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USFS - Eldorado National Forest

Preliminary Application Comments

 I would like to express my concern regarding this grant. While I agree that OHV use maps are very important and should be provided to the public free of charge, I have doubts as to the Forest Service’s completeness and accuracy of their current map. I don’t feel they have taken some very important user supplied data into consideration especially concerning some parts of the Rubicon Trail. There are often times splits and bypasses on trails that may not be defined clearly enough on their map for the user to know whether it is part of the trail or not. Therefore I feel that the commission should approve this grant on the conditions that:

1. Clearly defined maps be produced
2. That the Forest Service work with the OHV user groups they state they are working in cooperation with in the grant application in order to better define the trails
3. Unless a detailed map can be produced, that these maps may not be the bases for defining off trail violations (the 25 foot rule)
[Morgan DeRodeff - 4/6/09]

 Re: G08-02-03-D02 D Rock Creek Trail Development

I would like to express my support for this grant. It’s purpose is directly related to OHV recreation and provides for necessary maintenance and expansion. It also provides for necessary sanitary measures to be taken by constructing several vault toilets. Please approve this grant. [Morgan DeRodeff - 4/6/09]

 G08-02-03-G01 G Ground Operations

I would like to express my support for this grant. It’s purpose is directly related to OHV recreation and provides for necessary maintenance on our trails. It appears they plan to involve many of the user groups that are directly affected by these trails and hopefully these projects take our priorities into consideration as well as the Forest Service. Please approve this grant. [Morgan DeRodeff - 4/6/09]

 I generally support Eldorado National Forest’s grant request – funding these six complementary grant proposals should have a positive result on OHV use in the Forest. The reduced recreational opportunity that resulted from Travel Management is very real, but we need to fund mapping, maintenance, and enforcement efforts to keep the recreational opportunity that remains.

I support any projects on the Forest that will enhance responsible OHV usage, and have worked well with Forest Service Districts throughout the forest. I plan to continue to provide my own time in volunteer support and to encourage others to do the same through Friends of the Rubicon and Friends of the Eldorado National Forest. I and other volunteers understand that our time makes a funding match that is critical to OHMVR funding, and we look forward to continued partnership with the Eldorado National Forest and OHMVR. [Randy Burleson - 4/6/09]

 I'm sorry, with the exception of restoration grants, I can't support your grants. The Eldorado continues to put OHV interests ahead of protection of natural resources. Why, when illegal use continues to be rampant, didn't you apply for a law enforcement grant? On the Georgetown RD, you want to build additional motorcycle trails, despite the current imbalance between motorized and non-motorized opportunity in the so-called "Recreational Trails Area." Meanwhile, requests for additional hiking and equestrian trails are ignored. Your WHPP and Soils Conservation reports need to be updated to reflect the fact that now, due to the closure of the rest of the forest, all OHV use is directed to Rock Creek's critical deer winter range during the most critical time for deer. While the Forest acknowledges the impacts to roads and trails during the winter, Rock Creek roads and trails continue to be subjected to wet season use. This is not sustainable or responsible management. [Karen Schambach - 4/6/09]

 G08-02-03-D01, G08-02-03-D02, G08-02-03-G01, G08-02-03-R01, G08-02-03-R02, G08-02-03-S01

The Friends of Eldorado National Forest would like to express our support for 6 grants that the Eldorado National Forest has applied for.

As one of the many groups and stakeholders of this forest we support all projects that will enhance the use of responsible OHV uses with the boundaries of the forest. Friends of Eldorado has enjoyed a good working relationship with the Forest Service providing many volunteer hours in the past and has offered to be included on some of the ones listed in the grant request.

We also would like to note that on grant G08-02-03-S01, which is listed under education and safety, we feel that this could have also been applied for under Ground Operations. And since there is a balance available within the Ground operation category we feel it would be beneficial to have it moved there so that no other Education and Safety grant that is deserving would go unfunded since there is far more grant requests in that category than dollars available. [Rick Ferdon - 4/6/90]

On behalf of CORVA and myself, I would like to comment on the grant applications submitted by the Eldorado National Forest.

Development grants #G08-02-03-D01 and #G08-02-03-D02

I strongly support both Development grant applications submitted by the Eldorado National Forest. All grant requests that will increase and improve OHV activities deserve funding.

Ground Operation Grant #G08-02-03-G01

I support the Ground Operations grant application submitted by the Eldorado National Forest. After implementation of the designated trail system last year, it is important to fund needed repair and maintenance of designated OHV routes.

Restoration Grants #G08-02-03-R01 and G08-02-03-R02

I have a few questions about the restoration grants submitted by the Eldorado National Forest. There are no "volunteer" match dollars indicated in the El Dorado Manzanita Restoration grant, indicating a lack of support among the OHV community. I question whether this project has been presented to the OHV community and has garnered their support. In contrast, the Rock Creek Area Restoration grant application shows significant volunteer match dollars, indicating support for the project.

All agencies should understand the importance of involving local OHV clubs, organizations and enthusiasts in their plans for OHV trail systems and areas, whether it concerns development, planning, restoration, ground operations or safety and education. Without this support, there will be no guarantee of success.

Education and Safety Grant #G08-02-03-S01

I strongly object to the Education and Safety grant application submitted by the Eldorado National Forest. I do not believe that the OHV community needs to fund the publication of the Motor Vehicle Use Map, a map that the forest is required to produce after the completion of Route Designation. Since this is part of the requirements of the Forest Service issued Final Rule for Travel Management, the Forest Service itself should be in charge of producing these maps. Since the Forest Service forced Travel Management upon the OHV community amidst great objection from OHV enthusiasts, their plan should have included a method to produce these maps, along with funding.

It is unconscionable that the Forest Service would require the production of these maps, which are illegible at best, after a much contested and appealed Route Designation process, and then ask the public to pay for it! I question whether this really should be included in the safety and education category, since it is not a newly planned educational program, or safety plan being submitted for funding. Rather it is the very basic of requirements for the end of Travel Management.

I repeat - a well-planned rule would include funding by the Forest Service for all necessary components, which included the production of the MVUM. [Amy Granat, Northern Director - 4/6/09]

 The following are my comments for your OHV Grant request, G08-02-03-R01, Rock Creek Trail Restoration:

I am in favor of funding this grant request providing that the funding for the re-routes of these trails is approved. See “G08-02-03-D02, Rock Creek Trail Development“.

With the closure of hundreds of miles of OHV routes in the Eldorado N.F., the Rock Creek OHV area will be seeing more use. Replacing the non-sustainable routes with better ones is a proactive approach. After the re-routes are completed, the restoration of the original routes should be done to avoid further use of the routes.

The Georgetown ranger station has worked with the public that uses the area and has considered input from them on the trail system.

Thank you for considering my comments. [Bruce Brazil - 4/4/09]

 The following are my comments for your OHV Grant request, G08-02-03-D02, Rock Creek Trail Development:

I support the grant request

The trail construction and reconstruction projects are needed to provide sustainable OHV opportunity. With the closure of hundreds of miles of OHV routes in the Eldorado NF, the Rock Creek OHV area will be seeing more use. Rerouting OHV use off of the paved road will be a safety factor, for both the OHV recreationist and street legal drivers.

I am very familiar with the spot on Rock Creek that one of the bridges should be built over. I have left the creek a few times with my boots full of water.

Both of the staging areas can get a lot of daytime use and some overnight use. Many of the daytime users are not equipped with sanitary facilities (toilets). Therefore, having toilets is a sanitary necessity. Permanent vault toilets should deter the vandalism that has occurred in the past. Perhaps a solar powered lamp could be installed indside the structures for night use.

I have been attending the Rock Creek Collaborative Forum meetings at the Georgetown ranger station for several years. The one-on-one communications at these meetings has been very good to help understand the concerns and hoops that the F.S. has to jump through to accomplish anything. These meetings are open to everyone and usually include OHV enthusiasts, equestrians, and local property owners. The information exchange at these meetings has led to a good relationship between the Georgetown ranger station and the recreation users for the area. Some of the included grant requests are a result of that relationship.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my comments. [Bruce Brazil - 4/4/09]

 Link to comments from Don Amador, Western Representative, BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc. - 3/26/09