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Mar 06 2016

Access: Lassen NF use plan needs input

Lassen's N-Face from where the Devastation Zone hits the road.

Lassen’s N-Face from where the Devastation Zone hits the road.

Lassen National Forest has issued its draft action on winter travel management. Lassen is the first forest to do winter travel management under the new rule, and Snowlands.org and Winter Wildlands Alliance say the proposed action is unacceptable. Alternative 2, the action proposed by the USFS Lassen office allows snowmobile access in every new recreational trailhead. Even the popular Nordic areas at McGowan and Colby remain open to cross-country travel by motorized over snow vehicles (OSVs)!

A map of existing trails systems and their OSV (or not) designation in Lassen National Forest.

A map of existing trails systems and their OSV (or not) designation in Lassen National Forest.

Snowlands and WWA are asking for your to help send a strong message demanding more responsible management, and they need you to speak up today, not later, as in too later. Snowlands and Winter Wildlands Alliance have proposed an alternative, referenced as Alternative-3 whereby five small areas would be closed to motorized access for Nordic recreation, including McGowan, Colby, the shoreline areas at Lake Almanor and Eagle Lake, and the area surrounding the Bizz Johnson trail. Alternative 3 doesn’t close any designated OSV routes, groomed or otherwise, and leaves 79% of the forest open to cross-country OSV travel. It was reviewed by representatives of the OSV community and deemed a reasonable alternative!

Alternative 3 also includes closing a large area north of Lassen National Park, creating a large clean and quiet zone for the benefit of species and for users desiring longer non-motorized excursions into the backcountry of Lassen Park and the Caribou Wilderness. However, motorized use would continue to be allowed in this area on existing designated routes.

Speak Up Now or Shut Up Later

If you want to improve human powered recreation in the winter around in Lassen National Park write the Lassen National Forest office today and tell them their proposed action, Alternative 2, sucks. Ask them to adopt Alternative 3 in its entirety. Ask them to act now to promote and protect all forms of winter recreation on the Lassen National Forest for the benefit of local communities, as well as the general public.

How to Comment

You can submit your comments four ways:

  • Via email to comments-pacificsouthwest-lassen@fs.fed.us with “Comments on Lassen OSV Designation” in the subject line
  • Via USFS Online Comment Page for Lassen NF OSV proposal
  • Via snail mail to:
    Russell Hays, Supervisor
    Lassen National Forest
    2550 Riverside Drive
    Susanville, CA 96130
    530-257-2151
  • Via FAX: 530-252-6463

Deadline

The deadline for submitting DEIS comments on Lassen National Forest is March 14, 2016.

Snowlands and WWA urge interested parties to let the Lassen NF know that they must consider the impact of backcountry motorized recreation on those seeking the quiet of our National Forests in winter.

Related Links
Snowlands.org information on Lassen NF Plan

© 2016

  • Bob Shattuck

    “. . . and tell them their proposed action, Alternative 2, sucks. Ask them to adopt Alternative 3 in its entirety. Ask them to act now to promote and protect all forms of winter recreation on the Lassen National Forest for the benefit of local communities, as well as the general public.”

    To whom it may concern,

    Alternative #2 sucks. I would go on to quote that Alternative #3 , in it’s entirety is the way to go, but I haven’t read either one and I don’t think I have to.

    All I have to do is remember the all too many times I have been out in the backcountry, enjoying the views and solitude, not to mention the idea that I got there under my own power, only to have it ruined by the screaming approach of a bunch of kids, adults, zipping along up my skin-track, on snowmobiles.

    I once climbed a ridge only to almost be there and then see and hear three guys on snowmobiles . . . by the time I got there they’d all sped off, whooping, screaming and I got when I showed up was the beer bottles they left behind.

    Just a real downer, to have to be out there with all that noise and people that are often unreliable when it comes to being safe; obviously there are a lot of skier triggered avalanches, but are there not more from snow-mobiles.

    Are they as conscious of where they are? I don’t think so. I think that they’re like little kids with hot rods, noisy toys, just out for a spin.

    And now you want to give them more access. More chances to make more noise and take more chances.

    I think snowmobiles should be banned entirely.

    And then there’s the lobbies if you will, like the NRA; I am sure that the snowmobile lobby, undoubtedly supported by some even bigger, gas guzzling, pollution spouting big company, has all kinds of fat mouths, ready to scream at the injustice of it—-like the NRA crying that johnny can’t just walk in and buy his assault rifle right there and then, without a background check, without waiting a few weeks—look where that’s got us.

    And you guys are ready to give over more of what we are losing every day, to big money, big lobbies, big noisy, polluting machines. The backcountry is there to be enjoyed, treasured, preserved, but from my point of view, more than anything, it should be earned, not handed over to fat guys with money.

    Adopt Alternative #3 in its entirety.

    Thanks,

    Robert Shattuck, San Francisco, Ca