The BlueRibbon Coalition sent over this information on the AHV Trail Project on Coconino National Forest:

The Coconino National Forest’s Flagstaff Ranger District has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Kelly Motorized Trail project, and is seeking public input. The project will designate existing trails, as well as construct new trails and facilities for off-highway vehicles (OHVs).

BRC members may remember that this Forest closed nearly all single track and ATV trails via a forest-wide route planning effort completed early in 2012. This project is one of several that seeks to address the lack of riding opportunity in one of the largest Forests in Arizona.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Coconino Trail Riders have been doing yeoman’s work on this and other projects on the Coconino. (Check out their website at http://www.coconinotrailriders.org/.) CTR has asked us to help get comments in supporting Alternative C on this plan.

We’ve taken the time to put together some comment suggestions to make it as easy as possible.
Just follow “BRC’s 3-Step Action Item” below.

Thanks in advance and, as always, please call or email with questions or concerns.
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

BRC ACTION ALERT
COMMENTS ON KELLY MOTORIZED TRAIL PROJECT NEEDED – DEADLINE OCTOBER 1
TAKE ACTION NOW!

SITUATION:
The Flagstaff Ranger District has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Kelly Motorized Trail project, and is seeking public input.  Designation and construction of both trails and facilities for off-highway vehicles (OHVs) are proposed.

WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT:
BRC Action Alert Subscribers may remember that the Coconino closed nearly all single track and ATV trails via a forest-wide travel plan finalized early in 2012. The purpose of this project is to address the resulting lack of trail opportunity, while protecting natural resources.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
We need you to send an email to the Coconino NF supporting Alternative 3. Listed below are some sample comments. The deadline is MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, so please take the time to submit your comments today.

BRC’S THREE-STEP ACTION ITEM
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS:

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can. If you can add any personal testimony about your experiences enjoying this spectacular area, please take a minute to add that to your email.

STEP 1:  Open your email program and start a draft email. Address the email to
comments-southwestern-coconino-flagstaff@fs.fed.us. Put ” Kelly Motorized Trail Project”
in the Subject Line.

STEP 2:  Use the comments below as a guideline for comments in your email.
Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, where you like to ride
and how much trail-based recreation means to you. Be certain to include your
name and address. A return email address is NOT sufficient! (“anonymous” emails
are often discarded).

Then click “Send” and you’re done!

Optional:
You may also comment by mail to: Leah Schofield, Environmental Coordinator, Flagstaff Ranger District, 5075 N. Highway 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004.

SPECIFIC COMMENT SUGGESTIONS:

I strongly support Alternative “C” because this alternative best meets the purpose and need as stated in the Draft EA and causes few if any additional impacts to other resources when compared to the Proposed Action.

The need for substantial mileages of legal motorized trails to be established in a timely fashion on this Forest cannot be overstated. Indeed, your recently completed forest-wide “TMR Plan” documented this need.

The analysis in the EA also supports Alternative C. The EA on page 30 indicates that studies show “managers should attempt to provide 60 or more miles of trail in each trail system. Realize that expert riders may want to travel over 100 miles per day.  Alternative B provides for 37 miles of motorcycle trail (MCT) and Alternative C provides for 52 miles of MCT. Both fall short of “60 or more”.

This indicates that Alternative C just barely meets the minimum documented need for OHV use. It also documents a need for more trails to be added to this system in the future. It is certainly indicative of the need for other motorized trail systems in Northern Arizona, as these are the first trails approaching the definition of a “system” in the region.

I strongly support the provision for trial riding opportunities. As the Forest is almost entirely closed to cross-country riding, with the exception of the Cinder Hills OHV Area, this low-impact activity is now illegal. Alternative “C” would provide opportunities for trial riding.

The Kelly Creek project is a good beginning, but it will not meet the need for trail based OHV recreation. I strongly support additional projects that provide trail-based OHV opportunity on the Forest.

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