Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is R5 Changing Course on TMR Closure Directives?

The Recreation HQ does not know if it is mere coincidence that Region 5 appears to be revaluating current directives to various Forest units to not designate level-3 roads for mixed-use and to minimize the designation of historic and important unauthorized routes, but it appears that a change is in the air.

The potential signal that R5 is listening to local users, county officials, and Congress is best illustrated by the September 20 Federal Register Notice regarding the Modoc National Forest’s proposal to designate 331 miles of unauthorized routes for motorized travel and designate 513 miles of level 3 roads for mixed-use (i.e. use by non-street legal OHVs).

September 20, 2011 Modoc NF FR Notice

Some of you may remember that back on March 11, 2010, R5 upheld an appeal by one of the current anti-access OHV commissioners and nationally recognized closure guru, Stan Van Velsor, and ordered the Modoc to not designate 331 miles of routes and 513 miles of level-3 roads for mixed-use.

April 2010 Blog with R5 Directive and other Closure/Appeal Info on the Modoc

Another sign based on intel from local users groups who attended a Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday in the Redding area is that the Shasta-Trinity NF is also reviewing future post subpart-B project level trail planning and designation of some level-3 roads for mixed-use.

If, in fact, the Forest Service is reviewing future trail and mixed-use designations, a great deal of praise should go out to an engaged public and to the federal officials and land-managers who are moving forward on more access friendly TMR-related projects.

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