Background on Route Designation                   Updated 2/4/09

The following is some history of the Route Designation
For Current Information please go to
Stewards of the Sequoia (Sequoia Trail Inventory)

BAN ON CROSS COUNTRY MOTORIZED TRAVEL
Sequoia Forest issued Forest Orders September 2006 banning all motorized cross country travel and providing maps showing which trails are legally open to motorized use. Travelling on trails not on the map may result in a citation with a maximum fine of $5000 per individual, $10,000 per group and/or 6 months in jail
 

TRAIL DESIGNATION BACKGROUND
The Forest Service has started a trail designation process in which they will decide which of the existing wheeled vehicle trails will remain open and which will be closed. The public is encouraged to be involved in this process. However most people do not have time to attend meetings or read hundreds of pages of documents and make comments. Stewards of the Sequoia have been extremely involved for over two years. If you want to help keep your trails open one of the best and easiest things you can do is join Stewards of the Sequoia. We provide email action alerts and meet with Forest Service and Legislators to help keep our trails open

In September 2005 Forest Service proposed an emergency closure of 68 miles of  single track trails to wheeled vehicles including Mountain Bikes in the Greenhorn district. That is a loss of 27% of single track trails and will cause needless increased impact on the remaining trails.

The Forest Service decided to hold off on the above emergency closures since they did not meet the emergency criteria as pointed out by Stewards and other organizations.

No time to be involved and help keep your trails open. No problem, make a donation to Stewards to support our efforts and let us be your voice.

This process will determine which trails will remain open to wheeled vehicles, both motorized and mountain bike

Forest Service is putting together a stakeholders group including Stewards of the Sequoia to be involved in the Trail Designation Process. Members who want to be part of the stakeholders group should email us at info@stewardsofthesequoia.org

At our 9/05 meeting with Sequoia staff, District Ranger Freeland made it clear that all trails would be treated equally during the review to see if they meet criteria to remain open. The specialists are looking at each trail, including existing designated trails, and will determine whether they are causing resource damage. If they are causing resource damage then they must be fixed or closed with the temporary orders. If they are closed they may be re opened later, if the problem is resolved.

Staff state they will be transparent about reasons for closures and give the public all the information as to the reasons. There will be an opportunity for the public to find ways to keep the trail open through volunteerism or other options. Staff state they will be using new less arbitrary soil standards to determine if resource damage is occurring.

Summer 2007 Motorized Trail Designation Update
The Forest has been working since 2005 to Inventory all existing trails and roads. They have asked the public to be involved. Stewards of the Sequoia have taken a lead role in working with the Forest to help keep as many roads and trails opens as possible to preserve recreation opportunity and Forest Access for fire and forest health management.

Stewards of the Sequoia encouraged members to submit information on any trails that were missed in the Sequoia Forest Trail Inventory.

Stewards of the Sequoia also submitted missing trail lists and comments of our own.

On 6/15/07 Forest Supervisor Tina Terrell signed the Notice of Intent and proposed to close over 279 roads and trails to motorized use.

Stewards has also submitted a Trail Plan Alternative listing each trail and why it is important to the system.


Here is a link to the Sequoia National Forest current inventory maps and time tables and other info
Sequoia National Forest Trail Inventory

Here is a link to the Forest Service OHV Program Info that is driving the Trail Designation

OHV Program-Forest Service

Background Unmanaged Recreation

Article  Fed Plan to Restrict Off Roaders

MAPS OF EXISTING TRAILS PROPOSED FOR CLOSURE
Click below to view the Sequoia Forest official Inventory Maps showing the existing trail system. The Trails marked in RED are proposed for closure in almost every alternative of the DEIS. These maps have not been revised to reflect the changes in the FEIS which due to our efforts has a Modified Alternative 3 proposing to close fewer trails. More Trails than are marked could be closed. More could be kept open with your help.

  1. Greenhorn Proposed Closures DEIS Map, lots of proposed closures around Evans Flat

  2. Breckenridge Proposed Closures DEIS Map

  3. Lake Isabella Proposed Closures DEIS Map

  4. Piute Proposed Closures DEIS Map, keep in mind that this area will be re analyzed in 2010 to see if any of these trails can be reopened

PROPOSED SEQUOIA FOREST "NO ACTION" ALTERNATIVE 2 MAPS
"No Action" means to continue to allow Existing access. These maps are supposed to show what Exists On the Ground. Compare these "No Action" maps to the above Inventory maps. Most of the trails on the Inventory are not on the "No Action" maps. That shows a lack transparency by the Sequoia Forest Service and is misleading to the public.

  1. Greenhorns Area FEIS Alternative 2 Map, including Piute and Lake Area

  2. Breckenridge Area FEIS Alternative 2 Map, including Piute and Lake Area

PROPOSED SEQUOIA FOREST MODIFIED ALTERNATIVE 3 MAPS
This alternative was developed due to efforts by Stewards and proposes to close the least amount of trails and allows continued lakeside access.

  1. Greenhorns Area FEIS Alternative 3 Map, including Piute and Lake Area

  2. Breckenridge Area FEIS Alternative 3 Map, including Piute and Lake Area

SEQUOIA INVENTORY MAPS These are better resolution inventory maps to ones above but without the RED marks showing trails proposed for closure.

  1. Lake Isabella Inventory Map

  2. Greenhorn Inventory Map

  3. Breckenridge Inventory Map

  4. Piute Inventory Map

Stewards provides these maps as a public service in order to help the public better understand what trails are proposed for closure. We are not responsible for their content or accuracy. Please refer to the Sequoia Forest Service or the Sequoia Forest FEIS for confirmation or clarification or contact Stewards

The Sequoia Forest 1200 page Trail Plan FEIS document proposes which roads and trails will be closed in Breckenridge, Greenhorn as well as around Lake Isabella. Many people in the community are not aware of this planning process or how it will affect them.

The Sequoia Forest hosted public meetings in February 2009. Based on the maps each of the Alternatives will severely restrict public access around the Lake to specific designated roads only. Many of the existing roads will be closed. The community needs to be aware this will be a huge change from the current open areas where one can camp, boat or fish from anywhere around the lake at any water level.

Additionally this FEIS Plan will designate which roads and trails will remain open in the surrounding mountains. Many are proposed for closure. The people who enjoy these World Class mountain trails via 4x4, ATV and dirt bikes contribute an estimated $1.7 million annually to the local economy per the National Forest Visitor Study.

The proposed reduced access and newly increased fees will discourage many people from visiting the lake and trails. Needless to say this will certainly affect the local economy, as well as local residents in a community where the median income is less then $20,000 a year.

Fortunately Stewards of the Sequoia has been able to address these issues and encourage the Forest Service to continue to allow Lakeside access as well as keeping more trails open.

You can download a copy of the 2009 Sequoia Forest 1200 page DEIS plan at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/projects/ohv_route_designation_strategy/index.html

Sequoia Forest holds public meetings in February 2009 to discuss the DEIS and Trail Plan

These meetings were pretty thinly attended. Stewards of the Sequoia Executive Director, Land Use Director and VP of Land Use attended and made presentations on the need to keep trails open on behalf of our members and the recreating public.

You can see the Forest press release about the above here
http://stewardsofthesequoia.org/ALERT-SequoiaForestDEIS.html

 

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