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  • Lassen National Forest

    Thanks, Mr. D, for setting up this forum. As y'all should know by now, the Forest Service is starting winter travel management on five forests in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades, starting with Lassen. This is the best opportunity most of us will see in our lifetime to get the Forest Service to focus on winter recreation issues. It is, in particular, the time to consider what restrictions should be imposed on OSV activity. It is also the time to consider where access needs to be improved.

    So let's try and get some serious discussion going of what is needed in Lassen National Forest. This discussion concerns the forest, it does not concern Lassen National Park. National Parks are administered under a completely different agency of the US government. What you have to say about Lassen National Park may be brilliant, but it is irrelevant unless it also affects management of Lassen National Forest.

    In terms of OSV restrictions, many people of course are concerned about protecting areas that they use. In Lassen, there has been some consensual separation of uses, with skiers developing trails in the McGowen and Colby meadows areas. IMO, in the winter travel management process these areas need to be formally protected.

    Beyond this, Lassen NF does not have an intensity of use and accordingly, user conflicts are minimal. However, the purpose of the travel management process is long term planning. There is room in Lassen to set aside more areas for exclusively nonmotorized recreation, thus fostering the growth of such recreation, without significantly impacting the opportunities for OSV recreation.

    IMO, in Lassen it is also important to create the opportunity for users to obtain a true Wilderness-type experience in winter. Thus, IMO, the Caribou Wilderness needs to be brought down to winter trailheads through creation of a nonmotorized area extending from this Wilderness to either a northern or eastern trailhead.

    There should also be creation of a significant nonmotorized area on the east side of the forest, perhaps surrounding the Bizz Johnson trail.

    As with the rest of the National Forests, the FS also should be encouraging users to transition to cleaner and quieter vehicles. This is particularly feasible in the Lassen where most of the territory is relatively flat. BATmobiles have a far greater impact on other users than old technology 2-strokes. In areas where there are BAT restrictions and most activity is "touring", shared use is feasible. Lassen should set some BAT trailheads and areas.

    Those are my preliminary thoughts.
    Last edited by Baaahb; 2 November 2014, 09:46 PM.

  • #2
    Baaahb,

    Generically your comments are spot on. I boils down to the details. IOW - time to pull out a map.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@40.4835.../data=!5m1!1e4

    Apologies if you can't see this in a topo view. Google "updated" their maps so all the features I liked are now harder to find and all the features I could care less for are "standard." Dipsticks.

    ain't no turn like tele!

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    • #3
      Forgive me if I'm wrong, but ain't Lassen part of the Cascades? MS

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mark Sitz View Post
        Forgive me if I'm wrong, but ain't Lassen part of the Cascades? MS
        Was just considering correcting Baaahb on this, but did not want to be the one to point it out since it's not really pertinent to the topic, I don't think. But since you've brought it up, Mark, I agree. These ranges are defined according to geological criteria. Lassen Peak is the most southerly volcano in the Cascades. Not sure if parts of Lassen NF may include anything considered included in the Sierra Nevada Range, or where any boundary between the two ranges is, other than somewhere south of Lassen.

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        • #5
          Indeed. I must beg forgiveness. But at least I didn't refer to the "Sierras". Geologists would probably say there are a few ranges in between the Sierra Nevada and the southern Cascades, but maybe that is splitting hairs. Maybe we just call Lake Almanor the dividing line... er lake.

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          • #6
            The Snowlands web page now outlines the organization's proposal for Lassen NF.

            Most skiers on this forum generally head to Lassen National Park rather than the surrounding forest, but the surrounding forest provides important nordic recreation for nearby communities and also great opportunities for extended backcountry tours across vast snow covered meadows and forests dotted with lakes.... In addition to formally protecting the nordic areas, the Snowlands proposal creates a large nonmotorized area adjoining the Caribou Wilderness and north side of Lassen, which would then offer an accessible, Wilderness-like experience for extended tours in winter, as well as protected habitat for Sierra Nevada Red Fox and wolverine, among other threatened species.

            The proposal does not close any groomed OSV routes, leaves open the popular areas for OSV cross-country travel, and was worked out in discussions with representatives of the snowmobile community.

            The Snowlands web page asks supporters of its mission to write/email both to the Lassen NF (their scoping period ends Feb 19) and to Kathy Mick, the manager handling the winter travel management process for region 5 of the Forest Service, telling them why OSV travel management is important to you.
            Last edited by Baaahb; 2 February 2015, 10:03 AM.

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