The number of plans and projects being released by agencies recently has been exhausting. We’ve recently submitted comments for the Manti-La Sal National Forest and the Lincoln National Forest. We’re currently advocating for our followers to comment on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests in Colorado before November 26. We have also prepared a new action alert for everyone to comment on the Shoshone National Forest Travel Management Plan.
For background, we participated in the review period of the preliminary plan back in September of 2020. Shoshone National Forest has put together a range of alternatives that incorporates some of the feedback received from BRC, Advocates for Multi-Use of Public Lands, and the Wyoming State Snowmobile Association. During this phase of the plan analysis we need to continue to make our voices heard. We have until November 19 to comment on the Shoshone National Forest Travel Plan.
Our action alert below contains model text you can use for a comment. Of course you can always customize the message as well to make the comment even more effective and add your unique perspective. You can find the planning documents here.
In addition to the information in the model comment, here are a few issues to consider in the plan:
- There are questions about whether full-size tracked vehicles should be able to use groomed snowmobile trails.
- As is often the case with planning efforts like this, we have to be vigilant against wilderness creep where “buffer zones,” designating lands with wilderness characteristics, and restriction of motorized access in the dwindling areas in the Shoshone National Forest that aren’t wilderness already.
- Snowmobile groups are very engaged in this process, but other motorized users need to add their voice.
- Anti-access groups are showing up in force to advocate for further restrictions of use.
- This plan will impact popular riding areas near Togwotee Pass and the Bear Tooth Highway if we don’t make our voices heard.
- There are Alternatives with road closures. Bear in mind that road closures also reduce access for other uses such as dispersed camping, which will result in concentrated use in the areas left open.
- This forest needs to create more motorized single-track trails. There are currently no trails.
- We need to be vigilant in opposing efforts to restrict forest access because of the 30×30 initiative.