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Old 06-23-2014, 11:27 PM
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Where are the amendments for the travel management rule so I can see what they are and cmeny accordingly thank you.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:32 PM
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I have been reading through all this and I'm not seeing what rules would be changed or new one implemented? Sorry
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:16 PM
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yeah, it's really confusing Larry!!! I think essentially they are just proposing to propose that they will change something. I don't think we have seen any ACTUAL travel plan adjustments at this point. However, I don't think it's too soon (especially since they might not have time to get out an actual plan and they may have to wing it) that we write in to let them know that we feel there should be no FURTHER restrictions made for over snow vehicles.

Unless someone else can educate me further.. that's what I'm reading is that it's VERY fuzzy right now. But fuzzy can very easily catch us with our pants down. If they are saying they want public comment you better be sure they're hearing from one side to shut it all down to motorized use so we better get our voices heard in that mix as well!
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:33 PM
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The way I interpret it is the FS wants comments on if or what kind of restrictions to put in place. For example, add our riding areas as is without changes, limited cross country travel, or restrict us to roads/trails only. Hopefully we get enough comments from our fellow sledders to keep all of our riding areas open because I think we all know the wilderness supporters will be sending in their comments.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krash View Post
The way I interpret it is the FS wants comments on if or what kind of restrictions to put in place. For example, add our riding areas as is without changes, limited cross country travel, or restrict us to roads/trails only. Hopefully we get enough comments from our fellow sledders to keep all of our riding areas open because I think we all know the wilderness supporters will be sending in their comments.
pretty much what is said here.

this is our chance to be heard and give comments.
the key thing is for US TO COMMENT the fact is on all the previous comment periods the motorized users are the smallest contributors to the comment period. if there are two hundred close it to every one keep it open you know the outcome. Comment and let them know were Taxpaying Americans and we have the right to utilize OUR lands.

remember most of the anti's still try to sell the notion that we are all loud.. fuel burning.. oil smoking..non caring sledders from the 70's . use facts, and BE HEARD
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rasta no cyborg View Post
Send constructive comments, pass the word, take 2 min. http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitC...RDOC_0001-1883
Tried this link... the comments section/app shows this msg. now: "We're sorry, but we couldn't load document FS_FRDOC_0001-1883 for commenting."
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:34 AM
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To: Snowmobilers
From: ISSA-Public Lands
Date: July 17, 2014

RE: Comments on Proposed Rule (F.R. 2014-14273) Use by Over-Snow Vehicles (Travel Management Rule)

Now is the time to comment and comment we must. As you recall, the Winter Wildlands Alliance won a lawsuit against the Forest Service concerning the treatment of OSVs in the 2005 OHV Rule. In the original rule, winter travel planning was optional for OSV use. The Forest Service must now do winter travel planning and this is the first step in creating the process that will be used. THIS WILL IMPACT US SO PLEASE SEND IN COMMENTS. The deadline is AUGUST 4!



Comments can be sent electronically to http://www.regulations.gov or http://www.regulations.gov/#!documen...2014-0004-0001
Or you can mail in your comments to

U.S. Forest Service
ATTN: Joseph Adamson
Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources Staff
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 1125
Washington, D.C. 20250-1125

One or the other not both


Opening paragraph--Share as much or as little as you want:
• Provide personal information; where you ride—do you primarily ride in National Forests? Do you primarily ride off-trail? How important the sport is to you and your family, how often you ride--any information that will clearly identify you as a person who has a valid interest in this document.
• You might also want to share with them your experiences on how user groups interact. Have you witnessed ‘conflict’? How in your experience does the non-motorized community interact with snowmobilers. (The reason for including this is because many non-motorized groups are not happy with this proposal and will be claiming it needs to be changed for many reasons including to deal with all the ‘conflict’)
• Is snowmobiling currently being managed where you ride? Are there areas that are open and others that are closed? Is there a winter OSV map available?


Comments on Proposed Rule you might want to include-pick and choose. Please feel free to rewrite using your own words:

• Generally the proposal is well written and demonstrates an understanding of snowmobiling and how it is currently being managed.
• Allowing local managers the ability to determine whether an area should be open for over-snow vehicle use, unless posted as closed, appropriately recognizes the necessary flexibility land management requires, particularly during the winter months where motorized use is unlikely to cause resource damage.
• I (we) support the grandfather clause permitting local districts to retain existing over-snow vehicle use management decisions. Most, if not all areas and districts, have already made over-snow vehicle use land management decisions and those existing decisions should not have to be re-visited until required to by NEPA.
• The definition of a snowmobile needs to be expanded to allow for modified vehicles to be used on the trail system if permitted by state law. Please add ‘wheels’ to the definition of a snowmobile in the rule
• The rule requires that there be an over-snow vehicle use map, however, the map must have sufficient detail in order to be useful. The rule should define more clearly what should be included on the maps.
• ‘Snowmobilers using their own equipment when involved in search and rescue, should be added to section 212.81 that lists categories of over-snow vehicle uses that may travel anywhere over-snow within the forest.
• Adequate snowfall should be determined by each district and never by dates because one never knows when the snow will come.
• Although this proposed rule only deals with motorized over snow use, the Forest Service has an obligation to minimize the impacts of all winter recreation uses.



Conclusion:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment and for considering my (our) comments

Sincerely,

Name
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City, State, Zip
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:43 AM
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Tuesday, July --, 2014


U.S. Forest Service
ATTN: Joseph Adamson
Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources Staff
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 1125
Washington, D.C. 20250-1125
Via U.S. Mail


RE: Comments on Proposed Rule (F.R. 2014-14273)
Use by Over-Snow Vehicles (Travel Management Rule)


Dear Mr. Adamson:

The following comments are submitted on behalf of Idaho State Snowmobile Association (ISSA). Please accept this letter as the official comments on behalf of ISSA relative to the Use by Over-Snow Vehicles (Travel Management Rule) proposed rule of the USFS published in the Federal Register on June 18, 2014. Generally, the ISSA finds the proposed rule acceptable, but has a few suggestions for consideration.

The ISSA is an Idaho nonprofit association representing Idaho snowmobilers. The Idaho State Snowmobile Association is a statewide organization representing over 40 clubs, individuals and many businesses from throughout the state. Our members ride regularly on every National Forest in Idaho, therefore, we have a keen interest in any action affecting our sport on all forests.

ISSA promotes a collaborative framework for recreation enthusiasts and environmental interests to work together in cooperation with land managers, legislators, and the public to ensure a positive future for responsible winter recreation access for everyone, now and into the future. The federally-managed forest lands located in Idaho are widely known to have some of the very best snowmobile opportunities in the United States, and they are enjoyed not only by local residents, but by visitors from all across the country and Canada. The road, trails and areas within the Idaho forests are a tremendous recreation asset, as well as an increasingly significant economic asset for local communities. Accordingly, preserving responsible access to the federally-managed forest lands is an extremely high priority for the ISSA.

Our Comments:

Generally, the ISSA finds the proposed rule well-crafted. The ISSA supports providing local discretion as to whether over-snow vehicle use should be generally prohibited or generally allowed within an area. Allowing local land managers the ability to determine whether an area should be open for over-snow vehicle use, unless posted as closed, appropriately recognizes the necessary flexibility land management requires, particularly during the winter months where motorized use is unlikely to cause resource damage. The ISSA also supports the grandfather clause permitting local districts to retain existing over-snow vehicle use management decisions. Most if not all areas and districts have already made over-snow vehicle use land management decisions and those existing decisions should not have to be re-visited. The proposed rule allows the same, and that is wise policy.

Section 212.1 - Definitions

One item not addressed by the proposed rule is the definition of an over-snow vehicle. Current rule defines an over-snow vehicle as “a motor vehicle that is designed for use over snow and that runs on a track and/or ski or skis, while used over snow.” The ISSA is concerned that this definition is too narrow and believes the proposed rule should address the definition. Modern improvements to motorized vehicles permit vehicles not necessarily “designed” for over-snow use to be modified for over-snow use. Examples include motorcycles modified to be equipped with a rear track and a front ski, or ATVs and UTVs modified to be equipped with tracks. Additionally, most ATVs can appropriately operate on a groomed snowmobile trail during the over-snow season. Many states, including Idaho, permit ATVs and modified motor vehicles to operate on groomed snowmobile trails, even within USFS areas. See IDAHO CODE § 67-7112. As such, the ISSA suggests consideration be given to amending the definition of an over-snow vehicle as follows –

A self-propelled motor vehicle that is capable of traveling over snow or ice that either (a) runs on a track, ski, wheels, or runner; or (b) is under two-thousand (2,000) pounds unladen gross weight.

Additionally, the proposed rule requires designation of over-snow vehicle use to be indicated on an over-snow vehicle use map. The ISSA is familiar with motorized vehicle use maps already published under the existing rule. The MVUM’s are very generic in character and provide a user with very little guidance or orientation. The maps typically only indicate larger settlements and the road/trail network. Roads and trails are referenced by number. It is not uncommon for the road or trail to not be marked in the field because signs decay over time or are otherwise altered or removed. It is important that maps provide sufficient detail in depiction of not only roads, trails and areas, but also in depiction of landmarks, drainages and other physical features that will enable the users the ability to orient themselves when interpreting the map. As such, the proposed rule should define the necessary clarity required in the maps, or other USFS policy should be amended accordingly. This will eliminate much confusion by the using public.

Section 212.81 – Over-Snow Vehicle Use

This section provides that some categories of over-snow vehicle use are exempt from designation decision and may travel anywhere over-snow within the forest. Examples include administrative USFS use, military use, law enforcement use and emergency response use. With regard to emergency use, the exemption extends to “fire, military, emergency, or law enforcement vehicle” use for “emergency purposes”. Many ISSA members are active in search and rescue organizations, and they often travel over-snow within USFS lands for purposes of training and actual search and rescue operations. While doing so, they use their own over-snow vehicles, not ones supplied by any civil authority. The exemption should be clarified to ensure private over-snow vehicles used in conjunction with a search and rescue operation, including training, are exempt.

Concluding Remarks:

The proposed rule is generally well drafted. Addition should be made to address the definition of an over-snow vehicle to ensure the definition recognized modern use and what states are allowing. Additionally, clarification is needed to ensure the use maps can be understood by users, and to ensure search and rescue activities are exempt from restrictions and prohibitions. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. We trust that the above will be well-received and fully considered.

Sincerely,

Idaho State Snowmobile Association
Sandra Mitchell, Public Lands Director
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  #19  
Old 08-20-2014, 11:47 AM
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I hope you all are not adverse to typing because it is imperative that your comments on the Clearwater NF Collaborative Forest Plan cover the key issues.

You are supporting the SPECIAL RECREATION MANAGEMENT AREAS PROPOSED OPTION (SRMA) within the RECOMMENDED WILDERNESS (RWA)

THE KEY ISSUES ARE: no conflict of users in the winter, no proven disruption to wildlife in winter, areas have been used historically by snowmobilers for the past 30 years, The 2012 Forest Planning Rules call for sustainable recreation use, both motorized and non motorized. The 2012 rules also DO NOT prohibit snowmobile use in a Recommended Wilderness )RWA) I will expand on each topic and you can then use the information to form your own comments.
NO CONFLICT: There have been very few sightings of skiers or other winter users in the Gt. Burn. The skiers that were seen have accessed the area via snowmobile.
NO DISRUPTION OF WILDLIFE: While there have been allegations of disruptions to wildlife, there has been absolutely no proof of any disturbances. The hot button has been Goats. To counter the allegations we do know for a fact: a herd of Goats winter on Land Owner Mtn. in the LOLO NF (about 1/2 way from the parking lot and Hoodoo Pass) and are regularly seen about 300 to 400 yards from snowmobiles travelling on the 250 road. (The only access to Hoodoo riding area) The Goats do not display any sort of reaction that would suggest they are disturbed. They have wintered in this area for at least the past 30 years. There has been discussion that snowmobiles are disturbing Goats in the Goat Lake and Blacklead Mtn area. There has never been a sighting of a Goat or a track in this area in the winter. There is an average of over twelve feet of snow in these areas. and Goats can't get around in those snow depths. The Goats absolutely do not winter in the historic snowmobile areas. It would be a safe assumption that hunting Goats would be much more stressful on them than snowmobile activity. Montana Fish and Game has found that snowmobile activity does not correlate with declines of Goat herds. Goat herds are growing in the Crazy Mtns. where snowmobile activity is allowed and herds are declining in the Bob Marshall Wilderness where snowmobiles are not allowed.
The 2012 Travel Plan ROD states that NO evidence of Lynx was found in the Great Burn Area.(2.b. pg 52) The FS wildlife bioligist at a CNF Collaborative meeting stated, as a matter of record, that there is no evidence that snowmobile activity negatively impacts Wolverines.
HISTORIC SNOWMOBILE USE. Snowmobiles have accessed the proposed SPECIAL USE AREAS for over 30 years. During that time there has been no evidence of ecological impact to the Great Burn caused from snowmobiling.
2012 PLANNING RULE: The rule does not prohibit snowmobile activity from a RWA. The guidelies are under section 219.10 (multiple use)..."management of areas recommended for wilderness designation to protect and maintain the ecological and social characteristics that provide the basis for their suitability for wilderness designation". There has been NO evidence of any degradation of ecological and social characteristics over the past 30 years caused by snowmobiles. If there were, the area would not qualify for a RWA designation. The rule also calls for "sustainable recreation that includes non- motorized , motorized...".
My read is historic snowmobile use falls under "sustainable".

To help you get your arms around the 2012 planning rule and Region One treating RWA'S as de facto wilderness it is important to note that that 2012 rule trumps Region One policy. That policy can't (shouldn't) be used after 2012 to close RWA'S to snowmobiling. The legality of the Past Region One policy is being challenged in court by ISSA.

THE PROPOSED ACTION NEEDS ONE MAJOR CHANGE: Several snowmobile areas have been deleted from the maps I sunmitted showing our historic riding areas.
CHANGE: "The Goat Lake and surrounding bowls , Blacklead Mtn including the south facing bowls, Doe Cr. drainage and surrounding bowls, Deer Cr. drainage and surrounding bowls need to be added to the Williams Lake cherry stem access. (SMAGB2)"
This means the riding areas would remain the same but there would be no access from the 581 road from Cayuse Jct.
It is important that you word the change exactly as I have shown. I have already submitted the new map to the FS with changes and ISSA has agreed to the change.

CLOSING REMARKS: I suggest stating the years you have ridden in the Great Burn, how it compares to other areas, where you would find a comparable riding area and why you value the area.(challenge, scenery, solitude).
If you have not ridden the area you can still voice your opinion by stating, at a minimum, that pristine primitive backcountry riding areas are highly valued by a growing segment of snowmobilers and need to be weighted equally for the values the summer users cherish.

Do not overlook that the proposed action ALSO includes 4,162 acres in the Beaver Ridge riding area as well as all the riding areas in the Gt. Burn high country.

Last, but not least: You need to comment on the proposed action prior to SEPT. 15 in order to qualfy to comment on on the future Draft EIS and Final EIS which now includes the appeal/objection process.
SEND E MAIL COMMENTS to: fpr_npclw@fs.fed.us . You can also fax comments to 208 935 4275 Comments need to include your name, Phone# and address The environmentalists have lined up a strong opposition to the proposed action FOR SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREAS so I can't stress enough that we need to get those comments in to preserve our riding areas. Please feel free to pass this information out to individuals, businesses, and groups who may not receive this email.

I'll be happy to address any questions you may have.
Stan Spencer.

This message was sent to stanspencer@montana.com from:
Stan Spencer | stanspencer@montana.com | Backcountry Sled Patriots | PO Box 5504 | Missoula, Mt 59806

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