Enviro Proposal Insults Responsible Trail Management
Vast new Wilderness and Backcountry Management Areas of more than 750,000 acres are being proposed for the Sequoia and Sierra National Forests by Enviro Groups Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild. They seek to restrict public access, close existing motorized trails and eliminating future trails.
You can read Stewards of the Sequoia letter of objection cosigned by 41 other organizations.
We have not been able to find any local organization or business that supports their 758,000 acre Land Grab
Adding insult to injury Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild did not reach out to any stakeholder organization, such as Stewards of the Sequoia or Stewards of the Sierra, that maintains the trails in the areas where they seek to change management.
They are misrepresenting the facts and claiming the Forest Service is proposing these huge Wilderness Backcountry Management Areas. That is not true. This is all coming from Sierra Forest Legacy, Cal Wild and Wilderness Society. This is about moving their agenda of more Wilderness at any cost and facts be damned.
In an attempt to garner support Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild are claiming they want to ensure mountain bike and motorized trails in the area would not be effected, but they are actually spreading mis information in order to get buy in for their ill conceived closure plan.
In Sequoia we have an extensive multiple use trail system, due in large part to more than a decade of tireless work by Stewards of the Sequoia motorized volunteers performing maintenance such as clearing 10,000 downed trees, brushing hundreds of miles of trails and building 5000 water bars, so that everyone from motorized to mountain bikes and hikers can enjoy Sequoia trails.
Apparently Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild know better and want to designate more Wilderness areas, which would prohibit Stewards of the Sequoia motorized volunteers from maintaining these trails. This proposal insults Stewards of the Sequoia's responsible trail management.
- Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild have not provided any valid reason or benefit for increasing restrictions. To be honest there are no good reasons, only the downside of increased restrictions that will harm recreation and the environment.
- They claim these lands are under threat of roads being built on them and need greater protection, but that is not true. They are already protected as Roadless Areas. That was why they were designated as Roadless.
- After an extensive review process the Forest Service recently determined most of these lands do not even qualify for consideration as Wilderness or any other restrictive designation.
- WIth more than 50% of the Sequoia Forest already locked up in Wilderness or Monument designations, we have more than enough restrictive lands.
- We need to disperse use on public lands to reduce impacts. With 99% of the public recreating on multiple use lands we cannot afford to lose more multiple use lands to Wilderness.confli More Wilderness will increase impacts on our public lands by concentrating use on smaller multiple use areas.
- Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild are attempting to convince IMBA and Mountain Bike clubs that more Wilderness or Backcountry Management Areas will be good for MTB by restricting motorized use or what they call conflicts. There are no conflicts in Sequoia. Just users sharing the trails.We do not appreciate Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild attempting to generate conflict and pit recreation groups against each other.
- Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild want to reduce shared trails, which means less trails for everyone.
- Their Outdoor Alliance online map mistakenly lists motorized trails as non motorized, which gives the appearance of no net loss of motorized trails, when there actually will be.
- But more importantly in Sequoia motorized users volunteer and fund over 300 miles of trail maintenance each year, so everyone including MTB can enjoy the trails. If Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild get their way the trails closed to motorized use would no longer be maintained for anyone to use.
- The Sierra Forest Legacy and Cal Wild land management proposal is totally irresponsible. It seeks to eliminate the successful motorized volunteers and motorized funding that has maintained most of these trails for decades, without any commitment from them to replace it.
- Their proposal will increase catastrophic wildfires and harm forest health by restricting or eliminating much needed active management to reduce unnaturally high fuel loads.
- Their proposal prohibiting or restricting motorized use would be a death sentence for these trails. Who would maintain them? The Wilderness groups cannot even maintain the trails they have in the huge existing Wilderness areas. So there is no way they can maintain more, which means if they have their way many more trails will become overgrown and impassable.
- It is far more costly and difficult to maintain non motorized trails or trails in Wilderness, so why would we want to designate more lands that increase the cost of trail maintenance?
- As MTB and motorized use increase over the years the trail system will need to expand to disperse use and reduce environmental impacts. That would be prohibited by this proposal.
- Steward of the Sequoia motorized volunteers and funding have been building new trails over the past ten years with plans for more. That would no longer be possible under this new Wilderness Backcountry Management proposal.
- Trail reroutes would no longer be possible, harming recreation.
CLICK HERE to see the Sierra Forest Legacy, Cal Wild Wilderness Proposal
Working together we can keep more trails open. Sharing trails as we do now, means more trails for everyone.