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Thread: Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project

  1. #1
    Needin' Time to Wheel GLFWDA Member Jarhead's Avatar
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    Exclamation Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project

    Previously, I have made posts in an attempt to help educate and make wheelers aware they can make a huge difference by just giving a few minutes a day or an hour a week to help our sport.

    Just one example: http://www.glfwda.org/showthread.php...highlight=sopa

    If you do nothing else, download the attached PDF and fill out the PUBLIC COMMENT SHEET and it to the Baldwin-White Cloud Ranger Districts Huron-Manistee National Forests address provided.

    This scoping project requires our immediate attention as the areas affected are areas we currently use, including our trash cleanup area. We need to act quickly as comments need to be submitted by January 11, 2010. Jeff Traynor is scheduling a meeting regarding the scoping project for Sunday, December 20th at 10:00 a.m. at Forest Hills Foods, 4668 Cascade Rd Se, Grand Rapids Township, 49546, hope to see you there.

    Project Name: Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project EA

    *NEW LISTING*

    Project Purpose
    - Wildlife, Fish, Rare plants
    - Forest products

    Planning Status
    Developing Proposal
    Est. Scoping Start 11/2009

    Decision
    Expected: 06/2010

    Expected Implementation: 07/2010

    Description: Restoration and Creation of savanna by reducing forest canopy to 10-50% canopy closure, burning, seeding of nectar plants, and herbicide treatment of invasive plant species. Treatment area is 3,000 acres.

    Location:
    UNIT - Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger District. STATE - Michigan. COUNTY - Muskegon, Oceana. LEGAL - T13N, R17W, Sec 36, T13N, R16W Sec 1-5, 9-16, 19-36, T13N R15W Sec 2-10, 16-18, 19,20,29,30, T11-12N, R 17 W Sec 1,2, T12N, R16W Sec 4-6. Grant , Otto & Greenwood Townships, Oceana County, Montague-White Hall & Blue LakeTwsp, Muskegon Co.

    Forest Service Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA) for the Huron-Manistee National Forest
    http://www.fs.fed.us/sopa/forest-level.php?110904
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Jarhead; December 15th, 2009 at 01:15 PM.
    Jarhead (Bob)
    Past President GLFWDA
    Former Membership Secretary
    Former Landuse Committee Chair


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  2. #2

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    Will do, thanks.

  3. #3
    Needin' Time to Wheel GLFWDA Member Jarhead's Avatar
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    Upon receiving the scoping letter, my first thoughts were of what if any impact does this project have on the recently published MVUM. The Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project Public Scoping Letter states, “…closing of one Forest Road and one spur road (a combined total of 1.4 miles).” Additionally, the Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project Public Scoping Letter states, “Roadside barriers would occur in other locations throughout the area…”

    The SOPA description identifies a mere 3,000 acres, yet the Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project Public Scoping Letter, Project Area Description states, “the project Area consists of approximately 26,000 acres”. I would argue that this project in its entirety was predetermined with malicious intent to become reality with little to no opposition. The variance in description is intentionally misleading and defies the rules governing the FOIA.

    Further, the Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project Public Scoping Letter states, “Since its establishment, the management of the HMNF has focused on providing the American people with a land base that provides multiple-uses and sustained yields.” I believe this implied “sustained yield” needs to be identified and quantified as this project does nothing more than to further restrict OHV use, thereby further eliminating multiple-uses. If we were to establish a bar graph to represent the alleged multiple-use categories, we would graphically see the misrepresentation and disproportion of sustained yields.

    Deforestation presents multiple societal and environmental problems. The immediate and long-term consequences of global deforestation are almost certain to jeopardize life on Earth, as we know it. Some of these consequences include: loss of biodiversity; the destruction of forest-based-societies; and climatic disruption.

    The Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project Public Scoping Letter states, “Savanna creation would occur on 2,950 acres over the next ten years. A combination …to reduce tree/shrub density to an average of 10-25% canopy cover (open) within 70-80% of treated areas and to an average of 25-60% cover (woodland) within 20-30% of treated areas. The canopy is critical to a forest's well-being, and it provides habitat to a wide range of plants and animals. In fact, the canopy is so unique that some organisms spend their entire lives there, never venturing down to the ground. Are we to only consider the needs of the Karner blue butterfly?

    Only certain trees reach the height of the canopy. These trees often have suppressed growth as seedlings while they wait in the understory. When a canopy tree falls, a seedling shoots up to take its place, growing rapidly so that it can reach the light. Once the tree reaches the height of the canopy, it tops out, adding girth but not much height. Eventually, it will die or be damaged in a storm, falling to the ground and contributing to the thick layer of decaying organic material on the forest floor while another seedling takes its place.

    Epiphytic plants, lichens, and ferns often live in the forest canopy, sometimes in the uppermost layers so that they can take advantage of the light and ample supply of water, and sometimes in lower regions. These plants combine with the trees to create habitat for birds, insects, and mammals large and small.

    The forest is quite a unique ecosystem, with a number of microclimates within a mature and healthy forest. These microclimates sustain some very diverse creatures in all shapes, colors, and sizes, making a visit to any forest an interesting expedition, for those who have the patience to wait and observe. Even in a very small area of a forest, it is possible to count numerous organisms, from tiny fungi on the ground to towering canopy trees.

    As to additional comments we need to make, I feel it is absolutely imperative that we provide a complete GPS listing with maps of all desired routes/trails in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Whilst the input period for the MVUM is not until March, I believe we would be missing a unique opportunity to get the information entered as a part of the public record in that the NFS already intend to make change to the MVUM based of this project.
    Jarhead (Bob)
    Past President GLFWDA
    Former Membership Secretary
    Former Landuse Committee Chair


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  4. #4
    Vertically Challenged 4x4 GLFWDA Member phittie1100's Avatar
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    Not to sound like the village idiot, but someone explain to me how road closures improve the chances of survival for KBB? Unless the lupine grows in the middle of the trail, or perhaps within a couple of feet of the trail, how is my recreational use of the forest road system impacting the KBB? This sounds like it is more about creating wilderness areas than protecting butterflies.
    Paul - 2005 Wrangler Unlimited
    KD8PAV

  5. #5

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    USFS has forced our Club to not use certain roads for part of our permitted events due to KBB (or detected/estimated presence of same); also was seasonal, if event was earlier/later in the year, the road probably could have been used.

    Reason for this.... as I understand, is that the KBB likes to have "corridors" in the woods that it uses to travel/fly/get groceries, especially during [mating/hatching] season. Since the buggers fly down roads (love ORV trails too) they are susceptible to vehicular impact, as in "we'll run into them". The Feds have moved/closed ORV trail (Little O, for example) due to presence of KBB...

    Think of a windshield full of blue butterflies... Needless to say, all of us who've been riding in these areas for years have never had a major "butterfly disaster".

    Well duh, if the dang things need "roads" to exist; if they have been expanding into other areas with "roads" and those "roads" are otherwise open to motorized travel, then clearly they _can_ coincide with vehicles and there really isn't an issue, right?

    Got to love the Endangered Species Act.
    /Jeramey
    GLDS | AMA | BRC | ATVOC | MSA | GLFWDA | VVMapping

  6. #6
    Vertically Challenged 4x4 GLFWDA Member phittie1100's Avatar
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    I can't remember the last time I was travling through the MNF fast enough to impact a butterfly and do it harm.

    Well, except every time I was following Pat somewhere
    Paul - 2005 Wrangler Unlimited
    KD8PAV

  7. #7
    free market capitalist timbercruiser's Avatar
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    I have downloaded the comment sheet.
    How should we express our concerns? Where are the trails?

    Overall, they are trying to restore a fire dominated ecosystem.
    93 FZJ 80 Locked!!


    Chainsaws don't kill trees, I DO!!

  8. #8
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member Trail_Fanatic's Avatar
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    I would imagine more details and bullets might be available following the meeting.
    Pat Brower

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  9. #9
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member Greenway's Avatar
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    Looking at the maps provided by the USFS, they intend to close around 10 miles of prime scenic roads along the White river.









    Here's a few of my thoughts:

    The proposed forest roads designated to be closed do not significantly impact the KBB because of the following reasons.

    There are numerous county roads within the area with relatively high speed traffic that the KBB will also use as corridors which will put them at much greater risk than with the slow traffic on the roads proposed to be closed. Are maps going to be posted throughout the metapopulation area by the USFS to show the KBB where THEY'RE allowed to go?

    Vehicular counts on the proposed closed roads are likely lower than on the county roads.

    Closing the scenic roads will shift some of the traffic to the higher speed county roads causing more risk to the KBB.

    The land area of the roads proposed to be closed is insignificant compared to the overall metapopulation area.

    The detrimental impact to recreation in the area is huge if the roads are allowed to be closed. Those of us who are not hikers or equestrians are essentially barred from using this public land.

    Closing roads will not reduce illegal ATV use because they can go around or over all barriers. In fact, it will increase illegal use due to more public roads being deemed illegal by one government agency, while the general population still desire to use those roads.

    There are better areas to use for non-motorized primitive use than an area littered with county roads.
    Last edited by Greenway; December 19th, 2009 at 12:57 PM.

  10. #10
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member Greenway's Avatar
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    I will not be able to make it to Sunday's meeting so please take these ideas with you. Also please inquire about these things when you meet with Les and Chris.

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