Providing Input by ovy17749

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									United States                     Forest       National Forests and      Sam Houston NF
Department of                     Service      Grasslands in Texas       394 FM 1375 West
Agriculture                                                              New Waverly, Texas 77358
                                                                         Phone 936-344-6205


                                                             File Code: 1950

                                                                 Date:   May 29, 2009




Dear Interested Citizen,

In cooperation with the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (GHORBA), the Sam
Houston National Forest (NF) proposes to extend the Double Lake Mountain Bike Trail
approximately 15 miles, in five sections. Double Lake Mountain Bike Trail consists of eight
miles of loops surrounding the Double Lake Recreation Area, located in San Jacinto County,
about two miles south of Coldspring (see attached maps). GHORBA currently maintains all of
the Double Lake Mountain Bike Trail.

GHORBA would construct the new portions of trail this winter. The work would mainly consist
of creating a six to eight foot corridor for a two to four foot singletrack trail with natural surface.
A combination of machinery, such as a small trail-building bulldozer, and handtools would be
used to clear litter and understory vegetation, as well as construct the tread. No trees would be
removed. Several crossings of ephemeral streams would be needed, which will be armored using
appropriate materials, similar to existing features of Double Lake Mountain Bike Trail. All trail
would be designed and built according to International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA)
and USFS guidelines to meet the following criteria: natural surface; sustainable; nonmotorized,
multi-use. The trail would be designed using current best available practices. Trail construction
methods seek to minimize natural and cultural resource impacts. Future maintenance of the
proposed loops would be performed by GHORBA.

The purpose of this action is to improve and increase recreation opportunities at Double Lake
Recreation Area. The Double Lake Mountain Bike Trail is the only designated trail available to
mountain bikes on the east side of the Sam Houston NF. This extension falls within the 1996
Revised Land and Resource Management Plan’s guidance for the Management Areas 1 (Upland
Forest Ecosystems) and 9a (Developed Recreation Sites).

In March 2009, GHORBA and IMBA Trail Solutions drafted a Master Plan for Mountain Bike
Trails on the Sam Houston NF; this proposed extension is one portion of a phased mountain bike
system expansion. A master plan for all trails, including mountain bike trails, will not be
finalized until a facilitated Trail Coalition has been formed and has developed a visionary master
plan that incorporates all user groups. This process is expected to be completed in late 2010.

Providing Input
We are about to begin the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, during which we
will further analyze the potential consequences of the proposed actions in an EA. We are
requesting your comments and concerns to help identify issues associated with this project, to



                                Caring for the Land and Serving People                   Printed on Recycled Paper
Double Lake Mountain Bike Trail Extensions                                                                                                    Page 2


focus our analysis of effects, and to develop the basis on which to make an informed decision of
whether or not to proceed with this proposal. Please be as specific as possible in expressing your
concerns so that we can more effectively address them. Comments received in response to this
proposal will be analyzed and addressed in an EA. Once the EA is complete, you will have an
opportunity to review it and provide more comments prior to a decision.

We value your interest and ideas for the management of the National Forest and Grasslands in
Texas. Please accept this letter as a personal invitation to attend any Interdisciplinary Team
Meetings to discuss this project at its various stages. If you are interested in attending
Interdisciplinary Team Meetings for this project, please contact Cheryl Prewitt at 936-344-6205
or e-mail cprewitt@fs.fed.us.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including the names and addresses of those
who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be
available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and
considered; however, those who submitted comments anonymously will not have standing to
appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215 or 217.

Additionally, pursuant to 7 CFR 1.27(d), any person may request the agency to withhold a
submission from the public record by showing how the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
permits such confidentiality. Persons requesting such confidentiality should be aware that, under
the FOIA, confidentiality may be granted in only limited circumstances, such as to protect trade
secrets. The Forest Service will inform the requester of the agency’s decision regarding the
request for confidentiality, and where the requester is denied, the agency will return the
submission and notify the requester that the comments may be resubmitted with or without name
and address within seven days.

Submit your comments to me at the address on the letterhead or on-line at: comments-southern-
texas-samhouston@fs.fed.us. Although always welcome, comments received by June 29, 2009
will be most helpful. For additional information about this proposal, please contact Cheryl
Prewitt, at the phone number listed on the letterhead. Thank you for your interest and
participation in the activities on the Sam Houston National Forest.

Sincerely,


/s/ Warren L. Oja

WARREN L. OJA
District Ranger

Enclosures

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national
 origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information,
 political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited
 bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large
 print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write
 to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or
 (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

								
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