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Discussion Starter #541
for stateside folks...








Take Action to Increase Recreational Trail Funding Nearly Threefold

If you have not already reached out to your member of Congress, please visit the ARRA website to request co-sponsorship of H.R. 5797, the RTP Full Funding Act of 2020. The bill would ensure that we get back the tax dollars that recreational interests pay into the National Highway Trust Fund every time we fill up our motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, etc., and if the bill passes, it could provide nearly three times the amount of funding for recreational trails than the current RTP formula.

BLM Begins to Implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act
As the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) begins to implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, they are seeking public assistance in nominating lands managed by the agency on which the public is allowed to hunt, fish, or use the land for other recreational purposes, but to which there is no legal public access or where access is significantly restricted. BLM will use the public’s comments to prepare a report for Congress that provides reasonable options for accessing to such lands. Options may include acquiring an easement, rights-of-way, or fee titles from a willing owner.

Council on Environmental Quality to Modernize the National Environmental Policy Act
On Jan. 9th, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 85 FR 1684. The notice of proposed rulemaking appeared in the Federal Registeron Friday, January 10, for public comment. The proposed rule intends to modernize NEPA in order to facilitate more efficient and effective environmental reviews and strengthen our permitting process. Signed into law in 1970, NEPA mandates federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions. CEQ is proposing to modernize its NEPA regulations for the first time in over 40 years.

BLM Offices in California Seeking Input for OHV Grant Proposals
The Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake and Arcata Field Offices are accepting public input on management needs and projects that would benefit off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands. BLM can utilize grant funding for education, law enforcement, trail monitoring, maintenance, construction, development, safety improvements, and road repairs throughout the state.

Federal Legislation Focuses on Revising Labeling of E15 Fuel
U.S. Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) have reintroduced the “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2019,” H.R. 1024. The legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise labeling requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15 fuel, including by requiring the labels of such fuel pumps to include additional details. The labels must include warning information about vehicles, engines, and equipment (e.g., boats, lawn mowers, chainsaws, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and pre-2001 model year vehicles) that are prohibited from using E15.



Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
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Discussion Starter #542
for washington state folks...


WASHINGTON - Do you ride Green Dot roads in Central WA?
Public Meeting Wednesday, March 4, 2020


Dear BRC members and Action Alert Subscriber,

BRC has just received an email from our access partners over at the Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA) regarding an upcoming meeting on an important issue affecting motorized recreation in central Washington.

We've pasted their email below. Please take a minute to read the alert, take action and then pass it along to friends, family and riding buddies.

Thanks in advance for your support,

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2




Do you ride Green Dot roads in
Central WA?


The WDFW recently announced a public meeting in Selah, WA to gather info on Green Dot roads in Central WA. We need OHV users to attend and represent OHV interests! Shoot us a message if you are planning to attend.

From the WDFW website:

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, March 4, to discuss Green Dot road management on state lands in Central Washington.

Both agencies will provide information and take public comments on updates and proposed changes to the Green Dot road system at the meeting, which will take place 600-800 PM at the Selah Civic Center, 216 S. 1st Street in Selah, WA.

The Green Dot road management system marks roads in Yakima and Kittitas counties that are open to public motorized vehicle use. Marked with a round green reflector on a white route marker, these roads provide access to camping, hunting, wildlife viewing, and off-road vehicle (ORV) riding, while protecting sensitive habitat from damage caused by motorized vehicles.

Proposed changes include adding Green Dot roads in the Cowiche Unit to provide access to adjacent DNR lands in the Ahtanum Green Dot Road Management Area.

"This addition to the Green Dot system, provides access across formerly private property that limited public access for several years," says Ross Huffman, Regional Lands Operations Manager for WDFW.

DNR would like to begin a conversation on the challenges the agency faces with proactively managing Green Dot road access and engage the public in determining actions that will provide access for the future.

"We recognize the importance of providing public access to these lands and value the public's input on the topic, says Leah Dobey, Statewide Regional Recreation Manager for DNR.

To access Green Dot maps or to learn more about the Green Dot road management system, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands/public-conduct#green-dot.


BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education
and collaboration among recreationists. - https://sharetrails.org

___


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

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Discussion Starter #543
for north carolina folks...


NORTH CAROLINA - FS to Hold Public Meetings for Nantahala & Pisgah Forest Plan Revision

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

The U.S. Forest Service is currently revising the master plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The proposed plan and draft environmental impact statement is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision for public review and comment. Throughout the month of March, open houses will be held in communities around the forests to give the public an opportunity to talk with planning team members.

Dates and locations for meetings are listed below. At each meeting, an overview of the plan will be presented at 6 pm. The rest of the meeting provides time for people to talk one-on-one with resource specialists. Public comments can later be submitted through our website or by mail so that they can become part of the official record.

The forest plan provides a strategic framework to guide the management of all uses of the national forests, including recreation, timber, water, wilderness, and wildlife habitat. Over the last several years, the U.S. Forest Service developed this plan with the public, local collaboratives, and tribal, state, and county governments. The proposed plan is a product of hearing and incorporating all those voices. The current comment period is an additional opportunity for the public to be part of building a plan that reflects public interests.

Open houses will be held at the following:

March 10, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Foothills Conference Center, 2128 S. Sterling St., Morganton, NC.
March 12, 5:30-8:30 pm at the NC Arboretum Education Center, 100 Frederick Law Olmstead Way, Asheville, NC (The Arboretum will be open to attendees as early as 4:30 pm. The parking fee is waived and each attendee will receive a parking pass. Pets are not allowed in the facility.)
March 16, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Rogow Family Community Room, Brevard Library, 212 S. Gaston St., Brevard, NC.
March 19, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Brasstown Community Center, 255 Settawig Rd., Brasstown, NC.
March 24, 5:30-8:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church's Tartan Hall, 26 Church Street, Franklin, NC.
March 26, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Bentley Fellowship Hall, 265 Cascade St, Mars Hill, NC.
March 31, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Four Square Community Action Center, 196 Knight St., Robbinsville, NC.

To read the plan or submit a comment, visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision. The website has additional materials such as a video, reader's guide, and story maps that provide an overview of the plan.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2

BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education
and collaboration among recreationists. - https://sharetrails.org

___


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

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Discussion Starter #544
for stateside folks...



Dear Friends,

The last thirty days have been some of the busiest in BRC's history. We have been connecting with off-road enthusiasts from coast to coast, we have been on the front lines of the biggest fights, and we are engaging in a variety of issues where we need your help. We will send you a series of updates on issues we are working on in your area, but for this email we wanted to focus on my recent trip to Washington DC.

While there I met with our allies at SEMA and AMA. Our friends at SEMA are working hard to protect racing with the RPM Act. They are also continuing their efforts to protect racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats. They were very interested in learning more about the challenges arising from grant audits in California that are unfairly targeting OHV charitable organizations. Our allies with AMA were excited to share with us improvements that are being fought for in Congress to the RTP program.

I also met with the attorneys at the Pacific Legal Foundation to learn more about how we can use the Congressional Review Act to our advantage in challenging adversarial land-use decisions by federal agencies. We strongly recommend you visit www.redtaperollback.com to learn more about this effort, so we can have a broader discussion about how the legal precedents being set surrounding the Congressional Review Act can benefit public land access.

I also met with the land policy staff for the following members of Congress:

  • Senator Mike Lee (UT)
  • Senator McSally (AZ)
  • Representative Tom McClintock (CA)
  • Representative John Curtis (UT)
  • Representative Paul Gosar (AZ)
  • Representative Scott Tipton (CO)
I also met with top advisors to Interior Secretary Bernhardt. The purpose of these visits was primarily educational to let members of Congress and the Trump Administration know where our priorities are. I also learned a lot about various land bills that are working their way through Congress, so that we can educate the off-road community about them. If you are in Colorado, Montana, California, or Nevada, we need you to connect with our team. We have work to do. It is always possible that we get an omnibus public lands package during a lame duck session of Congress, and we need be vigilantly protecting our access. We are also supportive of efforts being led by AMA, MIC, and Representative Curtis to improve the RTP program to offer funding levels consistent to the amount paid into the program by OHV gas taxes.

Help us in California HERE
Help us in Colorado HERE
Help us in Montana HERE
Help us in Nevada HERE

All in all, this was a productive trip, and strong relationships were made. I am already strengthening relationships with staff from Senator Daines' office and I'm planning meetings with members of the Nevada delegation. Our plans for the upcoming months are ambitious. Please reach out to us if you are aware of ways we can help expand or protect access in your neck of the woods. With the workload we already have on our plate, we are going to be busy. We hope to keep expanding our team as we grow to meet the many challenges we face. As always, we couldn't do any of this without your continued support. Above all, none of this would even be worth it, if what we are fighting to protect wasn't so valuable.

Adventure is not a crime. The desire to take risks, explore new things, and connect with the natural world is a righteous desire that empowers us to succeed, strengthens our bonds with friends and family, and has defined who we are as Americans for centuries. This is worth fighting for.

Yours in Adventure,



Ben Burr
Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #545
for cali folks...


CALIFORNIA - BLM Seeks Comments on 2020 Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Proposals

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on the California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, off-highway vehicle recreation proposals, which are available for review from March 3 to May 4, 2020, at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov.

Approximately 30 projects throughout the state have been proposed, including OHV rules enforcement, operation and maintenance, restoration work and other activities. The proposals are funded through the Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program sponsored by the state of California, which provides financial assistance to cities, counties, districts, federal- and state- agencies, educational institutions, federally recognized tribes and nonprofit entities.

The following is a list of participating offices with point-of-contact information:

Ridgecrest Field Office: Dana Stephenson, [email protected]
Palm Spring-South Coast Field Office: Daniel Kasang, [email protected]
El Centro Field Office: Neil Hamada, [email protected]
Barstow Field Office: Jeff Childers, [email protected]v; and Rose Beardshear, [email protected]
Needles Field Office: David Roan, [email protected]
Bakersfield Field Office: Brie Chartier, [email protected]
Bishop Field Office: Sara Manley, [email protected]
Ukiah Field Office: Briana Halstead, [email protected]
Arcata Field Office: Casey Hague, [email protected]
Eagle Lake Field Office: Marisa Williams, [email protected]
Redding Field Office: Sky Zaffarano, [email protected]
Central Coast Field Office: Adam Wilde, [email protected]

For detailed instructions on how to access the proposals and submit comments, visit www.ohv.parks.ca.gov.

For more information, contact Jane Arteaga, BLM, by telephone at 916-978-4654, by email at [email protected], or by mail to Jane Arteaga, BLM California State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825..

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2

BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education
and collaboration among recreationists.- https://sharetrails.org

___


As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit https://sharetrails.org/contribution-options/ to help fund our efforts to protect your trails
 

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Discussion Starter #546
for Idaho folks...


IDAHO - Salmon-Challis NF Sets Dates for Plan Review Workshops

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Salmon-Challis National Forest is nearing completion of a detailed review of the existing 1987 Challis Forest Plan and 1988 Salmon Forest Plan and has set dates for public workshops to discuss these initial findings.

The workshop schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, April 6, 5 -7 pm, Idaho Department of Fish & Game conference room in Salmon - Recreation and Minerals
  • Monday, April 13, 5 - 7 pm, Challis American Legion Hall - Recreation and Minerals
  • Saturday, April 18, 10 am - noon, Idaho Department of Fish & Game conference room, Salmon - Fire, Fuels, and Timber
  • Saturday, April 25, 10 am - noon, Challis American Legion Hall -- Range
  • Monday, April 27, 5 -7 pm, Idaho Department of Fish & Game conference room, Salmon - Range
  • Wednesday, April 29, 5-7 pm, Challis American Legion Hall - Fire, Fuels, Timber
An interactive webinar to cover all the topics will be scheduled in early May for those people unable to attend the workshops in person.

The forest plan revision effort was initiated in 2017 with the idea of developing one plan for the two forests that were administratively combined more than 20 years ago. Some members of the public questioned whether the existing Salmon and Challis forest plans needed changed, and they asked the agency to examine each plan in more detail.

The forest will release a list of plan direction, organized by resource area, and an initial evaluation of whether law, regulation, or policy developed since the late 1980s has influenced the forest's ability to implement plan direction. The public will be notified when this information is posted, and Tom Ford, ecosystem staff officer, said the goal is to have the document posted two weeks before public workshops begin.

Forest Supervisor Chuck Mark is expected to consider the findings from the review and public input, and determine whether each plan should be revised, amended, or left unchanged.

For more information, please contact Tom Ford, 208-756-5290, or [email protected] or visit the Forest Plan Revision website.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2

BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education
and collaboration among recreationists. - https://sharetrails.org

___


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

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Discussion Starter #547
for stateside folks...






This is a critical time for our nation and the sport of riding off-highway vehicles on our nation's public lands. The entire economy is at risk from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is vital that we contact our Representatives, Senators, and Governors to urge them to avoid additional harm to the powersports industry. This can be done quickly, easily, and without a bailout. We just need powersports manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and dealerships to be allowed uninterrupted operation during emergency declarations. It is essential that these vehicles and related parts, garments, and accessories be available, and capable of being serviced by qualified technicians.

The time for action is now! We've taken care of the work for you. Please click the button below to send pre-written messages to your Representative, Senators, and Governor to keep powersports facilities open for business!

 

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Discussion Starter #548
for north carolina folks...


NORTH CAROLINA - Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan Revision Comment Period To Be Extended

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

On Feb 14, 2020, the Forest Service released the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests proposed plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review, initiating the 90-day comment period. Public involvement opportunities including public meetings, are now being modified based on considerations for employee and public health and safety.

We recognize that there is a need to extend the comment period to accommodate meaningful public involvement. We will be extending the comment period and will publish the extension in the Federal Register when the length of the extension is determined. The situation is dynamic and we appreciate your patience.

As a reminder, all Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan Revision open houses planned for March have been cancelled at this time.

We remain committed to public involvement in forest management. Information and presentations from the cancelled open houses will be provided through our website and social media.

We encourage you to visit our website which has a lot of information about the proposed plan, draft environmental impact statement, and any updates www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2

BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education
and collaboration among recreationists. - https://sharetrails.org

___


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

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Discussion Starter #549
for stateside folks...






Governors across the country have taken historic steps to protect the health and safety of people in their respective states. Part of protecting health and safety is allowing essential businesses to continue to operate during times of emergencies. While many of us think of off-highway vehicle use as just for recreation, these vehicles are used for daily law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and transportation for essential employees to get to and from their lifesaving jobs.




This is why we are urging you to contact your governor to use the DHS CISA GUIDANCE ON THE ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKFORCE as their definition for essential services.

Public health and safety will be protected if governors include motorcycle, ATV, ROV (side-by-side), and snowmobile repair and parts under essential services. Powersports facilities provide parts and service to enable law enforcement, military, and first responders to fulfill their critical missions. In many states they service vehicles for the police, fire, Department of Defense, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and National Parks.

Please send our pre-written message to your governor today!






 

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Discussion Starter #550
for stateside folks...

Dear Dean and Billie Jean,

I wanted to let you know that when it comes to protecting access to our favorite places, there is still plenty of work to do. If you're like me, you've been paying attention to the slow-motion shutdown of our entire public lands system. It started with cancelations of major events. Then towns like Moab closed for business - including the surrounding areas for camping. Then facilities in National Parks closed. Then the Parks themselves. Every day it feels like there is a new round of closures at every level of the system.

Basically, every American is getting a first-hand lesson of what it looks like to be an advocate for OHV recreation as they watch those in power systematically deny them access to their places of healing, escape, and adventure.

While we understand and are abiding by the social distancing and self-isolation advice, we feel an earie sense of Déjà vu. There couldn't be a better time for us to be speaking up and sharing why we fight. Eventually this will all end and once again we will turn to our public lands for healing, escape, and adventure.

With many of us working from home, this is also a good time to be re-calibrating our strategies for protecting OHV access. I will be holding a series of online trainings that I call an Access Protection Boot Camp. I invite all BRC members and supporters to join me as we explore ways, we can be more effective in our efforts and to identify new ways that we can fight. If you would like to be part of these trainings, please Sign Up Here. https://sharetrails.org/signup/

We will be sending a schedule of the online trainings to those who sign up soon. I hope to see you there!

Stay safe and healthy,


Ben Burr
Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #551
for stateside folks...







Looking Ahead: Help Restart the Recreation Economy After the COVID-19 Lock-Down Ends!

We want to thank our ARRA members who recently weighed in during multiple ARRA campaigns with Congress and governors to support recognizing powersports vehicles as essential services. While many of us think of OHV use as just for recreation, OHVs are used for daily law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and transportation for essential employees to get to and from their lifesaving jobs. If you have not taken action, you can still send messages to your governor by visiting ARRA’s Action Center.

Congress Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed HR 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Later in the day, the President signed the more than $2 trillion bill (Public Law No: 116-136) which is the largest economic relief package in modern U.S. history. The timely passage will put in motion desperately needed financial relief for millions of Americans and sectors of the economy set back by the pandemic. Specifically, the legislation provides $350 billion to small businesses, $100 billion to hospitals; $500 billion to corporations, including airline companies and cruise lines; and about $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds.

Amid COVID-19 Concerns, Land Managers Close Recreational Areas
In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as local and regional partners and public health officials, certain states and federal land managers have closed various recreation facilities, including trails in some instances, to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Our industry partners are developing a list of closure statuses, which are included within the previously mentioned interactive map. Updates are ongoing. Feel free to reach out and let us know of any closures you become aware of to [email protected].

ARRA Files Comments on Proposed Rule Making to Modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Pursuant to the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Request for Comments on Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 85 Fed. Reg. 1684. (January 10, 2020), the Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) respectfully submitted comments by the March 10, 2020 deadline.

BLM Move to Colorado Still Under Investigation
At the request of House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) the General Accountability Office (GAO) began examining the Bureau of Labor Management’s (BLM) move and reorganization plan in December of 2019.


 

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Discussion Starter #552
for Idaho folks...






IDAHO - Scoping and comment period begins for the Sage Hen Integrated Restoration Project

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest has initiated a scoping and comment period for the Sage Hen Integrated Restoration Project, effective April 15, 2020. The opportunity to comment ends 30 days following the date of publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record. The legal notice published April 14, 2020, in the Idaho Statesman. Members of the public are invited to submit comments related to the project's Proposed Action.

"This is an opportunity for people who are interested in the project to provide their feedback on proposed actions to improve forest conditions in the Sage Hen area." Said Katie Wood, Emmett District Ranger. "We welcome suggestions so we can move forward with on the ground restoration activities to address a wide range of ecological and recreational issues within the project area."

The Sage Hen project area encompasses about 67,800 acres within Gem and Valley counties and around Sage Hen reservoir. The purpose of this project is to:

  • Manage and restore vegetation conditions to improve resiliency to uncharacteristic disturbances.
  • Improve aquatic and terrestrial habit and watershed conditions.
  • Improve and manage recreational opportunities and use.
  • Support local and regional economies.
Proposed actions include using a variety of tools to meet project objectives, such as:

  • Reducing hazardous fuels (prescribed burning, mechanical and non-mechanical treatments)
  • Timber harvest, (noncommercial thinning and reforestation)
  • Replacing culverts to improve aquatic organism passage
  • Road management activities and decommissioning roads causing ecological damage
  • Campground and trailhead improvements and dispersed camping changes
USDA Forest Service plans to analyze the project under an Environmental Assessment. The project area, potential treatments and proposed activities are described in more detail in the Preliminary Purpose and Need and Proposed Action, which is available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56701 (see Scoping tab).

Following Governor Little's "Stay at Home Order" and recommended social distancing guidelines the Emmett Ranger District will not be holding any face-to face public meetings. Public comments can be mailed in or submitted through the Sage Hen Integrated Restoration Project's website under the scoping tab. To comment electronically visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=56701. Select "Comment" under "Get Connected" on the right side of the webpage. To submit comments using the web form, select "Comment on Project" on the right side of the webpage. If uploading a file with comments, comments must be in the form of plain text (.txt), Word (.doc, .docx) or PDF (.pdf).

Due to COúVID-19 concerns we are asking comments be submitted electronically when possible to minimize exposure; however, hard copy comments can still be submitted via mail by sending them to Emmett Ranger District, 185 7 Highway 16, Suite A, Emmett, ID 8361 7, Attention: Katherine Wood, or by fax at 208-3657037. If submitting comments by mail or fax, include "Sage Hen" in the subject line.

The responsible official is not accepting hand-delivered comments at this time as the Emmett Ranger District office currently is closed to the public as part of precautions in response to COVID-19. If for some reason you cannot submit comments electronically or via traditional mail, or you wish to provide hard copies of documents referenced in your electronic or traditional mail comments, please, contact Katherine Wood at 208-365-7000.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2
 

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Discussion Starter #553
for Idaho folks..






IDAHO - Salmon-Challis NF Plan Revision Update

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Salmon-Challis National Forest has posted documents online at http://bit.ly/2uHCifZ discussing the existing 1987 Challis Forest Plan and 1988 Salmon Forest Plan. The documents include existing plan direction organized by resource area and information about laws, regulations, and policies put into place since the existing plans were developed. Over the last several weeks, the Planning Team has been refining the documents based upon feedback received during an early March meeting with cooperating agencies. Additional effort was put into making the documents easier to navigate and understand.

The public workshops originally scheduled for April have been postponed; however, we intend to engage the public in discussions about the plan review when appropriate.

The forest plan revision effort was initiated in 2017 with the idea of developing one plan for the two forests that were administratively combined more than 20 years ago. Some members of the public questioned whether the existing Salmon and Challis forest plans needed to be changed, and they asked the agency to examine each plan in more detail. The posted documents are an effort by the Salmon-Challis National Forest to provide the public information on the existing plans and additional direction that has come out since the plans were developed. After we have a chance to engage with stakeholders, the Salmon-Challis National Forest Supervisor expects to use the findings from the review and public input, and determine whether each plan should be revised, amended, or left unchanged.

For more information, please contact Josh Milligan, [email protected].

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2
 

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Discussion Starter #554
for stateside folks...







The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has long been one of ARRA’s top Congressional priorities. Over the past quarter-century the RTP has been the key source of funding for recreational trails across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, without Congressional approval before September 30th, the program is at risk of going dormant, creating a huge void for recreational trail development and maintenance funding.


H.R. 5797 would increase the RTP funding nearly threefold by returning more of the gas taxes that we are already pay every time we gas up for off-road activities. The current funding of the RTP is only $84 million annually, but it is estimated that gas taxes paid by off-highway interests are more than $250 million annually!

Despite the uncertain and difficult times from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to maintain the momentum established upon the introduction of H.R. 5797. Now is the time to provide an economic boost to the recreation economy as Congress considers a large infrastructure bill as well as transportation reauthorization as possibilities for the next phase of COVID-19 related legislation.

Continued development and maintenance of trails across the country would allow for quick construction projects of RTP trails for motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, and snowmobiles, as well as non-motorized trails for other recreational interests. Please participate in this call to action by urging your Members of Congress to cosponsor H.R.5797 and include H.R. 5797 in any transportation reauthorization or infrastructure legislation being considered by Congress in the coming weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #555
for stateside folks...digital version magazine link...
Important Sharetrails Magazine Update!

Dear Dean and Billie Jean,

We're pretty excited about this issue of the Sharetrails Magazine, it's a little different! Normally, you'd be getting a hard copy in the mail right about now. However, until further notice, we've chosen to use our digital online magazine format, and I want to tell you why.

The cost of the magazine's printing and mailing is supported by our advertisers. Given the current economic conditions, we know how hard it is for many businesses to make payroll, let alone fund ad sales. We are not charging any of our advertisers for their ads; we want them to put that money into helping their employees.

After this is over, we will be faced with the most significant access fights of our generation. We're already taking the next steps -- we're ready!

The digital version of the Sharetrails Magazine (Voice of the BlueRibbon Coalition) Issue #019 is now available at the link listed below, in FlipZine and PDF formats:

http://bit.ly/BRC-DigitalMag-19

Stay healthy,



Spencer Gilbert
Executive Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
 

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Discussion Starter #556
for north carolina folks...


NORTH CAROLINA - Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan Revision Comment Period Extended Additional 45 days

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

The USDA Forest Service is extending the comment period for the proposed Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by an additional 45 days.

The public review and comment period, which was previously scheduled for February 14 through May 14, will now end on June 29, 2020.

"Since we released the plan in February, we've had to make some changes to the ways that we engage with the public," said Allen Nicholas, Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in North Carolina. "Most of our March open houses were canceled, so we've created new opportunities to ensure that everyone can learn more about the plan and ask us questions."

Beginning May 18 and continuing through the end of the comment period, the forest website will feature a virtual open house. Similar to an open house meeting, information will be organized by topics such as recreation, wildlife, timber, and wilderness. In addition to the proposed plan and analysis, a full suite of supporting materials are already online, including a 2-minute introductory video, a visual Readers Guide, an overview presentation, detailed presentations, questions and answers on multiple topics, and interactive maps.

The planning team will answer public questions through conference calls. These do not require internet access to attend. To join, call 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694 using access code 3889103# at the following times:

  • May 28, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • June 2, 7:30-9 a.m.
  • June 4, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • June 8, noon-1:30 p.m.
Questions may be submitted in advance by email to [email protected]. This email address is exclusively for submitting questions for the telephone question and answer sessions. Comments on the proposed plan must be submitted through the online commenting system or by mail. For more information, including how to submit a question or comment, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Volunteer
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2
 

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Discussion Starter #557
for stateside folks...







ARRA Members Continue to Take Action on RTP
Despite the closure of various recreational facilities and trails, ARRA members continue to engage their elected officials in support of recreational interests. Hundreds of you answered the call to request that your member of Congress co-sponsor H.R. 5797, the “Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Full Funding Act of 2020” and include the bill in any transportation reauthorization or infrastructure legislation being considered by Congress.

Get the Latest Industry Developments and the Impact COVID-19 Has on the Powersports Industry
Get the latest updates on COVID-19 and the impact it has on the powersports industry by clicking here. The MIC website provides a great deal of current information including daily updates on states with closed state riding facilities, stimulus legislation, business to business (B2B) resources, small business assistance, reopening guidelines for states, and latest industry news.
Congress Passes Fourth Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
On April 24, President Trump signed a $484 billion stimulus package into law. The latest package is aimed at boosting the nation’s small business sector that has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides approximately $320 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including $60 billion for community banks and smaller lenders. With this new round of funding, more than $670 billion will have been injected into the U.S. economy to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also appropriates $60 billion more for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Program.




Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
[email protected]
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Discussion Starter #558
for colorado folks...
CSA/COHVCO/TPA

ACTION ALERT

Theft of $5 Million in Colorado OHV Funds at Stake!!!


It has come to our attention that the Colorado Joint Budget Committee (JBC) is looking at rescinding all or part of funding for the OHV program in response to the COVID outbreak. This is the fund that is created from your OHV dollars and it will be used for other purposes despite the fact it is not general tax revenues. This would mean millions of your registration dollars would be lost if the rescission happens!!! While we are all concerned about the COVID issues and response, redirecting the OHV fund is not the way to solve this problem.

We need you to email the JBC members and let them know this is not acceptable, but you must do so politely to be effective. You can cut and paste from the points below, but we would still encourage you to rewrite them or add personal experiences with the program. You don't need to address every point…shorter is better.


Our thoughts for comments in opposition to the rescission:
  1. The OHV Program is a voluntarily collected fund for the benefits of the trails community and should not be reallocated for other uses as the program benefits all trails uses, both motorized and non-motorized; in fact, it outstrips all funding from other sources set aside for trails by a factor of 5! We believe dedicated funds should be used for their intended purpose.

  2. The Governor has repeatedly stated the response to COVID is a statewide issue and the response shouldered among all residents of the State. It is unfair to place additional burdens or costs on certain user groups simply because there is money available.

  3. The challenge of funding adequate trails is being exacerbated by a record number of Coloradans seeking relief from the stress and isolation of COVID encouraged by the Governor’s orders to continue outdoor recreational activities. Trail recreation is the number one outdoor recreational activity in Colorado according to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. The program funds are critical to meeting the demand for trails during and after the COVID crisis.

  4. The OHV program hires more than 400 seasonal employees for shovel ready maintenance projects protecting natural resources, through federal, state and local agencies. These jobs are critical to the recovery and have already received dozens of applicants for each position as result of the record levels of unemployment.

  5. OHV grants are contractual obligations and must be honored as most require the grantee to outlay money and then apply to be reimbursed from the grant. This reimbursement process can take time and as a result much of the fund may have already been spent and simply awaiting reimbursement from the program. Failing to reimburse grantees is a “double lose” situation as money has already been spent and then could never be reimbursed.

  6. OHV grants are contractual obligations and governed by Federal, State and Local procurement statutes and have taken decades of effort to align. Failure of reimbursement can violate these laws and attempting to sort out reimbursement becomes a difficult and time-consuming task. Reestablishing partnerships for creating new contracts and subsequent trail work can take years.

  7. Because of multiple jurisdictions working together to provide trails (it can include cities, counties, state and federal governments) we would hope the JBC would be asking instead “how can we get as much funding as quickly as possible to this great recreational need."
Email JBC members (politely) at the addresses below:
Senator Dominick Moreno
[email protected]

Representative Julie McCluskie
[email protected]

Representative Kim Ransom
[email protected]

Representative Daneya Esgar
[email protected]


Senator Bob Rankin
[email protected]


Senator Rachel Zenzinger
[email protected]

Due Date: NOW! Voting takes place on May 12th!
Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition
P.O. Box 741353
Arvada, CO 80006
 

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Discussion Starter #559
slight correction to above entry...
CSA/COHVCO/TPA

ACTION ALERT

Theft of $5 Million in Colorado OHV Funds at Stake!!!

CORRECTION to May 9th ACTION ALERT Regarding OHV Access Funds at Stake:



The e-mail address for Daneya Esgar was listed incorrectly. The correct address is as follows:


Representative Daneya Esgar
[email protected]


Remember that your communication must be polite to be effective.


Thank you for your support on this important issue, together, we can make our voices heard!


Due Date: NOW! Voting takes place on May 12th!
Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition
P.O. Box 741353
Arvada, CO 80006
 

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Discussion Starter #560
for stateside folks...







Photo by Washburn County, WI
Maintenance Backlog Addressed in Great American Outdoors Act
The Senate is expected to take up S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), when it resumes work in June. This landmark legislation would address the $20 billion maintenance backlog on America's public lands and waters, as well as fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.



Oceano Dunes Holds Public Meeting to Receive Comments on HCP Draft EIR
On Wednesday, May 13, California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) held a public meeting to present and receive comments on the Oceano Dunes Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) Draft and associated Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which provides the basis for the issuance of a 25 year permit by the US Fish & Wildlife Service in compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act.

States Increasing Recreational Access
As states begin to reopen, they are increasing recreational access to roads, trails, picnic areas, restrooms, and wilderness. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to work with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and use a phased approach to increase access on a case-by-case basis. The following recreational areas were reopened in May:

House Passes Fifth Coronavirus Stimulus Bill with No Future in the Senate
On May 15, the House of Representatives passed HR 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, but the bill could be DOA as it reaches the Senate. The $3 trillion stimulus bill, the biggest thus far, provides nearly $1 trillion in federal aid to state and local governments to cover their coronavirus-related costs and families would receive another round of direct payments. The package includes provisions that would amend the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program by expanding unemployment assistance and increasing emergency grants to small businesses trying to weather the COVID-19 pandemic that has decimated the economy.



Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
[email protected]
Privacy | Contact Us | About ARRA
 
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