Monday, February 1, 2010

Pulling Culverts/Ripping Roads Requires Site Specific NEPA

On January 5, The Recreation HQ published a blog regarding a potential new direction for OHV litigation

Photo: A photo of a culvert that was pulled without site-specific NEPA/public involvement. Funny there is no outcry from eco-groups because in this case... the agency was "closing" a road to all public use. (click on photo to expand it)

On that date, The General asked the troops to keep an eye open for aggressive and potentially illegal federal road decommission projects. The HQ is afraid that some agency units are using TMR (which only identifies the specific routes and seasons of use available for motorized travel) as the inappropriate planning document to authorize aggressive road decommissioning that includes the following ground-disturbing-activities (e.g. pulling culverts, ripping road beds, and recontouring the road prism, and digging tank traps).

Some federal units (see above photo) appear to be using NEPA exempt routine road maintenance authority as cover to go out and obliterate roads. As most of you should know by now, agency actions that include ground disturbing activities (such as pulling culverts and digging tank traps) require project level site-specific NEPA. Approval from USFWS and water boards are often needed as well. Those projects require public notice and involvement.

OHVers, equestrians, mountain-bikers, firefighters, woodcutters, and other access interests cannot stand by while federal agencies use TMR as the driving force to illegally decommission our roads and trails. Be sure and contact the Recreation HQ if you have an example of a road that was decommissioned without the proper NEPA document.

2010 may be the year we have to draw a legal line in the sand on this issue.


  1. This link is a little off topic, but thought you should see it.

  2. EUC,

    Thanks for the link. The General is well aware of the green lawsuit scam. They achieve two goals: 1 - Get fees paid, 2 - Bully fed/state agencies.

    It may be time for OHV legal interests to do the same.