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BRC: Needs Immediate Attn! USFS Rule Allows Road Obliteration Without Public Involvement Action Item

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NATIONAL: USFS Rule Allows Road Obliteration Without Public Involvement

Action Item Included

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

Two months ago, BRC blasted a nationwide alert concerning a new regulation proposed by the U.S. Forest Service that would waive required environmental analysis and public involvement for a wide range of activities described as "restoration." Among those activities are road and trail obliteration.

Read our original blast here:

BlueRibbon Coalition Criticizes U.S. Forest Service Proposed Rule

http://www.sharetrails.org/news/2012/06/13/blueribbon-coalition-criticizes-us-forest-service-proposed-rule

In that alert, we noted:

"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.

BRC's official comments (here) also noted that:

Motorized recreationists were repeatedly reassured throughout the implementation of the Travel Management Rule that initial MVUMs were a "starting point" and that ultimately motorized trail systems on Forests would evolve over time, as MVUMs would be reviewed annually with opportunities for expansion of trails open to motorized use.

BRC strongly encourages everyone who enjoys recreating on our National Forests to provide comments to the proposed rule via the agency's regulations comment webpage.

We've provided a few comment suggestions below. All comments, including names and addresses, are placed in the record and will be available for public inspection and copying. The comment deadline is midnight tonight, August 13, 2012, so please do it now!

Thank you in advance for your involvement. We'll keep you updated on this and other important issues via our Action Alert list. (Hint: Tell your friends and family to subscribe!)

Finally, as always, please call or email if you have any questions or comments.

Brian Hawthorne

Public Lands Policy Director

BlueRibbon Coalition

208-237-1008 ext 102

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BRC ACTION ITEM

Comment on USFS Rule Allowing Road and Trail Obliteration

(Review BRC's Official Comments here)

1. Click here, fill out the information required.

2. Paste the comments below in the comment area

3. Add any additional information you wish to make

4. Rest easy, knowing you are part of the solution!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR INVOLVEMENT!

Comments:

I strongly encourage the agency to reevaluate the effort and incorporate a robust public involvement provision.

The agency must identify ground disturbing activities that cannot be lawfully exempted from environmental analysis.

Motorized recreationists were repeatedly reassured throughout the implementation of the Travel Management Rule that initial Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) were a "starting point" and that ultimately motorized trail systems on Forests would evolve over time, as MVUMs would be reviewed annually with opportunities for expansion of trails open to motorized use. In some cases Forest officials made it clear to off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts that some existing roads and trails would be left off of initial MVUMs but would receive further consideration as the trail system matured and annual revisions were considered.

How will the USFS evaluate potential motorized recreational uses of "non-system" roads and trails that are proposed for decommissioning?

"Non-system" roads and trails may be off limits to the motorized community as a result of the MVUM, but they may still be open to other recreational uses, including mountain bike and equestrian use. Yet the proposed rule would allow a Categorical Exclusion to be used to obliterate these routes.

How will the USFS evaluate potential non-motorized recreational uses of "non-system" roads and trails that are proposed for decommissioning?

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I added a comment, it's easy. Simply click on the link, fill in your name, etc. and copy/paste any of the ideas BRC has provided (I did that but then put their comment into my own words).

 

It's a drag we just got this today and the deadline is tonight, but it is what it is. :rolleyes:

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Done. Thank you for posting this.

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it's easy kids - please take 20 seconds to do it!

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Why was the notice so short?! Thanks for heads up D!

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