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MUIRNet-News articles, news and information about recreation and environmental issues

John Stewart

Recreation, the next industry

After two days of meetings with Forest Service and BLM, I have reached a conclusion that recreation is on the cusp of being the big industry with a stake in federal land management policy.

In competition is renewable energy.  At stake is access to public lands.

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John Stewart

Secret Trails

Will promoting local trails ultimately kill them?  Will the wrong people show up and trash our trails?  Can too much awareness of our sport (the hobby that we are all so passionate about) undermine its existence?  Should trail riding areas and our favorite backcountry roads remain "our little secret"?"

And, just what is this "little secret"??

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John Stewart

Change vs Status Quo

Election Year 2008 ushered in an era of “change”.  Or, did it?  There is an adage that alludes to “...the more we change, the more we stay the same...”

It appears true as partisan bickering still rules the halls of Congress.  Four years ago it was the Democrat Party digging in with adamant opposition to everything.  Today it is the Republican Party digging in with adamant opposition to everything.

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John Stewart

Conservation Triangle – Extraction, Preservation and Recreation

Much is said today about the changing lifestyle that allows more freedom for leisure time activities, more time for recreation.  During leisure time, people have the freedom to engage in a variety of activities and outdoor recreation is popular.  Some recreationists are informed and experienced; others are uninformed and inexperienced.

The term "uninformed recreationist" refers to the one that is gung-ho go anywhere at anytime without a care in the world for what is happening.  Someone that has the attitude that they "own" the land and their “rights” come first, above all else.

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John Stewart

Boise NF-Emmett Ranger District Begins Travel Planning

The Boise National Forest continues their Travel Planning and is now working on portions of the Emmett Ranger District.  There are a total of 216,193 acres, comprising some 65 percent of the Ranger District, that have not gone through a complete National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision process for route designation. These acres are comprised of the "E" travel management areas identified on the current Boise National Forest Visitor/Travel Map. Public motorized travel in "E" areas currently utilizes established user-created routes, as well as formally designated routes.

Of principal interest is specifically which, if any, of the user-created routes within the "E" areas to formally designate for public motorized travel and what site-specific information the Forest Service (FS) should consider in evaluating user-created routes proposed for formal designation. At the conclusion of this process, only formally designated routes will remain available for public motorized travel in these areas.

The first step in the planning process is to develop a detailed proposal for the new designated travel plan. They call this the "proposed action." The FS needs your input! The FS is working on developing that proposed action right now! It is extremely important that individuals and groups who are interested in motorized recreation in these areas participate in this process. All information received will be available for public review and comment later this fall.

The deadline to submit comments for this part of the planning process is August 30, 2008.

Keep in mind that the new Travel Rule applies to ALL motorized vehicles. Hunters who use ATVs or motorcycles to retrieve harvested big game have the potential to be most directly affected by this route designation process.

The FS is holding three public meetings, where they will explain the Travel Route Designation Process for the Emmett Ranger District. (See Schedule below)

MEETING SCHEDULE

Tuesday, July 15, 2008                     7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Boise Best Western-Airport, Sierra Room
2660 Airport Way
Boise, Idaho

Wednesday, July 16, 2008               7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Emmett Ranger district Office
1805 Highway 16 #5
Emmett, Idaho

Thursday, July 17, 2008                   7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Crouch City Hall
329 Village Circle
Garden Valley, Idaho

Site-specific maps of the "E" areas on the Emmett Ranger District will be available at the meetings and, subsequently, on the Boise National Forest website. District specialists will be available to provide information on current uses of the "E" areas.

Additional ways to submit comments:

MAIL OR HAND DELIVER COMMENTS TO:
          Emmett Ranger District
          1805 Highway 16 #5
          Emmett, Idaho 83617

Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

FAX COMMENTS TO:
       Emmett Ranger District office, at (208) 365-7037

EMAIL COMMENTS TO:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Put "Emmett Travel Route Designation Process" in the subject line. Acceptable formats are MS Word, Word Perfect, or RTF.  Comments should include your name and address.

For information on their planning effort, please contact John Erickson, District Ranger, Emmett Ranger District, at 208-365-7000. The Boise National Forest's Travel Management website (http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/boise/recreation/travel_management/travel_mgmt_index.shtml) will be adding additional information on this planning effort, including downloadable maps of the areas needing designation and a form that may be useful to you in providing your input.

JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN, PLEASE GET INVOLVED!
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