Moab BLM will extend the November 30, 2007, comment period, and both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune responded to a Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance media release.

See:
Study period: BLM should allow more time to review Moab plan
http://origin.sltrib.com/ci_7129206

More comment time sought on Moab plan
Critics say OHV proposal doesn't go far enough
http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695212955,00.html


Interestingly, BRC was contacted by the Tribune's editorial board confirming whether or not BRC had requested an extension. They said they had been told we had done so.

In fact, we have not. And the reason is because of you! Because of our Moab Partners we were geared up and ready for this one no matter what the deadline was.


QUICK MOAB PARTNER UPDATE:

Our review of the DEIS is almost complete. We are also getting information from key stakeholders such as Ber Knight, from the Red Rock Four Wheelers, as well as other key individuals and groups.

Speaking of that, BRC wants to send a special thanks to Utah Four Wheel Drive Association for getting info out . Many thanks also to Clif Koontz and Dale Parriott from RwR and Elite Motorcycle Adventures respectively. Koontz and Parriott have made many excellent suggestions and it's awesome to see such enthusiastic local involvement.

Our goal is to have our review of the DEIS finished by October 17, 2007. It will take a couple of days then to formulate a BRC Moab Action Alert using that review. That would give us just enough time, even if the deadline is not extended, to get the word out to our members and get comments into the BLM.

We are going to have to rely on our Moab Partners to help get our Moab Action Alert out to interested folks. So.... please forward our Moab Action Alert to as many interested folks as you can.


SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM BRC'S PUBLIC LANDS GUYS:

We want to (again) express our gratitude to you folks. The Moab Partner program took in $28,899.27 to date. AWESOME!!

Now, this is far short of our budget of $90,000. But, it was enough to hire two biologists to review the analysis as well as to pay for a full legal review of the entire document.


A BIT OF INSIDE BASEBALL FOR OUR MOAB PARTNERS:

Our priority is review of the specific language contained in the plan. My favorite example is where the Moab BLM says campsites may (will) be closed when impacts become "obtrusive." Of course, the term "obtrusive" does not occur in any of the BLM's planning regulations. BRC gives the Moab BLM credit for having the chutzpah to attempt to define the term in their document, however. Moab BLM says "obtrusive" can refer to "any or all of the following problems: human sanitation, trash, hacked trees, trampled vegetation and fire danger from excessive campfires."

I want to know how in the world anyone could pitch a tent and enjoy a desert evening sunset without trampling some vegetation??? Unbelievable. I could go on and on because this sort of thing is prevalent throughout the document, but I hope you understand how dangerous such language can be.

Because of our fundraising shortfall, we cannot afford at this time to review soils and vegetation data. BRC hopes to do additional fundraising in the coming weeks, but we are considering "deficit spending" if our DEIS review indicates it is needed.

As far as the additional fundraising needs goes, BRC is considering a Club/Organization/Business level for the Moab Partnership. This was a controversial idea because nobody at BRC wanted to diminish or "cheapen" the commitment our Moab Partners have already made. That is why our Club/Organization/Business level will be at a $1,200.00 yearly enrollment.

That's going to be pretty expensive for some clubs that would like to join. But your willingness to join at the full-boat $120.00 yearly level early on, before the DEIS was released, enabled us to really jump into this plan. There is no way we are going to diminish or cheapen that commitment by offering a discounted rate.

If you have any comments about the Club/Organization/Business level, or ideas that would help BRC fully fund our Moab effort, please let me or Ric Foster know.


A BIT ON WHAT KIND OF COMMENTS NEED TO BE MADE:

I noted a couple of OHV Internet bulletin board posts that suggested a "vote" for Alternative D. I want to caution about that sort of comment. DON'T DO IT!

The Moab BLM has (way too) cleverly formulated Alt B (green) and alt D (not as green) so that neither is a viable alternative. Add to that the Moab BLM's preferred Alt C contains many serious problems and one or two fatal flaws. This makes public comments that ONLY express a preference for an Alternative totally ineffective.

I will also add that this DEIS is actually two plans; an RMP and a Travel Plan. There is no doubt that Alt D's Travel Plan is preferable, but the Alt D's RMP is totally unworkable. Thus the need to avoid the "I vote for Alternative X" type of comment.


STILL MORE UPDATE INFO:

Many folks have emailed wanting to know if there is anything they can do now to help BRC with this effort.

YES!

If you recreate in Moab, we would ask you to take a look at just a few sections of the DEIS and let us know your reaction. Below is a section from BRC's previous alert that will help you find the important parts of the BLM's documents.

If you have time, it would be great if you could take a few minutes and review the information and then send Ric and Brian your thoughts/concerns/ideas.

Thanks again for you involvement and your generous financial support. As always, please call or email with questions or concerns.

Brian Hawthorne
Ric Foster
BlueRibbon Coalition

Office Number (208) 237-1008 EXT 107
Brian's email [email protected]
Ric's email [email protected]

Moab BLM'S Draft Resource Management Plan
and Draft Environmental Impact Statement

AT A GLANCE:

Moab BLM's website is pretty easy to navigate. Check http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/planning.htmlfor the complete Draft RMP and Draft EIS as well as all the background documents.

Comments may be submitted electronically at: [email protected]. Comments may also be submitted by mail to: Moab Field Office RMP Comments, Bureau of Land Management, Moab Field Office, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, Utah 84532. To facilitate analysis of comments and information submitted, we strongly encourage you to submit comments in an electronic format.

Brief Description of an EIS
Chapter 1 is the Purpose and Need, where BLM is supposed to define specific areas where management needs to be changed. Chapter 1 also describes the Planning Issues and Planning Criteria.

Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the Alternatives.

Chapter 3 is the Affected Environment section where the agency described the current condition and existing management.

Chapter 4 is the environmental analysis.

Chapter 5 describes the public involvement, consultation and coordination.

Key Sections of the Document:
It will be helpful to review the Dear Reader letter and the Executive Summary. The Executive Summary is worth review and gives a brief description of the "theme" of the Alternatives, but it won't give you much detail.

Chapter 2 describes the Alternatives and includes the "matrix" (pages 2-7 through 2-56). The matrix is a comparison of how each Alternative addresses the key issues. Important sections include "Recreation" (pages 2-17 through 2-20) and "Travel Management" (pages 2-48 through 2-50). This will be a lot easier to understand if you print and reference maps 2-8 A through D as well as 2-9 B through D. (Don't miss the description of how BLM addressed SUWA's "Red Rock Heritage Travel Plan Alternative" on page 2-107.)

Also important are the Recreation Rules in Appendix E, where you will find the Moab BLM's policy on Dispersed Camping and other activities.

Appendix G is the explanation of how the Moab BLM developed the Travel Plan. It will help if you can print and reference the following maps:
Maps 2-10 A through D
Maps 2-11 B through E
Maps 2-11-F B through D

The very brave will want to view Appendix F, the Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMA). But making sense of all of the various "overlays" isn't for the faint of heart!

Appendix F is a critical section. But the way the BLM is managing the SRMAs is unnecessarily confusing. Pay close attention! You'll need to fully understand the difference between Physical and Administrative management zones (Primitive, Back Country, Middle Country, Front County and Rural), Goals, Settings and Outcomes. The final step is to overlay all of that with the travel management program and see if it makes any sense at all. Again, you'll need maps 2-8 A through D.

Advanced level Access Advocates may want to review the "lands with wilderness character" and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern sections. (Chapter 2, pages 2-16 through 2-17, Appendix P and Maps 2-24 B and C for lands with wilderness character. ACECs are on pages 2-33 through 2-39. Reference maps 2-14 A through C.)

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT MAKING COMMENTS:

Comments will be most helpful if you can state specifically what you like and what you don't like about each of the Alternatives. Suggest changes and be specific. Include information, sources, or methodologies if possible. Also, it is good if you can reference a section or page number.

BLM is also encouraging feedback concerning the adequacy and accuracy of the four proposed alternatives, the analysis of their respective management decisions, and any new information that would help the BLM produce a Proposed Plan.

Comments may be submitted electronically to: [email protected]. Comments may also be submitted by mail to: Moab Field Office RMP Comments, Bureau of Land Management, Moab Field Office, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, Utah 84532. To facilitate analysis of comments and information submitted, we strongly encourage you to submit comments in an electronic format.
 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
Top