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Your right to ride rests HERE! Please DONT move this to another forum.

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Id like this to get ATTENTION! Many of you DONT look in the land use forum. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! See the links below and send in your comments before Sept 13th! This is BIG TIME guys. People for ZERO ACCESS are lobbying out politicians without a WHIMPER from us ๐Ÿ‘ Lets make a difference! (I borowed this post from Jeremey White from MRANN because I wasnt about to rewrite it) :devil:

I just got this e-mail, thought I'd pass it along.

***** BRC ALERT ***** BRC ALERT ***** BRC ALERT ***** BRC ALERT *****

Dear BlueRibbon Coalition members, supporters and ACTION ALERT subscribers,

BRC's Legal Team has completed their review of the Forest Service OHV

Rule. I'll be posting a detailed analysis on our website later this



Please do not underestimate the importance of this rulemaking. Given

its potential effects to the OHV community, this could be the single

most important Forest Service planning initiative in decades.

On balance, we believe the Proposed Rule represents a

carefully-reasoned effort to bring necessary guidance to USFS OHV

management. The agency has been reasonably responsive to the

concerns and input we have provided through this point of the

process. Trust me on this, without the involvement of BRC and other

OHV organizations during the early stages, this Proposed Rule would

have been considerably worse.

Further input by those most affected by the rule will improve and

otherwise serve to refine aspects of the Proposed Rule. **READ THAT

AGAIN** It's YOU that's going to be affected by this policy. YOUR

attention to this issue is VITAL!

As I write this message, the anti-access crowd is in Washington D.C.

preparing to distribute glossy 4-color press kits to an eager media.

Their foundation funded lobbyists are already making appointments

with key administration officials and Forest Service employees. Their

obvious intent is to alter the proposed rule so that it becomes a


Our apathy, our lack of knowledge and our silence will allow them to

succeed. Let's work together to disappoint them, shall we?

If you do your part, I promise we?ll do ours. We are asking you to

forward this email to as many OHV enthusiasts as possible. Encourage

your friends and family to log on to our website and get involved.

Call the leadership of your local OHV club and get the phone tree's

and email networks fired up!

The comment deadline is set for Sept. 13, 2004. For your convenience,

and to facilitate your efforts to get your friends and family

involved, we've posted some info below. There is much more on our

website. http://sharetrails.org

Thanks in advance for taking action,

Brian Hawthorne

Public Lands Director

BlueRibbon Coalition

PS BRC will be posting a "form letter" on our Rapid Response Center

webpage soon. DON'T WAIT! For maximum effectiveness, consider

sending your comments via snail mail, fax or individual emails. Feel

free to use our comment info to help with your letter. Finally, for

super mega-action effectiveness, send a copy of your comment letter

to your Congressional representative. Use our Rapid Response page to

get their contact info (It's easy! Just click here and enter your zip

code http://capwiz.com/share/home/ )


MORE COMMENT SUGGESTIONS CLICK HERE: http://www.sharetrails.org

This summarizes BRC's point-by-point analysis of the Proposed Rule

published in the July 15, 2004, Federal Register (69 Fed.Reg. 42381)

by the U.S. Forest Service entitled Travel Management; Designated

Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use (the "Proposed Rule").

This analysis is designed to help you participate in the rulemaking

and fully understand its affects on your recreational lifestyle.

The Forest Service is accepting public comment on the draft rules

through Sept. 13 by mail to:

Proposed Rule OHV's

c/o Content Analysis Team

P.O. Box 221150

Salt Lake City, UT 84122-1150

by e-mail to trvman@fs.fed.us

and by fax at (801) 517-1014






The Forest Service proposes to amend regulations regarding travel

management on National Forest System lands to clarify policy related

to motor vehicle use, including the use of off-highway vehicles. The

proposed rule would require the establishment of a system of roads,

trails, and areas designated for motor vehicle use. The proposed rule

also would prohibit the use of motor vehicles off the designated

system, as well as motor vehicle use on the system that is not

consistent with the classes of motor vehicles and, if applicable, the

time of year, designated for use.

As part of this effort, the Forest Service is proposing revisions to

36 CFR parts 212, 251, 261, and 295 to provide for a system of

National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and

areas on National Forest System lands designated for motor vehicle


Detailed information is available from the Forest Service on their

website: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/



* The proposed rule presents broad policy, not "top-down" management.

* The proposed rule avoids unreachable mandates for route designations.

* The proposed rule creates opportunities to include "user created"

routes in the formal designation process but places the onus on

recreationists to identify such routes. The agency and anti-access

forces frequently raise concerns about "user-created" routes and

imply that such routes are illegal and must be eliminated. That is

not correct, however, as many routes were legitimately formed during

"open" management. Many such routes provide desirable and valuable

recreation opportunities, and in some instances might even provide a

better overall access solution than inventoried or formally-approved


* The proposed rule contains important provisions acknowledging the

legitimacy of OHV recreation and access.

* The proposed rule attempts to clarify interpretation of executive

orders which are often used by the anti-access crowd to close trails.

* The proposed rule presents a "wake up call" to the OHV community

regarding the management of OHV use. The rule places a responsibility

on the OHV community to reach out and develop relationships with

forest service personnel when developing and verifying route

inventories and in subsequent travel management planning. in short,

there are no more excuses for the OHV community. We must get involved

or the gates will be locked tight.

* The proposed rule contains a snowmobile exemption.



* The proposed rule creates significant and unprecedented logistical

and legal challenges for the agency.

* The proposed rule is supposedly motivated by a desire to address

"unmanaged recreation" but this concern will not be addressed simply

by adoption of any nationwide rule. The organized OHV community

should support the proposed rule only on the condition that an

unprecedented forest service commitment to recreation management

accompanies a final rule.

* The proposed rule leaves the inventory process to the discretion of

local land managers. The rule plainly allows managers to accept

public input identifying uninventoried routes and to consider formal

designation of such routes for vehicle travel. However, the proposed

rule does not explicitly address the question of the degree, if any,

of forest service inventory activity that will precede any

designation process. Thus, under the proposed rule uninventoried

routes may be considered for designation but the onus will fall on

interested members of the public, not the agency, to identify such


* The proposed rule does nothing to alleviate unlawful abuse of

emergency order powers. Unfortunately, many land managers have seized

on the "emergency" closure authority to effectively bypass a formal

public planning process, implementing immediate closures that have

lasted for years and which have been extremely difficult for OHV

enthusiasts to effectively challenge. If anything, the Proposed Rule

adds to this concern.

* The proposed rule presents a "wake up call" to the OHV community

regarding the management of OHV use. Now, for those of you paying

attention, you will notice this is the same issue we presented in

"THE GOOD" part of the analysis. Why? Because, while Rule give

opportunity to the OHV community to reach out and develop

relationships with Forest Service personnel, it also has the

potential to really hurt us if we don't. IF WE FAIL TO GET INVOLVED


* The proposed rule creates discretionary authority for some forests

to more formally restrict snowmobile access to designated routes and

areas. The Proposed Rule includes "snowmobile" in the ORV regulatory

scheme, but exempts snowmobiles from the proposed mandatory

designation policy. However, local managers could elect to designate

routes or areas where snowmobile use would be allowed, restricted or

prohibited by using the designation process outlined in Proposed

Sections 212.52-212.57.



The anti-access crowd is pushing hard to morph this rule into a

top-down, impossible-to-implement, one-size-fits-all management

nightmare. They do not seem sincere in their statements about wanting

only to limit OHV's to properly designated roads and trails.

The upshot of their proposal is to close all OHV routes immediately.

They demand every "olo-gist" in the world sign off on every liner

millimeter before allowing any vehicle use. They are pushing hard for

the impossible to achieve "no impairment" standard for OHV trails.

Naturally, they'll demand the Forest Service complete all of that

within a two year timeframe. Miss it by one minute, and you can bet

the farm those foundation funded lawyers will be in the federal

courts petitioning for immediate and final elimination of OHV use.

Let's disappoint them, shall we?



* I strongly support the Proposed Rule?s recognition of

vehicle-oriented recreation as a legitimate use of our National


* I also strongly support the Proposed Rule's approach of providing

broad national policy guidance while leaving the details of any

decision making process to the discretion of local land managers.

* The agency must reject pressure from anti-access forces to create a

deadline for the designation process or to create specific "one size

fits all" management prescriptions through this rulemaking. It is

inappropriate and unworkable to dictate on-the-ground management

changes through a nationwide OHV rule.

* I appreciate the need for flexibility in the inventory and planning

process. The rule should be modified, however, to require the agency

to acknowledge and fully act upon its responsibility to complete an

inventory of all existing roads and trails. I agree that the public

should be allowed to provide early input into this process,

specifically including identification of legitimate but uninventoried


* I strongly oppose any national or local deadline or timetable for

inventories. The final rule should continue to acknowledge and

further clarify the importance of user contributions to a flexible

and broad-ranging inventory and scoping process before any formal

route designation.

* The agency's "emergency" closure authority must be better defined

and limited. Some land managers improperly avoid the public travel

planning process by instituting a patchwork of "temporary, emergency"

closures that continue indefinitely. The final rule should clarify

that closures without public notice and input under 36 C.F.R. section

212.52(:awww: must be documented by publicly-available monitoring and

analysis that identifies the specific impact(s) and vehicles or uses

causing those impact(s) to be addressed by the closure and cannot

remain in effect for more than one year without formal analysis.

* Please make sure the final rule clarifies that segments of any road

may be designated for use by non-street legal vehicles where

appropriate to avoid blanket prohibitions of non-street legal OHV use

on roads such as Level 3 roads.

* Please make sure the final rule clarifies that any trail may be

designated for use by street legal vehicles where appropriate to

avoid blanket prohibitions of street legal OHVs, particularly 4x4s

and SUVs, on all trails.

* I am concerned about the agency's commitment to effective

implementation of any OHV rule. The rule is supposedly motivated by

a need to address "unmanaged recreation" but good management will not

flow from a whisk of a pen in Washington, D.C. Any final OHV rule

must be accompanied by adequate budget, staffing, and priority to

achieve critical on-the-ground goals.

***** END ALERT ***** END ALERT ***** END ALERT ***** END ALERT *****

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Nice work Cisco!!! ๐Ÿ‘:devil::awww:

Here's something I copied from another board. It's shorter and maybe not as intimidating for those of us that are really busy. Check this out. It's kind of like adding your name to a petition - easy. BUT - if you like, you can customize the letter to address your personal thoughts. (That's better.) Let's do it guys. Sign up or loose out!๐Ÿคฃ:D๐Ÿคฃ

The U. S. Forest Service proposed rule on OHV use on our national

forests is very important to the OHV recreation community. First, the

Forest Service has acknowledged that OHV recreation has a rightful

place on Forest Service land. Second, the Forest Service has stated

that OHV recreation is growing in popularity and that it deserves

specific recognition and management by the agency.

Please click the link below and review in detail the proposed comments

suggested by ARRA. You can submit comments to the Forest Service via

the ARRA website. It is always most effective if you can personalize

your comments. But remember, all comments are due no later than

September 13, 2004.

You can be assured that the anti-access organizations will be

submitting suggested changes to the rule that would diminish

opportunities for OHV recreation on these public lands. For the sake

of OHV recreation, please take a moment to submit your comments to the

Forest Service. Again, remember the deadline is September 13th.


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Man, there is only one good politician from Oregon, and he is a Republican. As an Independant, I know how I'm voting this November. Thanks for the info. ๐Ÿ‘

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For the Florida riders.

The forest service has just released their drafts for revising access to Ocala and Osceola. they havent been taken over by the eco-nazis but they did have input to be sure. Comments are being accepted on the draft.



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Here are some more comments to peruse. These are from the Idaho Dept of Parks & Rec for their comments on the Proposed OHV Rules (gotta love having dirtbikers in the State Rec. Dept):

August 26, 2004

Content Analysis Team

United States Forest Service

P.O. Box 221150

Salt Lake City, UT 84122-1150

RE: Proposed Rule for Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use

Dear Content Analysis Team:

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) reviewed the Proposed Rule for Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use. The United States Forest Service (USFS) is proposing this rule primarily to prohibit off-highway vehicle (OHV) use off of designated routes. The proposed rule also requires the establishment of system of roads, trails and areas designated for motor vehicle use.

The USFS is the largest landowner in Idaho with over 20 million acres of land. The USFS also provides the majority of OHV opportunities in Idaho. Of the ten National Forests in Idaho, only four still allow some form of cross-country use (none allow cross-country use across the entire forest). All of these forests only have limited areas for cross-country travel. Out of those four, three are in the process of revising their forest plans. Most likely, these forest plans will restrict OHV use to designated routes.

The proposed rule, if adopted, will only speed up the process of designating routes on Idaho National Forests. The rule will also requires National Forests to designate routes for different classes of vehicles. This is a concept that we support and should help to reduce widening of single-track trails by all-terrain vehicles (ATV's) and reduce the widening of ATV trails by utility vehicles (UTV) such as Mules, Rangers and Rhinos.

IDPR believes that designating routes and areas for OHV use is one part of successful OHV management for National Forest Lands. We offer the following comments to improve the supplementary information and the proposed rule.

The Supplementary Information (SI) on Page 42381defines an OHV as a motor vehicle that is designed or retrofitted primarily for recreational use off road. The list includes a variety of vehicles, but doesn't mention all-terrain vehicles (ATV). We recommend that the SI include ATV's in the definition.

On Page 42383, the SI states, "most off-road motor vehicle use is conducted in support of other recreation activities rather than as a central part of a recreational experience." It uses a citation from the Idaho 2003-2007 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Plan as evidence. The SI states that this quote can be found on Page 156 when the actual quote is on Page 154.

We disagree that most OHV use is conducted in support of other recreational activities. During the hunting season, most OHV use is conducted in support of hunting, however, during other parts of the year such as summer, OHV use is the central recreational activity. Many Idahoans go camping in order to use their OHV's on USFS lands. The SI needs to recognize that a significant portion of the recreation population uses OHV's as a central part of the recreation experience on USFS lands.

The purpose rule moves the bulk of CFR 36 295, Use of motor vehicles off of forest roads, into CFR 36 212, Adminstration of the Forest Transportation System. This title would be changed to Travel Management.

The new regulation needs to recognize Travel Management is just not providing access routes on USFS lands. Travel Management includes providing recreation opportunities and facilities. Trails while access routes, are more viewed as a recreation facility than a transportation facility by the public. The rule needs to emphasize that OHV routes are recreation facilities in addition to access routes.

Section 212.2 requires each National Forest to have a travel management atlas that is defined as use map and a forest transportation atlas. It also specifies that travel management atlas must be available at the Supervisors Offices. Many of these offices are located away from the actual National Forest and only have standard business hours.

Recreation occurs during the week and weekend. Many members of the public may not be able to pick up a use map during the week. We suggest that the regulations require that the National Forest also place their travel management atlas on their web sites and distribute their atlas out to at least the Ranger District level. The changes would make the travel management atlas much more available to the public.

Section 212.5 (1) states "Traffic on road is subject to State traffic laws where applicable except when in conflict with designations established under subpart B of this part or with the rules at 36 CFR Part 261." This revision prevents the incorporation of State laws that designate routes or areas for OHV use that conflict with Forest Service designations.

We assume that this revision gets at Idaho's motor vehicle license plate exemption for unpaved roads on state and federal lands (Idaho Code 49-426). This statute does not designate that these roads are available to ATV use; it only allows an exemption to the license plate requirement. It is the Forest Service's responsibility to designate roads and routes for different classes of vehicles and we have always encouraged that.

A major problem with many of Idaho's National Forests travel plans is that they failed to designate routes for specific vehicle types. For instance they failed to identify specific trails available for ATV use. The plans combined motorcycle and ATV use together. This led to widening of many single-track motorcycle trails.

We recommend that 212.5 (2) (ii) be revised to include trails. Trails also need to be restricted of use by certain classes of vehicles. For example, many single-track trails can't accommodate ATV or four-wheel drive passenger vehicles. National Forests need to designate routes and trails by use type in order to provide a quality recreation experience and not widen out existing trails.

Section 212.50 covers the purpose and scope of the new regulation. It is unclear on whether OHV use can continue during the interim period where routes would be designated. We are pretty sure that intent of the authors is to continue to provide for OHV recreation opportunities on USFS land. We recommend that the USFS add a sentence such as "Existing use will continue, subject to current regulations and plans, until the designation process is completed. Clarifying this section will make it clear that decision makers can't completely close a National Forest or Ranger District until the designation process is completed.

In the Interim Period (between when the regulations are adopted and the new Travel Management Atlas) is completed, we recommend that other National Forests follow the lead of the Boise National Forest. The Boise recently completed an EA that eliminates cross-country travel on the forest, as per revised forest plan direction. This decision eliminated cross-country travel, yet still accepted unclassified route until a specific designated process has been completed at the area level. The Decision Memo can be obtained at the following link http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/boise/projects/OHV_Decision.pdf.

Section 212.51 deals with designation of roads, trails and areas. The proposed regulation requires National Forest to designate routes (roads and trails) by vehicle class. We wrote about this need on the previous page. Many of Idaho's National Forests haven't designated routes by vehicle class, and this regulation will require all forest that haven't designated routes by vehicle class to revise their travel management atlases. We believe that this is a needed step, but there should be a systematic timetable for revising these plans (i.e. all forest shouldn't' do their travel management plan revisions at once).

At the same time, these new regulation should require every National Forest to go through a designation process. Some National Forests

Section 212.52 covers public involvement in the designation process. It allows the public to participate in the designation process, but doesn't provide a specific time period for advance notice. The public should have adequate time period during the advance notice. We would recommend that the time period be at least 45 days to allow for meaningful public comment.

National Forests should also consider during the public involvement outside of the winter months. It can be pretty hard for the public to provide meaningful comments if the routes are covered in snow for summer OHV recreation.

Section 212.54 (2) allows temporary or emergency closures. We agree that temporary closures are necessary to allow for fire recovery or special events. However, the section as written doesn't specify a time frame for reopening a route or an area. It only allows the decision maker to reopen the facility after adverse effects have been mitigated or eliminated.

Section 212.54(2) needs a specific time frame for the length of the emergency closure. A Forest Supervisor or District Ranger could make an emergency closure and walk away from the problem as draft regulation is currently written. Emergency closures need to be revisited at a minimum on a yearly basis.

Section 212.53 requires coordination with federal, state, county and other local government entities and tribal governments. The SI makes it clear that National Forests should coordinate with state natural resource agencies that have lands near or interspersed with USFS lands. The SI needs to make it clear that National Forests should also consult with other state agencies that have an interest in travel management. Other agencies, such as the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have a keen interest in travel management because it can affect wildlife populations and hunting regulations. Our department is interested in travel management because it can greatly affect statewide recreation opportunities.

Section 212.54 specifies that revision of designations may be revised as needed to make changing conditions. There is nothing in the proposed regulations that specifies a review of the designations and the changing conditions. The USFS should consider making an annual review of the designations and conditions as a part of this section.

In Section 212.55 we were please to see that the responsible official should consider the provision of recreation opportunities as one of the general criteria for designating routes on Forest Service lands. Designation of roads, trails, and areas play a large role in providing recreation opportunities on USFS lands.

Section 212.56 requires National Forests to have a use map and that it shall be made available to the public at the headquarters of the corresponding administrative units of the National Forest System. We recommend that this section be amended to also state that the use map will also be posted on the National Forest Website, readily available for download. This will allow Forest Visitors easier access to these maps, rather than having to visit Forest Service administrative units.

Subpart C deals with snowmobile use in the proposed regulations. We agree with the SI that snowmobiles traveling over snow results in different and less severe impacts to natural resources than wheeled motor vehicles. The purpose regulations as written should allow for successful snowmobile management on USFS lands.

In conclusion, we believe that proposed regulations are a start at successful management of OHV use on USFS lands. The regulations need to be clearly understandable by decision makers and the public. It is our hope that the suggestions that we have made can be incorporated into the new regulations. If you have any questions about our comments, contact Jeff Cook, Outdoor Recreation Analyst at (208) 334-4180 ext. 230.


Rick Just, Coordinator

Comprehensive Planning, Research and Review

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And some more comments that may help you with your own letter (although a bit confusing):

Subject: Proposed USFS OHV rule comment period ends Sept 15th!

Please take 20 minutes to do this before Sept 15, 2004. YOUR ENEMIES CERTAINLY ARE!!

Here is an excellent example of a letter regarding this proposed rule. Feel free to reiterate any of these concerns in your letters regarding this onerous and unnecessary proposed rule.

You also need to let President George Bush know you are unhappy with his administration further restricting OHV use.

STEP 1: Go to the following easy-to-use web site to submit your public comment to the Forest Service on their proposed off-road vehicle regulations. LEAVE THE "ORGANIZATION" FIELD BLANK for maximum effect:


STEP 2: Tell them (in your own words) that the Forest Service must ensure that any final rule properly addresses the following concern IN YOUR OWN rearrangement of these words. Form letters do not have any effect! These suggested items were suggested by Tom Savage and were contained as stated here in his letter as follows -

Comments on Travel Management; Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use

Printed in Federal Register / Vol. 69, No. 135 7/15/04 Proposed Rules

The most important part of this long, seemingly unorganized and wordy document for me is the "Specific criteria for designation of trails and areas", section 212.55 (๐Ÿ‘, page 42387.

The key term used at the end of the first paragraph is "minimizing". A more fair and unbiased term might be " a reasonable balance between motorized use " or "acceptable level of impact". However, any of these terms are subjective and hard to quantify. The rules still leave it up to the responsible official to decide what is the minimum and to make the decision.

The third paragraph, in column 6, states that the criteria are the objectives to be used in evaluation rather than "required outcomes". I would assume the term "required outcomes" to mean that the known public demand for ORV routes or use studies such as a State recreation needs study, which identify needs, are not to be considered as a valid criteria for establishing a certain number of motorized trail miles. As wordy as this document is, I think a little more explanation of this would be warranted and reasonable.

The next sentence states that Section 3 of Executive Order 11644 "does not establish the primacy or subservience of any particular use relative to other uses of trails and areas." However, in the next paragraph, the example given is quite biased and could easily taken out of context. The example suggests that the pertinent criteria to designate a trail or area as motorized could be that "there would be no measurable or appreciable effects on National Forest System resources or other uses, as in a dry location where the soil is stable, there are few or no other uses, and there are limited wildlife concerns." This is a highly biased statement, loaded with value judgments and definitely contradicts the previous non-biased direction. One could interpret this to mean that if the effect could be measured, then the use would not be allowed. So if a rut were made, even one inch deep, that could be measured, so the use would not be allowed. Moreover, if a trail is now not motorized, the primary use would be say hiking, then it could not be considered for motorized use, even if it was only hiked once a year by one person. Rather than "limited" wildlife concerns, "significant" might be less biased. The non-motorized use issue is mentioned again later in the paragraph; where it states that the trail might not be designated as motorized because the existing use is hiking. It does qualify this statement by saying "other uses that could not be mitigated". The term "mitigated" might be explained by an example such as " The change in use might be mitigated by a better hiker route developed in on the other side of the ridge."

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