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Old 06-11-2016, 12:25 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 ... mmentInput…. 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 07:41 PM.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:20 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, 10:37 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, 11:30 AM
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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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BLM John Day/Snake RAC-OHV/Recreation Representative

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Old 06-12-2016, 03:35 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, 12:20 PM
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Dear WA OHVers,
Based on my review so far, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest’s 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, 03:38 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, 03:58 PM
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Phantom, your thoughts are in the hands of BRC and out esteemed Congressman, in an attempt to jump start that side of things. Thanks for doing such a good job with them!
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:19 PM
Phantom 309 Phantom 309 is offline
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Quote:
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Phantom, your thoughts are in the hands of BRC and out esteemed Congressman, in an attempt to jump start that side of things. Thanks for doing such a good job with them!
Geez...that feels kinda strange. Normally I avoid things like coalitions and politicians. I'm not usually on their good side. I feel kinda like Billy The Kid finally getting his pardon (except that I'm just an Internet dork.)

Seriously though, I can't take any credit for any of this land use stuff. I may post my opinions, but without the collective effort of some very intelligent and dedicated people in my district, I wouldn't be even half as informed as I am now (which is still not very much.)

Last edited by Phantom 309; 06-22-2016 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:36 PM
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It all helps. I think you sell yourself short...
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