Forty One Congressional Leaders Send USFS Letter

Share on Facebook
November 30, 2010 7:00 AM
Associated Image

The BlueRibbon Coalition applauded the 41 members of Congress who sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell urging the agency to prioritize and protect robust and diverse access and recreation in the national forests as the Forest Service National Planning Rule is developed.

The U.S. Forest Service (FS) is in the process of revising their regulations that govern how the agency prepares Forest Plans. Known as the "Planning Rule," these regulations will be the driving force behind how the agency develops, amends and revises their Land Use Plans. The letter was prompted by concerns over draft planning concepts made public earlier this year. Specifically, the letter drew attention to a "Draft Recreation Approach" that included concepts and terms that are undefined and unclear. The letter also stressed the importance of the concept of Multiple Use Sustained Yield in developing Forest Plans.

BRC's Executive Director, Greg Mumm, applauded the letter. "BRC is pleased to see that the importance of the US Forest Service providing recreation is on the radar of key Congressional leaders. It demonstrates their keen awareness of the economic and social importance recreation has for dependent local communities."

The BlueRibbon Coalition, as well as other recreational stakeholders, has been concerned that the draft proposals emanating from the agency did not adequately address the importance of recreation. BRC joined with over 70 recreation groups who collectively sent a letter outlining their concerns to the Forest Service earlier this year.

Noting the reference to "analysis paralysis" in the Congressional Leaders' letter to Chief Tidwell, Mumm also stated, "All recreational users need to be concerned that the US Forest Service doesn't get bogged down with regulatory gridlock." Current regulations provide multiple levels of seemingly never-ending environmental analysis. BRC's formal comments to the Planning Rule cautioned the agency that regulations about Forest Planning should focus on how to create a Forest Plan and on what level of environmental analysis is appropriate, not on the Forest Plan itself.

BRC also emphasized the need to provide for recreation. According to the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, the popularity and importance to USFS visitors of off-highway vehicle and snowmobile recreation has drastically increased in recent years. Similar studies reflect the growing popularity of mountain bike and equestrian use. Conversely, the amount of USFS lands available for motorized, mountain bike, and, on some Forests, even equestrian trails, have been reduced via legislation, implementation of Forest Plans and site-specific recreation plans. Therefore, there is a need to emphasize a diverse range of recreation in the planning regulations

The release of a draft Forest Service planning rule has been delayed at least several months, according to an announcement on the agencies planning rule website. Originally, a draft rule and accompanying Draft Environmental Impact Statement were targeted for December with a final in November 2011.

BRC has more information on our website and encourages its members and enthusiasts to subscribe to its email "Action Alert" system for updated information.

# # #

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national (non-profit) trail-saving group that represents over 600,000 recreationists nationwide The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is beginning. 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 http://www.sharetrails.org

October 6, 2014 8:48 AM
ISSA and BRC Settle Illegal Wilderness Lawsuit

BOISE, ID (October 6, 2014)--A newly-filed settlement agreement would withdraw restrictions on motorized and mechanized access to "Recommended Wilderness" Areas (RWA) in Idaho's Clearwater National Forest. The settlement comes in a lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Idaho State Snowmobile Association and the BlueRibbon Coalition, which alleged that the Northern Region of the Forest Service (FS) created an internal "recommended wilderness policy" that illegally limited management options.

Read more...
September 24, 2014 9:52 AM

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (September 24, 2014) -- This year broke all the records for the MidFlorida Jeep Club and their Jeep Beach event - record registrations; record Jeep numbers; record smiles; and record-breaking donations to charities. This year the BlueRibbon Coalition received an incredible donation of $30,000 to help save trails and keep our off-road sports alive, nationwide.
 

Read more...
September 4, 2014 10:38 AM
Associated Image

POCATELLO, ID (September 4, 2014) -- The BlueRibbon Coalition is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization which champions responsible use of public lands and land access for outdoor recreation.

The Executive Director is hired  by the BlueRibbon Coalition Board of Directors and serves as a full time, salaried BlueRibbon Coalition employee to execute the business of the BRC, excepting for those functions reserved for the Board in its by-laws.

Read more...
[Press Room Archive]