An important piece pointed out in the following is, "While comments may be submitted anytime during the analysis process, only those individuals and organizations who provide comments during the comment period are eligible to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215."


The Stanislaus National Forest, located in west central California, has announced the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Motorized Travel Management Project. The goal is to develop a sustainable system of routes that provide an array of opportunities for access and recreation on National Forest lands, as well as protection of various resources by curtailing motorized cross-country travel.
A 60-day public comment period is expected to start on March 6, 2009, and end on May 5, 2009. The purpose of the comment period is to give the public an opportunity to provide early and meaningful participation on the proposed action prior to the project decision being made.
The DEIS displays five different alternatives, each of which includes a distinct system of motorized routes and addresses the following components:
Prohibition of cross-country travel
Additions to the National Forest Transportation System (NFTS) including specified vehicle class and season of use
Changes to the existing NFTS in terms of vehicle class, season of use and wheeled over snow use
Compact Discs containing the DEIS documents, resource reports, supporting documents and maps are available by request. The DEIS is also available for review at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/projects/ohv.
A Final Environmental Impact Statement and decision by Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski are expected this summer, with a Motor Vehicle Use Map scheduled for release by the end of 2009.
In order to help the public understand the DEIS, the Forest Service will hold a series of public meetings over the next few weeks. Meetings will include optional time for learning how to use the DEIS, maps and compact disc; browsing maps; and asking questions. They are scheduled as follows:
Community Date Location
Arnold
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Core 6:00-8:00)
White Pines Independence Hall
1445 Blagen Road
White Pines, CA
Sonora
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Core 6:00-8:00) Sonora Opera Hall
250 S. Washington St
Sonora, CA
Greeley Hill
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
4:00 pm to 9:00pm (Core 6:00-8:00) Greeley Hill Community Club House
Fiske Road
Greeley Hill, CA
Lodi
Saturday, March 21, 2009
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Core 3:00-5:00) Lodi Grape Festival Grounds
413 Lockeford Street, Jackson Hall
Lodi, CA
West Point To be Determined (March 24 tentative) Community Hall
Modesto
Saturday, April 4, 2009
3:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Core 5:00-7:00) Stanislaus County Harvest Hall
3800 Cornucopia Way
Modesto, CA

Comments are invited on the DEIS. The Environmental Protection Agency will publish a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the DEIS in the Federal Register (expected on March 6, 2009); the opportunity to comment ends 60 days following that date.
While comments may be submitted anytime during the analysis process, only those individuals and organizations who provide comments during the comment period are eligible to appeal the subsequent decision under 36 CFR 215.
Mail and Hand Deliver Comments To:
Stanislaus National Forest
Attn: Motorized Travel DEIS
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370
Hand-deliver comments to the address shown above, during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm). Oral comments may be provided by calling (209) 532-3671 ext. 350.
Email Comments To:
comments-pacificsouthwest-stanislaus@fs.fed.us
Put "Motorized Travel DEIS" in the subject line of e-mail comments. Acceptable formats are email message, MS Word (.doc), plain text (.txt), or rich text format (.rtf). Comments should include your name and address.
Fax Comments To:
(209) 533-1890
COMMENT DEADLINE IS MAY 5, 2009
To request additional information regarding this project, contact Sue Warren, Team Leader, Stanislaus National Forest, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or e-mail swarren@fs.fed.us(to ensure a timely response, it is important to include "Information Request" in the subject line).
The project web page includes the latest project updates, schedules for public meetings, and other information.
JUST REMEMBER, PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP RECREATION AREAS OPEN, PLEASE GET INVOLVED!