SAGE GROUSE ALERT FOR WESTERN NEVADA AND EASTERN CALIFORNIA
COMMENTS DUE December 27. 2013
On Friday, October 25, 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a notice in the Federal Register about their proposal to list certain California and Nevada populations of greater sage grouse as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. FWS is also proposing to designate 1.8 million acres as critical habitat to help protect this subgroup of grouse.
This proposal will most certainly impact OHV-related management decisions made by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Carson City Bureau of Land Management District. BRC continues to believe that both casual use and OHV permitted events will be impacted. The extent of said impacts will rely on our ability to help identify sound OHV management guidelines and programs such as route designation and limited operating periods for events that can be used as mitigations to help protect this subpopulation of grouse.
BRC believes modern OHV management tools -- such as the implementation of travel management, enactment of reasonable sound laws, and creation of an invasive weed species education program by both the Forest Service and BLM -- will insure we have a vibrant population of the grouse in California and Nevada. BRC also believes that a critical habitat designation is not needed at this time if these OHV tools are used.
BRC knows that many of you are busy and do not have the time to write lengthy comments about this issue. For your convenience, we have pasted Sample Comment Letter below, or please use your own comments. Either way, please use the information below to submit comments.
There are two ways to comment:
(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at the link below and copy and paste your comments into the Comment box, or click on the Choose files to upload your comments.
(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2013-0042 and FWS-R8-ES-2013-0072; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
Sample Comment Letter
As a member of the OHV community, I strongly support responsible OHV recreation on public lands. Modern OHV management tools are being used throughout the West to protect our natural resources.
I believe those proven techniques have already been embraced by many federal and state land management agencies to allow for managed OHV recreation while protecting important species such as the Northern Spotted Owl, red-legged frog, and snowy plover.
I believe those same management principles can be used to enhance the bi-state sage grouse population in the Mono Basin. Listed below are some key concepts that should be considered as common sense prescriptions to protect the grouse in sensitive habitats.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has already completed its travel management plan. I do not believe that a critical habitat designation is needed if federal agencies continue to designate roads and trails for motorized use.
I believe the implementation of travel management, enactment of reasonable sound laws, and creation of an invasive weed species education program by both the Forest Service and BLM will insure we have a vibrant population of the grouse in California and Nevada.
Thanks for your review of this all too important matter.
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. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 or http://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!