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High Alpine Adventure
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Hey, wait up!
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DaGoat said:
Dave, Gila Bear or others... has there been sufficient Mt. Biker input into this? It sounds like there will be some restirctions on Motorized Travel, but not sure of the overall impact.

Comments?

http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/04237168808newsstate03-04-11.htm
I don't know about MTB input. The point of the plan seems to be stopping unrestricted motorized cross-country travel. (Which of course annoys the well wheeled yahoos.)

A good thing in my book. Established roads and trails -- and access thereto -- should be fine.

Hiking, camping and bicycling are not affected.
Others may know more.

(ps, steve pearce bugs the scrap out of me)

..
 

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Hey, wait up!
Joined
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1,542 Posts
DaGoat said:
Dave, Gila Bear or others... has there been sufficient Mt. Biker input into this? It sounds like there will be some significant restrictions on Motorized Travel, but not sure of the overall impact. Is it going to limit access or improve trail conditions?

Comments?

http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/04237168808newsstate03-04-11.htm

http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2011/mar/03/bc-nm-forest-plan-opposition/?features&travel
For those w/o an abqj subscription

Opposition to Gila Plan Emerges

By Rene Romo
Journal Southern Bureau
LAS CRUCES - The debate over a U.S. Forest Service plan aimed at restricting motorized travel within the Gila National Forest is growing sharper as the Monday deadline for public comment approaches.

A new group called Keep Our Forest Open, which opposes any restrictions on motorized travel in the Gila National Forest, plans a noon rally at the Silver City Convention Center on Saturday.

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce, who will be a featured speaker at the rally, called the Forest Service's travel management planning effort "an attempt to take away another of our freedoms as Americans" in a news release.

"This is the time to come together and say, 'Enough is enough,' " Pearce said.

In a posting online, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance said Pearce was whipping up "hysteria" among his supporters.

"When was it considered a right to ruin our water and wildlife habitat by driving your off-road vehicle wherever you want?" said Bryan Bird of WildEarth Guardians. "Freedom comes with responsibility."

The travel management planning effort is a six-year-long project initiated by a Bush administration rule, published in November 2005, that requires national forest managers across the country to designate roads, trails and other areas open to motor vehicle use. The rule was a response to unmanaged off-highway vehicle use.

In practical terms, the rule means the end of visitors' ability to drive off-road and cross-country, wherever they please. Instead, forest managers will have to publish maps detailing exactly where visitors can drive campers, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. Hiking, camping and bicycling are not affected.

In the Gila, the Forest Service examined six options in an environmental study, ranging from one that eliminated cross-country travel but retained almost the entire existing road network, to a plan, endorsed by several conservation groups, that closes half of the current roads and trails. Excluding the 790,000-acre Gila Wilderness, where motorized travel is prohibited, the plan will govern travel within the 2.4 million-acre Gila National Forest.

The Forest Service prefers Alternative G, which would eliminate 1,281 miles of roads available to motorized access within the Gila, a 27 percent reduction. Out of the 4,604 miles of roads and trails now available to motorized vehicles in the Gila, the reduction would still leave 3,323 miles for vehicular travel.

That's more than the distance from San Diego to Bangor, Maine, said Donna Stevens, executive director of the Upper Gila Watershed Alliance in Silver City.

The Forest Service would designate 182 miles of trail, 4 feet wide, tailor-made for ATV and motorcycle use, up from 16 miles now, and set aside one 8-acre area for ATV and motorcycle use only.

The public has until 11:59 p.m. Monday to comment on the Forest Service's draft environmental impact statement issued in January. So far, about 1,000 comments have been submitted.

The Grant County Commission passed a resolution Feb. 24 urging the Forest Service not to close any roads, claiming that the environmental impact statement was flawed, an assertion the Forest Service disputes. Also, Mike Skidmore, chairman of the Keep Our Forest Open steering committee, said the restrictions will inhibit the ability of hunters, campers and horsemen to enjoy the forest.

Read more: ABQJOURNAL NEWS/STATE: Opposition to Gila Plan Emerges http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/04237168808newsstate03-04-11.htm#ixzz1FhK486dr
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