Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Forest Plan Revision Commenting Suggestions

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For your comments not to be viewed as a “form letter,” it is critical that you pick and choose the issues you want to include in your comments and put them in your own words. If it is viewed as a form letter, it will be included with all the other similar comments and counted as one.

It isn’t necessary that you ride in the Nez-Clearwater to comment. You have an interest in motorized access to all forests. Share your passion for recreating in the Forests. The more personal the better. Also, talk about the importance of motorized recreation to the economies of the rural communities.

The environmental community is hitting this issue with everything they have because they don’t want to lose the hold they have on the Forests in Region 1. This is our opportunity to be successful and turn things around. The Forest Supervisor is looking for an opportunity to change the direction of the Forest and the Washington Office, for the first time in years, is truly on our side. Now it is up to us.

We need everyone to comment. You can either write your comments directly on their site or attach your comments.

The deadline is April 20 so act now and spread the word.

We the motorized community need to swamp that forest with our comments. Let’s give them every reason to side with us and make it difficult for them to go against us.

STEP ONE – visit the comment website for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest comment page for commenting on the Forest Plan Revision and Draft Environmental Impact Statement – accessible by clicking here.

STEP TWO – provide the requested information such as who you are and your contact information.

STEP THREE – in your text comments, explain who you are, where you live, how you recreate and where you recreate. Highlight areas you recreate within the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forestclick here for a map of the forest.

STEP FOUR – provide an indication that you prefer Alternative X.

I strongly prefer Alternative X as described in the DEIS. This is the only alternative that provides for increased opportunities for motorized recreation in the semi primitive areas of the Forest. This alternative is consistent with state and local preferences. The Forest ought to follow the lead of what the locals want. Importantly, Alternative X also excludes any RWA and any new WRS. It provides for increased summer motorized use opportunities, particularly by encouraging loop opportunities, and protects snowmobile use in the Great Burn.

STEP FIVE – provide other unique and specific comments to your use type and your experiences. Below are suggested comment topics.

Wilderness

  • This Forest is home to the largest intact Wilderness area in the lower 48 states. This Forest has enough Wilderness already. I oppose any new Wilderness in the Forest, and I oppose any recommended Wilderness areas in the Forest. I support an area designation of Primitive Motorized, or use of special management areas, in order to preserve historical motorized uses in areas with some Wilderness qualities in order to preserve the status quo.
  • Any recommended Wilderness area should not be managed as Wilderness. Historic motorized uses and activities pre-existing RWA designation should be restored and allowed until Congress directs otherwise.

 Winter OSV Use

  • The Great Burn, or the Hoodoo Roadless Area, is a spectacular and unique winter recreation area for motorized sledders. It provides riders with an experience of solitude, challenge and untouched opportunity. There is no environmental damage posed by OSV use in the Great Burn. This area provides a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the Nez-Clearwater or the Panhandle.
  • I support a special management area being created for the Great Burn, so long as it provides management direction that preserves historic winter motorized recreation in all areas of the Great Burn, notably Goat Lake and its surrounding geophysical bowls, Blacklead Mountain and its surrounding geophysical bowls, Doe Creek drainage and its surrounding geophysical bowls, Deer Creek drainage and its surrounding geophysical bowls, and the Williams Lake cherry stem access.
  • OSV activity should be permitted throughout West Meadow Creek area.
  • The Pot Mountain and Rawhide areas are great snowmobile experiences when snow reaches lower elevations. Please preserve this opportunity.
  • If any Wild & Scenic River designation occurs on a river segment where OSV trails parallel or cross the river, those historic uses should be preserved and protected. Designation of Wild & Scenic ought to not be used as a means to close motorized routes, or to bisect them in such a way as to destroy their usefulness and value. Valuable river corridors can be preserved and protected while still maintaining historic motorized uses that have apparently been ongoing, yet still making the area suitable for WSR selection. 

Summer OHV Use

  • We need more motorized recreation areas in the Forest. The DEIS itself states there is a need for increased opportunities for motorized recreation in the front country and in the backcountry, during summer and winter seasons. Data suggests that more than one-half of the recreational use of the NPC is related to motorized recreation. See Table 2, Chapter 3, DEIS (showing data for NPC visits as 37.9 percent for driving for pleasure, 7.2 percent for motorized trail use, 5.2 percent for OHV use, 2.6 percent for OSV use and 0.5 percent for other motorized uses). With such tremendous motorized use, and the fact that motorized sport activity is increasing every year as populations age, increased opportunities are needed to avoid congestion.
  • I encourage the Forest to avoid road and trail decommissioning at every opportunity. I understand resource issues may sometimes present a problem for OHV routes. But destroying a route is the least preferred action. Consideration to repair, improvement or reconstruction should be the first priority, followed by exploring opportunities for route relocation. Local clubs and users, like myself, are more than willing to help with these activities to keep routes open.
  • It is important to me and my recreation experience that a motorized trail exist from Elk City to Florence, and then to the Payette NF, and the section of trail identified by the GEM connecting Smith Ridge to adjacent Idaho State lands, which are each part of a larger system. The Elk City to Florence trail would most likely cross Johns Creek, which needs an ROS setting that allows for the construction of this trail. The Smith Ridge connector needs an ROS setting enabling its construction. This objective would be a great addition to the GEM system and the vision of OHV enthusiasts to develop an OHV route running the length of Idaho from north to south.
  • I support a standard or objective of the Forest providing that when motorized road/trail opportunity is lost, the lost opportunity will be mitigated by the addition of new opportunity in other areas within the Forest.
  • The DEIS totally ignores the tremendous growth among UTV sport recreation. The Forest should recognize for, and plan for, increasing UTV use by making an objective to increase low-level maintained roads and trails that will accommodate UTVs wider than 50 inches and other high clearance off-road vehicles.
  • I encourage the Forest to develop an objective to provide that opportunities be increased for OHV travel by OHVs greater than 50 inches in width—so called UTVs, SOHVs and Jeeps/4WD vehicles. Too many trails are being limited to motorcycles or ATVs less than 50 inches in width, forcing other OHV users to operate on full-size auto roads. These OHV users need trail opportunities.
  • The Meadow Creek areas, both east and west, present unique and special opportunities for single-track, motorcycle riders. Motorcycle trails in this area exceed 100 miles. Please preserve this unique and special motorized opportunities by excluding the meadow creek area from RWA. It lacks suitability for this purpose.
  • The Anderson Butte ATV trail in the West Meadow Creek area should remain open to OHVs of 50 inches or less.
  • The Pot Mountain and Rawhide areas are much enjoyed by, and easily accessible to, motorcycles. Please preserve this use.
  • If any Wild & Scenic River designation occurs on a river segment where OHV trails parallel or cross the river, those historic uses should be preserved and protected. Designation of Wild & Scenic ought to not be used as a means to close motorized routes, or to bisect them in such a way as to destroy their usefulness and value. Valuable river corridors can be preserved and protected while still maintain historic motorized uses that have apparently been ongoing, yet still making the area suitable for WSR selection.
  • Fish Creek should not be designated at a wild river. There is a motorized trail that parallels Fish Creek for almost its entire length. 

Watercraft And River Systems

  • The Forest is home to many Wild & Scenic Rivers, and river segments have already been thoroughly examined and included for that purpose. I oppose any new designation of Wild & Scenic River segments in the Forest.
  • North Fork Clearwater River ought not to be designated as a wild river. The North Fork Clearwater River provides an excellent and challenging opportunity for jet boat recreation about three months of the year. This opportunity needs to be preserved. There is an abundance of federal laws that protect the river without designating it Wild and Scenic.
  • The South Fork Clearwater River is used by the suction dredge miners. There is no substantiated scientific evidence that these activities have any negative incidental effect on threatened or endangered fish species, water quality or other matters of environmental concerns. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary that these suction dredge activities have a beneficial effect on the health of the watercourse and fish species. This is a managed and legitimate use that A Wild and Scenic River Designation would eliminate. 

Non-Motorized Use

  • I support preservation and maintenance of non-motorized trails in the Hoodoo Roadless Area for the enjoyment of mountain bikers and horse riders.
  • The Pot Mountain and Rawhide areas are much enjoyed by, and easily accessible to, mountain bikers. Please preserve this use. 

Economies

  • The federal government owns and controls a majority of the land base in the counties where the Forest lies. Local communities depend upon a vibrant motorized recreation experience in the Forest to draw tourism expenditures to the local communities. Annual motorized recreation expenditures in the seven affected counties average $62,665,104, and those expenditures generate upwards of $2.3 billion annually to local GDP.
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