Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stonyford/Mill Fire Salvage Project Comments Due March 24

The Recreation HQ wants to alert OHV users who ride at Stonyford to the recent release of the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Mill Fire Salvage and Hazard Tree Removal Project.  The 30-day public comment period appears to have started on Feb. 22, 2013 which means that our comments should be delivered to the agency by March 24, 2013.

Link to Mill Fire Salvage EA and supporting documents (we used a tiny URL)

HQ first wants to thank all of you who submitted initial scoping comments on the Project.  Many of you attended a meeting in December on the proposal and got actively involved in the process.  You made a huge difference!

Dec. 18 Blog on Mill Fire Salvage Project


HQ believes the agency has incorporated our collective concerns in the Draft EA including the additions of OHV recreation staff into the project design and implementation.  This benefits both casual OHV use and the permitted OHV events this year.  HQ will be recommending to BRC that it supports the project provided the agency sticks to its commitment to protect and restore the OHV recreational opportunity that we all enjoy there.


HQ encourages all of you to read the Draft EA, Appendix A, and the Recreation Report.  There are many key pro-OHV tenets that we should be supporting.  HQ also encourages you to submit your own personal letter with your own specific comments and concerns.  However, for those of you who are short on time, we have created a short letter that you can use as a template.
SAMPLE LETTER******************************************
Eduardo Olmedo
Responsible Official
Mendocino National Forest
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
Attn: Jeanette Williams
FAX: 530.934.7384
Re: Draft Environmental Assessment Mill Fire Salvage and Hazard Tree Removal Project
Dear Mr. Olmedo:
As an OHV recreationist, I am writing this letter in support for the Draft Environmental Assessment Mill Fire Salvage and Hazard Removal Project (Project).  The Forest, Project Team, and Recreation Staff should be commended for working in a collaborative manner to address concerns articulated by the OHV community during the initial scoping period.
I support this project as a method to restore a safe environment for public use by motorized vehicles on designated roads, trails, and areas impacted by the Mill Fire.
I have reviewed the Draft EA and supporting documents.  Here are my key comments and suggestions.
1 - As practical, please retain merchantable sized dead trees and all green trees likely to survive along OHV trails to be used as barriers, trail delineators, and route anchors.
2 - Keep OHV routes open for weekends, holidays, and permitted events. Temporary closures correctly should be limited to the weekdays and only on the segment of routes where active logging operations are underway.
3 - OHV trails that will be used as temporary haul roads or skid routes must be returned to their current trail state after use.
4 - Avoid trails where possible during tree felling, skidding, and hauling operations,
5 - OHV Manager(s) and Timber Sale Administrators should coordinate and identify any areas where trails need to be crossed or used. These areas must be returned to pre-harvest trail conditions. OHV trails and roads should remain open except when active logging operations are occurring. Alternate routes should  be made available and clearly signed/identified.
6 - There are 4 special use permitted events that take place within the Stonyford OHV area each year; one in late May, one in late October and two in November. These events use the majority of the OHV trail system. Please ensure that designated OHV trails and Level II roads within the project area are open for these events, and that equipment is not left along or near trails and/or roads that could pose a danger to the public.
7 - Since the unit’s OHV staff have other duties and ongoing trail projects not related to the salvage sale, I urges the agency to consider alternate resources (i.e. trail crews from other units such as Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, OHMVR/SVRAs, and other Forests) to expedite post-project restoration of affected haul and skid routes back to their pre-project condition/classification including the installation of new or reconstructed rolling dips, sediment catch basins, trail delineators, or construction to restore sinuosity of the route.
8 - I also urge the Forest to secure non-OHMVR grant funds to aid in the reconstruction of OHV routes directly impacted by hauling or skidding operations. The use of OHMVR grant funds to restore haul/skid routes would be an unauthorized use of said funds.
Thanks in advance for considering my comments and for your efforts to protect OHV recreational opportunity during the project.
Best regards,
Joe Rider
The Recreation HQ wants to thank all of you who have volunteered up at the Stonyford work projects and looks forward to working and riding with you once again at one of the best riding areas in the state.





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