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Old November 7th, 2012, 16:52
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URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

As many of us know, last year the Deer Valley trail, along with 41 other popular trails in the El Dorado National Forest, had their seasonal closures extended for 1 year. This was the result of the Forest Services failure to complete a mandatory Environmental Impact Study. Well, the FS has completed their study and are taking comments regarding the issue.

THE COMMENT DEADLINE IS TONIGHT (11/7/12) AT MIDNIGHT

The current threat is that the trails will be closed (with locked gates) until they are 100% dry. This management would be similar to that of the Barrett Lake area.

Here is some information relating to these 42 closed trails, as well as some guidelines to help you through writing your email. PLEASE take the few minutes to write an email voicing your opinion.

-------------

The History
Eldorado - Home

May 26, 2011: U.S. District Court Senior Judge Lawrence Karlton found that the Forest Service failed to comply with the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) when it designated 42 existing wheeled motorized vehicle routes that cross portions of meadows with their 2008 Public Wheeled Motorized Travel Management Decision.

The order stated that the Forest Service failed to complete a required Riparian Conservation Objective analysis for standards and guidelines in its Land and Resource Management Plan pertaining to segments that cross meadows.


The Proposed FS Action
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5394257.pdf

This is only four pages long and worth the read. It’s mostly charts. Here are the highlights:

• nine routes don’t cross meadows, so nothing should change
• 12 routes do cross meadows but meet the standards for crossing a meadow, nothing should change
• 19 routes do cross meadows and do not meet the standards, they will need improvements
• two routes are scheduled to be partially closed forever. That includes Richardson Lake 4wd Trail, the route to the summit of Sourdough Hill just off the Rubicon.

Although not found in writing, there is a rumor that both Deer Valley and Strawberry trails (both included in the proposed action) are being considered for management similar to Barrett Lake. That means putting up gates and closing them until the trail is 100% dry.


What we (OHV) needs to do
Comment Period: On or before November 7, 2012 to
comments-pacificsouthwest-eldorado@fs.fed.us

Ask that all 42 trails remain open and that they continue to be managed the same way as they have always been.

Bullet points to include in your comments on whatever trail you comment on:

• The trail provides a unique experience: views, challenges, near you, access to an area
• The trail has a long history of use by individuals and families
• Wet closure of some trails will adversely impact other trails in the area
• Closures will mean an economic impact on the local stores
• Volunteers are available and willing to help maintain trail improvements

From the FS website regarding the Richardson Lake 4wd trail 14N39:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5394257.pdf

For the following route that the field survey determined a logical closure point after the primary destination and before crossing additional meadows:

Amend the Eldorado National Forest Plan as amended by SNFPA S&G No. 100 to allow
continued public motorized use on this route, and designate the portion of 14N39 up
to Richardson Lake as “NFTS Road: Open to All Highway and Non-Highway Legal Vehicles.”
The portion past Richardson Lake would remain closed to public use.


This is unacceptable. We need to let the ENF know we want access to the summit. The County has antennas and a communications building at the summit. That means the trail will always be there and they just want to put up a gate and keep out the public.

The ENF implies that the “primary destination” is not the summit. We need to let them know we love the summit and that is the primary goal for OHV users. The lake and hut are primarily non-motorized destinations.

There is still the original route to the summit. The ‘current’ route was put in place by the FS for logging purposes. If need be, it might be time to fight for the original route that was never considered during the original route designation process.


Sourdough specific bullet points:

• The County will always need access to the summit due to the communications building
• There is a second route available but never considered in the Route Designation process
• The lake and hut are not the “primary destination” for OHV users
• Mention our “Sunset BBQ” runs to the summit, a Trail Dusters favorite
• Clubs are available to do any needed maintenance
• The views from Sourdough are unequalled


Make your comments polite and business like, please!

Include your address, especially if you’re local or really close.

Let them know how long you’ve been enjoying the ENF.

We’ve lost enough trails within our forests. And I mean OUR forests.


Send comments to:
comments-pacificsouthwest-eldorado@fs.fed.us

Due by Nov 7th!
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Old November 7th, 2012, 17:43
knucklehead 61 knucklehead 61 is offline
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Re: URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

done.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 19:10
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Re: URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

Sent mine yesterday.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 21:08
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Re: URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

Kevin,

The links in first post are broken. Probably due to cut and paste. Can you fix this or redirect?
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Old November 7th, 2012, 21:17
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Re: URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

Nevermind, here is the link:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldora...TELPRDB5362046
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Old November 7th, 2012, 21:49
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Re: URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

and email sent.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 09:52
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Re: URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

Sent. Fingers crossed
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Old November 8th, 2012, 10:35
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Re: URGENT: Comments needed regarding Deer Valley/Strawberry/El Dorado trails

sent
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