Sequoia Forest Service Announces Start of Road Planning
Yes that is right the Forest Service is doing another Road Plan. This is Subpart A of the Travel Management program announced back in 2005. They want to identify a properly sized road system for each National Forest System unit. Previously they analyzed both roads and trails under Subpart B which you can read about here.
Just about everyone needs Forest Roads. They are used for Camping, Scenic Drives as well as Access for hunting, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking and off roading. Not to mention Roads serve as fire breaks and allow fire crews to get to wildfires. Roads also provide access for crews thinning overgrown forests reducing unnaturally high fuel loads promoting forest health and reducing the risk of wildfire. Even hikers use roads to get to trailheads.
So Roads are necessary for tourism, recreation and environmental programs. They take up less that half a percent of the surface area of our National Forest Lands, yet there are some people who feel there are too many roads.
Cost to maintain roads is one consideration, but in most cases the cost to remove or decommission a road is far more than maintaining it for many years.
In a letter to the Forest Service California Counties stated, “Over the past five years, county governments and the general public have gone through great levels of turmoil and angst in attempting to deal with the actions of California’s National Forests implementation of Subpart B of the Travel Management Rule and the restrictions that have been imposed to severely limit freedoms that were long enjoyed on America’s public lands.”
Fortunately due to the involvement of Stewards of the Sequoia, California Off Road Vehicle Association and others the outcome of the recent Sequoia National Forest Travel Management plan only closed a small portion of your roads and trails in Sequoia.
Apparently the Forest Service Subpart A Travel Analysis will provide a second wack at closing more of your roads in the Sequoia National Forest. It would be wise for the public to become engaged. Speak up or risk losing access to your National Forest.
Stewards of the Sequoia Executive Director and Director of Land use both submitted comments to help keep existing 4x4 routes from being closed. Click Below to read them-
TrailsInTrouble.org has a short very informative video about our dwindling Forest roads and trails.
Stewards of the Sequoia will be engaged in this new Subpart A Road planning process and continue to work to keep your roads open for public access. Donate now to help support this effort.