National Forest by sagarneupane


									                        National Forest
The Lolo Pass Visitor Center is changing hours of operation this week to
accommodate Presidents' Day Holiday users. Effective this week, the facility
is open Thursday, February 11, through Monday, February 15. It will then
close until Friday, February 19, and be open through Sunday, February
21.Lolo Pass will then revert back to its usual days of operation--Thursday
through Monday, from 8:00-4:30 Pacific Standard Time.(2/12/10)
The Clearwater National Forest is looking for energetic, good-natured
couples to serve as campground hosts for the 2010 season at Wilderness
Gateway, or Wendover/Whitehouse Campgrounds. (1/20/10) The Forest
Service has revised the schedule for release of the Draft Environmental
Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Upper Lochsa Land Exchange.
(1/15/10)Starting in January 2009, the Eldorado National Forest began
implementing the decision made to restrict all motor vehicles to designated
roads and trails. This direction follows Forest Supervisor Ramiro Villalvazo’s
decision from April 2008's Final Travel Management Environmental Impact
Statement, which allows public motor vehicle use on over 1,800 miles of
roads and trails across the Forest .
It’s time for winter visitors to the Eldorado National Forest to begin thinking
about the annual closing of dirt roads and trails that begins on January 1 and
extends through March 31. “This is the first year the annual seasonal closure
of dirt roads and trails will go into effect,” said Eldorado National Forest
Supervisor Ramiro Villalvazo. “This may be news to some people, however,
it shouldn’t come as a surprise to the thousands of people who participated in
the travel management decision making process that occurred over the past
three years.”
This decision only affects dirt roads and trails. More than 600 miles of paved
and graveled roads and trails will continue to be open during this time
periodThe Eldorado National Forest Travel Management Final
Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision was released on
April 2, 2008. The Forest Service will provide interested people with CDs
containing both documents and will post them on this website. The Eldorado
held four public open houses following the release of the Record of Decision.
Final EIS released. Recreational use of the National Forest System has
increased in recent decades. Since 1946, the number of visits to the National
Forest System has increased 15 to 20 times, to 214 million in 2001. By 2100,
the number of Americans is expected to double, and the number of visits to
the National Forests is likely to more than double
Off road motor vehicle use for public enjoyment of the National Forest
System has also increased. The number of OHV users has climbed sevenfold
in the past 30 years, from approximately 5 million in 1972 to 36 million in
2000. OHV users account for approximately 1.8 million or 5 percent of
visitors to the national forests and grasslands. Motor vehicle use off roads in
the National Forest System may involve any motor vehicle that can travel off
road, such as a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and an off-highway vehicle
The expansion of OHV use on national forests and grasslands is impacting
the natural and cultural resources of federal lands. The Chief of the Forest
Service has identified unmanaged recreation -- especially impacts from
OHVs -- as one of the key threats facing the National Forests today. Some
OHV use has resulted in unplanned roads and trails, soil erosion, watershed
and habitat degradation,
as well as, impacts on cultural resource sites.
The Forest Service wants to improve its management by balancing the
public's enjoyment of using OHVs with ensuring the best possible care of the
land. At the national level, the Forest Service revised its rules in 2005
governing the use of wheeled motor vehicles to develop a system of roads,
trails and areas designated for motor vehicle use. This new rule still provides
public opportunities for motorized and nonmotorized recreation, while
enhancing protection of habitat and aquatic, soil, air and cultural resources.
On November 2, 2005, the Forest Service announced final travel
management regulations governing OHVs and other motor vehicle use on
national forests and grasslands. Additional information about the rule is
available on the national Forest Service website at: Over the next few years,
national forests in California will identify and designate a system of roads,
trails and specifically defined areas for wheeled motor vehicle use that will
enhance recreation opportunities, promote public safety and protect
resources. This effort will include .
Timetable for the Eldorado National Forest:
Complete an inventory of existing roads, trails, and open areas used by
OHV's, and compile Forest OHV Management Direction. Share maps with
the public by December 2005. The route inventory includes unclassified
roads and provides the baseline data for the route designation effort.
Issue an interim Forest Order prohibiting wheeled vehicles use off the
existing roads and trails, as determined by the inventory. This Forest Order
went into effect on August 25, 2005 and will remain in effect until the
designation process is finished. Completed.
Propose Route designations. Working with you, the Forest developed a
proposal which identified the existing routes the Forest proposed to designate
as motorized travel routes. The Proposed Action was released on October 26,
2005. The scoping period for public comments concluded on December 1,
2005. Completed.
Designate Routes through an Environmental Analysis process. The Forest
makes its final decision as to which routes will be designated for OHV use.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released in July. The
comment period closed in October. The final decision is to be released April
2, 2008.
Complete Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) to identify the designated
system of routes, sign the routes, and provide user maps. This final step was
completed in March 2009.

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