After several years of working on a court ordered revision of the Motorized Vehicle Use plan (MVUM), Alternative C was selected in Draft Record of Decision for Motorized Travel released in early November. The USFS press release notes that the draft decision designates roads and trails open to public motor vehicle use. (It does not include non-motorized trails.)
Wild Connections is still reviewing the details, but it appears that Alt. C includes many of the recommendations that we submitted.
The 45 day Objection period ends on December 21. Objections will be accepted only from those who have previously submitted "timely specific written comments..during the public comment periods." A number of conservation groups, including Wild Connections, are thus eligible to object. Until this review is completed, we do not know if Wild Connections will file an Objection.
Click the Analysis tab for the 5 detailed plan alternatives & USFS maps
Public comments are closed. The Plan will be released sometime in 2020
OHV's cause damage to riparian areas. Phot Misi Ballard
Failing road along the S Platte River in Wildcat Canyon. Photo Jean Smith
Support a Balanced USFS PSI Travel Plan
The Pike-San Isabel travel plan will determine motorized use for the future. The resulting maps will let people know where they can travel by car, jeep, ATV, dirt bikes and in some case share trails with mountain bikers, horsemen and hikers.
Here are our top-line talking points:
Closing motorized routes in Wilderness Areas, Roadless Areas, and designated non-motorized management areas.
Prohibiting motorcycle use on trails predominantly used by hikers.
Designating seasonal closures to motorized use to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Increasing management to minimize and mitigate impacts to natural resources.
Opening of new motorized trails in locations favored for quiet recreation or in priority wildlife habitat.
Significantly reduced maintenance levels on roads that access designated recreation facilities such as quiet use trailheads.
Allowing motorized trails on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
Written comments can be submitted in person, through the online comment portal, or mailed to John Dow, PSICC Forest Planner, Travel Management, 2840 Kachina Drive, Pueblo, CO, 81008.
Background: Motorized use on 500 miles of the Pike-San Isabel was challenged in court.
Four years ago Quiet Use Coalition, Rocky Mountain Wild, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, The Wilderness Society and Wild Earth Guardians "filed a lawsuit challenging the Pike-San Isabel's permitting motorized vehicle use on over 500 miles of motorized roads and trails without first consulting the public or examining the potential environmental effects. Some of the routes are in areas zoned for not-motorized use only; others were located in important big-game winter range and imperiled species' habitat" (Earth Justice, press release).
The U. S. District Court announced the settlement on November 20th. The Forest Service is now required to review all motorized use on the forest and develop a plan that defines the type and location of motorized use across the Pike-San Isabel with in five years.
This is a win for both wildlife and the public and will help protect the forest for the future. Earth Justice represented the conservation groups in this lawsuit.
Wild Connections' mission is to identify, protect, and restore wildlands, native species, and biological diversity in the Arkansas and South Platte watersheds. They are the ancestral lands of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other indigenous peoples.