Category Archives: Land Use Bulletins

Call your Senators NOW to save funding for trails

An  Alert Courtesy of American Trails

The full Senate is gearing up to vote on its version of a transportation bill-and yet another attack on funding for trails, walking, and biking has surfaced! Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced an amendment (S.A. 2280) that eliminates the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)-the nation’s largest dedicated source of funding for trails, walking and biking. This program also funds the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), and helps people like you and me stay healthy, get outdoors, support our local economy and get where we need to go. Help us defend funding for TAP, (including the RTP) and for safe places to walk, bike, and ride in your community by calling your senators now.

The Senate could vote on this legislation as early as this weekend, and it’s important that your legislators hear from you right away.The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, one of our valued partners, has prepared a webpage that includes contact information, as well as a simple message that you can use to communicate with your senators.

Call your senators now and please spread the word through your networks! Please take this simple action now… 

 

Sustainable ATV Trails; Keeping water and soil healthy with sediment control

Recently published online, is a website linked to the USFS outlining the basics of sustainable trails and lists of resources. While aimed at ATV, the message is the same for 4×4 trails.

http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/atv_trails_site/index.html

learn

about the relationship between soil and water and how sustainable trail design can help prevent erosion and other harmful effects caused by erosion.

build

sustainable trails or improve existing ones using these time-tested techniques, each with detailed descriptions and photos.

manage

existing trails with methods for monitoring trail use and make decisions on how best to target resources for maintaining and improving trails.

Public meeting August 16 on Johnson Valley changes

From the Bureau of Land Management

Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and the Marine Corps will host a Resource Management Group meeting about the changes in land use in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area at the Lucerne Valley Community Center on August 16, 2014 from 1-3 PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future locations of the Marine’s company objective areas within the Shared Use Area for military training in accordance with Military Land Withdrawals Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-66).

Input from State agencies, Off-Highway Vehicle and other recreation interest groups, and environmental advocacy groups as well as the public in general are encouraged and welcomed to attend.

The Lucerne Valley Community Center is located at 33187 Old Woman Springs Road, Lucerne Valley, CA. For additional information, contact the Bureau of Land Management, Barstow Field Manager, at 760-252-6004; email: ksymons@blm.gov; or the MCAGCC Public Affairs Office at 760-830-6213; email: SMBPLMSWEBPAO@usmc.mil.

Travel Management Agreement Reached on Stanislaus National Forest

Sonora, CA… A settlement agreement on the 2010 litigation of the 2009 Stanislaus National Forest (NF) Motorized Travel Management decision was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California today and is effective immediately. The U.S. Forest Service and the plaintiffs to the litigation (The Wilderness Society; Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility; and the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center) reached an agreement that balances the plaintiffs’ concerns while retaining the majority of motorized Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) routes made in the 2009 decision for recreational use…

The agreement does involve temporary route closures, but these closures do not affect the existing road system. Trail closures affect about 14 percent of the OHV trail system.

“Diverse riding and driving opportunities for motorized recreation and dispersed camping still abound on the forest with over 230 miles of OHV trails available,” said Susan Skalski, Forest Supervisor, Stanislaus NF.

As part of the settlement agreement, for an interim period of time until other analysis is completed, the Forest will close to motorized use 40.34 miles of routes (86 OHV trail segments) on three ranger districts: the Calaveras, Mi-Wok and Groveland. 18.19 miles of routes (49 OHV trail segments) currently open will be closed effective May 23. Twenty-two and a quarter miles of routes (37 trail routes) that are not currently open because mitigations required in the Forest Supervisor’s 2009 Record of Decision are not complete, will remain closed.

“Enforcement during the initial closure and implementation period will focus on facilitating change through advising visitors and providing information to public land users,” said Heidi Rieck, Law Enforcement Patrol Captain, Stanislaus NF. “We understand it takes time for people to become familiar with changes. After the initial educational period, we will start to incorporate other enforcement actions.”

Officers do have and will apply enforcement discretion in issuing citations to forest users.

In order to address the court’s concerns, during the closure, the Forest will take steps to show how it is applying the Forest Service’s 2005 Travel Rule minimization criteria to the 2009 Decision. When making decisions to designate routes for public motorized use, the 2005 Travel Rule requires the Forest to consider the effects on Forest resources with the objective of minimizing damage. It has not been determined how long this analysis may take or how long the routes will be closed. A new Motor Vehicle Use Map has been published and can be obtained at any Stanislaus NF district office or the Forest Supervisor’s Office.

The Stanislaus National Forest (STF) is actively engaged in management of its transportation system. The objectives of transportation planning are to: provide access to recreation facilities and opportunities for the public and partners; access for resource management, including fire protection and suppression; and to maintain an affordable/manageable transportation system while meeting the management needs of the Forest. The Forest is guided by the Travel Management Rule (36 CFR Part 212) and the Forest Service Manuals and Handbooks (7700).

Information regarding litigation of the 2009 Motorized Travel Management decision, the decision and the settlement agreement with the list of trails will be posted on the Stanislaus NF website by May 31.

For more information about this news release or to speak with a Visitor Information Specialist about forest information and recreation opportunities, call the Stanislaus Supervisor’s Office at: 209-532-3671; Calaveras Ranger District (RD) at 209-795-1381; Groveland RD at 209-962-7825; Mi-Wok RD at 209-586-3234; or Summit RD at 209-965-3434.

Source… http://thepinetree.net/index.php?module=announce&ANN_user_op=view&ANN_id=40675

UFWDA welcomes the action of Congress to retain OHV access to the Johnson Valley OHV area in CA.

UFWDA thanks all those who worked to preserve OHV access to nearly 100,000 acres of Southern Californian desert for much of the year. A provision included in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) transfers 79,000 acres to the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base while creating the ‘Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area’ with federal protection to over 96,000 acres, as established in 1980 for OHV recreation by the State of California.

Rep Paul Cook (R-CA) was largely instrumental in creating the shared use solution with the strong support of many individuals and organizations from the OHV community.

The US House of Representatives has approved the provision, with the Senate set to ratify the plan this year.

Check the news at www.cal4wheel.com

La Posa Travel Management Plan preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Yuma Field Office has announced that the La Posa Travel Management Plan preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) is available for review. This begins a 45-day public comment period, which ends December 21, 2013. The preliminary EA is available for reviewed online at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/travel_mgmt/la_posa.html.

The BLM will hold an open house on Thursday, November 21, 2013. The open house will be held at the Quartzsite Community Center located at 295 Chandler Street; Quartzsite, Arizona; from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The meeting will consist of a presentation about the preliminary EA and travel management planning, followed by interested parties being able to speak one-on-one with BLM specialists and managers. Maps will be on display for review, as well as general EA and travel management information.
Written comments about the preliminary EA for the La Posa TMP will be accepted through December 21, 2013. Comments postmarked by this date will be considered in making the final decision.  Comments should be mailed to BLM Yuma Field Office, Attention:  Joe Raffaele; 2555 E. Gila Ridge Road; Yuma, Arizona 85365; or emailed to blm_az_ym_trails@blm.gov.
The La Posa Travel Management Area surrounds Quartzsite, Arizona, and encompasses over 380,000 acres of public land in La Paz and Yuma Counties. For more information about the open house, please call 928-317-3238

Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Efforts : How will it impact your recreational access to public lands?

The Forest Service (FS) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to amend the Toiyabe National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and the Carson City and Battle Mountain Resource Management Plans.

The Forest Service is in the scoping phase to determine relevant issues relating to the conservation of the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (BSD PS) and its habitat. There is a concern that the greater sage grouse is at risk of losing its habitat. There are groups trying to get the greater sage grouse put on the endangered species list as a way to keep people off public lands. This issue could significantly impact OHV usage. The trails you use today may not be available tomorrow unless you act now.

We need you to become educated on this issue. We need to be proactive. Here are a couple links for your information. Please read this and share it widely.

At the end of this notice is the contact information for you to leave comments; they must be received by January 30, 2013.

Links for more information:

The following link is the actual scoping notice from USDA Forest Service.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/htnf/landmanagement/projects

ARRA (Americans for Responsible Recreation Access). This is a great site with background information, the schedule of dates, and links for further information.

http://www.arra-access.com/site/PageServer?pagename=arra_sage_grouse

The Federal Register (bottom of page 1 thorough page 3)

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-11-30/pdf/2012-28936.pdf

The following two links are articles from land use sites:

http://www.sharetrails.org/public-lands/10-state-sage-grouse-planning

http://www.muirnet.net/wildlife/scoping-for-open-for-greater-sage-grouse-habitat

Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received

by January 30, 2013. To comment or for more information contact:

James Winfrey

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

1200 Franklin Way

Sparks, NV 89523

(775) 355-5300

jwinfrey@fs.fed.us

It is important to provide comments for the agency’s preparation of the environmental impact statement. Comments should be provided by the comment period deadline (1/30/13) and should articulate the reviewer’s concerns. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the FS with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents.

Keep our trails open. Act now.

Join pro-access groups like the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (www.ufwda.org) to help us continue the fight to protect access for you and your family. Call us toll-free to learn more at 800-44-UFWDA (800) 448-3932.

BFGoodrich® Tires Announces 2012 Outstanding Trails

MOAB, Utah (April 4, 2012) – BFGoodrich® Tires, in collaboration with  United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and Tread Lightly!, today announced the trails selected for its 2012 Outstanding Trails program.  Nominated for uniqueness, terrain type and enthusiast following, the trails selected for this year’s program are Blanca Peak Trail in Blanca, Colo.; Mirror Lake Trail in Sierra National Forest, Calif.; and Bents and Dents Trail in Mount Olive, Ala.

Launched in 2006, the Outstanding Trails Program is dedicated to the responsible use and preservation of off-road trails while promoting the trails’ conservation efforts.  To help with costs associated with the trail’s conservation efforts, BFGoodrich Tires will also present a grant to the associated off-road clubs at events throughout the year.

“We’re proud to see the amount of support and attention that the Outstanding Trails program has received over the last seven years,” said Renato Silva, light-truck brand category manager for BFGoodrich Tires.  “We’ve met 29 tremendous clubs and their volunteers along the way, and all of them are equally passionate about spreading the message of responsible four-wheeling.  It’s been great to work side by side with them to help maintain some of North America’s most beautiful trails.”

BFGoodrich® Tires 2012 Outstanding Trails

During the course of the year, BFGoodrich Tires will be at club events associated with these trails to highlight the uniqueness of each location and educate off-road enthusiasts on the responsible use of the trails.  The clubs will also receive a $4,000 grant for preserving the scenic off-highway trail system and continue conservation efforts for three of America’s most beautiful areas for off-roading.

  • Blanca Peak Trail, nominated in 2011, is a rocky six-mile trail with many granite outcroppings. It offers many challenging obstacles, including Jaws 1–4, as well as views of the valley, Como Lake and spectacular mountain scenery.  The trail is maintained by Creeper Jeepers Gang, a family oriented 4-Wheel Drive club, which promotes safe and environmentally sensitive off-road recreation and family.
  • Mirror Lake Trail, also nominated in 2011, is located in the Sierra National Forest about 13 miles east of Shaver Lake on Highway 168.  The trail features beautiful lake scenery with steep boulders and large hills for the more experienced off-roader. The trail is maintained by Lock and Low 4-Wheel Drive Club, which promotes family four-wheeling and fosters safety and education of responsible four-wheeling. Lock and Low is an active member of the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs
  • Bents and Dents Trail is one of the premier trails in a vast trail system of extreme obstacles at Gray Rock ORV Park in Mount Olive, Ala. The trail is one of the most extreme and versatile trails at the park, with lines to accommodate vehicles with a variety of modifications. The Bents and Dents trail starts in a valley and winds its way uphill to a large rock garden area with various ledges and rock sizes. For the most extreme drivers and rigs there is an alternate line at the top end of the trail on the right side called the lunch line it is ridiculously steep and off camber. This trail, as well as many others in the area, is maintained by Central Alabama Offroad Society (C.A.O.S.), which promotes safe family oriented four-wheeling from mild to wild.

“For the past seven years, UFWDA has been honored to be a partner in this program alongside BFGoodrich Tires and Tread Lightly!,” said Todd Ockert, former UFWDA Director of Environmental Affairs.  “The three trails and clubs nominated in 2012 are top notch, and it was personally a pleasure to nominate Mirror Lake Trail and the Visalia Lock and Low Club for this award. They are dedicated to maintaining Mirror Lake Trail and working well with the Forest Service to enable public access to Mirror Lake.”

About the Outstanding Trails Program

The BFGoodrich® Tires Outstanding Trails program was established in 2006 to raise awareness for responsible use and preservation of off-road trails while providing support in the trails’ conservation efforts.  Through 2011, the Outstanding Trails program has recognized 27 off-road trails and 27 clubs across 16 states and two trails in Canada.  The program has provided more than $100,000 in grants in support of the various trails conservation efforts.

Both Tread Lightly!® and UFWDA are non-profit organizations dedicated to responsible and ethical outdoor recreation.  BFGoodrich Tires collaborated with these two groups to select the finest off-road trails and continues to work with these organizations on restoration and education initiatives.

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is the world’s leading representative of all-brand, four wheel-drive enthusiasts.  UFWDA benefits, developed and tested over the past 30 years, include four-wheel-drive safety and awareness education; such user ethics programs as adopt-a-road, conservation volunteer and volunteer trail patrol; assistance with new club formation; education seminars to aid four wheelers through complex state and federal programs affecting trail access;  internet forums designed to instantly connect members globally; and unlimited member access to its full-time legislative advocate and nationally recognized attorney who works exclusively for four-wheel-drive enthusiasts to protect access and prevent road and trail closures.  For more information on the UFWDA log on to www.ufwda.org or call 1-800-44-UFWDA (800-448-3932).

Tread Lightly! is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible recreation through ethics education and stewardship.  Tread Lightly!’s strategic educational message, along with its training and restoration initiatives, are designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in outdoor enthusiasts and the industries that serve them. The program is long-term in scope with a goal to balance the needs of those who enjoy outdoor recreation with the needs of the environment. The federal government recognizes this by acknowledging Tread Lightly!® as a sole-source service provider of education and training on how to be environmentally and socially responsible while using motorized and mechanized vehicles in off-highway settings.

Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 40 years, BFGoodrich® Tires is involved in every type of racing, including oval, sports car, drag, desert, dirt, rally and extreme rock crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle. Visit BFGoodrich Tires at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BFGoodrichTires or on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BFGoodrichTires.

IDAHO Forest Roads Safety Review

National Forests across Idaho are undertaking a review of their road systems and identifying sections of road that may require additional safety measures and are seeking public comments. The review was prompted by changes to Idaho State law.

In 2009, the Idaho Legislature exempted underage drivers (less than 16 years old) from needing a driver’s license when operating an OHV on National Forest System roads. “Previously, Idaho law prohibited use of OHVs by unlicensed riders on roads open to passenger vehicle traffic,” said Forsgren. “While responsible OHV recreation is welcome on National Forest System roads, safe operation of motor vehicles on National Forest roads is compromised because unlicensed and untrained drivers are now sharing roads designed and maintained for passenger cars and commercial truck traffic.” The licensing exemption does not apply to similar state and county roads.

With thousands of miles of National Forest roads and trails open to Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) in Idaho there is a risk to OHV operators on roads that also receive heavy travel from highway vehicles and commercial trucks. Road segments with such “mixed use” are referred to as “Roads of Concern.” “The National Forests are accepting comments related to these Roads of Concern,” said Intermountain Regional Forester Harv Forsgren. “Specifically we would like to know what safety concerns you might have on any of the identified roads, and your suggestions for making these roads safer.”

Maps have been published on each National Forest website for downloading and viewing. The eight National Forests across Idaho contain more than 7,700 miles of roads open to OHVs and highway vehicles and 2,500 miles of road are being evaluated. “We would like to know from forest users if we identified the correct roads,” said Forsgren. “Are there other road segments we should be looking at for implementing safety measures?”

Potential safety mitigations for these roads range from reduced speed limits, brush removal for improved visibility, warning signs, speed bumps or other minor engineering changes. “In cases where risks are unacceptable, OHV use may be restricted. However, for each Road of Concern, restricting OHV use will be considered as a last resort when no other reasonable and effective safety measures can be implemented,” said Forsgren.

Throughout the winter and spring of 2011 each National Forest in Idaho will work closely with agency partners and members of the public to improve public safety plans for National Forest System roads. Public input will be used to help identify where, and what types of safety improvements will be made for each of the Roads of Concern. By summer 2011 the first safety mitigation measures will be in place.

The forests listed below are being reviewed and can be searched for at http://www.fs.fed.us/

Boise National Forest, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Clearwater National Forest, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Nez Perce National Forest, Payette National Forest , Salmon-Challis National Forest and Sawtooth National Forest.

Additional ‘news’ commentary…

www.deseretnews.com/article/700105498/Forest-Service-wary-of-underage-drivers-in-Idaho.html

Comments will be accepted from now until February 22, 2011. Comments can be emailed to or mailed to each National Forest through its website or United States postal mail service.

New! UFWDA Announces the Land Use Bulletin!

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is pleased to announce the launch of our
new land use tool, the UFWDA Land Use Bulletin. The idea is to keep everyone informed about land use related topics on a regular basis.

For anyone interested in the land use happenings across the country, subscribe to the “UFWDA Bulletin”. This new feature allows land use news, info, and alerts to be sent directly to you via email. It’s free, it’s quick, and it’s easy…so sign up today! You can sign up for the Land Use Bulletin on the right side of our website.