Comment period extended for proposed action for over-snow vehicle use designation | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Comment period extended for proposed action for over-snow vehicle use designation

Tribune staff report

The Eldorado National Forest extended the comment period for the scoping phase that will guide the forest in developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the designation of over-snow vehicle (OSV) use on National Forest roads, trails, and areas. The proposed action also designates trails for grooming. Public input on the initial proposed action is encouraged. The comment period has been extended to April 20.

The Forest Service's goal in designating OSV use on the Eldorado National Forest is to ensure that the use of OSVs is well managed to minimize impacts to natural resources, to provide access for OSV use, to promote the safety of all users, and to minimize conflicts among the various uses. The Eldorado is not proposing any change to the number of miles of snow trails and acres of OSV Areas where OSV use would be allowed, subject to snow depth restrictions. Current restrictions to OSV use will be made permanent in the EIS. The Proposed Action identifies trails for grooming and adopts the California State Parks' Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division snow depth standards for grooming. A forest-wide snow depth standard for OSV use of 12 inches of continuous and supportable snow covering the landscape will be implemented and OSV use on designated National Forest System snow trails will be allowed when there is a minimum of 6 inches of snow. When the snow-depth requirement is not met, OSV use would be prohibited. The overall objective of this proposal is to provide a manageable system of trails and areas designated for OSV use within the Eldorado National Forest, consistent with Subpart C of the Forest Service Travel Management Rule at 36 CFR part 212.

The scoping phase is important step in preparing an EIS. Comments on the Proposed Action will help the Forest Service identify key issues and public concerns associated with this project. At this time, a decision has not been made regarding the project.

The Forest Service encourages participation in this process by identifying issues and suggestions for how to resolve them. To assure your comments are fully considered during the scoping phase of this project, submit comments by April 20.

For additional project background, supporting information, and how to comment, please visit the project website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46034&exp=overview . For more information, contact Micki Smith, resource officer, at 209-295-5960.

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