Colorado: Winter trail changes for forest visitors

Many areas require motorized users to stay on designated routes

Winter travel management rules now in effect on White River National Forest.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — White River National Forest visitors may see new signage this winter, as various changes related to an updated travel management plan start to take effect this weekend

The forest is switching from wheeled travel on the open road system to over-the-snow vehicles (vehicles with a ski and/or tracks) on Nov. 23. Whether gates are open or closed, the roads are closed to wheeled vehicle travel as of Nov. 23. Continue reading

Colorado: White River NF finalizes new trails plan

After seven years, the White River NF has a new travel management plan, subject to a 45-day appeal period.

Decision subject to 45-day appeal; conservation groups chime in

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —A new travel management plan for the Colorado’s White River National Forest is a sensible compromise between recreational demands and resource preservation, according to White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. Click here to read the Record of Decision.

The plan is subject to a 45-day appeals period. Click here to visit the White River National Forest website with links to all relevant documents and maps.

If finalized in its present form, it will close several hundred miles of trails currently used by ATVs and dirt bikes, but will also legitimize many other illegally created trails on parts of the national forest.

Conservation advocates and public land watchdogs said the travel management plan appears to balance access with resource protection, but expressed concern about several key provisions.

“(T)he plan continues to contain some significant shortcomings that concern us,” said Sloan Shoemaker, director of the Aspen-based Wilderness Workshop.

“Today culminates over seven years of work on the travel plan. This alternative provides a sensible and pragmatic foundation for the transportation system on the White River National Forest while ensuring the natural resources are protected for future generations,” Fitzwilliams said. “This plan has an impact on everything we do. We wanted to get it right. That’s why it took seven years,” he said. “I believe this is an alternative we can reasonably afford to manage over the next 10 years. Continue reading

Summit County: New USFS map for trails on NF lands

Travel map, Dillon Ranger District, White River National Forest.

This map shows the new plan for open and closed trails on the Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest under the proposed modified Alternative G of the travel management plan.

Click here to read more about the new plan.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/54626278/USFS-Dillon-District-Travel-Map

This land is your land — get involved!

 

Multiple projects on national forest lands are under way. Watch this YouTube video of the Grateful Dead and Los Lobos singing This Land is Your Land to get fired up, then click on the links below and get involved.

 

SUMMIT COUNTY — About two-thirds of the land in Summit County is owned by you and me, and managed on our behalf by the U.S. Forest Service. Even the land where our big ski resorts operate is public land, and we all have a responsibility to be involved in making decisions about what happens on that land. Continue reading

White River travel plan to address lynx conservation

The winter travel route map for the White River National Forest travel management plan shows where various activities will be allowed.

Goal is net reduction of winter routes

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — U.S. Forest Service biologists working on the White River National Forest travel management plan said the latest version goes a long way toward minimizing impacts to threatened lynx.

The travel management plan has been a work in progress for about eight years, and forest planners just recently submitted a final lynx study to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a required review under the Endangered Species Act.

Pending that review, the Forest Service hopes to release its final decision on travel management later this summer. When complete, the plan will address if and where new roads will be developed, which old roads will be retired, and where ATVs, dirt bikes and other vehicles will and will not be allowed. It covers all 3,000 miles of roads and 1,600 miles of trails on the Forest. Continue reading

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