Travel Management Decision Devastating to Public
Albuquerque, New Mexico - June 29, 2012- The Santa Fe National Forest is closing 70% of the existing roads and trails to the public in the Travel Management Decision released yesterday.
"This is a wake-up call for everyone", said Mark Werkmeister, Recreation Resource Director for the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (www.nmohva.org
). "The Santa Fe National Forest's decision to close 70% of roads and trails to all vehicles hurts everyone. New Mexicans love camping in our Forest. Today, we can camp on over 5,000 miles of roads. This decision leaves only 381 miles open for vehicle camping. That's 93% of the today's roads closed to camping! The same is true for game retrieval".
Werkmeister notes the decision is even harsher than the original proposal. "It's anti-public and totally unjustified," he added, "NEPA law says an environmental impact statement must be logical and use good science. This Final EIS has almost no data for motorized use. It admits the forest has been fine with all roads and trails open. It shows no significant damage caused by vehicles on roads and trails; not to soils, water quality, wildlife, nothing. The EIS violates law and regulation. We will be filing appeals against the decision."
He warned that left alone, roads and trails soon become impassable. "People don't realize that OHVer's keep trails and roads open for everyone. Motorcyclists cut thousands of fallen trees from trails every spring. The 4WD users clear roads. The Forest Service doesn't do it." Werkmeister said. "Roads will become impassable from growth and fallen trees. That means access is lost, making it harder to manage the forest to prevent catastrophic fire. Shortsighted, selfish people will like this decision, because they won't have to share our public lands. But in the long run, everyone will lose, including the forest. "
More information is available by visiting www.nmohva.org
or by contacting NMOHVA at 505-321-3155