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Jason Church

Comments sought for Ashton/Island Park trails project.Freemont County, Idaho OHV project

The Ashton/Island Park Ranger District is interested in hearing any comments, concerns, ideas, or issues you may have regarding their Island Park Off Highway Vehicle Trails project/proposal.

The purpose of this proposal is to revise management of areas open to cross-country OHV travel and designate OHV trails that connect to the Forest Transportation System. This action is needed to provide a safe and sustainable travel system that reduce resource impacts, improve public safety, improve access, and improve the ability to enforce travel restrictions.

This proposal will:
1. Designate approximately 33 miles of trail. Of the proposed 33 miles of trail:
• Approximately 11 miles of National Forest System Roads currently closed to public motor vehicle use will convert to National Forest System Trails.
• Approximately 19 miles of user-created routes will convert to National Forest System Trails which will require reconstruction.
• Approximately 3 miles of trail will require new construction.

2. Close “F” and “D” areas to cross-country OHV travel. This involves a Forest Plan Amendment.

3. West End area: Change management prescription 4.3 from closed to cross-country OHV travel to open to cross-country OHV travel.

4. ATV Parking Area/Trailhead: Clear, grub, grade, and gravel two parking areas and install information bulletin boards in each parking area.
Cattleguard Construction: District personnel will install six cattle guards to accommodate OHV traffic.

5. Decommission Maintenance Level 1 National Forest System Roads: Decommission approximately 15 miles of National Forest System Roads.

6. Close User-Created Routes: Close and rehabilitate approximately 79 miles of user-created routes that are not part of the Forest Transportation System. Methods used to close user-created routes will be determined on a case by case basis. Methods include, but are not limited to: construction or placement of barriers such as jackfences, rock boulders, or scattering slash and scarification of routes exhibiting heavy soil compaction.

For specific information regarding this project, you are directed to the project website to download the scoping document and maps:

USDA Forest Service - Ashton-Island Park Ranger District NEPA Projects - Island Park OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) Trails Project

Comments regarding this proposal should be received by Dec. 3, 2013 and should address specific concerns regarding this proposal.
We anticipate release of an environmental document analyzing effects of this proposed action in March 2013. This project is planned for implementation in summer of 2013. Throughout scoping, comments submitted to the Forest Service, including names and addresses of those who responded, will be considered part of the public record for this proposal and as such will be available for public review. If you cite published studies or papers in your comments, provide copies of the source material with your comments. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who submit anonymous comments will not have standing to appeal under 36 CFR Part 215.

Maps will be available for review at the Ashton and Island Park offices, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can view or download maps at

USDA Forest Service - Ashton-Island Park Ranger District NEPA Projects - Island Park OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) Trails Project

Send written comments to:
Island Park OHV Trails Attn: Brandon Burke
P.O. Box 858 Ashton, ID 83420

For information on this project contact Brandon Burke at (208) 652-1201. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Electronic comments should be submitted in Word (.doc) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Comments sought for Ashton/Island Park trails project
Freemont County, Idaho OHV project

Teton Valley News


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Don Amador

Stonyford - Mill Fire Update - Good and Bad News!


View of Trails 40, 32, and 34 from M5
View of Trail 33 Near Mill Valley Campground
The Recreation HQ got to spend a few days up at Stonyford last week touring (and working too) the burn area with FS staff. We reviewed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Mill Fire and looked at the extent of the damage and some of the challenges the agency must address before reopening it for public use.
The good news is that the campgrounds at Fouts and Davis Flat are open for camping. Non-street legal OHVs can use Trail 42 that is a loop next to Davis Flat. However at this time, there is no access to the main trail/road network (i.e. Trails 34, 32, 40,37,39, or the shortcut to M5). In fact, M5 remains closed at this time.
If you have a dual-sport you can ride up M10 and get on the trails/roads that are open (i.e. Trail 6, 8, 12, 45, etc.). If you have non-street legal OHVs, you can trailer them up and park along M10 where it becomes a mixed-use road. That begins just past the junction of where the Letts Lake Road intersects with M10. Now is a good time to take the OHV corridor over to the Upper Lake OHV area and explore some of those trails.
The bad news is the main trail network that got burned looks like it will remain closed through the winter so that portions of the routes that have to be restored after getting blitzed by the bulldozers cutting firebreaks can heal.

The ugly news is there are a lot of potential impacts to the roads and trails from excessive soil erosion if the area gets hit with heavy rains. For example, a lot of tree stumps burned down to the root systems which often cross a road or a trail. Now with the stump/root gone, there is the potential for water to carve or gully up the road/trail bed.
Stump/root burnout on road
There are a number of volunteer days still ahead where you can help. Here is a link to where you can sign up.
HQ Blog with Vol. Dates and Sign Up Info
HQ believes that after these initial rains, the agency should make it a high priority to open up several corridors ASAP (i.e. Potato Hill and M5) so that riders can access the trails that are open in the non-burned areas.
HQ also wants to thank the agency and state trail crews that have been working very hard since the fire to help bring the impacted trails up to specs.
Watch for an update soon on the 1st volunteer trail day last week. We had a great turnout!
Original author: Don Amador
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Don Amador

OHV and Nature Can Coexist at Carnegie/Tesla?


The Recreation HQ would like to give an update on the East Bay Regional Park District’s planning effort and how their narrative has apparently softened a bit when it comes to new OHV use on the Tesla property which is part of Carnegie SVRA.

I thought the Bay Nature article below did a pretty good job of weaving through the concept that managed OHV recreation and resource protection are not mutually exclusive and can and do co-exist on many state and federal lands.

Oct. 15 Bay Nature Article

http://baynature.org/articles/can-off-roading-and-nature-coexist/

What appears to be a new era of cooperation between the District, OHMVR, and user groups would not have happened without thousands of OHVers and their families showing up at various public meetings and sharing their views both verbally and in writing with District staff and board members.

I believe the various letters from OHV groups including BRC’s documents obtained by a public records act request had helped illustrate to the District that it was engaged in a less than robust quasi-CEQA process with unclear goals and objectives.

HQ Blog with Orig. BRC CEQA Concerns and Overview

Continue reading
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Don Amador

OHV Commission and Users Continue Fight with East Bay Parks


The following East Bay Regional Park District response (Sept. 13) to one of HQ’s longtime friends, Scott Sinclair, shows a high level of arrogance, ignorance, and callous against OHV recreationists in general, Carnegie SVRA staff, and proposed OHV use at the Tesla property which is part of Carnegie SVRA.
EBRPD Response to Scott Sinclair

http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/East_Bay_Sinclair_Sept.pdf

*Note their response did not address the March 2007 tour and two April 2012 tours with Save Tesla Park advocates. BRC found out about those tours via our public records act request. BTW – did any OHV groups get invited to the May 11, 2012 tour? I also believe if you look at the District’s own “surveys” you will find them to be biased or slanted to achieve a certain result.

Their response only further highlights the need for OHV users to attend the upcoming meetings

in Concord (TONIGHT), Oakley, Fremont, Dublin, and Richmond. The level of your participation will help decide if the District provides future OHV recreation and if they will back-off their current effort to prohibit OHV recreation on the Tesla property at Carnegie SVRA.

The OHV Commission recently voted unanimously to challenge the District Board’s effort to ban OHV use on our Tesla property. It is important to note that even the “environmental appointees” voted strongly in favor of the OHV commission telling the District to butt out!

Again, here is BRC Alert with list of meeting sites and sample letter http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/2012/09/06/extreme-environmental-groups-collaborate-with-east-bay-region-park-district-to-impose-closureagenda-on-propose

Here is BRC News Release on Public Meetings with link to formal BRC comment letter http://www.sharetrails.org/news/2012/09/10/recreation-group-cites-east-bay-parks-violation-sunshine-laws

Also, feel free to check for updates with my good friends at the Carnegie Forever Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/CarnegieForever/permalink/10150997989856599/

See you in Concord tonight!
Original author: Don Amador
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Don Amador

OHVers Rock the House at East Bay Park's 1st Public Meeting


OHV Leaders from Carnegie Forever and AMAD36
Sign Into Event
The Recreation HQ wants to salute the 40-50 off-roaders who showed up to the East Bay Regional Park District’s 1st public meeting for the District’s Master Plan. OHV leaders and enthusiasts respectfully engaged the District staff and other stakeholder groups during the meeting and at various data collection sites/discussion tables.
HQ estimates that approximately 300 people crowded into a hall that had seating for about 110 people. This meeting was in Oakland and it gave OHVers in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties the chance to let the District know about the agency's lack of OHV opportunity. The District is 112K acres and contains 65 parks. However, not one square foot of parkland is designated for OHV use by the over 28K registered non-street legal OHVs in their jurisdiction.
HQ wants to STRONGLY urge all OHV enthusiasts to attend the remaining public meetings in Concord, Oakley, Fremont, Dublin, and Richmond. The level of your participation will help decide if the District provides future OHV recreation and if they will back-off their current effort to prohibit OHV recreation on the Tesla property at Carnegie SVRA.
Here is BRC Alert with list of meeting sites and sample letter
Here is BRC News Release on Public Meetings with link to formal BRC comment letter
Finally, feel free to check for updates with my good friends at the Carnegie Forever Facebook page
This is your opportunity to participate in the public planning process. I hope to see a lot of you at the upcoming meetings.

 

Original author: Don Amador
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