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#1 Jay W

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:03 PM

I am pleased to announce the completion of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for Motorized Travel Management. The Preferred Alternative designates the existing system of motorized roads and trails as open, closes the Forest to motorized cross country (off-road) travel (except for the Moon Rocks and Funny Rocks Areas), provides for roadside parking and motorized access to dispersed camping in designated corridors and permits the operation of Washington State Licensed ATVs on 350 miles of designated open system roads.

Thank you for your patience throughout this process. Many of you have spent the last decade working with us, participating in meetings and providing information about access routes on the Forest. The extensive input and analysis collected during that time will be used to craft future local decisions.

In 2015, we scoped a proposed action to look specifically at adopting our existing system of motorized roads and trails, with the idea that any future changes to the system will need site specific analysis and should occur at the local level.

This letter serves as notification of the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment and associated maps on our website at: http://www.fs.usda.g...?project=46467. The Draft Environmental Assessment for Motorized Travel Management on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is now available for a 30 day comment period.

The opportunity to comment on this project ends 30 days following publication of the June 8, 2016 legal advertisement in the Wenatchee World, newspaper of record. Only those who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection pursuant to 36 CFR 218. To establish eligibility to object, each individual or entity submitting timely specific comments must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request.

The following Open Houses are planned to answer questions about the Draft Environmental Assessment and the process for commenting. Each open house will last from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm.

* Yakima Valley Museum Yakima, WA on June 20

* Mercer Island Community Center Mercer Island, WA on June 21

* Kittitas County Event Center in Ellensburg, WA on June 22

* Apple Annies in Cashmere, WA on June 23

* Okanogan PUD, in Okanogan, WA building on June 24

How to Comment and Timeframe: Written, specific comments must be submitted to Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Jennifer Zbyszewski, 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862; Fax (509) 996-2208. Hand deliveries must be made between 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays at the street address above. Please submit electronic comments via https://cara.ecosyst...?Project=46467. In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility.

Individuals and entities who submit specific written comments regarding the proposed project will be eligible to object. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted specific comments to the proposed project or activity unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for comment. Comments received during this review period for the Environmental Assessment (EA) will be considered, and a revised EA (if necessary) and draft Decision Notice will be released for a 45 day review and objection period.

It is the responsibility of all individuals and organizations providing comments to submit them by the close of the comment period and ensure that they have been received. Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements of 36 CFR 218. Electronic comments submitted other than described above or containing viruses will be rejected

Please be aware that all comments, names, addresses, and phone numbers become part of the project record and are subject to release if a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is received.

If you wish to review the project file or obtain additional information on the project, please contact Jennifer Zbyszewski at (509) 996-4021.

Thank you for your continued involvement in caring for your National Forest System lands.

Sincerely,

Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor

#2 Jay W

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:06 PM

I know that's a lot to read but bottom line is that one of the meetings is in Yakima. June 20th, 5-6:30. Recreational users of The Little Naches area need to be there.

#3 ChevyJoe

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 08:26 PM

thanks for the heads up jay!

#4 Phantom 309

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 07:56 AM

I plan on being there.

#5 Jay W

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 08:34 AM

Tonight at 5!

#6 63W

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 10:14 AM

Dang I was hoping to make it up to this but I'm not going to make it. Hope we can have a good turn out though. Sorry

#7 Phantom 309

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:30 PM

View Post63W, on 20 June 2016 - 10:14 AM, said:

Dang I was hoping to make it up to this but I'm not going to make it. Hope we can have a good turn out though. Sorry

We'll let ya know what we learn, assuming we learn anything.....

#8 63W

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:31 PM

View PostPhantom 309, on 20 June 2016 - 12:30 PM, said:


We'll let ya know what we learn, assuming we learn anything.....

Ok sounds good thanks.

#9 Phantom 309

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 03:59 PM

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Soooo….here’s a quick take on what I learned from the meeting last night....

Before I go into all of that, let me say that the credit should go to Febus, JayW, Atkins & Ron Rutherford as well as a few others. These guys are on top of the issues already and new the questions to ask and things to address ahead of time instead of waiting until meeting time to figure it all out.  This allowed everyone to really get some good information on the plan quickly. Hopefully one of them will chime in if I have any of this wrong….

Basically the plan breaks down into four possible alternatives. A-D I’ll start with my preferences first and then work backwards. Keep in mind my opinions are based almost entirely on the Naches Ranger District since it is the one that I’m most familiar with.


Plan/Alternative A leaves everything the way it is now. Nothing changes. Don’t get to excited though, Alternative A cannot and will not happen. Put it out of your mind. I’m always up for a fight, but sometimes you have to know when to move on.


Alternative D  This plan leaves the most miles of motorized roads open to the public (more specifics later.) It  lists all of the roads/trails as designated corridors. This means that dispersed camping WILL be allowed along all of these routes (camping in places other than the fee areas.) This alternative also gives us back the ATV routes on level 1 roads in the Little Naches that were implemented (and then pulled) last year….or at least until the Bird Huggers sue. One bad thing about this plan, and I haven’t had time to find out if it’s true, is that it offers no trail/road maintenance. When something washes out, it stays closed forever. Like I said though, I don’t know if that’s true. I need to do a little more research, or if someone has the answer please chime in. If it IS true, then I’m not supporting this alternative. If it IS NOT true, then this the one that I’ll support in my comments.


Alternative B  This is the alternative that the Forest Service is pushing. It is a reasonable compromise between the motorized users and the Bunny Huggers. It closes NO numbered trails, only some mileage of old spur/logging roads in the Naches District (More details on the later) From what I saw, none of which cut off access to any of our trails, at least in the Naches Ranger Dist. Like Alt D, this also gives back the ATV routes from last year until somebody sues to close them.  At the moment I have two main problems with this plan (beside a few road closures.) Problem 1. There are at least two numbered trails in the Rimrock Area that aren’t on the TMP maps. I need to verify the numbers when I get to a map, but it’s the tail end of 615 where it forks, Southwest of Narrowneck, and heads down to towards Klickitat or toward the gate on the old Layman Highway (1070)  We’re told by Kelly Lawrence that it’s just a misprint, an honest mistake. I’m inclined to believe her since they’ve always been horrible at things like this, but it’s imperative that they get back on the approved map. Ron Rutherford is spearheading this and will keep us all in the loop. Problem 2. Both the Little Naches Road and Bumping Lake Rd are NOT designated corridors. This means all of those nice camping spots (that are more than a 100ft from water) in there are no longer going to be allowed. This will just force more people into the same areas. No good can come from that. More use, more damage, more garbage etc… We go to the mountains to get away from people, not to jamb into the same little campground as all of them.
This is the plan, in my opinion, that is most likely to get approved regardless of comments. At the moment, I’m not necessarily for OR against it. I need a little more info.

Alternative C   Don’t bother. Sell your toys and by yourself some hiking boots and a copy of “A Bird Watchers Guide to the Northwest.”

Regardless of which plan you decide to support there are a few key points, in my opinion, that you need to address in your statement in addition to the ones I’ve already touched on.

1. ALL forest service roads must be open to ATV’s
2. We need accountability on a trail maintenance plan.  Ex. If a trail/road washes out, what plan & Funds are in place to repair it. There’s some specific wording that a few people are working on regarding this that will better explain to them what we expect. I’ll let you know when I have it.
3. Your comments need to focus on facts as to why your opinions will create less resource damage, and more economy for the surrounding areas. Don’t bother with what your rights are. Money talks, bullshit walks.


I’ll keep you guys posted on what I find out and end up deciding, but hopefully the rest of the guys will chime in with their opinions. Sorry this got so long winded.

#10 Jay W

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 04:19 PM

Great summary Phantom. Everyone should get behind one of the plans and submit your comments to such online before July 8th. My pie in the sky outlook is that is what they will base their plan choice on and then implement. Obviously we will be choosing the least closures and most access but we all need to realize the bunny huggers are all commenting the opposite. Lets face it, they like doing this political crap more that we do so we need all the help we can get.
The link to submit comments is in the first post.

#11 Grumpy

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 04:35 PM

Thanks Phantom, very well done! You're getting this figured out my friend ;o)

#12 Phantom 309

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 04:37 PM

Jay is right. ALL of the bunny huggers are involved in this plan as much or more than we are. Basically what is going to happen (once again, in my opinion) is the USFS will obviously choose a plan to implement. THEN...some Eco-Bunny group will get their Birkenstocks in a bunch and try to block it. THEN...the plan will go to appeal. At this point, only people/groups that originally submitted comments will have a say. Basically if the Bunny Huggers had 1000 comments submitted and we had 500, THEN WE LOSE. Helllllooooo Alternative C. Sell your ORVs and take up stamp collecting.


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#13 Phantom 309

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 05:23 PM

View PostGrumpy, on 21 June 2016 - 04:35 PM, said:

Thanks Phantom, very well done! You're getting this figured out my friend ;o)

Naw. I'm just lucky to be surrounded by intelligent, devoted people.  


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#14 dirk

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 07:22 AM

Shane...awesome comments!  Thanks for getting involved with WOHVA.  Your contribution is appreciated!

#15 beyatch

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:11 AM

great recap, thanks for posting

#16 Phantom 309

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 12:36 PM

Hmmmm.....I see that the links in their original release no longer work....interesting.  Anyway, here are new ones that work.

http://www.fs.usda.g.../?project=46467


Submit you comments here: https://cara.ecosyst...t?Project=46467

#17 Landabuser

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 02:03 PM

Comment link still won't work? At least not on my phone?

#18 SHREK

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 02:25 PM

Worked on my end. Thanks again guy's for representing us. :beer:

#19 Atkins

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 09:38 PM

It sounded like the FS would like to go with Alt B.  This means that Little Naches and Bumping road are NOT corridors.  Which means all pay sites stay open, even if they are within 100' of the river.  Those sites would have a barrier in place to prevent camping to close to the river.  You can still park your car 30' off the road and camp any where 100' from the water.  
It looked like all roads leading off the Little Naches are corridors.  So you can pull your vehicle 300' off the road and camp.

#20 Phantom 309

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 11:40 AM

Grumpy, would you mind asking BRC why the prefer Alt B over D?

#21 Jay W

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 05:32 AM

http://www.yakimaher...3f0b91c93b.html


Less than a week to get comments in.

#22 Phantom 309

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 11:25 AM

Done.

Attached File  TMP Confirmation Screenshot.jpg   173.23K   35 downloads

#23 willys47

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:35 PM

Attached File  image.jpeg   249.23K   9 downloads

#24 Jay W

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 04:57 AM

Got mine in but their system was in fine form. It kept giving me an error message when I hit submit. Well guess what? I've apparently sent in 4. :question:

Edited by Jay W, 07 July 2016 - 04:57 AM.


#25 63W

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 07:38 PM

Got mine in as well. I read some of the comments others wrote, till I couldn't stand it anymore.