Archive for BlueRibbon Coalition – Page 2

Hackensack, MN — The Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club would like the public to know that the Chippewa National Forest, Walker Ranger District, is planning to close 27 miles of roads in the Remer area to all vehicles and is now inviting comments from the public regarding the closings. Comments must be received by the CNF by February 19, 2010.

The road closings are part of the Proposed Action for the Moon Resource Management Project, which includes activities regarding timber harvests, road management and the improvement or possible replacement of the Laura Lake Bridge.

The project area encompasses an area on the east side of the Chippewa National Forest, Walker Ranger District. The boundary is roughly described by lines from Goose Lake and Highway 65 on the north; Vermillion Lake and Remer on the east; Mable, Swift and Lucille Lakes on the west, and the Chippewa Forest boundary to the south.

For additional information, maps showing the roads proposed to be closed to all vehicles, and comment sheets, contact Carolyn Upton, District Ranger, Chippewa National Forest, 201 Minnesota Avenue East, Walker, MN 56484-2189 or call (218-547-1044).

The Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club, formed last July and now with over 150 members, brings together ATV and OHM enthusiasts to enjoy, promote and protect responsible riding in the Chippewa National Forest and the surrounding area. For information, write to the Woodtick Wheelers, P.O. Box 83, Hackensack, MN 56452.

Moon RMP System Road Obliteration (Total Miles: 8.74) Road Numbers:

2057, 2070, 2113C, 2113G, 2113H, 2117C, 2117D, 2302G, 2301I, 2324, 2329, 2352G, 2559, 2564B, 2702, 2764, 2784, 3571, 3579B, 3579G

Roads Recommended To Be Closed To All Vehicles (Total miles: 14.91) Road Numbers:

2063, 2069B, 2103C, 2117A, 2117F, 2321B, 2321G, 2323B, 2559, 2579, 2583, 2703, 2792, 2792A, 2792B, 2792C, 2792D, 2792E, 2792F, 2793, 3572

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I have written a Letter to the Editor and submitted it to newspapers in northern Minnesota. I have pasted a copy of that letter below.

Thanks.

Dave Halsey, President, Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club,

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HEADLINE:

Chippewa National Forest Needs Greater Transparency In Road Closings.

In the fall of 2008, the Chippewa National Forest closed the Woodtick Trail and hundreds of miles of low-traveled roads to ATVs and other off-highway vehicles. Public hearings were held, but there was no publicity of the road closings in local media. The “NO OHV” signs went up and that was that (with fines totaling $175).

Last summer, the Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club was formed in response to those road closings. The club quickly grew to over 150 members, showing the impact the road closings had on residents and cabin owners, many who now have no access to a public forest they and their families had enjoyed for decades.

On January 20th, 2010, the Chippewa National Forest sent out information packets announcing its plan to close another 27 miles of roads in the Remer area, not just to ATVs but “to all traffic.” After receiving a packet on the “Proposed Action” — called the Moon Resource Management Project — I looked on the web sites of local newspapers to see if it was publicized. Except for an announcement buried in the Chippewa National Forest web site, I couldn’t find any articles informing the public about the road closings.

Not only did the project receive little or no publicity, it was made mid-winter when many people who use those roads are not even in the area, and it gives the public just 30 days to comment.

Enough is enough. The Chippewa National Forest needs greater transparency as it continues to close or “obliterate” (their word) roads used for decades by hunters, hikers, and people from 12 to 85 who enjoy the National Forest in their cars, trucks and ATVs.

Those who run the Chippewa National Forest are not the “landowners of the National Forest,” as their public liaison told our ATV club. They are merely the caretakers. We, the public, are the landowners. And we deserve to be treated as such.

For additional information on the Moon Resource Management Project, maps showing the roads proposed to be closed to all vehicles, and comment sheets, contact Carolyn Upton, District Ranger, Chippewa National Forest, 201 Minnesota Avenue East, Walker, MN 56484-2189, call (218-547-1044), or go to the Chippewa National Forest web site and click on “Projects and Plans.”

Hurry, the deadline for your comments on this unpublicized road closing is February 19, 2010.

David Halsey – Outdoor Writer, Hunter, President of Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club

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BLUERIBBON COALITION LANDUSE UPDATE!

Yellowstone National Park – Winter EIS Scoping Announced!

Dear Interested Snowmobilers,

I am sure many of you have followed the twists and turns of Winter Use Planning processes for the last twelve plus years. There have been many. In addition, the continuing legal battles in the Washington D.C. and Wyoming courts have yet to come to a conclusion that both sides will accept.

The good news is that the next Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process started on January 29, 2010 and could provide for a much-needed reasonable, science-based long-range Winter Use Plan for Yellowstone National Park. The Winter Use plan for Grand Teton Park has been completed.

The first step in the new EIS process is scoping, which the Service defines as:

“The procedure by which an agency identifies important issues and determines the extent of analysis necessary for an informed decision on a proposed action. Scoping, an integral part of environmental analysis, includes early involvement of interested and affected public, as well as internal and external agency contacts. Although formal scoping occurs for a specific time period, we welcome your comments on projects while we are in the process of preparing plans.”

It is important that snowmobilers comment during the scoping process. The process started with the Federal Register Notice on January 29, 2010. The Process will allow 60 days for comments from the public and will formally end on March 30, 2010.

The Park service will be holding scoping meetings on Feb. 16th in Idaho Falls, Idaho at the Hilton Garden Inn, 700 Lindsay Blvd; Feb. 18th in Billings, Montana at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2465 Grand Road; Mar. 8th in Cheyenne, Wyoming at Little America Inn and Resort, 200 West Lincoln Way and a final meeting in Washington D.C. on Mar. 10 at the Old Post Office 12th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. All the meetings will be from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

BRC is developing important areas to comment on and will have that information available in the near future. Please visit our dedicated website at www.saveyellowstonepark.com for updates.

Thanks in advance for your help in commenting during the scoping period on the new Winter Use EIS.

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The Prescott National Forest, Located in central Arizona, is revising their Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan).The Forest Service (FS) is asking the public to help identify issues to be addressed as they begin this plan revision.

The Forest Plan is the basic document used to provide guidance for all resource management activities on the National Forest for the next 10 to 15 years. The agency plans to release a draft revised plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for formal comment near the end of 2010. A final revised plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is expected to be out by the end of 2011.

Comments will be most useful in the development of the draft revised plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement if they are received by February 15, 2010.

Send written comments to:

Prescott National Forest
Attn: Forest Plan Revision Team
344 South Cortez Street
Prescott, Arizona  86303

Comments may also be sent via e-mail by using the “Contact Us” page on the Prescott National Forest planning Web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott/plan-revision/get-involved.shtml

For more information, contact Sally Hess-Samuelson, Forest Planner, Prescott National Forest, 344 South Cortez Street, Prescott, Arizona 86303, shesssamuelson@fs.fed.us, 928-443-8216. Information on this revision is also available at Prescott National Forest revision Web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott/plan-revision/index.shtml

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

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Categories : Land Use

POCATELLO, ID (January 5) – A coalition of recreation advocacy groups filed an Amicus Curiae brief in the 10th District Court of Appeals related to the 2001 Roadless Rule this week, marking over a decade of involvement in the controversial issue. The recreation groups include the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (“CA4WDC”), United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA).

Environmental activists are appealing a 2008 decision by U.S. District Court of Wyoming Judge Clarence Brimmer declaring the Clinton era Roadless Rule illegal. That ruling came in a case brought by the State of Wyoming in 2007, which paralleled an earlier complaint filed by Wyoming in 2001. Brimmer’s 2008 decision minced few words, concluding the 2001 Rule “was driven by political haste and evidenced pro forma compliance with” environmental laws, using descriptors such as “flagrant” and “cavalier” in characterizing the “unequivocal” violations.

Brian Hawthorne, BRC’s Public Lands Policy Director, said, “With millions of acres of National Forests susceptible to disease and wildfire, it should be evident that a top-down, one-size-fits-all management program should never be the answer. Each roadless area is unique, and local conditions should be taken into consideration when actively managing these lands.”

“This marks a decade of involvement in the Roadless issue,” said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of BRC. “Force-feeding a ‘hands-off’ policy to manage Roadless Areas, like congressionally designated Wilderness, has been a goal of the preservationist groups for some time. BRC is proud to have protected recreational access to these lands and we are committed to continue this important effort.”

Noting the U.S. Forest Service will be revising the regulations for preparing Forest Plans, Paul Turcke, the attorney for the recreational groups, observed in their brief that “our Nation’s treasured forest lands must be actively and effectively managed. Such management necessitates detailed, site-by-site analysis; not politically convenient templates. That improper procedural means advance an agenda of less rather than more active human presence is of little legal import. This Court should seize the opportunity to place the 2001 Roadless Rule alongside the 2005 State Petitions Rule and similar misplaced efforts to manage our National Forests via election cycle emanations from the DC beltway, and to begin a return to professionally-driven and project-focused management that our forests and citizens deserve.”

The Recreation group’s filing can be found online. Learn more about the history of the Roadless Rule and latest updates on www.sharetrails.org.