NM: The ‘Shoe’ Finally Drops – SFNF Decision Closes 70% of Existing Road and Trails

| July 12, 2012

blueribbon-coalition-logoDear BRC Members and supporters in New Mexico,

Our partners over at the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA), just sent us their latest Access Alert on the Santa Fe National Forest’s travel planning process. The Santa Fe National Forest has just released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision for their Travel Management.  The folks over at NMOHVA are doing outstanding work in the fight for access and are certainly deserving of your support, so visit their website and learn more about how you can help. http://www.nmohva.org/.

The Santa Fe National Forest has released their final Travel Management decision. The news isn’t good although it is hardly surprising. After six long years of meetings and comments, ‘analysis’, and a devastating forest fire, the Forest Service’s final decision is even worse than the original proposed action. The decision closes more than 70% of the existing roads and trails to motorized use, eliminates vehicle camping on 93% of the existing forest roads, and almost entirely eliminates big game retrieval.

So what is next? Simply put – NMOHVA will appeal the decision. We established ‘standing’ to appeal back in 2010 by submitting several hundred pages of comments during the official comment period. Our comments outlined the numerous violations the agency committed in their project process.. The agency ignored our comments and left all of the mistakes in the environmental documents.

We have 45 days to complete the appeal and then the Forest Service has another 45 days to respond. Based on this decision and previous appeals, we do not anticipate many changes from the appeal. We believe that this fight will ultimately require a lawsuit to force the Forest Service to follow the rules.

What can you do? Taking the Forest Service to court requires money; lots of money. How serious are you about preserving motorized use in the Santa Fe National Forest? Join NMOHVA and donate generously to NMOHVA’s Access Defense Fund. Without NMOHVA fighting back, motorized recreation will soon be on the “endangered” list. We need everyone’s support. The time to act is now.

Record of Decision, Final EIS, and Maps

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib – www.sharetrails.org

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

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Category: Action Alerts, Land Access, Press Releases, Southwest - Access Issues

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