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SoCal Forests Release Draft Record of Decision for Land Management Plan Amendment

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  • SoCal Forests Release Draft Record of Decision for Land Management Plan Amendment

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., January 17, 2014 – Forest Service officials today announced the release of the Draft Records of Decision (Draft RODs) for a Proposed Amendment to the Land Management Plans for the four Southern California national forests (the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino).

    The publication of a legal notice in each national forest’s newspaper of record begins the 60-day objection period. Objections will be accepted from individuals or entities who submitted substantive formal comments related to the plan amendment during previous opportunities for public comment. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted comments unless new information arose after the designated comment period concluded.

    The objection process gives an individual or entity an opportunity for an independent Forest Service review and resolution of issues before the approval of the plan amendment. Objections must be filed within 60 days following the publication of the legal notice. Objections received prior to the legal notice publication will not be accepted, acknowledged, or reviewed.

    For more information on the objection process, please visit the Forest Service National Objection webpage and select the link to the planning objections rules at 36 CFR 219:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/objections/obje...d.php#app_work

    The Draft RODs and Final SEIS can be found on the project webpage at:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_proje...?project=35130

    This Proposed Amendment to the Land Management Plan is part of the Settlement Agreement approved January 3, 2011, in the case of California Resources Agency, et al vs. United States Department of Agriculture, and Center for Biological Diversity, et al vs. United States Department of Agriculture.

    For additional information, contact Project Manager Bob Hawkins at

    socal_nf_lmp_amendment@fs.fed.us
    Over 2500 hours donated to the San Bernardino National Forest. Life member of CA4WD, CORVA & BRC. Tread Lightly Trainer. Reforestation Supervisor. CASSP

  • #2
    I studied some of these documents, attempted to review some of the maps, but ultimately, have no clue what the impact these Decision documents truly have.

    I have been unable to figure out what trails have been closed or abandoned. On page 8 of this document, I did find this olive branch of a statement though (emphases added by me where appropriate):

    Back Country: In the Back Country zone, off-highway vehicle use will be limited to National
    Forest System roads and trails that are specifically designated for this use. In this way, the San
    Bernardino National Forest can contribute to the resolution of one of the Chiefís four threats by
    allowing uses such as 4-wheel drive vehicles on primitive roads and motorcycle and all-terrain
    vehicle use on narrow width Forest System trails while minimizing impacts to other national
    forest resources. My decision recognizes the validity of motorized access and provides for
    continued motorized recreation use on designated National Forest System roads and trails. In
    addition to retaining all existing designated OHV routes as a valid use on the San Bernardino
    National Forest, my decision includes the use of the Back Country zone in the areas where OHV
    use is most popular, and where further improvements to the national forestís OHV systems can
    be explored. This includes areas associated with the designated OHV route system in the Cajon,
    Silverwood, Arrowhead, Big Bear Backcountry, Anza, and Idyllwild Places. The San Bernardino
    National Forest staff will continue to work collaboratively with the various communities to
    provide quality OHV opportunities. While the addition of new routes will be limited in scope,
    improvements to the national forestís OHV system are expected to occur over the planning
    period.


    Motorized access is a key feature in both the Back Country zone and the Developed Area
    Interface zone. My decision emphasizes motorized and mechanized public access only on
    designated National Forest System roads and trails in order to prevent impacts to wildlife and
    plan habitat, threatened and endangered species habitat, and heritage properties. This will also
    help to retain scenic integrity values and reduce the introduction and spread of invasive species.
    One of our biggest challenges in these zones is the resolution of non-system routes. As we
    analyze the non-system routes, we expect that some will be used to improve recreational
    opportunities within the National Forest road and trail system, while others will be closed and
    decommissioned over time
    Off road adventure photography:

    TreadLightly Trainer
    Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
    HAM - KI6PFO

    2005 Rubicon Unlimited + trailer

    Comment


    • #3
      Additional reading of the SBNF Decision document does explain a bit more of the 6 optional management plans that were reviewed and considered. Alternate 6 seems to be the tree huggers ideal, and Alternate 5 was the OHV Dream plan. Alternate 4 is described as (my emphasis added):

      The theme of Alternative 4 is to emphasize recreation, with intensive levels of management
      controls and mitigation of effects on biological diversity and ecological integrity. A wide range
      of recreation opportunities is emphasized. Fewer areas are added for recommended wilderness
      than under Alternatives 2, 3 and 5. Alternative 4 includes the most Back Country acres, except
      for Alternatives 2 and 5.
      Ultimately, Alternate 4A was the final selected plan, and it's a compromise position, but allows for some growth of OHV use.

      Alternative 4a adjusts the preferred alternatives by using selected elements from other
      alternatives, as well as making changes to the scheme of land use zones in response to public
      comment, tribal consultation, and internal review of the draft environmental impact statement
      (DEIS) and land management plans for the four southern California national forests.
      Alternative 4a is focused on active management for the maintenance of healthy forests;
      community protection from wildland fire; managed, sustainable recreation settings and uses; and
      the management of threatened and endangered species. The alternative theme includes the
      opportunity for a low level of growth of recreation activities and the facilities to support
      increased use.
      Managed sustainable use of the national forests is compatible with the
      maintenance of long-term biological diversity and ecological integrity. The focus on community
      protection is complimentary to the National Fire Management Policy.
      Off road adventure photography:

      TreadLightly Trainer
      Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
      HAM - KI6PFO

      2005 Rubicon Unlimited + trailer

      Comment


      • #4
        So in total, in the SBNF, it appears we "lost" 26,428 acres of forest that were added to the existing wilderness areas. I cannot for the life of me figure out what that means with regards to trail closures.
        Off road adventure photography:

        TreadLightly Trainer
        Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
        HAM - KI6PFO

        2005 Rubicon Unlimited + trailer

        Comment


        • #5
          Some more summary info.
          -1,178 miles of dirt roads
          - 56 miles of paved roads (seems low?)
          - 535 miles of non-motorized trails
          - 36 miles of motorized trails for hiking, mountain biking, equestrian use and off-highway vehicle use

          I found this table on page 35 of this document to be really interesting:
          https://www.dropbox.com/s/lrs8etxgis...2015.06.50.png
          Off road adventure photography:

          TreadLightly Trainer
          Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
          HAM - KI6PFO

          2005 Rubicon Unlimited + trailer

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah,
            I got my notice of the documents the other week, and can't make hide nor hair from them. Seems the "legalese" that they use is kind of like obfuscation to the entire population of concerned citizens.

            Comment

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