CRITICAL ISSUE ON SANDIA RANGER DISTRICT, CIBOLA NATIONAL FOREST
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:
The gang over at New Mexico Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA) wanted us to help get the word out about a very important issue related to the ongoing travel management planning process for the Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest.
OHV enthusiasts, including members and officers of NMOHVA, participated in several collaborative meetings sponsored by the FS. The purpose of these meetings was to see if some sort of consensus could be reached regarding several key issues in the Travel Plan.
The meetings produced some tangible results with the effort our people put in. The folks at NMOHVA have certainly earned our support and we encourage you to become a member. (http://nmohva.org/form.html
The Cibola Planning Team used the results of these collaborative meetings and has put together a Scoping Report including a "Proposed Action" for the route designation process. We describe a Proposed Action as: what the agency wants to do. A formal process will now begin that will give the public an opportunity to comment on what they want to do, as well as view and comment on the estimated social and environmental effects.
The Proposed Action is a good start insofar as beginning the process. But there are two key issues that are very important to OHV enthusiasts, one of which has potential to arbitrarily close much of the riding season.
We need your help!
We have only a few weeks until the Cibola finalizes the Proposed Action and the official formal comment period begins. This is an excellent window of opportunity to amplify our concerns and convince the Cibola to change the bad stuff in their plan. Please read the info below and send an email to the Cibola today.
Thanks in advance for your help,
The Cibola NF is updating the Travel Plan for the Sandia Ranger District (including the popular Cedro Peak area) and has released a preliminary travel plan. Although the plan does contain some good ideas, it also contains two very serious flaws. One is an arbitrary seasonal closure based on dates. The other is arbitrarily refusing the OHV community's request to consider designating trails in the La Madera area.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Use the info below to send a quick email or letter to the Cibola NF. If you have any specific information, please include it in your email or letter.
Send the email to: email@example.com
Send letters to:
Cibola National Forest
2113 Osuna Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
Tell the FS a bit about how much you and your family enjoys OHV use and ask that the Cibola includes the La Madera in the planning process.
Tell the FS that any seasonal closure should not be based on dates on a calendar. Concern over damage that can be done to trails after heavy snow or rainfall is legitimate and should be addressed. But any closure should be based on the condition of the trails, not arbitrary dates on a calendar.
Be sure to include your name and address.
MORE INFO ON THE PLANNING PROCESS:
The Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest is proposing changes to its motorized travel system to be compliant with the national Travel Management Rule that was published November 2005. This final rule requires the Forest Service, with input from the public, to prepare a Motor Vehicle Use Map designating roads, trails, and areas that will be open to motorized travel.
The Forest Service wants your thoughts and concerns about this proposal for motorized travel designations and the forest plan amendment. Your ideas will help refine the proposal, identify alternatives, and assist in making an informed decision. Information that is received in response to this proposal will help to develop a designated road and trail system for motorized travel that meets access needs, is responsive to recreation considerations, and protects the resource values of the area.
The Scoping Report, which outlines the proposal, is available online at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/cibola/travel-management/sandia_TM_final_scoping_report.pdf
The FS will be analyzing this proposal and alternatives during the next three months. They anticipate another comment period in October 2007 when the environmental analysis is finished. They plan to publish a motor vehicle use map in January 2008 that will implement the designated motorized travel system on the Sandia Ranger District.
If you have additional questions about this project or for further information, please contact Nancy Brunswick, Travel Management Team Leader, Cibola National Forest (505) 346-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE, IF YOU RECREATE IN THE CIBOLA NATIONAL FORESTS, GET INVOLVED NOW!