Pirate 4x4 banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Attached is a public scoping letter for proposed projects on the Carson Emigrant Trail, Hungalelti Ridge Trail and the Long Valley Trail

Please feel free to share as appropriate.

Comments on the proposal are requested by August 22, 2015 to the address or email in the cover letter.

Diana Erickson
Landscape Architect
Forest Service
Eldorado National Forest
p: 530-621-5214
[email protected]

100 Forni Road
Placerville, CA 95667
US Forest Service

The Scoping letter, Statement Of Proposed Actions and proposed actions map were to be posted at the following location the week of July 13-17.

Eldorado - Projects

Believe it when you see it!!! Tick-Tock . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
It looks like the FS has now posted the docs. The part I liked best was:

"At the conclusion of the work planned for the Carson Emigrant Trail (17E24), Hungalelti Ridge Trail (16E26), and Long Valley Trail (17E28), it is anticipated that these three routes will be reopened to public wheeled vehicle use."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It looks like the FS has now posted the docs. The part I liked best was:

"At the conclusion of the work planned for the Carson Emigrant Trail (17E24), Hungalelti Ridge Trail (16E26), and Long Valley Trail (17E28), it is anticipated that these three routes will be reopened to public wheeled vehicle use."
I gave up looking long ago!

Now three days to create a substantive comment? This whole ENF cluster efff is obviously a feakin' Communist Plot!!! :mad3:

Thank you for the heads up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
By the way, back in 2008 I included this in my appeal to the FEIS on route designation. Glad to see that they are finally proposing to designate this 1/2 mile section as open to 4x4 vehicles.

"17E28 The entire section of this route is shown as “NFS Trail Open to ATVs and Motorcycles Only”. This is consistent with all project maps, including Alternative A. The northern section of this route, however, is wider and is often used by 4 wheel drive vehicles. The wider section of this routes starts at the intersection with 17E24 and continues southward until about midway along the western bank of Mud Lake, where at that point it turns into a single track trail. This road appears to have at one time serviced a cabin on the west bank of Mud Lake, as the concrete foundation is still evident there."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
"At the conclusion of the work planned for the Carson Emigrant Trail (17E24), Hungalelti Ridge Trail (16E26), and Long Valley Trail (17E28), it is anticipated that these three routes will be reopened to public wheeled vehicle use."
Gee, a couple more unnecessary S&G100 closures, imagine that!

I looked the thing over several times this morning due to the order of purposes. Seems to me that the first and second purposes are a "cart before the horse" deal.

On the face of it the "proposals" present as non-threatening for the most part and I like the addition of purpose three. It's getting to the conclusion quoted above that concerns me.

There is limited mention of possible Amphibian issues and impacts, where there is mention it's speculative observations with no definitive conclusions.

The documentation contains zero mention whether the second purpose to "confer/consult with USFWS" has actually even taken place and if it has what conclusions were reached. Since everything basically hinges on this issue I find it troubling that this information is conspicuously absent and believe without it all the proposals are merely that.

Why bother with the trail inspection and analysis in order to supply further repair proposals, never mind on the ground repair work that's already been completed, if the trail system will never be opened due to USFWS findings?

Did I miss the USFWS evaluation and conclusion portion or were the few off-hand Amphibian observations mentioned the USFWS consultation findings and conclusions?


Federally Listed Amphibian Species

The second purpose of this project is to analyze the potential effects of reopening the Carson Emigrant Trail (17E24), Hungalelti Ridge Trail (16E26), and Long Valley Trail (17E28) on the recently listed amphibian species, the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite Toad, and confer/consult with USFWS regarding impacts to the newly listed amphibian species from both the proposed repair work and reopening the closed portions of the routes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I received an email from the forest service with updates on this Project and
Forest Service

Based on my initial reading the proposed action sounds very good. All sections of the trails will be re-opened after repairs are made to the meadows (two were already in compliance) and a previously motorcycle-only section of the Long Valley Trail will be opened up to all high clearance vehicles.

Interested parties are asked to express any concerns during the next 30 days. So far I don't have any concerns, and I might write in to express support for the proposed actions.

- Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
The Forest Service has prepared a draft decision selecting Alternative 1 (the proposed action) of the Amador High Country Routes Environmental Assessment.

This action includes making repairs and re-opening the effected trails, and also opening a previously "motorcycle only" section of the Long Valley Trail to
"open to all high clearance vehicles".

Two of the meadows on the Long Valley Trail were re-evaluated and found to be meeting S&G 100 standards. I find this extremely frustrating since multiple meadows (not just these two) related to the "42 trails lawsuit" were incorrectly evaluated as out of compliance, which contributed to the trail closures. If they had been correctly evaluated in the first place fewer trails would likely have been closed.

Overall this is good news since the proposed action re-opens the trail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
The Forest Service has prepared a draft decision selecting Alternative 1 (the proposed action) of the Amador High Country Routes Environmental Assessment.

This action includes making repairs and re-opening the effected trails, and also opening a previously "motorcycle only" section of the Long Valley Trail to
"open to all high clearance vehicles".

Two of the meadows on the Long Valley Trail were re-evaluated and found to be meeting S&G 100 standards. I find this extremely frustrating since multiple meadows (not just these two) related to the "42 trails lawsuit" were incorrectly evaluated as out of compliance, which contributed to the trail closures. If they had been correctly evaluated in the first place fewer trails would likely have been closed.

Overall this is good news since the proposed action re-opens the trail.
I was at the grant open house meeting on the 10th in Placerville and talked to some of the staff there about some of the trail work. For Long Valley specifically, there is concern over a couple of small spots where erosion risks exist and they may not open the trail until those are fixed. I don't believe any motorcycle club has adopted this trail but if any motorcycle riders volunteered to help make the trail repairs I know the forrest service people would appreciate it. From the sounds of it this was work to be done by hand in a single day by a few people.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
I don't believe any motorcycle club has adopted this trail but if any motorcycle riders volunteered to help make the trail repairs I know the forrest service people would appreciate it. From the sounds of it this was work to be done by hand in a single day by a few people.
If all it takes is a day of trail repair to open it up, I'll get a couple of my riding buddies and do the work, not a problem. Please contact me with the required information, (location, job description, time and date of work completion, etc.), and we'll be there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I've contacted the Forest Service to get an update on the Amador High Country Routes Project. According to the original plan they were going to start work on the trail this summer and option portions as they were finished. I'll post their reply.

Forest Service

- Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I have to give the Forest Service credit, they have responded to every email I've sent them within a day or two and have provided detailed answers to my questions.

About a year ago the Forest Service sent the proposed action to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and anticipated they would have a response in time to start implementation this summer (2016). As of 12/6/2016 the USFWS has yet to respond, but their decision is expected "any day now".

Once the USFWS responds the Forest Service will be able to sign the draft decision immediately, any comments from the USFWS will need to be incorporated into the final decision.

Re-opening of the routes is contingent on completion of the repair work. Some of the repairs are simple, others are more complicated and may require green sticker funds.

It sounds like the current plan is to start work in summer of 2017 assuming USFWS responds before then.

Interested parties can contact Sean McGinness at: [email protected] for information on project implementation.

- Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
About a year ago the Forest Service sent the proposed action to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and anticipated they would have a response in time to start implementation this summer (2016). As of 12/6/2016 the USFWS has yet to respond, but their decision is expected "any day now".

Once the USFWS responds the Forest Service will be able to sign the draft decision immediately, any comments from the USFWS will need to be incorporated into the final decision.

It sounds like the current plan is to start work in summer of 2017 assuming USFWS responds before then.
Thank you but . . . http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/33079785-post5.html :shaking:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
USFWS was also asked to review the proposed repairs to the Deer Valley trail and signed off on those, with a few comments about how the repairs should be made to protect threatened species. The final decision for Deer Valley has been signed by the district ranger and the trail will be opening next summer.

Given that Deer Valley and these other trails are fairly close to each other I would hope that USFWS would sign off on this draft decision as well.

The draft decision notice (http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/102201_FSPLT3_2628755.pdf) includes the Forest Service's analysis of effects on the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and Yosemite toad. They have asked the USFWS to concur with those findings so that the decision can be finalized and are waiting for their response.

- Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks Matt.

I'm a 42 Routes Appellant, no stranger to the grind and don't believe any shat I'm fed by the EDNF!

No offense dude, just calling 'em as I see 'em!!

Keep up the information dissemination and good fight!!!

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Thanks Matt.

I'm a 42 Routes Appellant, no stranger to the grind and don't believe any shat I'm fed by the EDNF!

No offense dude, just calling 'em as I see 'em!!

Keep up the information dissemination and good fight!!!

Bob
Hi Bob,

I completely understand your frustration and skepticism, the majority of these trails should never have been closed in the first place and it is taking incredibly long to re-open them. I've been submitting comments to the Forest Service since very early in the process and have been periodically emailing the FS directly about the status of various trails to make sure the process is moving along.

My impression is that the Forest Service's goal is to get these trails re-opened, and that most of the delays have been based on the time it takes to do environmental assessments and then long (1+ years sometimes) waits for concurrence from the USFWS.

- Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Some good news, the Forest Services has received the Biological Opinion for this project from the USFWS so things can move forward. The FS will now review the BO for consistency with the final decision, and they hope to sign it next week or possibly early in January if we get too close to the holidays (staff are on vacation).

- Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hi Bob,

I completely understand your frustration and skepticism, the majority of these trails should never have been closed in the first place and it is taking incredibly long to re-open them. I've been submitting comments to the Forest Service since very early in the process and have been periodically emailing the FS directly about the status of various trails to make sure the process is moving along.

My impression is that the Forest Service's goal is to get these trails re-opened, and that most of the delays have been based on the time it takes to do environmental assessments and then long (1+ years sometimes) waits for concurrence from the USFWS.

- Matt
Karlton clearly spoke to meadow use ONLY in his initial and final orders. In his initial order he also spoke to Riparian issues but not Amphibians.

The Forest Service made the decision to completely close those trails despite Karlton's graces.

The fact that those trails should never have been closed is inexcusable as are all of these lengthy delays. The most onerous of which is this USFWS delay IMHO.

The 42 Routes DEIS as released had ZERO reference to any Amphibians yet the FSEIS and ROD spoke DIRECTLY to them and were allowed to fly by Randy Moore despite the letter of the law and much protest.

Enter the Appeals, mine was fairly extensive but the crux was this . . .

"It is my assertion that the FSEIS substantially modified both the need and purpose for the actions initially proposed in the DSEIS by giving consideration to riparian issues not addressed by Judge Karlton; the alternatives offered in the DSEIS did not reflect this dramatic difference.

The purpose and need for the proposed action did not formally state that part of the FSEIS would include issues other than those presented in the DSEIS, however the Forest Service used the FSEIS to include additional mitigation for yellow-legged frogs".
I have a bunch of heartburn over the way this whole abortion was handled regarding the bureaucratic malfeasance and know I'm not alone. :mad3:

I also have skin in the game much like many others in that we raised our kids of those routes and others on the EDNF. Many of the others closed long ago, some purely due to exploits of the idiots amongst us, wheeled access to the base of Bassi Falls being just one example.

Now 28, our kid is a stellar human being and success story which we attribute in part to her wholesome upbringing in the great outdoors.

It killed me to think she'd never be able to access those routes with her family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I hear you and share your frustration with this entire process. Unfortunately the bottom line is that the trails were closed (for invalid reasons) and at this point all we can do is work to get them re-opened as quickly as possible.

My daughter just turned 1 and I am looking forward to the time when I can take her out exploring in the national forests.

- Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I hear you and share your frustration with this entire process. Unfortunately the bottom line is that the trails were closed (for invalid reasons) and at this point all we can do is work to get them re-opened as quickly as possible.

My daughter just turned 1 and I am looking forward to the time when I can take her out exploring in the national forests.

- Matt
The brave WWII Veterans who upon return from the war re-opened the Deer Valley Trail (long lost to the ages at the time) using pure war born determination coupled with their beloved Jeeps are simultaneously rolling in their graves and rejoicing right now over the whole freakin' mess.

May you and your family enjoy it as they did with theirs and we with ours!!

I look forward to wheeling and camping on it and the others again with my family, when and if the enviro dust ever settles!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
The brave WWII Veterans who upon return from the war re-opened the Deer Valley Trail (long lost to the ages at the time) using pure war born determination coupled with their beloved Jeeps are simultaneously rolling in their graves and rejoicing right now over the whole freakin' mess.

May you and your family enjoy it as they did with theirs and we with ours!!

I look forward to wheeling and camping on it and the others again with my family, when and if the enviro dust ever settles!!!
Could not have stated it better.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top