Carson National Forest Releases Questa Ranger District Travel Management Draft Environmental Assessment
The Travel Management Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Questa Ranger District of the Carson National Forest is available NOW on the Carson National Forest's NEPA page. The official release of this document on June 30th started the public's official 30 day comment period. The Questa District covers the areas around Questa and Red River, New Mexico.
The EA includes three alternatives:
Alternative 1 - This is the modified proposed action and is essentially the Forest Service's preferred Alternative. It close about fifteen miles of existing road to the public and includes a PERMANENT CLOSURE OF THE BELOVED MIDDLE FORK LAKE ROAD. For all who thoroughly enjoyed this road before it was closed to us, you know what a huge loss a permanent closure would be. For those who haven't driven it, if Alternative 1 is adopted, you never will! Alternative 1 removes all of the camping corridors on the District, restricting vehicle camping only to sites served by designated routes. Alternative 1 also standardizes the seasonal restrictions, allowing motorized use from May 1 to Dec 31.
Alternative 2 - This alternative includes some of the roads and trails that the City of Red River suggested are important to its tourism economy. While this alternative adds some designated routes, it does not include all the roads and trails that the City requested. Alternative 2 again standardizes the seasonal restrictions, allowing motorized use from May 1 to Dec 31.
Alternative 3 - This is the alternative included for the rabid environmentalists and it does just what you would expect - it decimates the great motorized recreation available in the Red River area. This alternative adds even more seasonal restrictions.
The public will only have 30 days to comment on these issues by submitting letters or emails. Comments are due by July 30th. 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 Questa Ranger District of the Carson 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 motorized travel off the designated system will be prohibited.
The full text of the document and maps of the travel routes for the alternatives is available on the Carson National Forest's NEPA page here. The maps on the individual links are much higher quality than the maps included in the EA document itself.
Comments on the draft EIS can be submitted by postal mail, email, and fax. Specific instructions and contact information is included in the cover letter that is posted as part of the EA.
For further information, please contact the Forest Travel Management Coordinator for the Carson National Forest, Jack Carpenter at 575-758-6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org