Letter to the editor: USFS silence

Hi USFS and interested parties, it has been just a month since our club offered up some travel management solutions and to date we’ve barely heard a peep.  Our solutions to TM were prompted by correspondence with Marty and after reading a few other statements along the lines of, “we are here now, talk to us”.

Perhaps my email addresses are incorrect, but if someone emails me at work I do take the time to respond.  Within hours of our original email, members of the Friends of the Inyo responded favorably, and were in support of a few fixes on the forest.  I appreciate their willingness to engage with us and see their attitude as proactive.

By offering workable solutions our club sought to create hope in those who feel alienated by travel management.

I realize that the USFS does more than just travel management but also interpret silence as unwillingness to move forward.  Please correct me if I am wrong.


John Connolly

MammothMC pres 2012
PS. for the record Marty did respond when prompted by my brother a couple weeks back, the gist I got from that was “we are busy”, “we are working with other established groups”, and maybe even a comment about how the whole blow-up on sierrawave.net was inspired by the MammothMC.

Rather than a staged outcry from any of us, Benett’s blogs were merely a place to connect publicly with many others who have shown frustration with the results of travel management, nothing more.


9 Responses to Letter to the editor: USFS silence

  1. Greg July 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Welcome to the Forest Circus. Politely state your case, then be a good citizen and go away! If your frustration over being ignored gets to you and you forcefully expose their fraud, they will simply discount everything you say and push you aside.

    Their No Public Information Officer is either clueless or muffled and if Friends of the Inyo can’t do it for them, it won’t get done. The story goes that FOI did all the gpsing for the travel mngmnt plan, despite assurances to the contrary. Nobody seems to have a key to their motorpool gate, so how can they possibly get out on the ground with you. All the science they need to know is on the internet!

    Folks who want to know the real truth about why all the roads were closed need to ask the Forest to explain the debacle known as Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRA). Thanks to political grandstanding, the criteria for IRA was radically changed in favor of closing roads with no public comment. The Forest could have influenced this egregious scam, but why would they when it plugs right into their agenda so nicely?

    When they’ve dumbfounded you about that, ask them how routes that were numbered in their system and received maintenance funding, in many cases for decades, miraculously become unauthorized, illegal roads OVERNIGHT. Forest road engineers were free to designate any and all of them, yet didn’t because they were already eligible and receiving maintenance funding without being designated routes. A retired Forest engineer has matter of factly stated they didn’t designate all the lost routes simply out of laziness! Had the TMP process not been so blatantly agenda driven, they could have and would have designated most of the routes now lost to history. Bet that leaves a nice taste in your mouth.

  2. taxifornia July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    what did you expect??

    • JohnC August 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      I expected a “yeah, let’s do this”, or a simple thanks but no thanks.

      To the best of my knowledge most of us are going to be here for a while, if travel management is actually tunable then let’s get to it.

  3. Bret July 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Your tax dollars at work.

  4. salblaster July 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    should start an organization with a catchy name like friends of the outdoors who help sick children and rescue injured animals. then apply for grants to sue the forrest service to keep public land open and accesible by off highway vehicles. tactics that the greenies use.

  5. Big AL August 1, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    To the forest service …. the whole blow up was a collective uprising against you’re agenda … All of the “We’re here now” crap we knew was just that, if I sound upset, yes you bet I am, because it is the same old story from the FS, make hollow comments and hope people will go away when you don’t answer.

  6. Jack August 1, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    John, Note sure if you saw this but the following was posted in the news today about forest road closures elsewhere…..

    “Federal judge orders Eldorado Forest routes reopened

    July, 31 2012 – Staff Reports

    A federal judge has ordered opened parts of 42 off-highway-vehicle routes in the Eldorado National Forest that don’t intersect meadows today.

    The order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton found that the U.S. Forest Service has remedied an Endangered Species Act violation and no further action is required.

    Portions of the routes that cross meadows will remain closed while the Forest Service completes an environmental analysis.

    According to the Forest Service, the meadow routes encompass a total of about 135 miles. Under today’s order, access will be restored on about 46 miles of those routes, while about 89 miles will remain closed.

    “We’re concerned these closures are unnecessary and issued without legally required findings,” said California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs President Mark Cave. “But the interim status was complete closure of the 42 routes, so even this result is a step forward that allows some access.”

    Karlton ruled in February that the Forest Service failed to comply with the National Forest Management Act in 2008 when it designated “open for public motor vehicle use” portions of 42 routes that cross meadows. Karlton ordered the Forest Service to set aside the decision that designated these segments as open and to reconsider the decision.

    Karlton ordered the 42 routes remain closed to motorized public use. The final order identifies specifically where travel will be prohibited until a new environmental decision is made. “

    • JohnC August 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks Jack, I didn’t see that. But along similar lines I did see this regarding the Tahoe NF:

      Feds sued over halting Tahoe National Forest access for off-road recreationists


      “On behalf of off-road motorized recreational users of the Tahoe National Forest, attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation today sued the federal government for illegally closing off more than 800 miles of roads and trails that have been used for decades by the public for environmentally responsible off-road motorized recreation, access to camping and fishing, and to assist in the prevention of forest fires.”

      • Big AL August 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

        I hate lawsuits .. but reading this makes me feel it might be something we need to do … just throwing that out for comment.


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