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Old 06-11-2016, 01:25 PM
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Default Ok-Wen Draft EA for Travel Plan

I am pleased to announce the completion of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for Motorized Travel Management. The Preferred Alternative designates the existing system of motorized roads and trails as open, closes the Forest to motorized cross country (off-road) travel (except for the Moon Rocks and Funny Rocks Areas), provides for roadside parking and motorized access to dispersed camping in designated corridors and permits the operation of Washington State Licensed ATVs on 350 miles of designated open system roads.

Thank you for your patience throughout this process. Many of you have spent the last decade working with us, participating in meetings and providing information about access routes on the Forest. The extensive input and analysis collected during that time will be used to craft future local decisions.

In 2015, we scoped a proposed action to look specifically at adopting our existing system of motorized roads and trails, with the idea that any future changes to the system will need site specific analysis and should occur at the local level.

This letter serves as notification of the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment and associated maps on our website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46467. The Draft Environmental Assessment for Motorized Travel Management on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is now available for a 30 day comment period.

The opportunity to comment on this project ends 30 days following publication of the June 8, 2016 legal advertisement in the Wenatchee World, newspaper of record. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection pursuant to 36 CFR 218. To establish eligibility to object, each individual or entity submitting timely specific comments must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request.

The following Open Houses are planned to answer questions about the Draft Environmental Assessment and the process for commenting. Each open house will last from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm.

* Yakima Valley Museum Yakima, WA on June 20

* Mercer Island Community Center Mercer Island, WA on June 21

* Kittitas County Event Center in Ellensburg, WA on June 22

* Apple Annies in Cashmere, WA on June 23

* Okanogan PUD, in Okanogan, WA building on June 24

How to Comment and Timeframe: Written, specific comments must be submitted to Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Jennifer Zbyszewski, 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862; Fax (509) 996-2208. Hand deliveries must be made between 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays at the street address above. Please submit electronic comments via https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/P ... mmentInputÖ. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility.

Individuals and entities who submit specific written comments regarding the proposed project will be eligible to object. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted specific comments to the proposed project or activity unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for comment. Comments received during this review period for the Environmental Assessment (EA) will be considered, and a revised EA (if necessary) and draft Decision Notice will be released for a 45 day review and objection period.

It is the responsibility of all individuals and organizations providing comments to submit them by the close of the comment period and ensure that they have been received. Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements of 36 CFR 218. Electronic comments submitted other than described above or containing viruses will be rejected
Please be aware that all comments, names, addresses, and phone numbers become part of the project record and are subject to release if a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is received.

If you wish to review the project file or obtain additional information on the project, please contact Jennifer Zbyszewski at (509) 996-4021.

Thank you for your continued involvement in caring for your National Forest System lands.

Sincerely,

Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor
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Last edited by Grumpy; 06-22-2016 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:20 PM
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Got to love that the open houses and public meeting don't start until halfway through the comment period. Kind of front loaded for where they want to go. Make note that if they follow what has been done in other forests, ML 1 roads supposedly have been closed for 20+ years but couldn't enforce it due to cross country travel being allowed, now those will all go away. Look for and try to get them into a trail system.

If this is part "B" of the TMP (sounds like it with elimination of cross country travel), just wait til part "A" hits the street.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:37 AM
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Yeah, kinda looks like a plan huh? I am pretty annoyed there's no meeting in Tri Cities, but Mercer Island is okay. I voiced my thoughts on that. Next bomb will be the timing of the meetings
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:30 PM
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Most Forests are getting the message to hold meetings in the evenings and are doing so.

As for one in Tri-Cities, might be worth a call to the Forest Supervisor on Monday to point that out......they might add one on since that is a major population area for the Forest.
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Wolfpack 4x4's - Region 5 - "Cave Lupum"

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Old 06-12-2016, 04:35 PM
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Put that in my first comment, which seems to be unavailable. Maybe I better look out for black Suburbans and helicopters circling the house
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Old 06-15-2016, 01:20 PM
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Dear WA OHVers,
Based on my review so far, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forestís Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for Motorized Travel Management worked to adopt most, if not all, of the current OHV system of routes and areas including some new formal ATV designations of roads.
At this point, I believe that OHV should try and support Alt. B, but should offer additional site-specific route or camping area suggestions that could be added to a modified Alt. B in the final decision.
Your comments on the Draft EA will help lay the groundwork to help OHV participate in the subsequent objection process and/or potential litigation.
Thanks for your efforts to champion responsible OHV recreation on public lands.

Don Amador
Western Rep, BRC
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:51 PM
BrandenB BrandenB is offline
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Why Alt. B instead of D? D will leave ALL current roads open as corridors and still adds the 350 miles of WATV accessible roads.
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:21 PM
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From Shane Fuller:


SooooÖ.hereís a quick take on what I learned from the meeting last night....

Before I go into all of that, let me say that the credit should go to Febus, JayW, Atkins & Ron Rutherford as well as a few others. These guys are on top of the issues already and new the questions to ask and things to address ahead of time instead of waiting until meeting time to figure it all out. This allowed everyone to really get some good information on the plan quickly. Hopefully one of them will chime in if I have any of this wrongÖ.

Basically the plan breaks down into four possible alternatives. A-D Iíll start with my preferences first and then work backwards. Keep in mind my opinions are based almost entirely on the Naches Ranger District since it is the one that Iím most familiar with.

Plan/Alternative A leaves everything the way it is now. Nothing changes. Donít get to excited though, Alternative A cannot and will not happen. Put it out of your mind. Iím always up for a fight, but sometimes you have to know when to move on.

Alternative D This plan leaves the most miles of motorized roads open to the public (more specifics later.) It lists all of the roads/trails as designated corridors. This means that dispersed camping WILL be allowed along all of these routes (camping in places other than the fee areas.) This alternative also gives us back the ATV routes on level 1 roads in the Little Naches that were implemented (and then pulled) last yearÖ.or at least until the Bird Huggers sue. One bad thing about this plan, and I havenít had time to find out if itís true, is that it offers no trail/road maintenance. When something washes out, it stays closed forever. Like I said though, I donít know if thatís true. I need to do a little more research, or if someone has the answer please chime in. If it IS true, then Iím not supporting this alternative. If it IS NOT true, then this the one that Iíll support in my comments.

Alternative B This is the alternative that the Forest Service is pushing. It is a reasonable compromise between the motorized users and the Bunny Huggers. It closes NO numbered trails, only some mileage of old spur/logging roads in the Naches District (More details on the later) From what I saw, none of which cut of access to any of our trails, at least in the Naches Ranger Dist. Like Alt D, this also gives back the ATV routes from last year until somebody sues to close them. At the moment I have two main problems with this plan (beside a few road closures.) Problem 1. There are at least two numbered trails in the Rimrock Area that arenít on the TMP maps. I need to verify the numbers when I get to a map, but itís the tail end of 615 where it forks, Southwest of Narrowneck, and heads down to towards Klickitat or toward the gate on the old Layman Highway (1070) Weíre told by Kelly Lawrence that itís just a misprint, an honest mistake. Iím inclined to believe her since theyíve always been horrible at things like this, but itís imperative that they get back on the approved map. Ron Rutherford is spearheading this and will keep us all in the loop. Problem 2. Both the Little Naches Road and Bumping Lake Rd are NOT designated corridors. This means all of those nice camping spots (that are more than a 100ft from water) in there are no longer going to be allowed. This will just force more people into the same areas. No good can come from that. More use, more damage, more garbage etcÖ We go to the mountains to get away from people, not to jamb into the same little campground as all of them.
This is the plan, in my opinion, that is most likely to get approved regardless of comments. At the moment, Iím not necessarily for OR against it. I need a little more info.

Alternative C Donít bother. Sell your toys and by yourself some hiking boots and a cope of ďA Bird Watchers Guide to the Northwest.Ē

Regardless of which plan you decide to support there are a few key points, in my opinion, that you need to address in your statement in addition to the ones Iíve already touched on.

1. ALL forest service roads must be open to ATVís
2. We need accountability on a trail maintenance plan. Ex. If a trail/road washes out, what plan & Funds are in place to repair it. Thereís some specific wording that a few people are working on regarding this that will better explain to them what we expect. Iíll let you know when I have it.
3. Your comments need to focus on facts as to why your opinions will create less resource damage, and more economy for the surrounding areas. Donít bother with what your rights are. Money talks, bull**** walks.

Iíll keep you guys posted on what I find out and end up deciding, but hopefully the rest of the guys will chime in with their opinions. Sorry this got so long winded.
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:38 PM
Phantom 309 Phantom 309 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
Yeah, kinda looks like a plan huh? I am pretty annoyed there's no meeting in Tri Cities, but Mercer Island is okay. I voiced my thoughts on that. Next bomb will be the timing of the meetings
I was told that the meeting locations are in direct relation to the areas that have contributed the most input to the plan. How many people on Mercer Island do you think are wheelers? Better get those comments in or get used to Plan C.

Basically, the Forest Service will attempt to adopt a plan (most likely B.) Then the "Mercer Island Group" will throw some money in a hat and try to block it. At that point, it will to an appeal. ONLY the ones that commented NOW will be able to have any input on it at that point. Put it this way....if the "Mercer Island Group" submits 10 comments now, and we only submit 5, we lose in the end. Plain and simple.
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:41 PM
Phantom 309 Phantom 309 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandenB View Post
Why Alt. B instead of D? D will leave ALL current roads open as corridors and still adds the 350 miles of WATV accessible roads.
Here's my own thoughts on that in red.....






Basically the plan breaks down into four possible alternatives. A-D Iíll start with my preferences first and then work backwards. Keep in mind my opinions are based almost entirely on the Naches Ranger District since it is the one that Iím most familiar with.

Plan/Alternative A leaves everything the way it is now. Nothing changes. Donít get to excited though, Alternative A cannot and will not happen. Put it out of your mind. Iím always up for a fight, but sometimes you have to know when to move on.

Alternative D This plan leaves the most miles of motorized roads open to the public (more specifics later.) It lists all of the roads/trails as designated corridors. This means that dispersed camping WILL be allowed along all of these routes (camping in places other than the fee areas.) This alternative also gives us back the ATV routes on level 1 roads in the Little Naches that were implemented (and then pulled) last yearÖ.or at least until the Bird Huggers sue. One bad thing about this plan, and I havenít had time to find out if itís true, is that it offers no trail/road maintenance. When something washes out, it stays closed forever. Like I said though, I donít know if thatís true. I need to do a little more research, or if someone has the answer please chime in. If it IS true, then Iím not supporting this alternative. If it IS NOT true, then this the one that Iíll support in my comments.

Alternative B This is the alternative that the Forest Service is pushing. It is a reasonable compromise between the motorized users and the Bunny Huggers. It closes NO numbered trails, only some mileage of old spur/logging roads in the Naches District (More details on the later) From what I saw, none of which cut of access to any of our trails, at least in the Naches Ranger Dist. Like Alt D, this also gives back the ATV routes from last year until somebody sues to close them. At the moment I have two main problems with this plan (beside a few road closures.) Problem 1. There are at least two numbered trails in the Rimrock Area that arenít on the TMP maps. I need to verify the numbers when I get to a map, but itís the tail end of 615 where it forks, Southwest of Narrowneck, and heads down to towards Klickitat or toward the gate on the old Layman Highway (1070) Weíre told by Kelly Lawrence that itís just a misprint, an honest mistake. Iím inclined to believe her since theyíve always been horrible at things like this, but itís imperative that they get back on the approved map. Ron Rutherford is spearheading this and will keep us all in the loop. Problem 2. Both the Little Naches Road and Bumping Lake Rd are NOT designated corridors. This means all of those nice camping spots (that are more than a 100ft from water) in there are no longer going to be allowed. This will just force more people into the same areas. No good can come from that. More use, more damage, more garbage etcÖ We go to the mountains to get away from people, not to jamb into the same little campground as all of them.
This is the plan, in my opinion, that is most likely to get approved regardless of comments. At the moment, Iím not necessarily for OR against it. I need a little more info.

Alternative C Donít bother. Sell your toys and by yourself some hiking boots and a cope of ďA Bird Watchers Guide to the Northwest.Ē

Regardless of which plan you decide to support there are a few key points, in my opinion, that you need to address in your statement in addition to the ones Iíve already touched on.

1. ALL forest service roads must be open to ATVís
2. We need accountability on a trail maintenance plan. Ex. If a trail/road washes out, what plan & Funds are in place to repair it. Thereís some specific wording that a few people are working on regarding this that will better explain to them what we expect. Iíll let you know when I have it.
3. Your comments need to focus on facts as to why your opinions will create less resource damage, and more economy for the surrounding areas. Donít bother with what your rights are. Money talks, bull**** walks.
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