Motorized Travel Management Update
Tahoe National Forest
To Everyone Interested in Travel Management on the TNF:
We are pleased to announce that the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision are now available on the Forest website (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe/ ). Copies of the CD are being mailed this week. If you do not receive a CD and would like one, please send a message to: email@example.com or call the TNF Headquarters (530)265-4531.
Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn and the members of the Forest Service planning team greatly appreciate all the work that so many of you have put in: sharing you ideas and comments, attending meetings and open houses, reviewing maps and documents as well as field checking the trails in the forest. We hope we can continue to work together on future projects as your expertise and ideas are important to us.
Alternative 6 was selected with some modifications. It strikes a balance between providing motorized recreation access and protecting critical natural and cultural resources on the TNF. Although the decision will reduce the amount of motorized opportunities as compared to the existing condition, approximately 83% of the Forest will be within ½ mile of an authorized road or motorized trail.
Existing National Transportation System
As you remember, the existing National Forest Transportation System on the TNF and available for public use is approximately 2,400 miles of roads and motorized trails plus one open area, Prosser Pits. There are 869 miles of unauthorized routes on the forest, many of which have been used for a long time and some of which have been created more recently. The Forest also has 830 miles of closed system roads, some of which are receiving unauthorized motorized use.
Record of Decision (ROD)
With this decision, the following will be added to the existing motorized system for public use:
13.1 miles of roads (346) segments
48.9 miles of motorized trails (107 segments)
11.4 miles of closed roads will be open for motorized use (13 segments)
Other attributes of the decision include:
Prohibition of Cross County Travel: Motorized travel will be prohibited off system roads or motorized trails on 835,800 acres.
Open Areas: 244 acres at Boca, Prosser, and Stampede Reservoirs will be available for highway legal vehicles to access the shoreline of the reservoirs in select, established areas while protecting cultural, aquatic, and other sensitive resources.
Seasonal Restrictions: Wet weather seasonal restrictions will protect 1,369.5 miles of road and motorized trails. On the westside of the forest, these restrictions will be in effect from January 1 to March 31 and on the remainder of the forest, from January 1 through April 23.
Over the Snow Use: On the Fordyce Jeep Trail, over the snow use will be permitted on 3.6 miles when 15 inches of snow are present on the ground. In addition, Maintenance Level 3, 4, and 5 roads will remain available for wheeled-over-the-snow use, except for roads on the Truckee District and those roads designated as snowmobile trails.
Motorized Mixed Use: Mixing both highway legal and non-highway legal vehicles will be limited to roads less than 3 miles in length (as per Ca Vehicle Code 16.5) except that 117 miles of longer segments will be open for mixed use during deer hunting (rifle) season when log hauling does not occur.
Lowering Maintenance Level: Mixed use will be allowed on 122 miles of road as Maintenance Level 3 (smoother dirt) roads are downgraded to reflect their existing rougher conditions (Maintenance Level 2).
Dispersed Recreation Spurs: Hundreds of short unauthorized road segments are added to provide dispersed recreation opportunities.
Protection of Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRAs): The majority of existing unauthorized routes within the IRAs have not been added to the National Forest Transportation System to protect the values of solitude, old forest ecosystems, wildlife habitat, and other resources. With only one congressionally designated Wilderness on the TNF, the opportunities for quiet recreation and solitude are limited. A few short trail segments totaling 4 miles, however, have been added to the West Yuba, East Yuba, Grouse Lakes, Duncan Canyon, Bald Mountain, and Castle Peak IRAs that would not adversely affect roadless area characteristics.
This decision is subject to appeal pursuant to the regulations at 36 CFR Part 215. Appeals, including attachments must be filed within 45 days of the publication date of the legal notice of the decision in Grass Valley’s The Union, the newspaper of record. Detailed procedures for appeal are included in the ROD. For further information about this decision, please contact Dave Arrasmith, Project Team Leader, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor’s Office 631 Coyote St, Nevada City, CA 95959; (530) 478-6220
Motor Vehicle Use Maps
Later this winter, we expect to have the Motor Vehicle Use Maps available for you.
Thanks again to you all for your help over the many years!