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Need Help In Ouachita Forest (Arkansas)

426 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Arkyrider
Due to recent discussions I am asking as many of you as possible to please help by taking some time to send an e-mail to the Ouachita Forest Service. We stand to lose even more then previously thought and what was presented on the proposed MVUM.

I have sent the following e-mail to the Ouachita Forest Service and ask that you please do the same. The time for serious action is now. Feel free to use my letter as is, change it or write your own. The important part is to include comments geared towards no changes being made from proposed to final MVUM. Now is the time to start taking action with the MVUM due to hit at any time.
Make sure you include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Send it to:
[email protected] <[email protected]>

As an avid ATV rider and enthusiast, I am concerned about the forthcoming MVUM that has been postponed several times. I know that several comments were sent in concerning closures of existing routes, trails and roads be it old logging, forest service or user created on the proposed map. This map by the way was poorly made and next to impossible to read. Even Forest service personal said it was very confusing. It is my opinion that most of these comments have went unanswered which is in direct violation of requirements.
We have been told on several occasions that there just is not enough time to look at all the trails turned into the forest service by users of such trails. With the postponements that have happened and more time to accomplish this, these have still not been looked at.
We have been told that no changes can be implemented in the new plan unless the NEPA process has been completed. Yet we are being constantly told that certain areas in the forest will not be looked at until the Water Shed study for that area comes up. At that time the NEPA process is to be completed and the area can be looked at for ATV use.
The old plan clearly states that you can ride your ATV anywhere on the forest floor that is not signed as closed. My question here is a simple one. How can anything be closed in an area that was considered open in the old plan without the NEPA Process being completed? Have we been led astray by comments made by forest service personnel in not only one on one talks, but meetings held at various locations with forest service personnel.
With all the issues at stake I am writing this to express my concern that no closures or restrictions that were not on the proposed map be put into effect until public comment has been made and factual answers have been given.
It is my belief that there has clearly been to much double talk and confusion on part of the forest service to properly implement any reasonable and fair plan within the near future.
The last concern I have at this time is why the District Managers were stripped of the power to make the final decision. In the original mailing that I received regarding the new proposed plan, it stated the District managers would have the final say. What happened and who took this authority away from them?
Please reply to my concerns as we have been told that all comments must be answered.
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