The Forest Service has several comment periods and public meetings currently in the works. Read on to see how you can get involved.
Public meetings on Travel Management implementation
The Forest Service will be hosting two public meetings in the end of May to update the public on the implementation of the 2009 Motorized Travel Management decision for the Inyo National Forest. The meetings will be held on:
Tuesday May 29 – Mammoth Lakes, Forest Service Auditorium, 6:30-8 p.m.
Thursday May 31 – Bishop, Inyo National Forest Supervisor’s Office Conference Rm., 351 Pacu Lane (behind the DMV), 6:30-8 p.m.
The process of planning for the Motorized Travel Management decision began about eight years ago in response to tremendous growth in off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands across the country. The goal of motorized travel management is to develop and maintain a sustainable system of routes that provide an array of motorized recreation opportunities and access to recreation destinations, as well as provide for protection for natural and cultural resources in the area.
Over the last two years the Forest Service has been physically implementing a variety of actions directed by the 2009 decision. Implementation includes signing system roads and trails, general maintenance and repairs, as well as the blocking, signing and/or disguising of unauthorized routes that were not added to the system. These efforts should reduce confusion and improve the experience for travelers on the Forest’s roads and trails. Additionally, many routes added to the motorized system require some kind of mitigation, such as stabilization, drainage work, and seasonal gates or reroutes intended to reduce the effects of motorized use on natural or cultural resources.
At the public meetings Forest Service staff will describe and answer questions about the last two years of implementation, as well as the work that is planned for this upcoming summer season. If you have a need for any special accommodations to be able to attend either of these meetings, or for more information, please contact Public Affairs Officer Nancy Upham at 760.873.2427.
Comments sought on MMSA winter project proposals
The Mammoth Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) on proposed projects at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA), which would be carried out this fall. The proposed projects would enhance developed winter recreation at MMSA and at Woolly’s Adventure Summit (WAS), the winter snow play area adjacent to the ski area. The proposed actions include the following winter recreation enhancement projects: improvements to the WAS area including expansion of the tubing lanes and parking area; removal and relocation of two old shacks, removal of abandoned footings, and ski run grading, all in an area adjacent to the top of Face Lift Express (Chair 3) and on the Face of Three ski run; grading within the Coyote ski run; and extension of a snowmaking line to enable snowmaking at the South Park half pipe.
Comments sought on Mammoth Mountain bike park trail proposal
The Inyo National Forest, Mammoth Ranger District is soliciting comments on a Mammoth Mountain Bike Park Trail Construction Project proposal. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA), a permittee on the Inyo National Forest, has proposed to construct 2.5 miles of mountain bike trails in the vicinity of, and in conjunction with the operation of the Discovery Chair (Chair 11). All proposed trail construction is within the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area permit boundaries.
The purpose of this proposed project is to provide new terrain, recreation opportunities, better connectivity, and better separation between differently skilled riders within Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. The proposed projects are needed to provide two new progressive, beginner-level mountain bike trail experiences and a connector from the top of the Discovery Chair to a pre-existing, more difficult trail.
The Forest Service has made a preliminary assessment that this proposal falls within a category of actions listed in the Forest Service NEPA Handbook that are excluded from documentation in an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and that there are no extraordinary circumstances that would preclude use of the category regarding Construction and Reconstruction of Trails.
Both the bike trail project and the winter projects are subject to the notice and comment provisions of 36CFR 215.3. The public comment period ends 30 days following the date of publication of the legal notices, which are expected to be May 17. Those wishing to comment on either proposal should not rely upon dates or timeframes provided by any other source. Only those who provide comment or otherwise express interest in the proposed action during the comment period will be eligible to appeal the decision.
Written comments for either project must be submitted to Allison Jackson, Winter Sports Specialist, Inyo National Forest, P.O. Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Electronic comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in the following acceptable formats: plain text (.txt), rich text (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), or Word (.doc). Written comments may also be submitted by fax (760.924.5537) or by hand-delivery to the Mammoth Ranger Station during normal business hours, excluding holidays.
Information about the proposed project and maps will be posted on the Inyo National Forest website on May 17. Additional information may also be obtained from the Project Leader, Allison Jackson, at 760.924.5510. –Press Releases