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Thread: Tellico Forest Service EA Study coming out!

  1. #1

    Default Tellico Forest Service EA Study coming out!

    See http://www.sfwda.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=171



    To summarize, the EA will be out (released to the public) on Friday. Southern has been asked to attend a meeting where they (the FS) will summarize their findings and their alternatives. We will be attending.

    To combat their science, SFWDA has been working behind the scenes and paid for our own analysis and has developed our own alternatives. THIS IS WHAT YOUR RESCUE TELLICO MONEY IS PAYING FOR.

    Our study is meant to give us good solid standing for our comments to the EA. It is also a short and long term maintenence plan for the area. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THE USFS HAS FAILED TO DO FOR 10 YEARS. We decided that if we are going to keep these trails open, we were going to have to do their jobs and take matters into our own hands.

    We will be posting our study up on Southern's website (www.sfwda.org) as soon as we can too. I won't spoil it for you, but can tell you that the study is excellent for our fight.



    So get ready, it will soon be time to send in some letters and comments.

  2. #2

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    I've been watching the thread on pirate waiting for the comment period. The forest service seems to keep delaying the release of their report. Hopefully it comes out soon, and hopefully we can get some trails re-opened.
    75 Wagoneer : 01 TJ : 06 Chevy 2500HD 4x4

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyJ View Post
    I've been watching the thread on pirate waiting for the comment period. The forest service seems to keep delaying the release of their report. Hopefully it comes out soon, and hopefully we can get some trails re-opened.
    Johnny, it is coming out on Friday most likely after the private meeting. The study done by SFWDA is very favorable for us, it is quite detailed. I think it will be released to the public this weekend as well.

  4. #4

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    Here is the info on the study (Copied from Pirate Land Use Forum)

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...04#post9481004

    SFWDA has been silent for a long time. The leadership has not risen up to respond to the detractors who say that we are not doing anything, and we are taking $$$ and not producing any return. Well, now you are going to see the results of our efforts.

    SFWDA used some of those funds to CONTRACT with an engineering firm to do REAL SCIENCE and determine the FACTS about the water quality in the Tellico watershed. This study was paid for by SFWDA. No, retract that....it was paid for by YOU if you are a member of SFWDA or supported the Rescue Tellico efforts, or attended an SFWDA event.

    We believe that we have the science -- the FACTS -- to prove that the OHV Area is NOT damaging the watershed. We have the chemistry and the biology and the micro-organism counts and the turbidity and whole bunch of other cool geeky tech stuff that this writer doesnt fully understand. I pasted the executive summary of this study below.

    We also obtained, through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) an internal report done by the Trails Unlimited group (a bunch of respected USFS employees who are the pre-emminent experts on OHV trail science and operation) which made extensive recommendations for keeping the OHV Area open, but which the USFS appears to have ignored.

    Here's the link:
    http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09/

    The files are large. The main body of the document will be the part of most interest to the general public. The Trails Unlimited report is in Appendix E.

    Executive summary of the study:

    A. Tellico is a valuable resource to the local community and to regional and national OHV users. Unique site obstacles that draw notoriety across the nation include Slickrock, Helicopter Pad, Guardrail, Schoolbus and Rock Garden. Historically, trail users have contributed significantly to the local economy including lodging (hotels, campgrounds and cabins), restaurants, grocery stores, repair facilities, and other businesses. Users also support trail operations though payment of daily and yearly user fees.

    B. Streams are healthy and have excellent water quality per North Carolina standards and are capable of sustaining viable, reproducing native trout populations. Degradation of water quality and aquatic habitat in Upper Tellico is non-existent. Stream channels are very stable and aptly convey stream flows without streambed erosion. Historic clear-cutting of land in Upper Tellico has contributed more to the off-site sediment transport than the trail system.

    C. The current deteriorated trail conditions are largely the result of too many years of neglected maintenance by the USFS due to budget constraints. However, the trails and site obstacles are repairable and very much maintainable/sustainable after repair. We concur with the USFS Trails Unlimited conclusion that closure of any of the trails is neither warranted nor recommended. Costs of needed repairs total approximately $2.2 million. Annual cost of Operation and Maintenance (O&M) after repairs totals approximately $100,000 per year.

    Kudos to Heather, Jay Bird, Roger, Gary, Gunnar, and all the others who have been working quietly and effectively on this project for months.

    This Friday we will know what the FS wants to do with the OHV Area. As soon as we know, yall will know, and the process of commenting back to the FS will begin.

  5. #5
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member Greenway's Avatar
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    In my first browsing of the Caliber Engineering report I see where a lot of work went into this. It must have cost quite a lot. Do you have any ball park figures what some report like this would cost?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenway View Post
    In my first browsing of the Caliber Engineering report I see where a lot of work went into this. It must have cost quite a lot. Do you have any ball park figures what some report like this would cost?
    Can check on the costs, but pretty sure it was completely covered by donations from people wanting to keep Tellico open. It is a very complete report with a lot of work and research in it.

    The closed door meeting is tomorrow and we should see the comment time open up after that.

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