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h8pvmnt
01-20-2004, 07:30 PM
To comment on the Closing of the river crossing at Childs please use the following information. There is only a 30 day comment period and some of that has passed so don't delay, get it in ASAP.

Website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/verde_crmp/

Email: r3_verde_river@fs.fed.us

US Mail:
Carl Taylor
Tonto National Forest
2324 E. Mcdowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85010

Hackle
01-20-2004, 07:45 PM
Mike we need to post up a sample letter for everyone to modify and send in. Both you and Stu have been in this area more then I have. I would suggest you post your letter and Stu is going to send one out that we can do the same thing to. Then members can add, combine or edit to get thier own response.
BTW this is very important the Forest Service is just throwing us to the wolves with no thought. We need to show them that what they propose is not acceptable. All the letters will be a record in the documents. They can not ignore us if we get enough response.
Jim F.

h8pvmnt
01-20-2004, 07:49 PM
This is cut from the FS website,

Public Involvement
The Coconino, Prescott, and Tonto National Forests invite you to review and comment on the issues and alternatives presented here. Comments or concerns specific to this proposed Verde Wild & Scenic River CRMP should be postmarked by February 28, 2002 and may be sent via by regular mail to:

Carl Taylor
Tonto National Forest
2324 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Comments submitted in response to this notice should include your name, address, and the project name (Verde Wild & Scenic River Comprehensive River Management Plan). All comments will become part of the project record and available for public inspection. Individuals and organizations that comment may have their letters released in their entirety, if requested under the Freedom of Information Act. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who submit anonymous comments will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215 and 217.

If you have no comments at this time but wish to remain informed of the progress of this project, please send us notification of your continued interest. Those who do not provide a response to this letter will be dropped from the project mail list.

Feel free to contact Carl Taylor at (602) 225-5230 with any questions.

h8pvmnt
01-20-2004, 08:00 PM
Here is the text of the letter i sent, please read the information provided on the FS website and draft your own letter based on your observations, feel free to plagerize mine, however i was mad when i wrote it so it may not be the best template.



Tonto National Forest
2324 E. McDowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85010


RE: Verde Wild & Scenic River Comprehensive River Management Plan

First I would like to comment on the fact that the notice given for this meeting was inadequate, I have repeatedly signed up to be on your mailing lists but I have never once received any notification of any action or upcoming event. I attended the meeting tonight at the Embassy Suites Hotel, my first observation would be that your lack of adequate notification worked well in that the majority in attendance were FS employees, which I assume was your goal.

The comment form provided at the meeting was conspicuously missing any contact information. No address for US mail was included nor was any direction to your website given. I find this to be an inexcusable oversight. Especially given the fact that a publicly funded website exists specifically for this project.

The river crossing at Childs AZ must be opened and re-main open. What is the driving force behind this action? Where will the funds for enforcement come from? Mr. Carl Taylor told me tonight in the presence of several others that he doubts any increased enforcement presence will be in the area, so how will closure have any effect on curbing whatever problem is perceived to exist. Mr. Taylor conceded that this type of action is punishing the many for the actions of a few. Has there been any legitimate inquiry into the potential of a shallow water crossing to negate the impact on the river. This type of crossing is used in Arizona including other area's of the Tonto National Forest, as well as other states with much success. It was mentioned that the expense of such a crossing is prohibitive, how is this known? Has the possibility even been addressed? This area is north of the "wild" section of the river and is not within the boundaries of the Matazal Wilderness area, so there is no compelling reason for closure. There is also another crossing approximately one mile north of this area that is in an area that appears to be a good place for a shallow water crossing, yet the east side of the river is blocked by a gate that only FS, Ranchers and Power Plant Personnel can open, why? When the power plant closes will the gate be removed?

I would also like to submit that these meeting's should include a Q&A period where all in attendance can ask questions of the collective FS group and the answers be made part of the public record, this informal meeting format leaves no record of the events that took place during the meeting. Except the written comment's.

In closing I would like to restate that there seems to be no legitimate reason to limit access to this beautiful area. Please keep it open for all of us to enjoy,

"Lets keep the public lands open for the people, not from the people"

Regards,

Michael Wixom
79 South Garnet Road
Gilbert, AZ 85296

Member of:
AZ Dust Devils, AZVJC, ASA4WDC,
UFWDC, Tread Lightly, Blue Ribbon Coalition.

Stu Olson
01-21-2004, 01:34 PM
The area in the management plan is referred to as the VWSR (Verde Wild and Scenic River). It is actually a corridor that the Verde River flows through and extends out from the river itself some distance (dependent on which alternative management method is decided on).

It seems that Alternative #2 is the best management alternative for us. Here is the summary from the forest service plan for Alternative #2:

It maximizes public use opportunities within the VWSR corridor. The existing authorized motorized vehicle access to the corridor and existing controls on recreational use would remain in place. Livestock grazing would continue to occurs in some riparian and upload areas within the river corridor with improved management oversight.

As such, I see Alternative #2 as our best best. #3 and #4 both reduce and/or eliminate some/all of the motorized access into some/all parts of the corridor. No way...I am not buying into loosing my motorized access.

Items to speak to in your responses include:

1. There are approximately 8 miles of motorized access trails in the corridor now. There are approximately 13 miles of non-motorized trails in the corridor now. This means that non-motorized trail miles already outnumber motorized trail miles by more than 50%. Obviously, we do NOT need more non-motorized trails in the corridor.

2. Forest Road 16 goes north from Bloody Basin Road and ultimately gets to the Childs river crossing some 26 miles later. I've driven this road in my Jeep. I had fun on it....a ranger last night told me it was pretty tough...what ever. Anyway, the fording point at Childs is NOT recognized as a legal river crossing by the forest service. Why? Because of the liability issues involved. In fact, the trail on the east side of the river, Forest Road 57, at Childs has a different trail number as you can see. Why? This indicates the trail ends at the river (from both
directions) and does not "resume" on the opposite bank. If it did, then the
trail numbers on both sides of the river would be the same.

But....my point is that the other alternatives would stop both trails 16 and 57 before they reach the river. Thus, they both become a dead end trail. That means 26 miles in on Forest Road 16 and then the same 26 miles back out (you get to see the opposite side of the rocks you passed earlier in the day). The ability of continuing across the river and finishing the trail would be lost to us as motorized users. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!

The ranger I spoke with, Carl Taylor, said he did not feel any high pressure from the greenies to close the river crossing at Childs (I specifically
asked him about this very point!) In his words, "There are so few vehicles
crossing the river that is not a real issue." Obviously then, in their own words, if it is NOT an issue, then leaving the "not recognized by the USFS" river crossing as it currently is should NOT be a problem for anyone.

I've been to the Childs crossing during two different off-road trips. On both occasions I witnessed vehicles crossing the river. At no time did I seen any hikers wade across the river. In fact, at no time did I seen any hikers on either of the two trails I used to get to the Childs crossing. What does that tell me? It tells me we do not need more non-motorized trails in the VWSR.

3. The population growth in the Phoenix metro area has been nothing but amazing over the past two decades. Maricopa county is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States in terms of population. OHV sales and use in the past decade has exploded in growth. The people are going out to the PUBLIC LANDS to recreate. Reducing the amount of motorized access trail miles will NOT help the situation, it will only cause yet more over crowding on the remaining trails. Any management plan alternative that reduces motorized access to existing roads and trails in our PUBLIC FORESTS is NOT acceptable, period, end of discussion! Example: Alternative #4 would cut the amount of motorized trail miles by a factor of 4....and at the same time, it would increase the miles of non-motorized trails.


OK....I have ranted enough about this.

PLEASE get your comments out today....right now....this very minute. Stop what you are doing and send your comments (do not just block copy what I wrote above....edit it please!) to r3_verde_river@fs.fed.us and let them know what you think.

Thanks for helping!

Stu

p.s. By the way, if you think this is NOT a serious issue that needs your attention, think again! Did you know that if motorized access through the corridor is pulled, you lose some great OHV trip potential. Did you know that you can go from Table Mesa to the Rim via existing roads and trails? (no highway travel....4x4 all the way!) BUT....if alternative #3 or #4 is pushed into use, you just lost one heck of a kick butt trail opportunity....and after those go, you will lose more! Write the comments NOW!

JamesT
01-21-2004, 02:07 PM
Thanks Stu and others.

Letter written and sent.

JamesT
01-23-2004, 04:57 PM
Let's go people......

h8pvmnt
01-25-2004, 03:20 PM
As i suspected only 50 views to this post, and almost no replies, i guess that does not mean people are not writing letters, but it is probably a good indication that there are not to many that are.

Hackle
01-25-2004, 03:38 PM
Mike I copied it to the General Forum which has about 64 views. You can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink.
Jim F.

Antman
02-01-2004, 02:20 PM
Yes, I admit, I read it in the General Forum. Acted on it too!:D

Sandee McCullen
02-09-2004, 01:23 PM
Importance: High
RESPONSES DUE BY NEXT WEEK................ IF YOU HAVEN'T SENT YOUR RESPONSE RE THE WATER CROSSING AT CHILD'S, PLEASE DO SO NOW. A SENTENCE OR TWO WILL DO!!!!
Sandee


PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL MOTOR-FRIENDLY PERSONS

Greetings!

The Verde River Wild and Scenic Plan needs our help in preserving the crossing of the Verde at Childs Power Plant.

The de-commissioning of that plant has been a pet project of the Center for Bio-Diversity and that, by default, means we will do everything we can to stop it.

Even if the plant goes off-line, it is a whole 'nother story for the Center to get the area limited to foot traffic only, which is their goal.

So, everyone who receives this message needs to send in comments supporting Alternative C as it applies to roads and trails with the additional stipulation that the crossing of the Verde at Childs be included in the FS road and trail inventory and kept open for motorized travel.

Here is the e-mail address to send your comments in and remember to put your name and address on your e-mail. Send in one for each member of your family, if you can.

Address your comments to Carl Taylor, Tonto National Forest ...

(Yeah, I know, why is a Tonto guy dealing with this area of the Prescott NF? The answer is he is the lead contact on Verde Wild and Scenic which is a multiple-FS office effort)

But, PLEASE DO IT TODAY!!

The deadline is next week, but don't wait....Keep this vital link from Dugas to Strawberry open and get it on the books NOW!

r3_verde_river@fs.fed.us

Sanford Cohen

P.S. Please cc me on what you send in to the FS at sanford9@cableone.net Thanks!




BELOW IS MY COMMENT................ YOUR RESPONSE NEEDS ONLY BE A SENTENCE OR TWO. DOESN'T NEED TO BE A FULL PAGE LETTER. AS SANFORD NOTES ABOVE.............. SEND YOUR COMMENTS NOW. Sandee



To Whom It May Concern;

RE: Wild & Scenic River Plan

Comments regarding the "Crossing at Childs"............. This crossing is vital to recreation in retaining the link from Dugas to Strawberry. This crossing has been used by recreationists for years and should not be closed to motorized crossing. The OHV Community has numerous plans available for "hard bottom" or "shallow water crossings" available should you need them.

Your consideration to amend Alternative C to include keeping the Childs crossing open to all recreation would be appreciated.

Sandee McCullen

ASA4WDC
AzVJC
AzOHV Coalition