NEW MEXICO – Carson NF Invites Public to a Forest Plan Revision Open House

Old 05-05-2017, 10:45 AM
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Default NEW MEXICO – Carson NF Invites Public to a Forest Plan Revision Open House

The Carson National Forest is revising their current forest plan to address needed management changes so that the forest can provide healthy forest resources and benefits for present day use and future generations.
They have completed the assessment of current conditions and trends and the evaluation of lands with wilderness character. They are beginning development of a draft proposed plan.
The Forest Service invites the public to a Forest Plan Revision Open House at the Carson National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 208 Cruz Alta Rd., Taos, NM 87571, on Monday, May 15, 2017, from noon till 2:00 PM.
The purpose of these meetings is that these are informal opportunities for the public to meet with Carson NF plan revision team members, learn about the forest planning process and what steps the Carson NF is currently working on. Additionally, they will discuss issues that will be addressed by the plan and learn about upcoming public collaboration opportunities and how to get involved
BRC believes that OHV recreationists should ask the agency to develop travel management strategies as part of their forest planning efforts.
Here are several concepts that should be included in the forest plan revision process:
ML 3 Roads to Trails – Reclassify ML3 roads to ML2 roads. Reclassify ML2 roads to motorized trails or manage appropriate ML2 roads as “roads managed as trails.” Manage appropriate ML1 roads as “motorized trails.”
ML 2 Roads to Trails – Convert “roads-to-single track trails” or “roads-to-motorized trails less than 50 inches in width” and “roads managed as motorized trails greater than 50 inches in width” as a tool to help the agency achieve its budget objectives while still providing a substantive and high quality recreational route network.
Single Track Trails – 2005 Forest Service Travel Management Rule (TMR) Subpart B planning efforts in California and other Western States resulted in the loss of many, if not most, of our historic single-track motorcycle trails. Historic and legal motorized single-track opportunities such as enduro trails, old pack-mule/mining or pioneer trails were simply eliminated from consideration due to time constraints.
During Subpart B of Travel Management, the Forest Service promised OHV leadership that once these initial “foundational” route networks were established and codified that they would work with the users to either bring some of these historic single-track opportunities “back onto the system” or construct new engineered single-track system trails.
BRC believes that a strategy should be developed to replace the lost single-track experience. Retention or enhancement of high quality single-track dirt-bike trails is no different than keeping or enhancing “quiet” single-track hiking, equestrian, and mountain-bike trails.

Wet Weather Closures – Any TMR-based wet weather closure strategy should allow for native surfaced trails and roads to be open when soil conditions/lack-of-rainfall permits. If a wet weather closure is needed, the implementing Forest Order should be for the shortest period of time rather than a longer time period. In NEPA, it is always easier to extend a short closure versus repealing a longer closure.
Mitigate Trail Impacts from Non-Recreation Projects – The impacts from non-recreation projects such as vegetative treatments and wildlife protection efforts often include obliteration of the trail or removal of water control structures such as rolling dips and catch basins. Those trail mitigations can often cost $15,000 to $20,000/mile to install (or replace). BRC recommends that “trail mitigation” guidelines be added to relevant non-recreation projects.
Review non-motorized land designations – BRC believes the Forest should review current non-Wilderness areas that could be reclassified, reopened, or have cherry-stemmed routes designated for connectivity and/or touring opportunities. Many 1980-1990s-era Forest Plans used non-Wilderness “non-motorized” classifications to restrict or prohibit summer wheeled recreation. In many cases, OHV was simply not at the table or given substantive consideration during these programmatic planning efforts. In some areas these classifications such as “Near Natural” or “Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized” had the effect of functionally banning OHV use including designation of cherry-stemmed routes. The Forest Plan Revision process is the appropriate planning tool to reclassify lands for managed OHV recreation.
Please share the aforementioned OHV related strategies with agency staff.
For additional information on the Forest Plan Revision or to provide input, the Forest Service office at (575) 758-6221, by email to [email protected], or visit the Carson National Forest Plan Revision Website
Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2

Last edited by Navy-Jeepster; 05-05-2017 at 11:31 AM.
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