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  #51  
Old 07-06-2016, 12:31 PM
Phantom 309 Phantom 309 is offline
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Done.

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  #52  
Old 07-06-2016, 04:48 PM
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Site is back working.
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  #53  
Old 07-07-2016, 01:51 PM
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Okay, I'm just over here waiting for an "official" comment from PNW4WDA on this. Need to see some input to be eligible to pipe up come objection time...
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  #54  
Old 07-07-2016, 03:19 PM
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BlueRibbon:

July 7, 2016

Submitted electronically via
https://cara.ecosystem-management.or...?Project=46467

Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, Washington 98801.

RE: Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Motorized Travel Management

Dear Travel Management Team:

These comments are submitted on behalf of the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national non-profit trail-based recreation group, and are directed to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest’s Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for Motorized Travel Management. This document shall not supplant the rights of other BRC agents and organizational or individual members from submitting their own comments and the agency should consider and appropriately respond to all comments received to the Draft EA.

BRC is a nonprofit, national recreation group that champions responsible recreation and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. BRC works with land managers to provide recreation opportunities preserve resources and promote cooperation with other public land users. BRC members enjoy diverse recreational/aesthetic, commercial, specially permitted and other legally protectable interests in access to the National Forest System, including the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest. Our members are particularly focused on a sustainable transportation network which supports diverse and enjoyable activities on the Forest. Our members enjoy automobile, SUV, 4 Wheel Drive, ATV/UTV, motorcycle, equestrian, mountain bike and hiking access to the Forests. This access itself is rewarding to many of our members, and additionally facilitates or is essential to other activities including camping, sightseeing, nature study, hunting, fishing, photography, forest product gathering (such as firewood, berries, mushrooms) and similar activities.

1

BRC generally supports the concept of the agency designating roads, trails, and areas for off-highway vehicle (OHV) use with public input in the decision-making process. As you know, the Forest is used year-round by OHV enthusiasts, mountain bikers, equestrians, hunters, fishermen, bird watchers, snowmobilers, hikers, woodcutters, and explorers. BRC appreciates the effort by the Forest via numerous public meetings to explain certain tenets of the Draft EA to interested parties in an effort to assist said interests in the formulation of their comments. BRC continues to encourage the public to send in site-specific and other related comments regarding this process.

We are aware that anti-access advocates will be challenging virtually any decision made on this project. It is important to note that the Forest has long received motorized travel along the routes in question, and to an even greater extent during times of less regulation and significant resource extraction activities on the Forest. In other words, every alternative is a meaningful reduction of historical OHV access which more than addresses the agency’s duties to designate a sustainable system of roads, trails, and areas for ongoing vehicle access.

Based on feedback from motorized recreationists that use the project area, BRC believes that Alternative D, with various modifications as suggested by OHV recreation enthusiasts (Alt. D), best meets the project purpose and need and should be the Preferred Alternative.

Alt. D should include the designation of certain maintenance level 1 roads as motorized trails, incorporating public comments related to how said trail would provide connectivity to the route system.

Alt. D or the Alternative selected in the final decision document should address the access concerns of the Southeast Region Department of Natural Resources for the State of Washington.

BRC supports the minimization/mitigation measure that if motorized use on access routes within corridors for access to dispersed camping (corridors) is causing resource impacts beyond those predicted in this EA, the access route would be modified to minimize or eliminate the impact.

To minimize resource impacts, BRC supports the monitoring plan would be used to determine if the environmental effects of motorized access for dispersed camping projected in the EA are accurate, and when mitigation is needed to modify access routes in corridors so impacts are within the disclosed range of effects. Monitoring and evaluation would determine whether the motorized travel management decision has been properly implemented and how effective the implementation has proven to be in accomplishing the desired outcomes.


2

CONCLUSION

BRC believes the agency could have the basic foundation for a sustainable motorized travel management program by developing and adopting a modified/revised Alternative D (in the final decision document) based on additional comments by local and state access interests.

BRC appreciates this opportunity to be involved in the public planning process on behalf of its many members who enjoy recreation in the Forest and related units of the National Forest System. Please contact me if you have questions or wish to discuss any aspect of these comments or the ongoing designation process.


Sincerely,

Don
Don Amador
Western Representative
BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc.
555 Honey Lane
Oakley, CA 94561
Office: 925.625.6287
Email: brdon@sharetrails.org
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  #55  
Old 07-07-2016, 04:43 PM
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I'm personally very happy to see BRC change their position on supporting Alt B. Kudos to them for making adjustments and taking a harder stance on things.
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  #56  
Old 07-07-2016, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
Okay, I'm just over here waiting for an "official" comment from PNW4WDA on this. Need to see some input to be eligible to pipe up come objection time...

Are these them? Dave listed himself as an official representative.






Date submitted (UTC): 6/27/2016 8:39:52 PM
First name: David
Last name: McMains
Organization: pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association
Title: Treasurer
Official Representative/Member Indicator:
Address1: 603 W Meridian Ave
Address2:
City: Moses Lake
State:
Province/Region: Washington
Zip/Postal Code: 98837
Country: United States
Email: wrongwa@msn.com
Phone: 5097605578
Comments:
I am in Favor of Alt B for the draft travel management plan. I do have a problem with the allowed mileage of
Approx 350 miles for them to operate on. It has been my experience and visual observation that the WATV's will use the entire road system, and not stay withing the prescribed boundaries. While the idea to limit them has
merit, it is not practical or enforceable. The LEO officers can not pursue or contact them for enforcement reasons, and that in its self will cause more confusion and frustration. My suggestion would be to open all
Forest Service Roads to WATV's, this way they do not have to know what roads are allowed and what roads are not. This will also improve the relations with the public and the Forrest Service. I am very active with the
different users and see this alternative the most logical one. Please contact me if further information is
required.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg McMains Screenshot.jpg (14.0 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg McMains Screenshot 2.jpg (80.3 KB, 1 views)
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  #57  
Old 07-07-2016, 06:07 PM
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Rutherford signed his as PNW4WDA R-4 Vice Chair. I missed it earlier..
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  #58  
Old 07-08-2016, 06:03 AM
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While the R4 vice chair signed as such, it does not look like Dave indicated he was commenting as official representative of the PNW, just that he is the treasurer. Hopefully the state director sent in comments as the official position of the PNW.
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  #59  
Old 07-08-2016, 08:08 AM
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Ron Rutherford was the official commenter for the PNW4WDA
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  #60  
Old 07-08-2016, 08:10 AM
BrandenB BrandenB is offline
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Official WOHVA and NMA comments.

As the Land Action Chairperson for the Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA), partnered with the Northwest Motorcycle Association (NMA), I would like to provide the following comments regarding the Okanogan- Wenatchee National Forest Travel Management Plan Draft:

WOHVA/NMA has been and continues to be a voice for the people. We strongly back the ATV, motorcycle, and 4x4 communities in Washington and throughout the country. WOHVA is the largest OHV alliance in Washington State with member organizations representing over 13,000 OHV enthusiasts. When the rights of our constituents begin to be infringed upon, we feel the need to show our support. We feel that none of the alternatives proposed should be considered a viable option. Adjustments MUST be made in order for any of these alternatives to be just and fair.

We feel that cross-county motorized travel should only be eliminated in those areas where timber harvesting will never occur as it is disingenuous to prevent cross-country travel by motorized recreationists and then allow the massive amounts of soil and vegetation disturbance that occurs during timber harvest. Many motorized vehicles, e.g. a 2 wheel drive Rokon, provide motorized cross-country with less pressure per square inch on the ground than a human foot in a boot. The USFS needs to take actual soil disturbance facts into consideration before banning any particular type of cross-country travel, motorized and non-motorized. WOHVA already promotes the Tread Lightly policy to all of our communities in the forests by doing our best to stay on designated trails and roads. We feel that cross-country travel can hurt the forest and lead to the Forest Service having to close down sections of the forest. Keeping the Funny and Moon Rocks open for cross-country travel is a great start to setting an example where cross-country travel should be legal. This statement is excluding any and all snow machines, which we feel should be allowed cross-country access across the area.

Being an avid 4x4 and WATV group, we do not feel that 350 miles of road being open to the WATVs is nearly enough. This still restricts access to many areas and makes it hard for the individual to really understand where he/she can or cannot ride or drive legally. We feel that this option in ALL of the alternatives should be changed to allow WATV access to ALL of the open FS roads. This would prevent confusion, attract more users, keep the Law Enforcement Officers from having to scramble around trying to enforce the laws, and make for an all-around more enjoyable experience. As it stands now, with the way most campgrounds are placed in the forest, users are forced to tow their vehicles and/or WATVs from their campsite to the trail heads and then unload and proceed from there. The trailheads are not set up for this type of traffic and parking. It causes more problems than allowing WATVs to be able to drive from their campsite to the trailheads. Making sure the local LEOs understand this will also need to be taken care of and a mutual understanding of where these WATVs can drive across main roads will need to be addressed. To be clear, we support that ATVs, motorcycles, 4x4s, and Side by Sides be part of this access and associated with WATVs.

After looking through the maps provided, I noticed that some trails were not shown. We would like to ask that the Forest Service NOT go any further with this plan until ALL of the existing trails and roads are shown accurately on the maps. This also brings up the question of if the Forest Service really knows how many miles of roads and trails they have and what maintenance levels they are? I would suggest that the Forest Service complete an entire inventory of their systems and a study of the true maintenance levels of these roads in order to fully understand what is in their own forest. If the FS is not completely transparent in this process it will cause a lot of issues with relations between the FS and the public user groups. The proposal to close all Maintenance Level 1 roads should also be looked at. Instead of closing them all, they should be opened as high-clearance vehicle trails. This would allow for continued access to different areas while not having to be maintained like a roadway would.

We also feel that a few corridors should be added along main routes of travel. For example, Little Naches Road, South Fork of Teiton River, and Bumping Lake Road should be added to the list of corridors (this is simply an example of a few that should be added but not a complete list). If dispersed camping gets shut down as much as proposed, it will push more people in to the already overcrowded campgrounds causing more harm and much more maintenance of said campgrounds. The majority of the current campgrounds arenít able to sustain the number of people who already camp in them. An influx of campers would exacerbate the problem and take away from the camping experience. We feel that an environmental impact study should be done to see the actual effects of camping and having motorized vehicles within 100í of water in these areas. By closing access to these areas you are eliminating one of the attractions to the area and, again, forcing people to congregate in smaller areas.

Does the Forest Service have some sort of road and trail maintenance plan for these alternatives? Or will this be left to each individual district to solve? We feel strongly that this needs to be made apparent and put forth clearly in the proposal. We need to know where the money is coming from and who will be putting forth the efforts to maintain the roads and trails.

These alternatives need to be adjusted as suggested above, in order to maintain some semblance of balance between actual recreational forest user demand and Forest Service management of recreational use. Most of these areas rely on the users to keep the local economy intact. Users rely on these local shops and stores when recreating in the areas and without the users these stores would not be able to sustain themselves, adding to the already high unemployment rates.

We would like to ask the Forest Service to extend the comment period for this proposal. The website containing the information about the plan and the area to input comments has been down quite frequently throughout this entire process. A 15 day extension would allow for additional comment and make up for the time the website was disabled. Additionally, having only a 30 day window to comment seems quite short for the vast reaches this plan is going to affect.

Because of the concerns we have expressed, WOHVA and the NMA would like to see them addressed before a final decision can be made. Thank you for considering our comments and we sincerely hope that the Forest Service will work with the public and direct users when considering an avenue to pursue.

Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA)
Land Action Chairperson
Branden Bowie
BrandenBowie@gmail.com[/email]

Northwest Motorcycle Association
Land Use Coordinator
Tod Petersen
Tod701@aol.com
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