Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Forest Service Proposes to Close 500 Miles of Roads in Magdalena Ranger District

The Magdalena Ranger District revealed its Travel Management proposal today which would ban the use of all motor vehicles on around 500 miles of the existing roads in the District. This will affect all vehicles includes motorcycles, ATVs, and 4WDs. It also affects all members of the public, including hunters. Per the proposal put forward, the nearly 1400 miles of roads currently available to the public would be reduced to just over 900 miles.

The proposal also dramatically reduces the areas allowed for 'car camping'. The proposal would limit 'dispersed vehicle camping' to 300 feet either side of only 390 miles of roads. using a motor vehicle for camping alongside roads.

The release of the Proposed Action begins the process required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA process begins with Scoping, which is a step to determine the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts of the project to consider. The public has 30 days to provide scoping comment on these issues by submitting letters or emails. These proposals are in theMagdalena Ranger District, Travel Management Proposed Action. The 30 day comment period will end on August 24th.

The purpose of this proposal is to designate a motorized road and trail system on the Mountainair District. Designation will include class of vehicle and time of year for motor vehicle use. The decision will result in the publication of a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). After the MVUM has been released, ALL other motorized travel off the designated system will be prohibited.

Four Open House public meetings will be held on August 3rd-7th. This will be an opportunity to meet with the Forest Service and ask questions about the project and their proposal. See the calendar link below for times/dates/locations.

Comments can be submitted by postal mail, email, and fax. Specific instructions and contact information are available here.

Additional information regarding this proposal can be obtained from:

Cliff Nicoll, ID Team Leader, Cibola National Forest, 2113 Osuna Road, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113. Phone: 505-346-3900.

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