OREGON - Comments Needed on Oregon Dunes 10c Designated Routes Project DEIS

Share on Facebook
January 15, 2013 9:39 PM

This is one of the most important action alerts for coastal sand-based recreation on federal lands that BRC has issued in recent history.  Your future access to historic riding opportunities at the Oregon Dunes is at grave risk if you do not weigh in with a comment letter.  BRC has reviewed the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area 10(c) Designated Routes Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  We believe that fundamental problems plague the DEIS and make it unwise to proceed to a final decision based on the current procedural foundation.

OREGON - Comments Needed on Oregon Dunes 10c Designated Routes Project DEIS

Dear Oregon Dunes Fan,

This is one of the most important action alerts for coastal sand-based recreation on federal lands that BRC has issued in recent history.  Your future access to historic riding opportunities at the Oregon Dunes is at grave risk if you do not weigh in with a comment letter. 

BRC has reviewed the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area 10(c) Designated Routes Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  We believe that fundamental problems plague the DEIS and make it unwise to proceed to a final decision based on the current procedural foundation. 

The DEIS is flawed because it failed to substantively analyze and or address the following issues; loss of OHV opportunity, out-of-date/defective/non-relevant 1994 Dunes Plan, "minimization," impacts to upcoming forest plan revision, coordination with counties, purpose and need, impacts to local economies, vegetation management, and loss of agency credibility in the community.   
 
Between 1972 and 2011, the acreage available for open OHV use has been reduced from 28,000 acres down to just below 6,000 acres. Just 20 percent of the NRA is available for legal OHV use today.

Please take a few minutes to send in your own personal comments. Consider using BRC's letter generator. It has an easy interface for clicking on and adding several of the pre-crafted comments and sending your letter. Just follow "BRC's 3-Step Action Item" below.

Hundreds of thousands of OHV users enjoy the ORNDA each year.  If you want that use to continue and/or expand, you must send in your comments today.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Thanks in advance for your support,
Don Amador
BRC Western Representative
(925) 625-6287


COMMENT ON OREGON DUNES 10C DESIGNATED ROUTES PROJECT DEIS
ACTION NEEDED NOW!

SITUATION
The Siuslaw National Forest is accepting public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the  Oregon Dunes NRA Management Area 10c Designated Routes Project. The DEIS is flawed because it failed to substantively analyze and or address the following issues; loss of OHV opportunity, out-of-date/defective/non-relevant 1994 Dunes Plan, "minimization", impacts to upcoming forest plan revision, coordination with counties, purpose and need, impacts to local economies, vegetation management, and loss of agency credibility in the community. The comment period ends on January 24, 2013.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Please send an email to the Forest Service. Use the comment suggestions below. Be sure to add a bit of personal information.

If you want, you can use BRC's letter generator. It has an easy interface for adding additional comments and sending your letter.

BRC'S THREE-STEP ACTION ITEM
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS:

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can. If you can add any personal testimony about your experiences enjoying this spectacular area, please take a minute to add that to your email.

STEP 1:  Open your email program and start a draft email. Address and email for comments 
                is listed below. Put " 10C Designated Routes Project" in the Subject Line.

STEP 2:  Use the comments below as a guideline for comments in your email.
                Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, where you like to ride
               and how much trail-based recreation means to you. Be certain to include your
               name and address. A return email address is NOT sufficient! ("anonymous" emails
               are often discarded).

Then click "Send" and you're done!

INSTRUCTIONS:
Be polite. Be Professional. Be on time. (The comment deadline is Thursday, January 24, 2013)

EMAIL ADDRESSES:
Angie Morris, Recreation Planner - comments-pacificnorthwest-siuslaw-centralcoast@fs.fed.us 


SAMPLE COMMENT LETTER:

Angie Morris, Recreation Planner
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Siuslaw National Forest
855 Highway 101
Reedsport, OR 97331

Dear Ms. Morris:

I submit this letter with regards to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area 10 (c) Designated Routes Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). 

I believe that OHV recreation has already been "minimized" enough by previous NEPA decisions. In 1972, approximately 28,000 acres were open for legal OHV use.  After implementation of the 1979 ODRNA Management Plan, the acreage available for OHV use was reduced, by about 47%, down to 15,000 acres.  When the 1994 ODNRA Management Plan was adopted, the acreage available for open riding was reduced significantly to 5,930 acres.  The agency in Zone 10 (C) attempts to create the illusion that 4,455 acres of designated routes are available for OHV use.  However, since only about 10 miles of designated routes exist in Zone 10 (C) that acreage is reduced to less than an acre (actual land footprint of the routes). Between 1972 and 2011, the acreage available for open OHV use has been reduced from 28,000 acres down to just below 6,000 acres.  Just 20 percent of the NRA is available for legal OHV use today.

The DEIS continues to wrongly fixate on restricting OHV access rather than a logical and more legally defensible focus on broader management issues. Vegetation and dune management should dovetail with recreation management as part of a coordinated strategy.

The purpose and need should have been broadened to address the legislative intent of the original National Recreation Area Act.  The project should address active and effective vegetation management alternatives, which can complement, and potentially be enhanced by, effective recreation management. In short, the Oregon Dunes present a unique situation where active sand dunes should be a desired condition and encroachment of non-native vegetation is a "significant issue" that must be addressed.

The DEIS is fatally flawed since it is based on the 1994 Dunes Plan, which was created without legally required input from an NRA advisory council. Also, the 1994 Plan is well beyond its useful period of 10-15 years as identified within the plan.  The plan also states that the Forest Supervisor shall review the plan every five years to determine if conditions or public demands have changed significantly.

The timing of this project is suspect since a Forest revision is scheduled for 2014. I am concerned that this project may front-load or taint the upcoming revision with a predetermined "closure-oriented" outcome and/or restrict active management options (including reopening some areas to "Open OHV" use) to help arrest the spread of non-native vegetation into the sand dunes.

The agency failed to coordinate with affected counties in this EIS and the 1994 Dunes Plan.  I want to ensure the ODNRA is following administration directives and has actively considered designation of federal and non-federal cooperating agencies in the preparation of analyses and documentation required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). I also want to ensure that Federal agencies actively participate as cooperating agencies in other agency's NEPA processes.

The preferred alternative will not encourage user acceptance of and compliance with designated route requirements in MA 10 (C) areas due to ongoing efforts by the agency to reduce legal OHV use in the NRA and set the stage for increased OHV closures in the 2014 Forest revision.

The preferred alternative will not discourage use of unauthorized user-developed routes allowing them, in turn, to be rehabilitated or to revert to a more natural condition.  Users will see this as an ongoing effort to restrict OHV use based on the illegal 1994 Plan. 

The Forest Service should create a new or modified planning process with alternatives that might help the agency and the public to meet the current purpose and needs of the resource and community.

Please withdraw the current DEIS and associated public comment period, conduct supplemental analysis and issue a supplemental EIS to include and seek input on additional alternatives to those presented in the DEIS.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS
EMAIL

 

 

 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

October 21, 2014 11:14 AM
CALIFORNIA & NEVADA - Tahoe NF to Host Open Houses on Forest Roads Analysis
The Tahoe National Forest will host two public open houses in October to discuss the forest roads system and look at the relationship between roads and various resource impacts. The open houses are part of engaging the public in Subpart A of the U.S. Forest Service's 2005 Travel Management Rule. Subpart A is an analysis of the forest's road system. The open houses are an opportunity for the forest to share information and the public to help inform the ongoing analysis.
October 21, 2014 10:10 AM
IDAHO - Sawtooth National Recreation Area Wants Your Input on the Wood River Tra
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area would like to invite the public to provide further discussion regarding summer travel opportunities within the Big Wood River watershed of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Please join Forest Service personnel on October 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Woodside Motorsports located at 4040 Glenbrook Drive, Hailey, Idaho. The purpose of this planning effort is to bring road and trail use into compliance with the Forest Plan
October 14, 2014 4:15 PM
WASHINGTON - Help Save Teanaway Forest
We received an update from Tod Petersen, Political Action Committee Chairman for the Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA), on the Teanaway Community Forest.  Tod Petersen is also Legislative/Land Use Coordinator - Northwest Motorcycle Association.  BRC urges our members to take advantage of this opportunity to submit pro-OHV comments in the flyer below. We've pasted his update below. Please take a second to look it over and pass it along.
[Action Alerts Archive]