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Clear Creek Closures - 400 miles - Holister.

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  • Clear Creek Closures - 400 miles - Holister.

    California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc.
    8120 36th Avenue
    Sacramento, CA 95824
    916-381-8300



    Don Klusman,
    Natural Resource Consultant for CA4WDC
    klusman@syix.com

    our help is needed!!!

    Dear Members:

    The Hollister Field Office of the BLM is proposing to close over 400 miles of roads and trails to OHV use at the Clear Creek Management Area south of San Jose, California. This is one of the most popular riding areas in central California, and was the subject of an 8-year Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. The plan called for 270 miles of signed and mapped "Encouraged" routes, over 400 miles of open, unsigned "Allowed" routes, and 923 acres of open Barrens. The BLM has been illegally closing routes and areas since then, with no further site-specific analysis or opportunity for public participation, as the plan and the law calls for. We want the BLM to stop any further illegal closures, and lift the ones already posted and/or fenced off.

    And even more significantly, the BLM has announced that they intend to do an environmental Assessment (EA) to amend the Environmental Impact Statement and close ALL of the "Allowed". Since this is a significant change from the current EIS, the law states that another EIS must be done before the existing EIS can be amended. We have to flood the BLM office with letters protesting the proposed EA, as another trigger for an EIS, instead of asimpler EA, is if the issue is "controversial" Large numbers of letters are one of the definitions of controversy, so it is very important that the BLM hears from lots of folks.

    Please send either the letter below, with your name and address added, or write your own, based upon the information provided and your own personal opinion of the issue.

    Thanks for your participation.

    Don Klusman

    Below is a sample letter but please put your letter in our own words. Send comments to the address below:

    Robert Beehler, Field Area Manager
    Hollister Field Office
    Bureau of Land Management
    20 Hamilton Court
    Hollister, CA 95023

    Dear Mr. Beehler,
    I am writing you today because I am very concerned the proposed changes in the management plan for Clear Creek. The Record of Decision for the current plan calls for 270 miles of "Encouraged" routes, that will be the primary trail and road system, and signed for ease of navigating the area. The plan also calls for over 400 miles of "Allowed" routes that are open, unsigned, but available for use and exploring. All routes deemed to necessary to be closed due to unmitigable resource concerns were to be closed, but only after a separate analysis and decision process was completed, including an opportunity for public participation. Additionally, up to 920+ acres of barrens were to be left open out of the 3,000+ acres, with the remainder closed only after another analysis and decision process.

    It is my understanding that many areas and trails have been closed since the current management plan was completed, without any further analysis and decision process involving the public, as the law requires. These illegal closures must be lifted until a NEPA process is completed, and no further closure actions taken without due process.

    Additionally, your proposal is to do an Environmental Assessment to amend the existing plan. As the current plan is an Environmental Impact Statement, and your proposal to close over 60% of the currently available riding opportunities is a significant change to the existing situation, and a significant impact to the social environment, an Environmental Impact
    Statement must be done instead of an Environmental Assessment.

    Please place me on your mailing list for any future notices on this process, and send me a copy of the draft plan when it is released.

    Respectfully,
    Kirk
    1997 Jeep Wrangler
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