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Thread: THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO - WRITE NOW!

  1. #1

    Default THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO - WRITE NOW!

    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/tu...ry_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/tu...co/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 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 would eliminate too many high challenge OHV experiences.
    · Alternative F was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative 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-nan...itee@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.

  2. #2
    Chair, Land Use Committee GLFWDA Member Trail_Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Thanks!

    I was going to post and you were faster.

    Pat Brower

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  3. #3
    Needin' Time to Wheel GLFWDA Member Jarhead's Avatar
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    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.
    Jarhead (Bob)
    Past President GLFWDA
    Former Membership Secretary
    Former Landuse Committee Chair


    http://www.glfwda.org/join.html

  4. #4
    free market capitalist timbercruiser's Avatar
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    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.
    93 FZJ 80 Locked!!


    Chainsaws don't kill trees, I DO!!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by timbercruiser View Post
    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.

  6. #6

    Default Couple Tips for letters about Tellico

    -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

  7. #7
    Needin' Time to Wheel GLFWDA Member Jarhead's Avatar
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    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/econ...us_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
    Jarhead (Bob)
    Past President GLFWDA
    Former Membership Secretary
    Former Landuse Committee Chair


    http://www.glfwda.org/join.html

  8. #8

    Default

    Just curious, what is the GLFWDA doing as an organization, to help this cause?

    -Steve

  9. #9

    Default

    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.

  10. #10
    Needin' Time to Wheel GLFWDA Member Jarhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kartracer View Post
    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.
    Jarhead (Bob)
    Past President GLFWDA
    Former Membership Secretary
    Former Landuse Committee Chair


    http://www.glfwda.org/join.html

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