Author Topic: OHV Route Designation Environmental Analysis Starting  (Read 2497 times)

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OHV Route Designation Environmental Analysis Starting
« on: December 28, 2007, 08:29:26 AM »
OHV Route Designation Environmental Analysis Starting

The Plumas National Forest (PNF) is starting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis for the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Route Designation – Travel Management project according to Alice Carlton, Forest Supervisor. The project is part of a Nation-wide Forest Service process to authorize OHV use on those existing trails, roads and areas which will provide for a variety of recreational experiences in a safe and ecologically sustainable manner. Authorized use would also continue a restriction on travel between trails, roads, and areas (cross-country) unless some type of permit is in place that allows otherwise.

In April of 2007, after 3 years of work and 17 well-attended public meetings and workshops, the Forest released their “first cut” of a future OHV route system which included approximately 240 miles of proposed motorized system trails. “We continued to work with many people to identify 130 more miles of motorized trails that serve as connectors, create loops, or link to other destinations,” said Carlton. Trails without easements on private land were not included. The environmental analysis will focus on a proposal featuring the 370 miles plus one play area and any new alternatives developed in response to substantive public comment or other new information.

Carlton noted that the proposed 370 miles are in addition to the 107 miles of motorized system trails that currently exist on the PNF. In addition to motorized trails, there are also 4,120 miles of system roads on the PNF which are currently available for motorized use. Of the 4,120 miles, 3,484 miles are available for both street and non-street legal vehicles while the remaining 636 miles are available for street legal vehicles only. A copy of the “Proposed Action” and maps of each Ranger District with the respective proposed motorized trail system are on the forest website, along with other background information, at (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/plumas). Interested members of the community will have sixty calendar days to provide comments; the sixty days will start when the proposed action is published in the Federal Register, currently planned for on or about December 28, 2007. Comments will contribute to a draft environmental impact document (DEIS), scheduled to be completed in fall of 2008. People who have already provided specific route comments do not need to provide them again. A second opportunity to comment will follow release of the DEIS, concluding with a decision in late 2008. Once the decision is made, maps will be developed and routes will be signed.

Informal open houses are scheduled for January 2008 in Blairsden, Quincy, and Oroville, CA, respectively. People may drop by at any time between 3-6:00 in the afternoon. Team members will be available to familiarize people with the route designation and environmental analysis processes and will provide assistance if members of the public want to provide comments during the open house.

Blairsden - January 15, 2008 3-6pm Beckwourth Ranger District Office 23 Mohawk Road

Quincy - January 22, 2008 3-6pm Mount Hough Ranger District Office 39693 Highway 70

Oroville - January 29, 2008 3-6pm Feather River Ranger District Office 875 Mitchell Avenue

Contact any of the following PNF Recreation personnel with questions or to review maps:
• Erica Brenzovich, Feather River RD, Oroville, (530) 534-6500
• Peggy Gustafson, Mt. Hough RD, Quincy, (530) 283-0555
• Lynne Ingram, Beckwourth RD, Blairsden, (530) 836-2575
• Pete Hochrein, Supervisor’s Office, Quincy, (530) 283-2050

Interested members of the public who want to learn more about participation in the assessment of environmental impacts conducted by Federal agencies, may want to review a “Citizen’s Guide to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (http://www.nepa.gov/nepa/Citizens_Guide_Dec07.pdf).

-end-

Key points:
1) The Plumas National Forest is starting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis for the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Route Designation – Travel Management project.
2) The public will have 60 days to comment.
3) Contact any local Plumas National Forest office for more information, or visit the Forest website http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/plumas
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