On Tuesday, the Inyo National Forest (INF) shared its Draft Travel Analysis Report in a meeting held at the Cerro Coso campus in Bishop.
In a nutshell, the INF says it does not have enough money to administer all the trails in its current route system.
In its presentation, it declared 814 travel segments comprising 326 miles and 19 percent of its total system mileage as “likely not needed.”
It estimates it would need $880,000 annually to take care of the current system, but only received $512,250, or 58 percent of budget, for that purpose this year.
Its goal: “Identify the minimum road system needed for safe and efficient travel for administration, utilization and protection of National Forest System lands.”
Opponents such as Randy Gillespie said that maintaining the main arteries and closing a lot of road spurs may sound good, but it’s not good policy.
In fact, he said, when groups traveling in the backcountry cross paths, as they often do, if you don’t have a few spurs to use as options, people end up having to go off-road and end up creating even more damage to the resource than they otherwise would.
He doesn’t understand why certain road segments can’t just be left alone. Don’t close them and don’t maintain them.
Public input on the Travel Analysis document is encouraged by May 18. To comment, visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/landmanagement/planning.