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Winter Travel Management in California

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  • Winter Travel Management in California

    The Forest Service has officially started the winter travel management process in California. In this process the Forest Service will review where OSVs are allowed to travel, as well as other possible restrictions. Snowlands Network will be closely involved in this process. If anyone has time and desire to actively get involved with Snowlands in shaping winter travel management in California, let me know. I am confident there will be changes, possibly major in some areas, minor in others. OSV recreation will continue, perhaps with little change in the overall level and opportunity, but there will be greater separation of activities and, I hope, more pockets of terrain reserved for clean and quiet recreation.

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/new...STELPRD3818891

  • #2
    Baaahb,

    How 'bout giving us a legal breakdown and some important highlights so we can have a discussion instead of sending folks offsite to get bored to death about something that is actually really important and which we'll all be pissed off about when the decision is made without our input 'cuz we're too lazy to give a damn.

    ain't no turn like tele!

    Comment


    • #3
      Snowlands and others have been urging the Forest Service to review OSV impacts and manage them. The Forest Service is now doing this, on at least six national forests in California. This process is similar, but different, than the process for managing wheeled over ground vehicles, which was completed for all forests in the last decade. It is different because it was generally mandated that cross-country (off-route) travel of wheeled vehicles was to be highly restricted, so that the issue became designation of routes. In the case of OSVs, one can also argue that OSVs should generally be limited to designated routes, but at least in political terms, the discussion/debate is generally about open and closed areas.

      Snowlands will be preparing detailed proposals for the six forests, as well as the other forests in California as they, too, start this process. Snowlands advocates on behalf of people who want cleaner and quieter environments, in particular for their own winter recreation. Snowmobile groups will participate in the process, as well as communities, businesses, and public interest groups advocating for species or eco-system protection. "Science" is mandated to infuse the process, but in terms of recreational use of the Forest, what people want is a big part of the science.

      I think it is likely that there will be a pretty civilized discussion and some good changes. No doubt there are crazies on both sides, including in some of these communities a heavy contingent of anti-government conspiracy theorists, but there are also reasonable voices on several sides of the issue, interested in a workable "solution".

      There will be many opportunities to submit your own views in this process. There will be several physical meetings are many locations. If you don't speak up in the process you have no basis to complain about the outcome.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Baaahb View Post
        I think it is likely that there will be a pretty civilized discussion and some good changes. No doubt there are crazies on both sides, including in some of these communities a heavy contingent of anti-government conspiracy theorists, but there are also reasonable voices on several sides of the issue, interested in a workable "solution".
        That's priceless. If someone is anti-government are they by default a conspiracy theorist? If someone doesn't buy the Warren Commission report are they either or both? Should I unleash Willy to deal with this?

        ain't no turn like tele!

        Comment


        • #5
          If I said there was an anti-telemark beginner knuckledragger dogging me on the slopes, would I be characterizing all novice snowboarders as anti-telemark? I think not. Conspiracy theorists are a special subset of the anti-government community. I'm not sure yet where you fall.

          I think one can rationally be in favor of small government, and in favor of decreasing government, but to be opposed to government itself is kind of, well, stupid. Especially on these hallowed shores.

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          • #6
            The USFS is under court order to conduct this process throughout the West...

            ... and by a particular date.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Todd Eastman View Post
              The USFS is under court order to conduct this process throughout the West...

              ... and by a particular date.
              Yes. It's not like these Forests are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They're doing it knowing that they have to do it, even though the CFR addition being made pursuant to the Idaho order is not yet final.

              Comment


              • #8
                Winter Wildlands Alliance is hosting a survey which will be submitted to the USFS to help them in their decisions on this subject.

                https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5H3R5GS

                This is arguably the easiest way to participate, though not necessarily the most effective. Although, if we all sing in unison (we're all of the same mind around here, right?) it could be effective.

                ain't no turn like tele!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Lassen National Forest has issued its scoping notice, the first official step in the winter travel management process. Here is the text of the alert Snowlands has sent to its members:

                  Winter Travel Planning on Lassen National Forest

                  BACKGROUND

                  The Lassen National Forest is the first of five forests to commence winter travel management pursuant to a settlement between the Forest Service and Snowlands Network. Lassen NF has issued its scoping notice and initial comments are due. This is the time to tell the Forest Service that you care about winter travel management and demand protection of more lands exclusively for non-motorized recreation.

                  HOW TO PARTICIPATE

                  Please tell the Forest Service that you want more separation of motorized and non-motorized winter recreation. You may submit your comments in three ways:

                  Via the web at https://cara.ecosystem-management.or...?Project=45832

                  Via mail to Chris O'Brien, Public Services and Ecosystems Staff Officer, Lassen National Forest, 2550 Riverside Drive, Susanville, CA 96130

                  Via fax to 530-252-6463

                  DEADLINE

                  The deadline for submitting scoping comments on Lassen National Forest is February 19, 2015.

                  WHAT TO WRITE

                  Tell Lassen NF that you are submitting comments to the scoping notice on Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation.

                  Tell Lassen NF about your interest in backcountry skiing and/or snowshoeing and why you believe that more lands should be set aside exclusively for non-motorized winter recreation.

                  Snowlands is submitting a proposal which the Forest Service will evaluate in the planning analysis process. Please support our proposal in your own words. Our proposal includes:

                  Designation of the McGowen, Colby and Almanor Lake cross-country ski areas as non-motorized areas, not just areas with non-motorized trails.

                  Designation of a large area extending from Lassen National Park and the Caribou Wilderness to Highway 44 as non-motorized in order to create opportunity for accessible, primitive, backcountry non-motorized recreation in a Wilderness-like environment.

                  Designation of a managed shared use area on the east side of the Lassen NF (close to Susanville) where snowmobiles are limited to travel on designated routes and the use of cleaner and quieter (best available technology) snowmobiles is encouraged, in order to improve ski and snowshoe opportunity close to Susanville.

                  These designations will also improve species habitat, including for Sierra Nevada red fox, by restricting snowmobile cross-country travel.

                  You may wish to demand greater restrictions than the foregoing. Our proposals further restrict snowmobile use, but are intended as a compromise solution that is politically feasible and that improves opportunities for non-motorized recreation while also substantially preserving existing snowmobile recreation on Lassen NF.

                  THANK YOU

                  This is the time for you to let the Lassen NF know what changes you want to see in order to improve backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. Please send comments now!

                  Thank you for participating in this ski and snowshoe community effort.

                  more info: www.snowlands.org
                  Last edited by Snowlands; 22 January 2015, 10:17 AM.

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