I said I would send out an agenda for the meeting so here it is. First of all
the archeaologist from the Forest Service had to take a rain check so nothing
special this time. Due to this being such a busy month for everyone we will
just have an informal meeting.We will have some discussion on where we
are going, where we want to go, and ideas and suggestions for activities and fund
raising for the local chapter. Up dates on what myself and others have been
working on will also be given. I look forward to the Pisgah Area SORBA
starting the new year with the enthusiasim that you all have shown. We will
make great strides for the trails and sport we all love in the coming years.
1) All new trail work has to be surveyed by an archaelogist before being completed. They might have wanted to talk to us about this process...
2) Serious maintenance that involves moving large quanities of dirt or rock may technically need a survey as well. They may have wanted to talk to us about this...
3) Rumor has it that new USFS regulations for 2006 will require that all maintenance that involves disturbing the forest floor in any way will require both an EA and an archaelogical survey. First, that's a rumor and in no way has been verified. Second, it would really suck if true. Third, that might be what they wanted to present to us about.
Ok Mike, that all makes sense. Numbers 1 and 2 are fairly straightforward and not a ton of work given the nature of the typical trail, but since you're dealing with the FS bureaucracy will probably take far more time than you'd like. They have a legal responsibility to ensure that important or potentially important ("significant" is the legal term) sites aren't disturbed, so they need to cover their butts, but they don't have a whole lot of $$ to do it with. I would assume that most of their acreage has been surveyed as part of timbering operations, but I could be wrong. Sounds like I am in fact. As for number 3, the EA, I believe the FS required this before the FATS trail could be started over near N. Augusta, SC. Bill Victor was the lead guy on that and might be able to provide some insight if you think you need it. I can put you in touch with him or you can contact him through IMBA as he's our state rep. But if they're really talking an EA and survey for all maintenance you're right: that would suck. What you'd need then is a programmatic agreement between the FS and the State Historic Preservation Office dealing specifically with trail maintenance. And that's something you should raise with the FS archaeologist when you meet him/her. Who is it by the way?
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