North California Access Issues

Bramham writes his last report

jim-bramham copyIt is with a wide range of emotion that I write what will be my last report as your NRC. It is been both a pleasure and an honor to serve the association and the interests of OHV in this capacity. I especially appreciate the Board of Directors and our Presidents Mark Cave and Steve Egbert for their leadership. The BOD is an ever-changing group with a broad range of responsibilities. They absolutely cannot do all the things that need to be done for this association by themselves. We as members need to support them and show them our appreciation. The association needs your help in many ways, the foremost of which is to increase our membership. This association means something to you, or you wouldn't belong! Share that with your friends and fellow four-wheelers and add them to our membership. Simple math says if we each get one person to join we would double the size of the association. It is easier than you think!

Our association has a rich history and an even brighter future. The recent BOD meeting was a clear example of that future. The positive tone and cooperation have returned to all our recent meetings but was especially good to see at the BOD level. I have seen great progress in healing our relationships both internally and externally over the past several years. We are poised once again to take the leadership roles within the OHV community that will benefit our association and OHV in general.

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Frogs & toads to be listed as endangered

CA4WDC issues position statement on ESA Listing of Yellow-legged Frog and Yosemite Toad

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the Final Rule for listing of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the Northern Distinct Population Segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog as Endangered Species and the Yosemite toad as a Threatened Species is pending publication in the April 29, 2014 edition of the Federal Register.

Background:  The current listing effort is the result of a lawsuit settlement between the USFWS and Center for Biological Diversity.

The frogs and toads have been on U.S. Forest Service "species of concern" list for more than 14 years.  As such, they were addressed in the 2000 Sierra Nevada Framework (SNF) with defined management prescriptions as if they were formally listed species.  As such, grazing, logging and recreation activities have lived under the SNF prescriptions which treated the species as listed on the Threatened and Endangered Species List.

This means that when U.S. Forest Service travel management was conducted, the SNF was one of the tiered documents reviewed to determine impact of designating the route.  As such, USFS routes can be (or should be) considered to be in compliance with ESA listing.

Note, I said "should be" considered in compliance.

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Six Rivers begins Travel Management Planning

Comments are due by June 4

The Six Rivers National Forest in California has published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) associated with implementing a Travel Management Plan (TMP) for the Smith River National Recreation Area in the Gasquet Ranger District. This notice constitutes the beginning of the scoping and comment period for the TMP.

The Forest proposes the following changes to its transportation system: 1) add 28 user-created routes as roads, totaling 16 miles; 2) add 45 user-created routes as motorized trails, totaling 44 miles; 3) implement seasonal gate closures on 2 roads and 5 motorized trails, totaling 13 miles; 4) implement mixed-use access of 1 road (17N49), totaling 4 miles; 5) close 118 roads, totaling 57 miles, and; 6) close 173 user-created routes, totaling 80 miles.

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