Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice
Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice
San Diego , CA - July 14, 2008. The Cleveland National Forest will be releasing an environmental assessment (EA) on motorized travel management for public comment on July 15, 2008. Public comments on the proposal will be accepted until August 13, 2008. Comments may be submitted by mail or by hand delivery. Activities proposed and analyzed in the EA include changes to the Cleveland NF transportation system by adding roads for highway-legal vehicles, motorized trails for a variety of vehicle classes and revising the size of OHV open areas. The EA discloses environmental impacts associated with a no action alternative, the proposed action that was released for scoping in January 2008, and an alternative that was developed using comments submitted by the public during scoping.
After an extensive screening process, the Cleveland NF is proposing to add between 7- 12 miles of roads and trails and between 2-15 acres of small open areas to the Cleveland NF Transportation System. To comply with the 2005 travel management rule, the Cleveland NF will produce a motor vehicle use map after the final decision is made. This map will identify which roads, trails, and areas are open for motorized use on the Cleveland NF. Additional changes to motorized use on the Cleveland NF would require further environmental analysis and would occur gradually over time as staffing and budget allow. The map will be updated annually to reflect any such changes.
Extinguishers come in many sizes. I’ve found the 3 lb. size adequate for vehicles. Buy two high-quality refillable models. You’ll spend a few extra dollars, but it’ll be worth it. Think of a fire extinguisher as an insurance policy. You don’t want to cut corners there.
Mount one on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel. The other should be mounted in a visible spot on or near the back gate. The key here is that it is accessible. Too many people mount or place their extinguishers under boxes or other stuff in the back. It won’t do you any good if you can’t grab it quickly.
The first step in the NEPA process is “Scoping”. This is the time for the public to submit their comments. These comments will be used to develop the alternatives. One of the alternatives will be the final preferred action in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. These comments form the basis of the “administrative record”.Just commenting during the “scoping” period is not enough. You will have two additional opportunities to provide comments. However, after the scoping period, new information is difficult to enter into the administrative record.For example, your favorite trail is known as “Broken Winch Trail”. You have been using it for years and the proposed action does not recognize it as a trail to be included in the designated route system. During the scoping period, the agency is asking for comments on a proposed action. Now is the time for you to tell the agency about “Broken Winch Trail” and how it is an important recreation opportunity as it leads to your summer fishing hole, your fall hunting camp, and a provides a technical trail challenge for your recreation pleasure. That is the type of information the agency is soliciting.Identify the trail and why it is important and submit those comments to the planning team. The agency planning team will review your comments along with others submitted. From these comments, they will develop a Draft EIS complete with alternatives and a preferred alternative. And, for each alternative, consequences of that action will be analyzed.You, the recreationist, have an opportunity to continue participating in the discussions and make our opinions known. During your review of the Draft EIS, you find “Broken Winch Trail” has not been identified as part of the final proposed action. Now is the time for you to refer to your original comments submitted during scoping and submit them again, stressing how very important that trail is to you. You can provide additional information to support your case.Again, the agency will review all comments received and adjust their preferred alternative. This time, the agency will send out a Final EIS for public comment. During you review of the Final EIS, you find “Broken Winch Trail” has not been identified as part of the final action. Now is the time for you to refer to your original comments submitted during scoping and your comments submitted to the Draft EIS and let the agency know you still consider “Broken Winch Trail” as an important recreation opportunity. You can provide additional information to support your case.Again, the agency will review all comments received and adjust their final preferred alternative and issue a Record of Decision. During your review of the Record of Decision, you find that “Broken Winch Trail” is still not included.Now, you have “standing” -- you have participated in the process -- and you can show “harm” -- your recreation opportunity is not being addressed. You can appeal the decision and get ready to file that lawsuit.You have “standing” because you participated in all parts of the discussion. You have identified something of importance to you and provided documentation as to why it is important.The final decision does not include what is important to you and you are now “harmed” because “Broken Winch Trail” is being closed and you will be prohibited from using it.You have participated in the discussions. You have provided documentation. The administrative decision is not in your favor. Perhaps the judge will review the facts and rule in your favor........
Now is your opportunity to be part of the decision process.