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Hackle
10-02-2006, 06:47 PM
The Coconino National Forest announcement describes the October Travel Management Rule meetings as designed to inform you about the Travel Management Rule and on how to effectively take part in the Travel Management process. The Forest will display: the existing motorized trail system and initial suggestions for changes to that system; the major natural resource concerns related to motorized travel; and the fiscal and management constraints the Forest will face in maintaining the motorized routes.

Now is the time to be involved. Please attend the appropriate meetings to ensure that your favorite routes, trails and areas are included in the existing motorized trail system. If they are not included, now is the time to make Forest officials aware that you would like them added. If you do not let local Forest personnel know about routes that are not currently included in the system, these routes will be illegal when the route designation process is complete.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Date: October 14, 2006
Where: Main Lobby of Coconino High School, Flagstaff
Time: 1:00-4:00 PM

Date: October 16, 2006
Where: Happy Jack Lodge, Blue Ridge
Time: 5:30-8:00

Date: October 17, 2006
Where: 3333 E Van Buren St, Days Inn-Airport, Phoenix
Time: 5:30-8:30

Date: October 18, 2006
Where: Exit 289 Cliff Castle Casino, Camp Verde
Time: 5:30 -8:00

Date: October 19, 2006
Where: 900 E. Cherry, Winslow High School-Student Union, Winslow
Time: 5:30-8:00

Donít miss this opportunity to let Forest Service officials know what you expect and would like to see in a system of designated routes and areas on your forest.

For more information visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/fpr-tmr-calendars/fpr-tmr-calendar-oct.pdf

Jim F.

zman
10-04-2006, 08:31 AM
Jim,

Our club had a meeting last night about this. I know I will be there and it sounds like many other Verde Valley 4 Wheelers will be there. Not sure what to expect at this meeting. As you may know we have a rather tough trail up here called Smasher Canyon and a few others that we would like to keep open. Unfortuneately these are not really roads, but jeep trails in washes. Not sure how to approach the Forest Service on this. If anyone has any ideas on how to go thru the process let me know. Currently our club has good relations with the CNF and they know that we are using Smasher Canyon and have no problem with it, for now.

Joel

My1stJeep
10-04-2006, 09:51 AM
Part of this process is designating roads and trails. Sounds like Smasher Canyon needs to be listed as a trail, and make sure you classify you want it to be a Jeep trail. In some cases there are trails meant only to be single track or quad wide, so be very specific in your request that you want it to be a Jeep trail.

After attending the last NOVCC conference they did state that they want to be sure they incorporate eveyone's needs with this new plan. They even want to include some hard trails and are considering signage for some of the really hard ones.

Also show the entire route. Not only the trail itself, but the roads/trails that get you to it and which ones you take to return. Things they will look at is duplication. If there are too many duplicates running side by side they may look to emove a couple and add a different one elsewhere. They like loops, with option. By this I mean if you can make a loop without having to go back over the same trail this is ideal, as well as routes that give you options.

Be sure to note the lack of difficult OHV trails in the area of that caliber and how much it means to you to have it, again be specific.

Another thing is to review any potential issues, errosion, riparian, etc... and already have some suggestions on way to mitigate the issues.

Hope this helps.

Sandee McCullen
10-04-2006, 11:03 PM
Jim,

Our club had a meeting last night about this. I know I will be there and it sounds like many other Verde Valley 4 Wheelers will be there. Not sure what to expect at this meeting. As you may know we have a rather tough trail up here called Smasher Canyon and a few others that we would like to keep open. Unfortuneately these are not really roads, but jeep trails in washes. Not sure how to approach the Forest Service on this. If anyone has any ideas on how to go thru the process let me know. Currently our club has good relations with the CNF and they know that we are using Smasher Canyon and have no problem with it, for now.

Joel

Chris is right.......... be sure and identify the trail as well as the ingress/egress. F/S approved this trail a number of years ago. Maybe someone from the Verde Valley 4x4 Club will remember the specifics or know who is still around. I know two of the original persons are gone.

The important issue is to keep in touch with the District Ranger.......... get your GPS coordinances in and "ask" what you can do. Thus far Coconino have indicated they're not very objective to any trail system above what their 1988 RATM maps show. In fact I've heard they're even eliminating some of the official RATM routes.
Also question whether what they designate on their base map as non-motorized vs motorized routes. Most FS maps are reflecting motorized only for the Transportation Plan. Coconino is doing all together. This can be very misleading for OHV.

Sandee McCullen
10-17-2006, 12:01 AM
REMINDER...................
Coronado Forest Planning meeting ......
Date: October 17, 2006
Where: 3333 E Van Buren St, Days Inn-Airport, Phoenix
Time: 5:30-8:30

Points of question:
What will be used as a base map?
Will your maps include the 1988 RATM routes?
Are motorized and non-motorized together or separate?
Will you accept GPS coordinances from the OHV community?

This is the only Phoenix meeting (see Hackles post above). It's important we be involved as the rumor has it at this time is Coconino is closing most of the existing trails we all use. If we're not involved and really pay attention to what they're doing Coconino trails are gone to us. The enviros are demanding hundreds of acres CLOSED. If we're not at the table, the enviros WIN.

DAKOTA
10-17-2006, 12:49 PM
I didn't get alot of info but the meeting last night had about 30 of the locals up around Blue Ridge and Happy Jack due to the board(AVJC) . They did say there were not alot of direct info on the new closures but many residents were totally unaware of what was being planned .

Sandee McCullen
10-17-2006, 03:19 PM
I didn't get alot of info but the meeting last night had about 30 of the locals up around Blue Ridge and Happy Jack due to the board(AVJC) . They did say there were not alot of direct info on the new closures but many residents were totally unaware of what was being planned .

Thanks............ hopefully we get a good turnout at the Phoenix meeting tonight. I'll post what we find out although I'm thinking we may all hear a different story and as a reminder.................... ask questions if you don't understand.
More later.

Sandee McCullen
10-18-2006, 09:29 AM
Report on Coconino Forest Phoenix Scoping Meeting

4 OHV'ers showed !!!
1 4x4; 2 Dirt Bikes; 1 ATV representatives
2 in RED, 2 in regular dress.

Total less than a dozen.

Embarassing to say the least. FS looks to the couple of us there and asks, "where is everyone"? "Was hoping we were on our way to building partnerships with OHV enthusiasts".

They had a very interesting presentation and maps.......... I was surprised on how many roads/trails are within Coconino Forest. (5,000) They are doing the Transportation Planning as a whole forest. I was concerned prior to this meeting believing doing planning district by district would be better. Not so sure right now. Either way, they KNOW they cannot do this without us. They need trails identified and inventoried. They need us at the table. If we're not there they simply do the trails plan THEIR WAY........ the EASIEST WAY. CLOSE. The trails identified right now as a base map are simply the trails each of the specialists have identified as access roads/trails they need. Fire, habitat, logging, admin, etc.

There is a large area along Hwy 260 east of Verde Valley that has been closed for rehab. IF we get INVOLVED I spoke with the District Ranger and they are acceptable to develop the area similar to what's happening at Lower Sycamore. BUT.................. if we don't GO TO THE TABLE it won't happen.

Their initial thoughts are to "CLOSE a number of trails" just because they "think" there are too many. Is your favorite trail/s within these? T talked for a long time re the "reason" most of the trails are on the ground today............ Supply and Demand. Received some agreement but their BOTTOM LINE IS THEY CANNOT MANAGE ALL THE TRAILS ALONE. The user public must help. This means staying involved, staying in contact with the district rangers, helping with monitoring, maintenance, EDUCATION, peer patrols, and most importantly.......... understanding if it's deemed necessary to close a trail. We all need to be involved enough that we understand the need for closures........ whether they are temporary or permanent but we also need to understand enough of the land manager mandates (Know their rules better then they know their own) that we can always get an alternate trail to replace any closures. Maybe a by-pass instead of closure; maybe mitigation using signing; maybe limit to certain vehicle types; or gating with entrance by permit only.

If we don't get active the only thing that will happen is CLOSURES. I know, there is little trust out there.......... YOU can be the one's to change that.

Our biggest problem right now is there won't be any more Phoenix meetings.......... can't blame them. A lot of time and effort went into this meeting for a dozen people. The next round of meetings will be "at the table" marking YOUR favorite area or trails. Noting high use areas, family areas, extreme areas/trails, ATV or single track or simply 4x4 casual use trails.

The first "at the table" meeting is Saturday, November 4 at the Coconino High School, Flagstaff from 1-5 p.m. I cannot make this meeting as I have a State Parks OHV Advisory group meeting in Kingman the 4&5th. Hopefully 5-6 of you can find time on your calendar to make this workshop.

Monday, November 6: Happy Jack Lodge... 3-7 p.m.
Wednesday, November 8: Winslow High Scool; 3-7 p.m.
Thursday, November 9: Cliff Castle Casino, Camp Verde 3-7 p.m.

The 3rd round are tentatively scheduled for late January or early February 2007.

CD's were handed out at the meeting but the maps and general information are on the Forest WEB site. If anyone is interested I will host a group discussion on issues or questions we can address to help us the most. Meet for dinner/pizza or someones home................ we just need to get our ducks in a row if we expect to win.
You can bet the enviros will be at the table wanting everything closed. They definitely showed in full force to demand closure of hundreds of miles of roads/trails. See below.

Hope to see LARGE NUMBERS at one or ALL of the Workshops coming up. YOUR VOICE WILL BE HEARD.

This article was in the Flagstaff paper prior to the Oct 14th meeting:
Game and Fish says a proposal to close hundreds of miles of forest roads
southeast of Flagstaff is overblown

The Coconino National Forest should propose 100,000 acres of new wilderness
along Clear and Chevelon creeks and close hundreds of miles of dirt roads
southeast of Flagstaff in a crucial bid to protect wildlife, one conservation
group has said.

Game and Fish officials say the concern for nonendangered wildlife is
overblown.

As forest planners weigh road closures amid a national directive and a $40.2
million road maintenance backlog, the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council has
proposed setting aside 30 special reserves for mule deer, pronghorn antelope,
black bears, mountain lions and prairie dogs.

The group would like to see up to 75 percent of the dirt roads closed along
some parts of the Mogollon Rim, including multiple routes that end at the same
destination.

They blame to roads for fragmenting the landscape, spreading invasive weeds and
wildlife disturbance.

"We're going to have to make some changes in how we manage public land if we
want to continue to have pronghorn, mountain lion, antelope and bear," said Kim
Crumbo, of the Wildlands Council.

Local Game and Fish officials disagree with his dire assessment.

Closing the smaller dirt roads won't likely do a lot to eliminate the road kill
more common to larger highways and freeways, said Game and Fish Regional
Supervisor Ron Sieg.

"I really just don't see those little two-track roads being much of an impact,"
he said.
And there are already driving and other restrictions in place for the few
animals that have been deemed threatened or struggling -- northern goshawks,
Mexican spotted owls and pronghorn antelope.

The proposed wildlife reserves would dot Anderson Mesa and run southeast to the
Tonto and Sitgreaves national forests, helping to establish statewide wildlife
corridors from eastern Arizona to the Grand Canyon.

"There's still a lot of roads for people to drive around on, but we say this is
one of the most biologically diverse areas in the state," Crumbo said.

Global tracking has shown the pronghorn to be more adversely impacted by roads
than any other animal, local Game and Fish biologist Rick Miller has found.

When a new fence goes up next to a highway, the pronghorn won't jump over,
Miller said.

Their migration patterns are believed to have changed as a result.

The Kaibab and Coconino forests are both planning road restrictions for
upcoming years.

The Tusayan District of the Kaibab has gone first, but nothing's changed yet.

Whatever is decided there could mean major changes for hunters, Sieg said.

If hunters are limited to a few main roads and not allowed to allowed to drive
cross-country, camping sites in popular areas could be packed.

Cyndy Cole can be reached at 913-8607 or at ccole@azdailysun.com.

If you go...

Travel Management Planning Meeting

Date: Saturday, Oct. 14

Where: Main Lobby of Coconino High School, Flagstaff

Time: 1-4 p.m.

What to expect: The October meetings will focus on informing the public

about the Travel Management Rule and on how to effectively take part in the

Travel Management process.

On display: Maps of existing motorized trail system and initial suggestions for
changes to that system; the major natural resource concerns related to
motorized travel; and the fiscal and

management constraints the Forest Service faces in maintaining the motorized
routes.

zman
10-19-2006, 08:39 AM
The Camp Verde Turnout was pretty good. Lets just say I couldn't count the number of people there. Ranchers, ATV's and our club was there, along with a couple greenies from Sedona. Didn't get a whole lot out of the presentation. They did identify riparian areas, errosion and things like that to help determine where trails may or may not be. The map of the current roads was still work in progress and they had nothing for us to take home (as far as a map on roads). From what I could tell it looks like Smasher Canyon has a good chance of staying open as it is not in a stream or riparian area.

zman

My1stJeep
10-19-2006, 09:35 AM
We better keep up the pace with large numbers, at this point we are looking to lose 2/3 of the trails in the Coconino Forest. The only thing that can save us is to attend the meetings and come prepared with trail and route documentation, any mitigation for any potential issues and what the trails mean to you personally along with the importance of the area to you and your family.

zman
11-05-2006, 09:50 PM
An unnamed jeeper that I personally know went to the USFS meeting in Flag. Here are the following are notes he made. Very interesting.

zman

***********************************

USFS TMR MEETING

11/4/06

Coco. H.S.



Notes on what I was told and what I saw happening.



On arrival, outside there were numerous vehicles. It appeared to be
fairly
well attended. 2 or 3 of the vehicles had posters/banners with
messages
against motorized access.



I missed the intro speech(s).



Inside, there were 6-8 very large tables with laminated maps and groups
of
people gathered around each one.



I started by asking USFS personnel to "bring me up to speed" as to what
was
happening. I also asked what was the "starting point"? For example,
are
the roads shown on the Forest Service map you buy a the sporting goods
store
the "starting point" as to what roads will be left open? They
suggested I
go to view a couple of maps. One map showed approx. 95% of the Coco
Nat.
Forest's existing roads even those not shown on the commercially sold
map.
The USFS person working that area told me that the primary reason for
the
elimination of roads was budgetary. "We can't manage all the existing
roads
with their current and projected budgets". FYI Note: According to the
USFS, there are approx. 4000 miles of roads that a currently classified
as
"un-maintained" meaning they rarely have to do anything to those roads
(Blade it once every 10-12 years). There is approx. 700 miles of
"maintained" roads that supposedly require frequent maintenance.

The other map showed a 20-25% reduction (elimination) of mostly
"un-maintained" roads. Which roads to eliminate were based on the
USFS's
assessment of soil, riparian, wildlife, archeological considerations.
I
was told this was the USFS's proposed, "starting point".



It was then up to the public to view the USFS's proposed reductions and
identify if a road(s) were eliminated that you want left open, what
roads
those are and why you want them left open. The opposite is also true,
if
roads were left open that you want closed.



After this discussion, I was told to go to the various tables and view
the
maps of the specific Forest regions. Here is how this process worked.
Each table had a laminated map of a specific section of the forest.
Example: San Francisco Peaks area. People were then allowed to draw
circles
around an area(s) using a RED pen if you wanted NO motorized access or
a
BLUE pen if you wanted motorized access. Then you would write your
reasons
(which can be anything) down on a flip chart next to that map. This
becomes
"input" to the USFS. For Example: I watched a guy draw a RED circle
around
the area south of the peaks and north of City of Flagstaff (Schultz
Pass
area). His reasoning was that the Peaks wilderness needed a "buffer."

I saw this happen again in the area above the Secret Mountain
Wilderness,
specifically the "Buck Ridge Cabin area. As I looked at other maps on
other tables I saw similar "input". Large areas circled in RED. I
finally
asked one of the USFS personnel, what if I don't agree with the RED
circle
around the "Schultz Pass" area or other areas? He said, and then you
need
to draw a BLUE circle around the RED and state why. So began going
back to
the maps and drawing BLUE circles. Nobody had been doing this and
therefore, people were treating these areas on the maps as a "first
come,
first serve" basis. Big mistake!





Conclusions:



a.. Forest Service is much more inclined to close areas rather than
leave
them open. All of their documentation provided slants issues toward
reduced
and/or eliminated access.


a.. People need to attend these meetings.


a.. Don't be shy about circling BLUE areas you want to remain open.
Believe me, the RED pen crowd is not shy even a little!


a.. If an area is circled in RED without opposition, it makes it much
easier for the USFS to justify closing it. It would be true for areas
circled in BLUE.


a.. Suggest that the USFS emphasize enforcement of current and
perhaps new
laws, instead of just closing off access.

FrenchChili
11-05-2006, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the report.

Capt-Kirk
11-06-2006, 11:37 AM
when is the next meeting?

zman
11-06-2006, 02:23 PM
Thursday the 9th in Camp Verde