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Icemanii
February 27th, 2009, 04:37 PM
BRC Critical Action Alert -- THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO!

You MUST take action to save Tellico NOW!

Today the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) met with the USDA Forest Service (USFS) and heard a presentation on what will be in their Environmental Assessment (EA). While they have 7 alternatives that they are considering, their preferred alternative is to CLOSE TELLICO. While we know that this is completely unacceptable and will cause immediate and intense emotional reaction, we are asking that everyone maintain a level head and concentrate on what our task is now.

STEP 1: The USFS Forest Supervisor issued a TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER that will keep Tellico closed until they decide what the fate of the area will be. This means that TELLICO WILL NOT REOPEN ON APRIL 1ST! Please read the order here: http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico/temporary_closure.pdf and provide comments to the temporary closure. Be sure to talk about all the plans you have to use the area and all the events that are already scheduled and that you have paid to attend. We MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!

STEP 2: We must, at all costs, provide as many SUBSTANTIVE comments about the EA as humanly possible. And we are ready. SFWDA requests that you download the study that we commissioned (http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09/), as well as the USFS EA which is posted here (http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico/tellico.htm) and that you compare the two side by side and start making comments. Our study will give you the data that you need to make comments about the surveys that have been done, the lack of maintenance the USFS has completed, the science, the engineering, the economics, EVERYTHING.

We will work to have a letter generator up, but honestly, we need for you to take pencil to paper and think this through. Copy this announcement and send it to your friends, family, and everyone you know.

STEP 3: The other thing we need, and you know what is coming, is money. In this tough economic time, it’s hard to find a few dollars to support a cause, but if you enjoy the Tellico area, or even the dying sport of OHV and 4x4 recreation, please consider a donation to Rescue Tellico so that we may continue to fight for Tellico. http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/donate.html

STEP 4: In an effort to show that we will not accept these actions, Crawford’s Campground is committing to continue on with the plans for Spring Fling on April 4th. Please consider attending and showing your support and helping to raise money for Rescue Tellico.

So you know, SFWDA is working very closely with United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and the BlueRibbon Coalition to review these documents. BE ASSURED that the lawyers will be reviewing all of these documents in detail and that we are all ready to take whatever action is warranted to further the fight to KEEP TELLICO OPEN!

Thanks you for your help,

SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC
Del Albright
KI6WER

Ambassador, BlueRibbon Coalition
State Environmental Affairs Coordinator, CA4WDC

PO BOX 127
Mokelumne Hill, CA 95245Dear Interested Party:

The USDA Forest Service is seeking comments on two proposals regarding management of the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) System:

1. An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the long-term management of the Upper Tellico OHV System. You may download a copy of the EA and related graphics at http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/tellico. If you would like to receive a paper copy of the EA, please e-mail your request to: comments-southern-north-carolina@fs.fed.us or call (828) 257-4817, and one will be mailed to you. For questions concerning the project or the EA contact Candace Wyman, Project Coordinator, at 828-257-4816.
2. A temporary closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System for resource protection, effective April 1, 2009. This closure would prohibit possession or use of a motorized vehicle on a road or trail within the Upper Tellico OHV System, with the exception of highway-legal vehicles on 420-1 and certain other exceptions described in the closure order until a final project decision is implemented.
The Upper Tellico OHV System is located on Tusquitee Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, Cherokee County, NC. In June 2008, we publicized a proposal for long-term management of the System, designed to greatly reduce the amount of soil leaving the System and entering the Tellico River and its tributaries, while still providing an OHV trail system. This proposal is referred to as the “proposed action” or Alternative B and is described in detail in Chapter 1 of the EA. We received around 1,500 public comments on the proposed action. Alternatives to the proposed action were developed in response to the comments and environmental issues identified by the Agency. A wide range of comments was received, so six alternatives are analyzed in the EA, identified as Alternatives A through F. We would now like your review and comment on the alternatives and analysis before making a final decision on long-term management of the System.

The following is a brief description of the alternatives analyzed in detail in the EA. Please refer to the EA, Chapters 2 and 3, for more information about each alternative.

· Alternative A is the “no action” alternative that reflects the existing trail system with 2007 management and funding levels.
· Alternative B is the “proposed action” that was released in June 2008 for public comment. It was developed to address the problems initially identified in trail condition surveys conducted in 2007-2008.
· Alternative C closes the OHV System, but maintains over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads in the area, open year-round or seasonally, to provide for public highway-legal vehicle access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses. It was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) did not go far enough in eliminating trails on sensitive soils and trails near water.
· Alternative D was developed in response to public concerns that the OHV Trail System should meet current trail density and challenge level standards, and not require a Forest Plan amendment.
· Alternative E was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) would eliminate too many high challenge OHV experiences.
· Alternative F was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) would eliminate too many OHV trail miles.

The environmental concerns that initiated the proposed management changes are described in the EA, as are the projected direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of each of these Alternatives.

The EA shows that the Upper Tellico OHV System has extensive damage and contributes unacceptable levels of sediment into the Tellico River and its tributaries. Sediment is leaving the OHV System from more than 2,000 locations along the trails. The Agency is in violation of North Carolina state water quality standards because of the conditions on Upper Tellico OHV System. Since the Upper Tellico River watershed is located in an area of steep terrain, highly erosive soils, and high rainfall, maintaining an OHV trail system without causing significant environmental damage is extremely difficult.

While I understand how important the Upper Tellico OHV System is to OHV users, the impacts to water quality are so significant that I cannot recommend keeping the System open at this time. After careful consideration of the environmental effects of the alternatives as presented in the EA, my preferred alternative is Alternative C, which closes the OHV System. Alternative C would maintain over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads (currently also OHV trails), open year-round or seasonally, to provide public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses. Trail 1 (FS Road 420-1) would be paved and kept open as a through route for highway-legal vehicles.

I want to emphasize that a final decision has not yet been made. This public review period is an opportunity for you to give us constructive feedback. I encourage you to review the environmental assessment and provide us with any information that you think we have not considered adequately. Your comments need to be as specific as possible and you must provide the following information: 1) Your name and address; 2) Title of the project; 3) Specific substantive comments on the proposed action, along with supporting reasons that I should consider in reaching a decision; and 4) Your signature or other means of identification verification. For organizations, a signature or other means of identification verification must be provided for the individual authorized to represent your organization.

Comments must be postmarked or received within 30 days beginning the day after publication of this notice in The Asheville Citizen-Times. Comments may be mailed electronically, in a common digital format, to: comments-southern-north-carolina-nantahala-tusquitee@fs.fed.us; or by regular mail to: National Forests in North Carolina, Attn: Candace Wyman, 160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801, or faxed to 828-257-4263. Hand delivered comments must be received within our normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Thank you for your continued interest in management of the National Forests in North Carolina and the Tusquitee Ranger District.

Trail_Fanatic
February 27th, 2009, 08:18 PM
I was going to post and you were faster.

:thumb:

Jarhead
February 28th, 2009, 03:06 PM
Tellico is just one of a few I know several people travel to when they head out of state to wheel. Whether you have ever been, or have simply wanted to...they need our help, you help, please take the time.

timbercruiser
March 2nd, 2009, 11:21 AM
I read the sfwda report and they have the same recomendations as Trails Unlimited. I see no reason for the USFS to close the trails.

Icemanii
March 2nd, 2009, 03:54 PM
I read the sfwda report and they have the same recomendations as Trails Unlimited. I see no reason for the USFS to close the trails.

That is why we need to write letters. Tell them of the economic impact to the area. Mention how their numbers don't match.

Perhaps mention the Stimulus package money that is slated for OHV projects. Why not tap into some of that money and help out the area around Tellico by supplying work while getting the trails back up to par? Then keep the area open and bring in even more money from the wheelers who will frequent the area.

Only way it will work is to write the letters.

Icemanii
March 2nd, 2009, 05:54 PM
-Mailed letter must include name, address and "verifiable" signature.

-Letter must include specific suggestions for improving specific aspects of the EA. Even if you just pick one aspect, give examples of how it could be done better.

-Recommend that the Forest Plan be amended to allow higher OHV trail density within the Upper Tellico OHV area specifically.

-Further recommend that the Forest Plan be amended to accomodate diversity among OHV users, specifically eliminating the following language: "providing trails with easy to moderate levels of challenge", which excludes the high challenge areas that we all drive several hours to enjoy.

-Provide alternatives for protecting the Brook Trout populations, including: fishing limitations, discontinuing the stocking of non-native species (rainbow & brown), followup analysis of populations after these measures are implemented.

-Send a separate letter to specifically oppose the "temporary closure" beginning April 1, 2009. This would directly contradict the previous proposal for certain trails to be closed "for a period not to exceed one year" and would contradict their temporary winter closure which should expire on April 1. Additionally, this proposal has already impacted the planned Spring Fling fundraiser event that is critical for our side.

-Be courteous and professional.

-The proposed temporary storm-event closures are not logistically feasible, due to the substantial lead time necessary to plan a trip to Tellico.

-It is no coincidence that Alternative "C" is the preferred action for the Forest Service and the TU/PEER/Wildsouth/SELC environmental zealots.

NC Senators contact:
Burr, Richard - (R - NC) Class III
217 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-3154

Hagan, Kay R. - (D - NC) Class II
B40A DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-6342

National Forests in North Carolina
Attn: Candace Wyman
160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801
or faxed to 828-257-4263

Jarhead
March 3rd, 2009, 09:07 AM
Nice job on spelling out what the letter needs to include Rich. Imagine the impact folks when they get a flurry of letters from out of state...

Here's the info on Supporting RTP Funding in Stimulus Package and a link if you want more:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Support RTP Funding in Stimulus Package

ARRA recently joined with 25 other recreation groups to urge House and Senate leaders to support including $300 million in funding for local trail projects through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in the economic-stimulus package being considered for action in early 2009. The additional funding would be separate from and in addition to regular funding authorized for the program. Use this link, http://www.arra-access.com/arra/economic_stimulus_letter.html to view the letter.

RTP projects are ideal for economic stimulus as a distribution system for the funds is in place, many are ready for construction immediately, they are typically small scale ($50,000 or less), and the RTP leverages federal funds with state, local, private and in-kind matches.

For more information about the RTP use this link, http://www.arra-access.com/arra/RTPOverview.html

Kartracer
March 4th, 2009, 01:24 PM
Just curious, what is the GLFWDA doing as an organization, to help this cause?

-Steve

Purplejeep
March 4th, 2009, 01:51 PM
The Two Trackers have many people committed to writing letters and collected $500.00 last night with another $100.00 promised. The money is on it's way to SFWDA.

We want to throw out a challenge to the other member clubs to match it.

Jarhead
March 4th, 2009, 02:41 PM
Just curious, what is the GLFWDA doing as an organization, to help this cause?

-Steve
As an Association, there is a group of us that write letters, send e-mails and make telephone calls regardless of where an attempt is being made to eliminate or restrict land access; we do not limit our activities to just the Great Lakes Region.

Additionally, as an Association we continue to ask our Members to take the time in writining letters, sending an e-mails and making a telephone call. It is important for everyone to understand that just because the threat isn't in our back yard (so to speak) doesn't mean we shouldn't get involved. When Anti-Access People/Organizations win, they are ready to take their monies and move quickly to the next issue on their radar.

JohnnyJ
March 5th, 2009, 11:36 PM
I sent a few letters. JCR Offroad did a good job of writing a summary. They posted it in the Land Use area of pirate4x4:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=766680

Also, there is a few letters that folks have put up for examples:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=766967

Kudos to the JCR guys.

Brian81CJ
March 6th, 2009, 09:14 AM
Letter sent!!:thumb:

Jarhead
March 9th, 2009, 01:00 PM
Keep this ALIVE!

BRC CRITICAL ACTION ALERT

THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO!

You MUST take action to Rescue Tellico NOW! The Forest Service has told us what they want to do and it is incumbent on the OHV community to change their mind.

Background:

On Friday, February 27, the USDA Forest Service rolled out the draft Environmental Assessment for the Upper Tellico OHV trail system. The OHV community has been extremely dismayed to learn that while there are six alternatives the Forest Service is considering, the Forest Supervisor, Marisue Hilliard, made it very clear that her preferred alternative is to CLOSE TELLICO. While we know that this is completely unacceptable and will cause immediate and intense emotional reaction, we are asking that everyone maintain a level head and concentrate on what our task is now.

In addition, the USFS Forest Supervisor issued a TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER that will keep Tellico closed until they decide what the fate of the area will be. This means that if the temporary closure order stands, TELLICO WILL NOT REOPEN ON APRIL 1ST!

What we are doing about it:

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), and the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) have teamed up to fight this and we are working as aggressively as we can to get you the right information. We have spent the last week "scrubbing" through the draft EA and developing a plan and now WE NEED YOUR HELP AND HERE IS HOW YOU CAN BE MOST HELPFUL:

STEP 1: The week of March 9th, THIS WEEK, we need you to call, write or, even better, visit your congressman, senator, state and local representatives. They need to know you feel angry, hurt and betrayed by the Forest Service. They need to know that the Forest Service is going to affect jobs and the economy in this difficult time. They need to know the real science and that the water is not bad. See the sample letter below for talking points. Feel free to copy and paste the letter, but be sure to personalize it with a short paragraph on why Tellico is important-what it represents to the OHV community and to you. Help your representatives understand how important Tellico is.

Please forward any positive or negative reactions you get to Jay Bird at jay.bird@sfwda.com. We want to know who our friends are and follow through with them.

STEP 2: Beginning the week of March 16th, BRC, SFWDA, and UFWDA will have a letter generator up with comments you can make to the Forest Service about the EA. If you have already made comments, make some more. Each time you find out some new information, send it to the Forest Service. We need letters. We are currently refining our comment bullet points and will send out and post more information to help with your letters as we complete that process. But don't let that stop you from doing background preparation and comments yourself. WE NEED to have as much enthusiast involvement as we possibly can muster from the OHV community.

BRC and UFWDA will be following through for us in Washington DC, working from the top down. They will meet with the Forest Service as well as other national organizations and some of those friendly representatives.

Please read the Forest Service documents on their website at: http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico.htm

Then take the time to review the independent scientific study SFWDA had commissioned at: http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09/.

If you see anything in the EA or Caliper report, or you have information that you want to make sure we don't overlook, please notify Heather Royston at Heather.Royston@sfwda.org

We each need to do our part to RESCUE TELLICO and YOUR INVOLVEMENT IS CRITICAL!

Thank you for your help!

SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC

A SAMPLE LETTER TO SEND TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE CAN BE FOUND HERE FOR COPY AND PASTE. OR THERE ARE GENERAL TALKING POINTS TO USE BELOW... You can find out your representatives' contact information and where to send your letter or email to by visiting the BRC Rapid Response Center at http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/and simply typing in your zip code.

Upper Tellico OHV Area
Proposed Closure Order
TALKING POINTS

Congressional attention to this problem cannot wait.

The USFS has issued a proposed temporary closure notice prohibiting all use of the Upper Tellico OHV system effective April 1, 2009.

REPAIRING THE AREA IS THE BEST SOLUTION:
o OHV enthusiasts spend 4 times more money on lodging, food, and gas than other outdoor sportsmen
o $4.8 million annually in tourism revenues by OHV users
o Repairing contributes $1.5 - $2.6 million in OHV revenue annually
o Repairing would create more than $1.4 million in local jobs
o Nearby streams are currently healthy
o Nearby streams have excellent water quality per North Carolina standards
o Nearby streams are capable of sustaining viable, reproducing native trout populations
o Nearby stream channels are very stable
o Nearby stream channels convey stream flows without streambed erosion
o The trails are repairable and very much maintainable/sustainable after repair

CLOSURE IS A BAD SOLUTION:
o Closure creates ZERO OHV tourism revenue
o Degradation of water quality and degradation of aquatic habitat in Upper Tellico is non-existent
o Historic clear-cutting of land in Upper Tellico has contributed more to the off-site sediment transport than the trail system
o Closure of trails is neither warranted nor recommended by USFS trails experts!

Icemanii
March 9th, 2009, 07:15 PM
Thanks for posting the update Jarhead.

Hopefully we have a lot of members writing those letters.:thumb:

Icemanii
March 9th, 2009, 08:51 PM
For those that need a bit of help on the letters, here you go. Better than nothing, but follow the instructions please.

http://www.pirate4x4.com/letters/

Icemanii
March 10th, 2009, 12:05 PM
Along with the letter generator above, here are some phone and fax numbers for you to use. Get involved now.

__________________________________________________ ________________

This from David Borum, Director Of Legislative Affairs for SFWDA. I would be willing to bet that the same thing is happening in N.C. If we snooze, we loose!

"Today I again visited my congressman's (Duncan) office on the issue of the Tellico OHV area and the Forest Service "preferred" alternative for closure of the area. He is willing to help and I also asked that he contact Rep. Heath Schular's office in North Carolina on the issue.

They told me they are getting almost zero calls from people that are upset about the proposed closure and would like to get more.

This is not good. I need EACH one of you to call Congressman Duncan's office and Congressman Schulars office to tell them you oppose the forest service preferred alternative to Close the area permanently because of "junk science" and you want the forest service to follow "Caliber Engineering's" independant non-bias study and suggestion to fix the area to keep the area open. Let them know that congressman Duncans Maryville office has the study and it can also be found here:
www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09 Also remind them we onlly have around 20 more days to respond to the Forest Service's request for input.

PLEASE DO THIS TODAY so they can put pressure on the FS to do the correct thing. If you have called before do it again. If you are not in their district call them anyway and tell them how it will economically impact their areas and then call your personal Rep and tell them to work with Duncan and Schular to keep the area open."

Here are the numbers. (Your personal Reps number can be found at: www.house.gov )

Duncans office:

Washington Office
2207 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5435
Fax: 202-225-6440
DC Staff Directory
Maryville District Office
200 East Broadway Ave.
Suite 414
Maryville, TN 37804
Phone: (865) 984-5464
Fax: (865) 984-0521
Maryville Staff Directory

Knoxville District Office
800 Market Street, Suite 110
Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: (865) 523-3772
Fax: (865) 544-0728
Knoxville Staff Directory
Athens District Office
6 East Madison Avenue
Athens, TN 37303-4297
Phone: (423) 745-4671
Fax: (423) 745-6025



__________________________________________________ ______________________________________
Shuler's Office:

Washington D.C. Office
422 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6401
Fax: (202) 226-6422

Asheville Office
356 Biltmore Ave., Suite 400
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-252-1651
Fax: 828-252-8734

Murphy Office
75 Peachtree St., Suite 100
Murphy, NC 28906
Phone: 828-835-4981
Sylva Office
125 Bonnie Lane
Sylva, NC 28779

Ridin Dirty
March 14th, 2009, 09:53 AM
Made a couple of phone calls yesterday and letter's going out by tomorrow.

timbercruiser
March 14th, 2009, 10:51 AM
For those that need a bit of help on the letters, here you go. Better than nothing, but follow the instructions please.

http://www.pirate4x4.com/letters/

Use this. Very simple.

Jarhead
March 16th, 2009, 09:06 AM
UFWDA Critical Action Alert

You MUST take action to Rescue Tellico NOW! The Forest Service has told us what they want to do and it is incumbent on the OHV community to change their mind.

Background:

On Friday February 27, the USDA Forest Service rolled out the draft Environmental Assessment for the Upper Tellico OHV trail system. The OHV community has been extremely dismayed to learn that while there are 7 (there are only 6 alternatives) alternatives the Forest Service is considering, The Forest Supervisor, Marisue Hilliard, made it very clear that her preferred alternative is to CLOSE TELLICO. While we know that this is completely unacceptable and will cause immediate and intense emotional reaction, we are asking that everyone maintain a level head and concentrate on what our task is now.

In addition, the USFS Forest Supervisor issued a TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER that will keep Tellico closed until they decide what the fate of the area will be. This means that if the temporary closure order stands, TELLICO WILL NOT REOPEN ON APRIL 1ST!

What we are doing about it:

United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) have teamed up to fight this and we are working as aggressively as we can to get you the right information. We have spent the last week “scrubbing” through the draft EA and developing a plan and now WE NEED YOUR HELP AND HERE IS HOW YOU CAN BE MOST HELPFUL:

STEP 1: The week of March 9th, THIS WEEK, we need you to call, write or even better visit your congressman, senator, state and local representatives. They need to know you feel angry, hurt and betrayed by the Forest Service. They need to know that the Forest Service is going to affect jobs and the economy in this difficult time. They need to know the real science and that the water is not bad. See the sample letter below for talking points. Feel free to copy and paste the letter but be sure to personalize it with a short paragraph on why Tellico is important—what it represents to the OHV community and to you. Help your representatives understand how important Tellico is.

Please forward any positive or negative reactions you get to Jay Bird at jay.bird@sfwda.org. We want to know who our friends are and follow through with them.

STEP 2: Beginning the week of March 16th, UFWDA, BRC, and SFWDA will have a letter generator up with comments you can make to the Forest Service about the EA. If you have already made comments make some more. Each time you find out some new information send it to the Forest Service. We need letters. We are currently refining our comment bullet points and will send out and post more information to help with your letters as we complete that process. But don’t let that stop you from doing background preparation and comments yourself. WE NEED to have as much enthusiast involvement as we possibly can muster from the OHV community.

BRC and UFWDA will be following through for us in Washington DC, working from the top down. They will meet with the Forest Service as well as other National Organizations and some of those friendly Representatives.

Please read the Forest Service documents on their website at: http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico.htm

Then take the time to review the independent scientific study SFWDA had commissioned at: http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09/.

If you see anything in the EA or Caliper report, or you have information that you want to make sure we don’t overlook please notify Heather Royston at Heather.Royston@sfwda.org.

We each need to do our part to RESCUE TELLICO and YOUR INVOLVEMENT IS CRITICAL!

Thank you for your help!

UFWDA, SFWDA, and BRC

A SAMPLE LETTER TO COPY AND PAST AND SEND TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IS AVAILABLE AT
http://ufwda.org/pdfs/TALKING%20POINTS%20political%20outreach%20March%20 2009%20FINAL.pdf
OR THERE ARE GENERAL TALKING POINTS TO USE BELOW… You can find out your representatives contact information and where to send your letter or email by visiting http://www.votesmart.org/ and simply type in your zip code.

Upper Tellico OHV Area
Proposed Closure Order
TALKING POINTS

 Congressional attention to this problem cannot wait.

 The USFS has issued a proposed temporary closure notice prohibiting all use of the Upper Tellico OHV system effective April 1, 2009.

 REPAIRING THE AREA IS THE BEST SOLUTION:
o OHV enthusiasts spend 4 times more money on lodging, food, and gas than other outdoor sportsman
o $4.8 million annually in tourism revenues by OHV users
o Repairing contributes $1.5 - $2.6 million in OHV revenue annually
o Repairing would create more than $1.4 million in local jobs.
o Nearby streams are currently healthy
o Nearby streams have excellent water quality per North Carolina standards
o Nearby streams are capable of sustaining viable, reproducing native trout populations.
o Nearby stream channels are very stable
o Nearby stream channels convey stream flows without streambed erosion.
o The trails are repairable and very much maintainable/sustainable after repair.

 CLOSURE IS A BAD SOLUTION:
o Closure creates ZERO OHV tourism revenue.
o Degradation of water quality and degradation of aquatic habitat in Upper Tellico is non-existent.
o Historic clear-cutting of land in Upper Tellico has contributed more to the off-site sediment transport than the trail system.
o Closure of trails is neither warranted nor recommended by USFS trails experts!


###

Jarhead
March 16th, 2009, 12:40 PM
Tellico Really Needs all the Help We Can Muster: http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/donate.html

BUY STUFF to help support the legal battle to keep the Tellico OHV Area open. Go here http://www.cafepress.com/rescuetellico for T-Shirts, mugs, bags and other stuff which helps in the legal fight.
or
Donate to Rescue Tellico Fund
Thank you for considering a donation to Southern Four Wheel Drive Association's Rescue Tellico Fund. The purpose of the fund is to help keep open the Upper Tellico OHV Area for the enjoyment of all 4-wheeling enthusiasts.We intend to use the Rescue Tellico Fund for legal expenses and trail maintenance expenses.

Icemanii
March 19th, 2009, 05:43 PM
BRC CRITICAL ACTION ALERT

PLEASE: TAKE TEN MINUTES FOR TELLICO NOW! We need you to send in comment letters to the Forest Service. Pass this on to your friends and fellow OHVers.

UPDATE ON THE TELLICO EFFORT: BRC, UFWDA, and SFWDA have all teamed up to fight the battle for Tellico. Thanks to all who responded to our Phase 1 alert and have written, called and visited their elected officials about the USFS proposed closure of Tellico. We still need those calls and letters to continue. Don't let up.

The letters to your congressmen are working! Jay Bird from SFWDA and Greg Mumm from BRC will be going back to Washington, D.C. to follow up with some offices early next week. At this late date phone calls will work the best. Please follow up on your letters to those who represent you.

For more information and background, see our previous alert here: http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/?alert=958

Now we are shifting to Phase 2. It is important and it is time to respond to the Forest Service's draft Environmental Assessment with comments. We've made this very easy for you with an online letter generator (http://www.sharetrails.org/letters/letter.php?id=39). All it takes is for you to click here and there is a very easy process set up for you to send in your comments.

It is vital that you take action to Rescue Tellico. The Forest Service has told us what they want to do and it is incumbent on the OHV community to change their mind. We NEED to generate as many letters as possible, so:

PLEASE TAKE TEN MINUTES FOR TELLICO NOW! The deadline is fast approaching so don't put it off. Click here and help by sending in your comment letter. You CAN make a difference.

As always, this has been a long and expensive fight and we ask that you help us to sustain the ongoing effort with your donations. You can donate simply and easily online at www.sharetrails.org/rescue-tellico .
Thank you for your help!

SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC

If you would prefer to send in your own letter, we encourage you to do so. Below are some talking points to help you with that effort.

Letters need to be sent to:

National Forests in North Carolina
Attn: Candace Wyman
160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Letters may be emailed to:

Email: comments-southern-north-carolina-nantahala-tusquitee@fs.fed.us

Be sure to put in the reference line to the project:

RE: Transportation System and Related Recreation Management Actions for the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle System and Temporary Closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System
Nantahala National Forest: Cherokee County, North Carolina

It is important to tell the Forest Service why Tellico is important to you and your family.

Oppose the temporary closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System effective April 1, 2009 and ask the Forest Supervisor to reconsider that decision.

* The emergency closure is unwarranted and unjustified based on the information provided.
* Planning for many historic and permitted events in the area are and have been underway for sometime now based on the good faith of the Forest Service and the originally proposed action for planning in the area. The immediate economic impact to the surrounding communities of this temporary closure order is devastating and cannot be replaced. Communities affected by this sudden change in management are historically dependent on money brought into the area by OHV recreation and these events.
* The decision for the emergency closure prior to the decision on the draft environmental assessment appears to point to a pre-determined outcome for the environmental assessment.


The Forest Service should/needs to conduct more complete planning.

* The draft environmental assessment needs to address findings and conclusions of the independent report from Caliber Engineering recently provided to the Forest Service which conflicts with much of the findings and the internal studies of the Forest Service in the draft environmental assessment.
* The draft EA does not consider the report commissioned by and provided to the Forest Service by the Enterprise Team, USFS Trails Unlimited, assessing the Upper Tellico OHV System. This report is also in conflict with the findings reflected in the Draft EA.
* Neither the Caliber study nor the Trails Unlimited report recommended closure of trails in Tellico. Both concluded the trails could be sustainably managed.
* Failure by the Forest Service to consider other sources of sedimentation invalidates agency implication that the OHV system is the cause of high turbidity measurements. This failure leads to an inaccurate and unsupported conclusion that closure of the OHV system will resolve turbidity issues, if such exist.


Ask that the Forest Service to conduct additional study and planning in an Environmental Impact Statement.

* Given the potentially devastating economic impact to the local communities alone (as cited in the University of Tennessee survey), a finding of no significant impact cannot be a determined outcome.
* The range of alternatives should be developed utilizing the additional science and information provided in both the Caliber report and the Trails Unlimited report discussed previously.


The Forest Service needs to exhaust all possible options to mitigate the issues prior to closure.

* The Forest Service must also recognize that closing the opportunity was never the intent or desire of the interested stakeholders.
* Proper management for the use is the better solution.
* Closure alone will not solve the stated issues. Mitigation of those issues still must take place.
* Resolving those challenges in partnership with the OHV community provides both the manpower and additional funding from the private sector necessary for proper mitigation.

Be honest, professional and polite. Most importantly, be timely. Don't put it off.

For more information and background, see our previous alert on Tellico here: http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/?alert=958

Jarhead
March 20th, 2009, 07:51 AM
You gotta love BRC, but I am going to include UFWDA as well:

Category: ALERT!
Date: Mar 19 2009

PLEASE: TAKE TEN MINUTES FOR TELLICO NOW!

PLEASE: TAKE TEN MINUTES FOR TELLICO NOW! We need you to send in comment letters to the Forest Service. Pass this on to your friends and fellow OHVers.

UPDATE ON THE TELLICO EFFORT: Thanks to all who responded to our Phase 1 alert on Tellico and have written, called and visited their elected officials about the USFS proposed closure of Tellico. We still need those calls and letters to continue. Don’t let up.

The letters to your congressmen are working! Jay Bird from SFWDA and Greg Mumm from BRC will be going back to Washington, D.C. to follow up with some offices early next week. At this late date phone calls will work the best. Please follow up on your letters to those who represent you.
For more information and background see our previous alert on Tellico http://www.ufwda.org/news_view.php?id=144
Now we are shifting to Phase 2.

It is important and it is time to respond to the Forest Service’s draft Environmental Assessment with comments. We’ve made this very easy for you with an online letter generator. All it takes is for you to click here http://ufwda.org/send-a-letter.htm and there is a very easy process set up for you to send in your comments.

It is vital that you take action to Rescue Tellico NOW! The Forest Service has told us what they want to do and it is incumbent on the OHV community to change their mind. We NEED to generate as many letters as possible so:

PLEASE TAKE TEN MINUTES FOR TELLICO NOW! The deadline is fast approaching so don’t put it off. Click here http://ufwda.org/send-a-letter.htm and help by sending in your comment letter. You CAN make a difference.

Thank you for your help!
UFWDA, SFWDA, and BRC

If you would prefer to send in your own letter, we encourage you to do so. Below are some talking points to help you with that effort.

Letters need to be sent to:

National Forests in North Carolina
Attn: Candace Wyman
160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Letters may be emailed to:

Email: comments-southern-north-carolina-nantahala-tusquitee@fs.fed.us

Be sure to put in the reference line to the project:

RE: Transportation System and Related Recreation Management Actions for the
Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle System and Temporary Closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System Nantahala National Forest: Cherokee County, North Carolina

It is important to tell the Forest Service why Tellico is important to you and your family.

Oppose the temporary closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System effective April 1, 2009 and ask the Forest Supervisor to reconsider that decision.
• The emergency closure is unwarranted and unjustified based on the information provided.
• Planning for many historic and permitted events in the area are and have been underway for sometime now based on the good faith of the Forest Service and the originally proposed action for planning in the area. The immediate economic impact to the surrounding communities of this temporary closure order is devastating and cannot be replaced. Communities affected by this sudden change in management are historically dependent on money brought into the area by OHV recreation and these events.
• The decision for the emergency closure prior to the decision on the draft environmental assessment appears to point to a pre-determined outcome for the environmental assessment.

The Forest Service should/needs to conduct more complete planning.
• The draft environmental assessment needs to address findings and conclusions of the independent report from Caliber Engineering recently provided to the Forest Service which conflicts with much of the findings and the internal studies of the Forest Service in the draft environmental assessment.
• The draft EA does not consider the report commissioned by and provided to the Forest Service by the Enterprise Team, USFS Trails Unlimited, assessing the Upper Tellico OHV System. This report is also in conflict with the findings reflected in the Draft EA.
• Neither the Caliber study nor the Trails Unlimited report recommended closure of trails in Tellico. Both concluded the trails could be sustainably managed.
• Failure by the Forest Service to consider other sources of sedimentation invalidates agency implication that the OHV system is the cause of high turbidity measurements. This failure leads to an inaccurate and unsupported conclusion that closure of the OHV system will resolve turbidity issues, if such exist.

Ask that the Forest Service to conduct additional study and planning in an Environmental Impact Statement.
• Given the potentially devastating economic impact to the local communities alone (as cited in the University of Tennessee survey), a finding of no significant impact cannot be a determined outcome.
• The range of alternatives should be developed utilizing the additional science and information provided in both the Caliber report and the Trails Unlimited report discussed previously.

The Forest Service needs to exhaust all possible options to mitigate the issues prior to closure.
• The Forest Service must also recognize that closing the opportunity was never the intent or desire of the interested stakeholders.
• Proper management for the use is the better solution.
• Closure alone will not solve the stated issues. Mitigation of those issues still must take place.
• Resolving those challenges in partnership with the OHV community provides both the manpower and additional funding from the private sector necessary for proper mitigation.

Be honest, professional and polite. Most importantly, be timely. Don’t put it off.
For more information and background see our previous alert on Tellico http://www.ufwda.org/news_view.php?id=144


###

DDS4X4
March 20th, 2009, 10:44 AM
DONE!

Trail_Fanatic
May 16th, 2009, 10:36 PM
Fresh from United's website (www.UFWDA.org):


Rescue Tellico Jeep Giveaway

All proceeds go towards the Rescue Tellico legal costs to re-open the Tellico OHV trails.

Tickets are $10 and are available online at:
http://sfwda.org/rtjeep/index.htm

They will be for sale at the Summer Convention in Blairsville too.
http://sfwda.org/mtg/2009_Sumer_Conv.htm