Joined: 05 Dec 2007
|Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:44 am Post subject: FS & BLM - Gunnison National Forest Travel Plan
|BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!
FOREST SERVICE AND BLM IN COLORADO RELEASE DRAFT TRAVEL PLAN FOR GUNNISON NATIONAL FOREST (TAYLOR PARK) AND SURROUNDING BLM LANDS
Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,
After months of delay, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Forest Service has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) addressing summertime travel management on the Gunnison National Forest and surrounding BLM lands. (Snowmobiles are not addressed in this plan.)
For over 30 years now, Taylor Park, and trails across Colorado's upper Gunnison Basin and North Fork Valley region, has been a world class recreation destination for OHV users. In relatively recent years, ever since the modern mountain bike was developed, the area has been a treasured destination by mountain bike enthusiasts.
This plan will decide which roads and trails will be open for use by motorized vehicles and mountain bikes, which uses will be allowed on each route and whether there are any restrictions on the seasons of use for each route.
ANY ROAD OR TRAIL NOT ON THE FINAL MAP WILL BE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED AND MOUNTAIN BIKE USE.
BRC encourages OHV and mountain bike enthusiasts to carefully view the maps on the web and check to see if the trails you use and enjoy are on any of the Alternatives. http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/gmug/policy/travel_mgmt/gun/deis.shtml#dm
The agencies have formulated a "Proposed Action" Alternative (Alternative 2). Simply stated, this Alternative is what the agencies want to do. If your favorite roads and trails are not on this map, then it extremely important that they hear from you!!
CDs and hard copy versions of the DEIS and maps are available from the BLM and Forest Service Offices upon request. Contact and other info, including copies of the DEIS and associated maps, are posted on the web at: www.fs.fed.us/r2/gmug/policy/travel_mgmt.
The BLM and FS are hosting "open house" style public meetings. Agency staff will give a short presentation, and maps will be available for review. Also, staff will be available to answer questions and explain the travel analysis process, and factors used to develop the four alternatives. These "open house" style meetings are great for gathering info, not for making comments. (Make comments in writing via email.)
Meetings will be scheduled from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM, with the 30-minute presentation at 5:30 PM at the following locations:
March 18 - Paonia Town Hall, Paonia Co.
March 23 - Community School, Lake City Co.
March 24 - Crested Butte Community School, Crested Butte Co.
March 25 - Aspinall - Wilson Center, Gunnison Co
Send Comments to: Gunnison Basin Travel Management DEIS, 2250 Hwy 50, Delta, CO 81416. You can fax comments to: (970) 874-6698
The email address for comments is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The agencies have posted a helpful "how to comment" on their website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/gmug/policy/travel_mgmt/gun/deis/How_to_comment.pdf
The staff at the BLM and the FS know that this area is extremely popular with OHV and mountain bike recreationists. It seems they understand that their final plan has got to work on the ground. They also seem open to the idea that their Proposed Alternative may have flaws. We believe they are open to making changes. The point of this is to amplify the importance of road and trail specific suggestions.
It is also important to know that the anti-recreation coalition in Colorado is gearing up to make a very heavy show on this plan. You can expect to see them leverage the Wilderness Society and Sierra Club's public relations machine for numerous articles, op/eds (opinion/editorials) and letters to the editors. You can also expect this effort to generally vilify OHV people and misrepresent the situation on the forest in the attempt to sway public opinion and influence legislators.
State, local and national OHV groups will be working hard to counter these efforts. But resources are always meager in comparison to the Wilderness lobby, and unlike what you are about to read in the Denver Post, we are not funded by the OHV manufacturers. Groups like BRC and COHVCO depend on memberships and donations from individual OHV enthusiasts to fund the work we do. To us, membership is our lifeblood.
As always, if you have any questions or need additional info, please contact us.
Brian Hawthorne Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director Public Lands Department Manager
208-237-1008 ext 102 208-237-1008 ext 107
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