Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

USFS sets decision for public access on 42 roads; forest supervisor retires later

By
From page A1 | June 21, 2013 | 1 Comment

Future public access to a number of roads within the Eldorado National Forest was assured when Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy “designated 24 routes for wheeled vehicle use.” However, those roads are not yet open and are not likely to be open before the annual seasonal closure this fall. Hardy’s action, effective June 14, is a step in the process of implementing federal policies on the national forest.

A statement from the Eldorado’s Public Affairs Office Thursday morning announced that Hardy had retired effective June 14, but as of press time there was no further information available on that issue.

A prepared statement from Public Affairs Officer Frank Mosbacher described some of the history and processes involved in the “designation” action. A court ruling in 2012 closed portions of 42 roads in the forest to vehicle traffic due to environmental concerns that included water quality and other related issues. The primary target was roads that cross meadows or otherwise may cause a negative impact on sensitive water courses.

The court ruling stated that the roads would remain closed until comprehensive analyses had been completed to determine whether or how much each route impacted its immediate environment.

Hardy’s decision releases 24 popular high-country routes with her “designation” that they are fit for off-highway vehicle use. In addition, 18 other routes are classified as “delayed designation.” That means work must be done to bring those into compliance with the requirements imposed by the court. The Forest Service statement noted that some of the roads require simple fixes while others will need more complex attention such as engineering design and more detailed environmental studies. The projects are required by and incorporated into the Eldorado National Land and Resource Management Plan.

“A supplemental environmental impact statement and a ‘Record of Decision’ were released Friday, June 14,” the statement reads. “Both documents are available on the Eldorado National Forest Website at: fs.usda.gov/eldorado. Twenty-four of the analyzed routes either do not cross or border meadows or meet water flow requirements and 18 have segments that affect water flow in meadows. The routes and their designations are identified in the Record of Decision.”

The statement further describes background and the rationale for Hardy’s action.

“The decision I made today affects two very important resources — healthy meadows and high country recreational opportunities,” she said. “We need both.”

In accordance with federal law, the decision is subject to public discussion and input from individuals who have “standing” with respect to the issue, Mosbacher explained in a phone call to the Mountain Democrat Tuesday.  In simplest terms, “Standing” is the requirement in federal law that individuals or entities must have a direct connection to a proposed action and demonstrate that they have been or would be harmed by a proposed action. Such entities have the right to appeal the proposed action.

The public appeal period extends for 45 days after which the Forest Service will have 45 days to resolve any appeals, Mosbacher explained. After that period, the Forest Service must update and print the routes in its Eldorado National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map to show final location of the affected roads. Therefore, if the maximum amount of time is used in the appeal process, 90 days from June 14, and another several weeks are needed for the maps and related documentation to be published, the winter closure would be imminent. Thus, Mosbacher’s estimation that the roads probably will not be open until late spring 2014.

“I know how important these routes are to people for high-country recreational experiences,” Hardy said. “A number of the routes have been adopted by clubs whose members help to keep them in shape. We’ll need to continue acquiring the funding necessary to complete site-specific environmental analysis and I’m sure there will be room for volunteers to help out.”

Volunteerism is a significant element in future plans as Hardy said, “The Forest Service roads budget has been declining over the years and she is not too optimistic in the near term,” according to the statement. However, “the Eldorado has already begun applying for grants from the California Department of Parks and Recreation OHV Division to help get some of the repairs started as soon as possible.”

Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or cdaley@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @CDaleyMtDemo.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

  • Walking TallJune 21, 2013 - 6:11 am

    Since she has retired after her decision so too can we; the people retire her decision. The public will and does have the right to protest these closures and we will. The lands in question are "PUBLIC LANDS" and the public has the right to use and repair them as does the USFS and not just one person. "Keep Public Lands Open to the Public"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 19 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

 
Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
.

Sports

First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

 
HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments