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Thread: Pike and San Isabel National Forests MVUM Planning Update

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    Default Pike and San Isabel National Forests MVUM Planning Update



    Below is an email I received today, it will behoove the public to try to stay involved and have their voices heard to help keep our trails open. These forest areas cover such trails as the Gulches, China Wall, Chinaman's Gulch, and many more.


    Pike and San Isabel National Forests
    MVUM Planning Update

    Background

    The Pike and San Isabel National Forests (PSI) published motor vehicle use maps (MVUMs) in 2009. MVUMs display routes on National Forest System lands that are open to motorized travel. Following MVUM publication, the Wilderness Society, Quiet Use Coalition, Wildearth Guardians, Rocky Mountain Wild, and the Great Old Broads for Wilderness filed suit against the PSI. The suit alleged the PSI added motorized routes that were not analyzed under NEPA and that the forest authorized motorized access in Management Areas identified in the Forest Plan Management as non-motorized. The parties eventually reached a settlement agreement on November 14, 2015. The agreement described the analysis requirements and methods the PSI agreed to follow and set a decision date of November 14, 2020, 5 years following settlement. Over the last several months, the PSI reviewed internal and external scoping comments. The result of this review is a better refined proposed action that balances environmental protection, motorized access, and natural resource management.

    Current Status

    Forest Service employees and contractors are working on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) updates resulting from the internal input described above.


    Next Steps
    The DEIS will be released for a 45-day public comment period via the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register in August 2019. During this comment period, all interested or affected parties will be notified of the availability of the DEIS.


    Public Comment Period and Public Meeting Schedule
    The public comment period for the DEIS is scheduled for August 2019. A series of public meetings will be held to gather public feedback and are scheduled as indicated below. A separate notification will be issued once the times and specific locations for these meetings are confirmed:


    Salida
    August 27


    Pueblo
    August 28


    Denver
    August 29


    Colorado Springs
    August 30


    Further Information
    Visit our Motorized Travel Management page for the latest information. Questions regarding this planning effort should be directed to John Dow, Forest Planner, john.dow@usda.gov, (719) 250-5311.


    Lucero Hernández
    Public Affairs Officer (Acting)
    Forest Service
    Pike/San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron/Comanche National Grasslands
    p: 719-553-1415
    Lucero.Hernandez@usda.gov
    2840 Kachina Drive
    Pueblo, CO 81008
    www.fs.fed.us
    Caring for the land and serving people

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    Default Re: Pike and San Isabel National Forests MVUM Planning Update



    Thanks to Brian for sending a link to CORE's FB page on a different topic, I saw the following video regarding commenting to the FS on these land use issues. A bit dry, but the point is there.

    https://www.facebook.com/keeptrailso...9671346156821/

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    Default Re: Pike and San Isabel National Forests MVUM Planning Update



    Looks like the draft is now out:

    The Draft Environmental Impact Statement can be found at: https://links.govdelivery.com/track?...?project=48214

    The documents are under the "Analysis" tab. Wordy, but the body of the email read:

    Pike & San Isabel National Forests
    Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands 2840 Kachina Dr.
    Pueblo, CO 81008 (719) 553-1400
    www.fs.usda.gov/psicc


    News Release

    Media Contact: Julie Bain
    (719) 553-1415 julie.bain@usda.gov

    Pike and San Isabel National Forest Officials Release
    Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Public Motor Vehicle Use
    Forest officials aim to continue working with all citizens to designate a motor vehicle use system within the Forests that balances the needs of forest users with protecting the land

    PUEBLO, Colo., September 19, 2019 — Officials from the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands (PSICC) today released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public motor vehicle use. The Notice of Availability will publish in the Federal Register on September 20, 2019, initiating the formal 45-day public comment period that ends November 4, 2019.

    The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is part of the 2005 Travel Management Rule, requiring National Forests and Grasslands to designate roads, trails and areas that are open for motorized use. It offers five alternatives for a system of designated roads, trails and areas by class of vehicle and season of use. The alternatives reflect input from forest users, partners, and state and local governments.

    “Feedback on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement will help strengthen our analysis,” said Forest and Grassland Supervisor Diana Trujillo. “Hearing the voices of various forest users is extremely important to us. Our goal is to designate a motorized system that works for the public while caring for natural and cultural resources.”

    The alternatives address a range of concerns about resource impacts from motor vehicle use, reduced motorized access, and potential conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users. The five alternatives are summarized below.

    • Alternative A, Public Motorized Routes Prior to Settlement, is the Forest’s public motorized route system prior to the November 2015 settlement agreement.
    • Alternative B, Settlement Action Proposal, removes all roads and trails not previously analyzed as identified in the November 2015 settlement agreement. Alternative B reduces the Pike and San Isabel National Forest’s motorized network by 34 percent.
    • Alternative C, Proposed Action, emphasizes a safe and environmentally sound system of roads, trails and areas that allows for existing forest uses and access to private property. It decreases roads open to motor vehicle use by just under 11 percent and increases trails open by almost 22 percent. The 4 percent overall reduction in roads and trails specified under the proposed action aims to reasonably address and balance the expressed concerns of motorized users, non-motorized users and environmental groups.
    • Alternative D, Motorized-Recreation-Focused Proposal, emphasizes public motor vehicle use and recreation. This alternative combines parts of Alternative C with motorized routes proposed during public scoping. It proposes new motorized areas. Alternative D decreases motorized access by about 3 percent overall.
    • Alternative E, Non-Motorized-Recreation-Focused Proposal, emphasizes natural resource protection, habitat quality and non-motorized recreation while providing the least amount of public motor vehicle access across the forest. Alternative E decreases motorized access by just over 50 percent overall.

    The Travel Management Rule exempts the following from designation: aircraft, watercraft, and over-snow vehicles; use by the military, law enforcement, firefighters, and Forest Service for administrative activities; permitted special uses, such as livestock grazing, mining, logging, and collecting fuelwood, Christmas trees and other forest products; and access to pipeline and utility corridors, as well as access to private land.
    Forest officials will host four meetings for the public to review the alternatives, ask questions and learn how to submit comments.
    Community Date Time Location
    Salida Oct. 8, 2019 6:00 PM-7:30 PM Salida Steamplant
    220 West Sackett
    Salida, CO 81201
    Pueblo Oct. 9, 2019 6:00 PM-7:30 PM Pueblo Community College
    900 W. Orman Ave. Student Center, Room 234
    Pueblo, CO 81004
    Denver Oct. 10, 2019 6:00 PM-7:30 PM MindSpark Learning, West Room
    455 South Pierce Street Lakewood, CO 80226
    Colorado Springs Oct. 11, 2019 6:00 PM-7:30 PM S4 Inc. Center For Excellence 1925 Aerotech Drive
    Colorado Springs, Colorado 80916

    Written comments must be submitted in person, through the online comment portal, or mailed to John Dow, PSICC Forest Planner, Travel Management, 2840 Kachina Drive, Pueblo, CO, 81008.

    Comments, including the names and addresses of respondents, will be part of the public record. Anonymous comments will be accepted and considered, but those submitting comments anonymously will not have standing to object to the final decision. Only those who commented during this process will be eligible to object the final decision. Comments should be clear and specific to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and must be submitted by November 4, 2019.
    After considering the comments submitted, Forest officials will prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement and designate a system of roads, trails and areas open for motor vehicle use by class of vehicle and season of use. The decision is expected to publish in the Federal Register in November of 2020.

    Six new motor vehicle use maps will be published for the Pike and San Isabel National Forests. These new maps will complement the two that already exist for the Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands. All will be available free of charge.

    The Draft Environmental Impact Statement can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48214 under the “Analysis” tab.

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    Default Re: Pike and San Isabel National Forests MVUM Planning Update



    Aside from "Alternative A" where there is no listing of increase/decrease of motorize use, Alternatives B, C, D, E decrease motorized use by anywhere from 3, 11, 34, or 50%.

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    Default Re: Pike and San Isabel National Forests MVUM Planning Update



    It is a good size area being reviewed. This same thing could spread across the state.
         

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    Default Re: Pike and San Isabel National Forests MVUM Planning Update



    Here is a link to some Excel files that make looking up your favorite trails easy.

    https://links.govdelivery.com/track?...678e586574aba8

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