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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Tellico Closure Pending...

Or Ever...

Start reading.
http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tu...co/tellico.htm
http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/index.html

The SFWDA study and maintenance plan with real data...
http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09/

Or just the important part.
Quote:
Dear Interested Party:
The USDA Forest Service is seeking comments on two proposals regarding management of the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) System:

1. An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the long-term management of the Upper Tellico OHV System. You may download a copy of the EA and related graphics at http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/tellico. If you would like to receive a paper copy of the EA, please e-mail your request to: comments-southern-north-carolina@fs.fed.us or call (828) 257-4817, and one will be mailed to you. For questions concerning the project or the EA contact Candace Wyman, Project Coordinator, at 828-257-4816.

2. A temporary closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System for resource protection, effective April 1, 2009. This closure would prohibit possession or use of a motorized vehicle on a road or trail within the Upper Tellico OHV System, with the exception of highway-legal vehicles on 420-1 and certain other exceptions described in the closure order until a final project decision is implemented.The Upper Tellico OHV System is located on Tusquitee Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, Cherokee County, NC. In June 2008, we publicized a proposal for long-term management of the System, designed to greatly reduce the amount of soil leaving the System and entering the Tellico River and its tributaries, while still providing an OHV trail system. This proposal is referred to as the “proposed action” or Alternative B and is described in detail in Chapter 1 of the EA. We received around 1,500 public comments on the proposed action. Alternatives to the proposed action were developed in response to the comments and environmental issues identified by the Agency. A wide range of comments was received, so six alternatives are analyzed in the EA, identified as Alternatives A through F. We would now like your review and comment on the alternatives and analysis before making a final decision on long-term management of the System.

The following is a brief description of the alternatives analyzed in detail in the EA. Please refer to the EA, Chapters 2 and 3, for more information about each alternative.

• Alternative A is the “no action” alternative that reflects the existing trail system with 2007 management and funding levels.
• Alternative B is the “proposed action” that was released in June 2008 for public comment. It was developed to address the problems initially identified in trail condition surveys conducted in 2007-2008.
• Alternative C closes the OHV System, but maintains over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads in the area, open year-round or seasonally, to provide for public highway-legal vehicle access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses. It was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) did not go far enough in eliminating trails on sensitive soils and trails near water.
• Alternative D was developed in response to public concerns that the OHV Trail System should meet current trail density and challenge level standards, and not require a Forest Plan amendment.
• Alternative E was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) would eliminate too many high challenge OHV experiences.
• Alternative F was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) would eliminate too many OHV trail miles.

The environmental concerns that initiated the proposed management changes are described in the EA, as are the projected direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of each of these Alternatives.

The EA shows that the Upper Tellico OHV System has extensive damage and contributes unacceptable levels of sediment into the Tellico River and its tributaries. Sediment is leaving the OHV System from more than 2,000 locations along the trails. The Agency is in violation of North Carolina state water quality standards because of the conditions on Upper Tellico OHV System. Since the Upper Tellico River watershed is located in an area of steep terrain, highly erosive soils, and high rainfall, maintaining an OHV trail system without causing significant environmental damage is extremely difficult.

While I understand how important the Upper Tellico OHV System is to OHV users, the impacts to water quality are so significant that I cannot recommend keeping the System open at this time. After careful consideration of the environmental effects of the alternatives as presented in the EA, my preferred alternative is Alternative C, which closes the OHV System. Alternative C would maintain over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads (currently also OHV trails), open year-round or seasonally, to provide public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses. Trail 1 (FS Road 420-1) would be paved and kept open as a through route for highway-legal vehicles.

I want to emphasize that a final decision has not yet been made. This public review period is an opportunity for you to give us constructive feedback. I encourage you to review the environmental assessment and provide us with any information that you think we have not considered adequately. Your comments need to be as specific as possible and you must provide the following information: 1) Your name and address; 2) Title of the project; 3) Specific substantive comments on the proposed action, along with supporting reasons that I should consider in reaching a decision; and 4) Your signature or other means of identification verification. For organizations, a signature or other means of identification verification must be provided for the individual authorized to represent your organization.

Comments must be postmarked or received within 30 days beginning the day after publication of this notice in The Asheville Citizen-Times. Comments may be mailed electronically, in a common digital format, to: comments-southern-north-carolina-nan...itee@fs.fed.us; or by regular mail to: National Forests in North Carolina, Attn: Candace Wyman, 160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801, or faxed to 828-257-4263. Hand delivered comments must be received within our normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Thank you for your continued interest in management of the National Forests in North Carolina and the Tusquitee Ranger District.

Sincerely,

MARISUE HILLIARD
Forest Supervisor
So how can I help?

The best way is to send a letter via snail mail...
National Forests in North Carolina
Attn: Candace Wyman
160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Or fax to...
828-257-4263

Or as if all you have time for is an e-mail...
comments-southern-north-carolina@fs.fed.us

Please try and understand and address the above options to the best of your knowledge on this, and explain why you want to see Tellico (or go back.) You can even talk about the money you spend in the area while your there.

Thanks
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Old February 27th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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You can write now to save this wheeling area, or whine when it is closed.

Alternative A is the least restrictive for us. If you need or want help writing a letter let me know. But F is a choice

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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
While I understand how important the Upper Tellico OHV System is to OHV users, the impacts to water quality are so significant that I cannot recommend keeping the System open at this time. After careful consideration of the environmental effects of the alternatives as presented in the EA, my preferred alternative is Alternative C, which closes the OHV System. Alternative C would maintain over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads (currently also OHV trails), open year-round or seasonally, to provide public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses. Trail 1 (FS Road 420-1) would be paved and kept open as a through route for highway-legal vehicles.
Iceman, I'll have to read more later, but C sounds really bad.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #4
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Iceman, I'll have to read more later, but C sounds really bad.
sorry pissed off and mis-typed.

'A' would be best, but most likely not going to happen, but 'F' may work out to get thru.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #5
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Iceman, I'll have to read more later, but C sounds really bad.
C is the option that Forest Supervisor recommends.

If you look at the independent study paid for my SFWDA, they show no to little signs of pollution/silt damage in the local waterways.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #6
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C is the option that Forest Supervisor recommends.

If you look at the independent study paid for my SFWDA, they show no to little signs of pollution/silt damage in the local waterways.
Correct, most of the study showed above average for fish population.

Think the FS is just taking what they perceive as the easy way out.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Icemanii View Post
Correct, most of the study showed above average for fish population.

Think the FS is just taking what they perceive as the easy way out.
How can they not see the millions of dollars in loss for local businesses?
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Old February 27th, 2009, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyevil View Post
How can they not see the millions of dollars in loss for local businesses?
Because if you listen to the 'other' sides story, any revenue lost would be replaced by fishing and hiking interests. Plus Mountain bikers and a host of others that seek a non-motorized 'already in place' developed trail system.
You haven't really lived until you listen to some of these groups first hand. There isn't a fact you can present that they don't have a rebuttal for.
As evidenced by the study SFWDA paid for in water quality, which they are apparently ignoring at this time.
While 'A' is status quo, I suspect a viable middle ground of 'F' may be the best we can hope for. 'F' is somewhere between 'A' and 'B' but I'm not sure of the actual trail impact, i.e. closures. Will need to dig deeper or possible ask some of the folks involved with the Alternatives. I'll see what I can find out.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #9
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You are correct Jim, while 'A' would be best for us, highly unlikely we will get that passed. 'F' seems like the alternative that we have the best shot for if we had to pick.

'F' is described on page 14 (bottom) and top of 15 in the EA pdf report.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #10
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Alt A will not happen. There is no way they can leave the trails as is or with little improvement. Many of the Trails in Tellico need some work! This is because of 20 years of use, the fault of no one. It's just time to do some updating and repairing. Alt F seems great, but I am not sure if that is going to be the option or not. Seems like Alt E is where the middle ground is with the current option of being 100% closed.

I got a good laugh at most of the charts on the FS report. Most of them showed the numbers in favor of keeping us in their hills, but that does not seem to be their #1 or even #2 interest.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #11
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Director of the USFS is appointed by the president, right?
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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #12
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"Alternative C would maintain over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads (currently also OHV trails), open year-round or seasonally, to provide public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses."
Thats as good as closed.



How big is this trail system?
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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusKegon_ZJ_gurl View Post
"Alternative C would maintain over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads (currently also OHV trails), open year-round or seasonally, to provide public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses."
Thats as good as closed.



How big is this trail system?
Currently under A, it is about 39+ miles I believe.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #14
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The current estimated trails are 39.3 miles. That is with Lower 2 and Slick Rock closed.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemanii View Post
Currently under A, it is about 39+ miles I believe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brimy311 View Post
The current estimated trails are 39.3 miles. That is with Lower 2 and Slick Rock closed.
Thanks Guys!
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Old February 27th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #16
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I plan to work on my letter for the next few days. I will post what I come up with and others can use parts of it as well if they would like.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #17
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For those of you who forget or were too young to remember. Clinton tried this bullshit as an executive order as he left office, regardless of feedback from the public. Then Bush got in office and overturned it. Well I have news for you. You elected Obama (flaming eco-liberal) into office with his commie friend Pelosi as Congress head (yes, she wants to spend tens-of millions to save a swamp mouse), so I fear we are all screwed. Please write your letters, but notice in the request from the Director of USFS that they are looking for you to "provide us with any information that you think we have not considered adequately". Writing the USFS for sympathy is not going to work. They are looking for constructive, factual information that "they have overlooked". Which in short means 'we have done due-diligence before deciding to close the trails so you can't appeal the decision'. If you want to have a real impact I recommend you get on the horn to your congressmen and the Oval office and let them know that you will not be voting for them again if they let this go through. I realize, this is not ultimately their decision, but they have the force to make the USFS and President reconsider their position. That is really your only leverage. Writing a eco-democrat who was appointed (not elected) into office to plead for reconsideration is going to get you nowhere.

Sorry, off my soap box. Getting my flame suit on. Realize I probably just stirred the Hornets but our country is F'ed and we better start communicating that if they take actions like this they won't be re-elected. Afterall, that's the Sierra Club strategy and it seems to work.

BTW, if anyone is really passionate about this, please read the entire USFS document and publish holes in their logic to this thread. That way people's letters and opposition can at least voice problems with their proposal.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #18
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I plan to work on my letter for the next few days. I will post what I come up with and others can use parts of it as well if they would like.
please do!
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Old February 27th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #19
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"Alternative C would maintain over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads (currently also OHV trails), open year-round or seasonally, to provide public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses."
Thats as good as closed.



How big is this trail system?
I believe those 10 miles of trails includes trail 1, which is a smooth gravel maintained fire road.

I'm for most of option "F". I firmly believe that there is some damage done at Tellico that needs to be immediately fixed, some of it may be irreparable. Lower 2 and School bus are so eroded that I feel they will be closed regardless. I think that equal ground can be found between both groups, it just sucks that the Greenies and the Forest Service are being so unreasonable.

Brian read a few hundred pages of the documents tonight and showed me many of the highlights... Four wheeling brings in more money from further than any other use of the system.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 10:26 PM   #20
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i just read the whole email from u.f.w.d.a. and there is a lot that is over my head. this is important. i'd like to know the exact right way to go about this
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