BlueRibbon Coalition BRC: NEW MEXICO - Gila National Forest Releases Travel Management DEIS

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Date: 01/03/2011

Gila National Forest Releases Travel Management DEIS
Dear BRC Members and supporters in New Mexico,
We wanted to pass along an alert sent by the folks over at the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA). The Gila National Forest has just released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Travel Management.
There is more information in the alert, which is pasted below, and also available on NMOHVA's webpage. Keep up to date on this and other New Mexico OHV issues by subscribing to NMOHVA's email Action Alert list.
As always, call or email if you have any questions or comments.
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

Gila National Forest Releases Long-Awaited Travel Management Draft Environmental Impact Statement
The Gila National Forest Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Travel Management is NOW available on the Gila National Forest's web site. The official release of this document (expected in the next few days) will start the official 60 day comment period for the draft EIS document.​
This draft EIS proposes some really BIG changes from the current situation. In addition to the elimination of all cross country travel, the Forest's Preferred Alternative (Alternative G) would close nearly 1300 miles of currently existing road and limit dispersed camping to only 25% of the Forest's existing roads. All of the alternatives being considered for implementation would also limit the public's access for motorized big game retrieval. The Preferred Alternative would limit motorized big game retrieval to a narrow 600 foot corridor on only about 1300 miles of road. All other motorized big game retrieval would be banned completely.
The public will only have 60 days to comment on these issues by submitting letters or emails. The end of the 60 day comment period will be established by the date that the official notice is published in the Federal Register. We anticipate that publication will be around January 7th so the end of the comment period will probably be in very early March. Only those who provide comments during this comment period will be eligible to appeal the final decision.
The purpose of the Travel Management EIS is to designate a motorized road and trail system for the Gila National Forest. Designation will include class of vehicle and time of year for motor vehicle use. The decision will result in the publication of a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). After the MVUM has been released, ALL other motorized travel off the designated system will be prohibited. The full text of the document, all of the maps of the travel routes for the alternatives, and supporting documentation is available on the Gila National Forest's Travel Management website here.
There will be a series of four Open House/Public Meetings to explain the Travel Management alternatives to the public. The detailed schedule of where and where these meetings will occur is available here. These meetings will be an opportunity to meet with the Forest Service and ask questions about the project and the proposed closures.
Comments on the draft EIS can be submitted by postal mail, email, and fax. Specific instructions and contact information are available here.
For further information, please contact the Forest Travel Management Coordinator for the Gila National Forest, Lisa Mizuno at (575) 388-8267 or or
Read the Forest Service Documents Here:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Maps

New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance | 13170-B Central Ave. SE | PMB #322 | Albuquerque | NM | 87123​

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