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Old 04-15-2018, 12:47 PM
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Default Sierra Sledders/ We need your help!

Yikes ....

The Tahoe National Forest just released a Draft EIS (Environmental Impact Study) outlining 5 potential courses of action for snowmobile management. It's a response to an OSV (over snow vehicle) lawsuit against 5 forest districts in California filed by Snowlands and Winter Wildlands, two groups historically working their hardest to ban snowmobiles from anywhere they think someone might want to ski or snowshoe.

Alternatives 3 and 5 are absolutely unacceptable if you use snowmobiles to access the backcountry. Alternative 3 completely closes off Blackwood Canyon past Barker Pass, completely eliminates Castle Peak, and closes the entire corridor from Boca Reservoir out to Stampede. Alternative 5 closes Castle Peak, completely closes the entire area around the Black Buttes and Grouse ridge areas, and cuts off a good swath of the road between Boca and Stampede reservoirs. Both options also create a 1 mile corridor on either side of the entire length of the PCT, (Pacific Crest Trail) which sees zero foot traffic in the winter anywhere more than a mile or two from a parking lot. Yes, a 2 mile swath around a summer trail that no one is on in the winter that you would have to avoid. In order to cross this trail no one is on, you'd have to travel miles along it to a designated "PCT crossing" to avoid the zero people on the trail.

Alternative 1 is essentially no change, and is what I will be advocating. But more than anything, we need to pick any alternative over 3 or 5. This is basically a response to a very small vocal group of people who consider themselves backcountry users who refuse to acknowledge the thousands of acres of wilderness and additional closures in the Tahoe National Forest. As anyone who actually gets out knows, there are tons of places to go to avoid snowmobiles. Keep in mind, this is not the Tahoe Basin. This is everything to the north, and to the west of the crest along the west shore. There are at least 3 groups that will be sending out form letters for all their members to submit as comments, many of them who have never been and never will even go to the areas that are affected. The last round when this was announced included comments from people in Montana, Boston, Seattle etc who had obviously no familiarity with our area. But it will happen again because Snowlands and Winter Wildlands will send out their calls to submit comments.

The project page is here.

If you look at the "Project Documents" tabs at the bottom, the maps and the proposals are listed under the "analysis" tab if the links here don't work.

But here are the documents released.




Due Date for Comments 5/28/2018

Again, saying you support alternative 1 is essentially supporting no change. None of the alternatives add to snowmobile access (shocking right?).

Last edited by powturn; 04-15-2018 at 12:51 PM. Reason: adding a due date
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