The Payette National Forest has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Payette National Forest Travel Management Plan. The FEIS revises the current summer and winter recreation plans and analyzes the environmental effects of five alternatives, including a "No Action" alternative.
Each Alternative contains significant closures for both summer and winter motorized uses. None of the Alternatives considered maintaining the current level of use. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Send an email, fax or snail mail comment letter by July 6, 2007. Please use the Comment Suggestions below to help you compose your comment letter.
Comments maybe submitted via e-mail, by mail or fax. Address your comments to the Forest Supervisor, Suzanne Rainville.
MAIL: Suzanne Rainville, Forest Supervisor
Payette National Forest
P.O. Box 1026
McCall, ID, 83638
A year or so ago, the Payette NF released several Draft Alternatives for public review and comment. Despite a documented increase in recreational use, especially motorized, each of the Draft Alternatives drastically reduced motorized recreation!
When BRC and other recreational groups here in Idaho pointed out that one of their alternatives should maybe not reduce motorized uses, they actually admitted we had a point. The agency promised to do something about this in the final set of alternatives.
They did something all right. They made it worse. They did manage to incorporate some of the suggestions from the motorized clubs, but they put the snowmobiler's suggestions in Alternative C and only a few of the OHV clubs suggestions in Alternative E. This creates a situation where none of the Alternatives sufficiently address motorized uses. The "Preferred Alternative" still drastically reduced motorized recreation.
The Comment Suggestions below address routes and areas that are critical recreation needs. Please use these in your comment letter.
Address your letter or email to:
Supervisor, Payette National Forest
P.O. Box 1026
McCall ID 83638
1. Start your comment letter with a brief sentence or two about yourself and maybe a bit about how much your family values OHV and snowmobile recreation.
2. Tell the Payette that none of the Alternatives sufficiently meet the need to provide for motorized recreation. Tell the Payette that you object to them proposing significant reductions in motorized recreation while failing to show any connection between existing levels of use and undue environmental degradation.
3. Tell the Payette the fatal flaw in this planning process is not developing a "pro-recreation" alternative.
3. Tell the Payette that if forced to choose between the Alternatives presented, you prefer Alternative E for summer and Alternative C for winter. Ask that components of C and E be combined in the Final Plan.
4. Tell the Payette that the winter use closures contained in Alternative E are not justified and that you strongly oppose them.
List of snowmobile areas that are important:
Management Area 12 should be open for snowmobile use. The closure of this area in the Forest Plan was arbitrary and unfair. This area is suitable for snowmobile use and the final plan should designate it as open.
The Patrick Butte and Hazard Creek areas in Management Area 9 should remain open.
The Slab Butte and Granite Mountain should be open for snowmobiling.
The Old Hitt Mountain Ski Area should be open to motorized use.
The Crestline and Slab 76 areas should remain open.
The Marshall Meadow and Lick Creek areas should remain open.
List of Trails to keep open:
The snowmobile trail that passes through the Jughandle area above Louie Lake and that goes to the Boulder riding area should remain open.
The Cottontail / Pilot Peak Opening is a burned area that is now suitable for riding and should be open for snowmobiles.
List of Trails that are important:
Trail 344: Rainbow and Black Lakes are wonderful destinations for OHV users. This trail is highly valued by OHV users and should be kept open.
Trail 110 should be open to motorized use all the way through to the Lick Creek Road. This allows folks to access additional loops and would benefit from the Idaho OHV program maintenance.
Trails 101, 99 and 98 should be kept open for motorized use because they are high challenge routes that are rare on the Payette NF. Currently the trails are kept open to all recreationists through the efforts of recreationists using motorcycles. These trails are also currently cleared by the IDPR Trail Ranger program.
Trail 153 should be kept open for motorized use. The maintenance on this trail is minimal to the Forest Service and keeping it open allows recreationists from the Riggins and Grangeville areas access to the forest via motorcycle.
Trail 290 is a critical connector route that provides access to other trails and makes excellent loop opportunity. This is another trail that would benefit from maintenance provided by the Idaho OHV program.
Trails 75, 71 and 73 should be kept open. These are some of the few trails on the Payette that are easily accessed from a campground. Many OHV users enjoy camping and opportunities next to campgrounds should be provided.
Email your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Snail mail: Forest Supervisor
Payette National Forest
P.O. Box 1026
McCall, ID 83638