Action Alert-NOI Proposed Closures Updated 2/1/08

The comment period has closed for this part of the trail planning process. The next comment period will probably be in May 2008 when the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is promised to be released.

Thanks to the hundreds of people who submitted comments to keep the trails open, as well as the hundreds in favor of keeping trails open who attended the public meetings.
Want to know what the next step is to help keep trails open Click Here
Based on the new forest proposal maps showing which trails will remain open, it is estimated 279 4x4 roads & trails are proposed to be closed in the recent NOI Notice of Intent, including 4x4 roads, ATV & Single-track trails, in the Piute/Greenhorn/Breckenridge planning area of 208,000 acres. Two of Stewards adopted trails Willow Gulch & Little Dry are proposed for closure, as well as 56 previously designated roads & trails.
Currently the Trails are open year round, but the Forest proposes to only allow use on most or all trails from 5/25-11/15 of each year. Trails are currently open all year & we see no system wide reason to change this, which would eliminate most of the best riding season.
Here is a slideshow of maps illustrating the proposed closure (reduced file size 808kb)
The big question is how does the Forest Service justify closing 279 trails to motorized use. It seems inconceivable that all of these trails have valid problems which cannot be mitigated. Over the next year the Forest Service will be considering other alternatives to this draconian closure proposal.
Fortunately about 180 people attended the recent Forest meetings & voiced their desire for the existing trails to remain open to motorized use.
If you care about the keeping the trails open please submit a written comment. In order for your comments to have any impact they must specifically address the concerns they raise & also provide significant reasons as to why each trail you care about needs to be kept open.
Stewards will be submitting a substantive written response to the closure proposal. We have already submitted maps & documentation listing every trail & why each one is important to the system. Our volunteer Trail Preservation Committee & hired specialist have done a considerable amount of work. Now it is up to each of you to do your part. Please be sure to attend the meetings. Please make a donation to Stewards, so we can have the funds necessary to continue our efforts to convince the Forest Service to keep our trails open.
Is less than 1% of the land so much to ask?
Using Forest Service Trail width & length data we have calculated the footprint of all the 4x4 roads, ATV & Single Track trails in the planning area & it is approximately 88 acres. In other words the surface area of all the roads & trails is 88 acres out of 208,000 acre planning area, or a mere 0.04% of the planning area. Just to be safe lets double that to 0.08%, still less than 1%.
Is it so much to ask for them to keep our existing trails open on less than 1% of land? With your help we hope to preserve these trails, so future generations can enjoy them as we have.
Many of you have joined Stewards email list, but have not made a donation, please support our efforts by donating now.
Many of you who are reading this are not Stewards members, please join so we can increase our official membership numbers & please donate.
Together we can keep our trails open
It is critical that trail users participate in the designation process to make sure that your favorite trails are incorporated into the plan. The comment period for this preliminary notice will remain open until July 15th, 2007. Written comments should be submitted to:
Chris Sanders
Travel Management
Sequoia National Forest
1839 S. Newcomb Street
Porterville, CA 93257
Email to Forest & email a copy to Stewards