ACTION ALERT: Call your representatives to support congressional oversight for Sequoia and Sierra land management plans
As many of you have been following… the saga that has encompassed the Land Management Plan revision process for Sequoia and Sierra National Forest for the last 10+ years continues. In January, I submitted a formal complaint to the Forest Service to request immediate resolution, and set the stage to escalate a request for Congressional oversight, regarding the Forest Service’s implementation of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process violations within the Sequoia and Sierra National Forest Land Management Plan Revisions objection resolution.
The Forest Service responded with a brief letter that only partially addressed the items noted in the Complaint, dismissing some, and completely ignoring the others. I have submitted a response to their response to reiterate each issue and the imperative for full resolution.
Additionally, I have been collaborating with county leaders within Fresno and Tulare County to ensure that local governments are aware of the gross overreach of authority that the Forest Service is attempting to execute through implementation of this set of National Forest Land Management Plan revisions. I am encouraged that county leadership has taken interest in the issue and have reached out to Congressional representatives independently to further escalate the call for Congressional oversight.
Further, I have been collaborating with several other OHV and outdoor recreation groups to escalate our mutual efforts to seek Congressional oversight. We sent a unified letter to Congress on April 26 to share our collective grievances and request. Read the letter via this link
Read the Complaint letter and history on the Plans via this link: https://bit.ly/nepa-complaint
There are many egregious components of the Sequoia and Sierra revised Land Management Plan Revisions that bear a range of immediate, future, and permanent negative impacts on motorized recreation. Among the worst include:
- Setting the framework for severe restrictions on recreational access and timber management within the proposed Pacific Crest Trail Management Area… a 1-mile wide corridor spanning the full length of the PCT in each national forest.
- Cementing the loss of 43,000 acres of motorized recreation access in Sequoia National Forest through failure to balance the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum… 43,000 acres were lost with the creation of the Kiavah Wilderness in 1994… the Forest Service has shirked their responsibility to create new motorized access to replace those 43,000 acres for nearly 3 decades, and they will set that loss into permanence within the structure of the revised Land Management Plan.
- Cementing the loss of 30 miles of motorized trails in the Piute Mountains through failure to complete Travel Management prior to the release of a finalized Land Management Plan.
We urge all Cal4Wheel members to take action now to support the call for Congressional oversight of the Sequoia and Sierra Land Management Plan revisions.
Please make phone calls to the Congressional representatives noted below, each have jurisdiction over Sequoia and Sierra National Forest lands.
Key talking points:
- I am concerned about the Sequoia and Sierra National Forest violating the objection resolution process for the Land Management Plan revisions for each forest.
- The Forest Service has failed to respond to objections, they are violating public process, which is allowing them to illegally implement a predetermined plan outcome that has significant negative impact on public access, recreation, forest health, and public safety in our public lands.
- The implementation of a “Management Area” or “Corridor” for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) will impose a 1-mile wide buffer zone for the full length of the PCT. The National Trail System Act does not allow for buffer zones for any national scenic trail, including the PCT.
- 43,000 acres of motorized recreation were lost in the Sequoia National Forest through the creation of the Kiavah Wilderness. The Sequoia Revised Plan should compensate for this loss by rebalancing the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS), however, the Forest Service has omitted inclusion of detail about this loss within the Revised Plan, thus cementing the loss and creating permanent imbalance in the ROS.
- I urge the Congressman to begin oversight of this issue to require the Forest Service to meet with objectors, including Cal4Wheel, to discuss and resolve public objections and require the Forest Service to remove illegal components of the Sequoia and Sierra National Forest revised Plans before they release their Record of Decision.
It is best to call in during morning hours Monday through Friday. If you are unable to reach a live representative, please state your concerns as a voice message. Call daily to reiterate the need for Congressional oversight – and please ask your club members to call as well!
- Kevin McCarthy – District 20
- Tom McClintock – District 5
916.786.5560 (El Dorado Hills)
- Kevin Kiley – District 3
- House Natural Resources Committee