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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #1
Icemanii
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Default They Want To Close Tellico - Write Now!

BRC Critical Action Alert -- THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO!

You MUST take action to save Tellico NOW!

Today the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) met with the USDA Forest Service (USFS) and heard a presentation on what will be in their Environmental Assessment (EA). While they have 7 alternatives that they are considering, their preferred alternative is to CLOSE TELLICO. While we know that this is completely unacceptable and will cause immediate and intense emotional reaction, we are asking that everyone maintain a level head and concentrate on what our task is now.

STEP 1: The USFS Forest Supervisor issued a TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER that will keep Tellico closed until they decide what the fate of the area will be. This means that TELLICO WILL NOT REOPEN ON APRIL 1ST! Please read the order here: http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tu...ry_closure.pdf and provide comments to the temporary closure. Be sure to talk about all the plans you have to use the area and all the events that are already scheduled and that you have paid to attend. We MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!

STEP 2: We must, at all costs, provide as many SUBSTANTIVE comments about the EA as humanly possible. And we are ready. SFWDA requests that you download the study that we commissioned (http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09/), as well as the USFS EA which is posted here (http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tu...co/tellico.htm) and that you compare the two side by side and start making comments. Our study will give you the data that you need to make comments about the surveys that have been done, the lack of maintenance the USFS has completed, the science, the engineering, the economics, EVERYTHING.

We will work to have a letter generator up, but honestly, we need for you to take pencil to paper and think this through. Copy this announcement and send it to your friends, family, and everyone you know.

STEP 3: The other thing we need, and you know what is coming, is money. In this tough economic time, it’s hard to find a few dollars to support a cause, but if you enjoy the Tellico area, or even the dying sport of OHV and 4x4 recreation, please consider a donation to Rescue Tellico so that we may continue to fight for Tellico. http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/donate.html

STEP 4: In an effort to show that we will not accept these actions, Crawford’s Campground is committing to continue on with the plans for Spring Fling on April 4th. Please consider attending and showing your support and helping to raise money for Rescue Tellico.

So you know, SFWDA is working very closely with United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and the BlueRibbon Coalition to review these documents. BE ASSURED that the lawyers will be reviewing all of these documents in detail and that we are all ready to take whatever action is warranted to further the fight to KEEP TELLICO OPEN!

Thanks you for your help,

SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC
Del Albright
KI6WER

Ambassador, BlueRibbon Coalition
State Environmental Affairs Coordinator, CA4WDC

PO BOX 127
Mokelumne Hill, CA 95245Dear 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.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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doesn't this happen like once a month
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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Holy shit.
I'll write tonight.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrifrocks2005 View Post
doesn't this happen like once a month
No, this is the report we have been waiting for and now have. If TU has all their people write and the OHV community does nothing but webwheel, then that is all we will have left.

Prior to today, Tellico was slated to reopen on April 1st. However, if we cannot get the FS to go with alternative A, E, or F, we will not wheel there again, period.

Last edited by Icemanii; February 27th, 2009 at 09:12 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemanii View Post
No, this is the report we have been waiting for and now have. If TU has all their people write and the OHV community does nothing but webwheel, then that is all we will have left.

Prior to today, Tellico was slated to reopen on April 1st. However, if we cannot get the FS to go with alternative C, we will not wheel there again, period.
i know it was exaggerated.
it just seems like tellico has have trouble staying open. more so than every other park.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 09:11 PM   #6
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just read that email...not good!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old February 27th, 2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Tellico has been fighting a lot because it is the target here on the East Coast.

Now we can whine, or we can write letters and offer solutions. Let them know how much you, your family, your club spends in that area. How much you may be planning on spending in the future if it remains open. Talk about the impact on the economy if wheeling is not offered there.

The other issue is, we don't have to go with one of the proposed alternatives. Take what you like from each section and offer up your opinion on what should be done.

The main thing is, write showing support to keep the area open.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 10:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrifrocks2005 View Post
i know it was exaggerated.
it just seems like tellico has have trouble staying open. more so than every other park.
Shit keeps getting closed every time you turn around, it's not just Tellico. Perfect example recently was Paragon. Yeah, yeah, yeah, say what you will about who did or did not do what they were suppose to do. Bottom line is it's gone. Also 29 Palms Military base in Arizona is trying to expand south.....to guess where......Johnson Valley and completely close off The Hammers. The very spot that King of the Hammers race (KOH) is taking place this weekend. Red Rock Fourwheelers struggle every year with Easter Jeep Safari permits in Moab. Then there's the Los Cruces event Chili Challenge in New Mexico that nearly didn't happen last year and will probably struggle again this year. Look @ Lions Back in Moab. Gone! Closed. Cape Hatteras ruling stands to impact us on a national scale like never before. If we loose that one, we're toast if we go up against an endangered species issue with a ORV trail.
The list goes on and on. I encourage everyone to look around. What I wheeled on 20-30 years ago is no longer open. We will continue to loose more and more because we're trying to fight Eco-greens who have received millions and millions of $$$ in donations from big corporations and we are trying to combat that with a volunteer organization few measly members by comparison.
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