In our last update we explained the radical road removal proposals being
advocated by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sierra Club's
Conservation Alternative 6. This week we will discuss the impact Alternative
6 would have on mountain biking.
If you missed our past Forest Plan Updates, "What's at Stake Part I (fire management)" and "What's at Stake Part II (Roads/Access)," you can view them by clicking on the drop down menu on the top of this page.
In this issue:
1. Mountain Biking - The Sierra Club's and Center for Biological Diversity's campaign to radically limit mountain biking
2. Upcoming Forest plan meetings for the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests (Wednesday, June 2nd to Saturday, June 5th)
3. Meeting instructions and protocols for sound management advocates
Note: Forest Plans determine how a forest will be managed for 15 years. As
we mentioned last week, the Forest Service has chosen as the preferred draft
plans Alternative 2 for the Cleveland National Forest and Alternative 4 for
the Angeles, Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests. The Center for
Biological Diversity (CBD) and Sierra Club's supporters are attending the
current forest plan meetings pushing instead for the adoption of Alternative
6; and they are in a panic.
The sad fact is many of their supporters have no clue what Alternative 6 is proposing - and the Sierra Club has made no attempt to explain the details of Alternative 6. They have instead distracted their supporters by passing out stickers at the Forest Plan meetings with the slogan "Protect and Restore our Forests!" without explaining the radical ramifications behind that slogan - and the devil is always in the details.
The page numbers are for reference and indicate the pages in Alternative 6 where the information was taken.
You can view the CBD's and the Sierra Clubs Conservation Alternative 6 on our web site. (3.7mb PDF file)
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sierra Club's proposals for recreation would ban mountain bike use from a large portion of the Southern California National Forests, restricting mountain bike use to only the few fire roads that remain open after their radical road standards are adopted (as explained in last weeks update). Always keep in mind the CBD and the Sierra Club's main goal in these forest plans is to limit public access and recreation, many times by the abuse of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
"The Forest Service shall designate all existing and potential Wilderness Areas and Roadless Areas over 1,000 acres in size as Primitive under the ROS (Recreation Opportunity Spectrum)." (Page 328)
As I previously mentioned in our past alert on fire management, a major portion of the four National Forests are designated as "roadless." Although Roadless Inventoried Areas must be reviewed as a part of the forest plan revision process, the Roadless Area Conservation Rule is enjoined from implementation by a lawsuit in Colorado and there are two additional suits pending. But we should still proceed as if this initiative/designation will be implemented, as has the CBD and the Sierra Club.
Here in Orange County, all our single track trails, including the San Juan Trail, are in the Trabuco Roadless Area. Many of the trails in your National Forest are probably also in a named Roadless Area. The "Primitive" ROS management designation prohibits mountain bikes (page 324) and while wilderness areas must be at least 5,000 acres in size, this rule would in fact create de facto wilderness designations in areas (designated as roadless) that are as small as 1,000 acres in size. Managing these areas under the "Primitive" ROS designation would radically affect mountain bike access.
The Warrior's Society opposed the Roadless Initiative because we believed it was an attempt by environmental groups, such as the CBD and Sierra Club, to create de facto wilderness designations, and we were proven correct. The Trabuco Roadless Area contains nearly 100 percent of our trails here in Orange County, including the San Juan Trail. The Sierra Club attempted to designate the Trabuco Roadless Area as wilderness in the current wilderness bill - but with your help we defeated them.
To prove their "environmental credentials" to the Sierra Club, IMBA supported the Roadless Initiative despite our warning. IMBA's trust of the Sierra Club and attempts to appease them has resulted in IMBA being betrayed - again. IMBA even signed a "Joint Statement of Commitments" with the Sierra Club to support the wilderness designation:
How does the Sierra Club react to the signing of this "Joint Statement of Commitments?" Emboldened by this appeasement, it promotes management policies detrimental to mountain biking.
IMBA has been betrayed again.
"The Forest Service shall, within 1 year, classify all trails according to the following authorized use classes: (I) hiking and equestrian use only; (II) all non-motorized permitted uses (e.g. hiking, equestrian and bicycling); and (III) all permitted uses (e.g. hiking, equestrian, bicycling, and ORV). (Page 329)
This requirement, combined with the following requirement in the "Mountain Bike" section, would have severe impacts on mountain biking, especially if the Forest Service is unable to accomplish this assessment in the 1 year time period required. This would give the CBD grounds to file a lawsuit, their favorite weapon, to close these trails to mountain bikes because the Forest Service is in violation of the Forest Plan. Remember, to survey these trails and bring these trails up to their standard will take funds and personnel the Forest Service does not have:
"The Forest Service shall, within 1 year, examine all system trails for suitability for use by bicycles, review for safety of and conflicts with other users all trails on which bicycles are allowed. Review for safety of other users all trails that do not meet the following criteria: minimum sight distance of +/- 85 feet for trail grades of 5-10% at blind turns; minimum sight distance of +/- 50 feet for trail grades of 10-15% at blind turns; minimum sight distance of +/- 25 feet for tail grades over 15% at blind curves." (Page 330)
Although the Sierra Club, after much controversy, allowed the creation of a "Mountain Bike Committee" within the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, their proposals truly show the disdain they have for mountain bike recreation. The token gesture of embracing mountain biking by the creation of that "committee" was as deceptive as the slogan, "Protect and Restore our Forests!" printed on stickers they passed out to their supporters at the Forest Plan meetings. I wonder if the Sierra Club Mountain Bike Committee is allowed to oppose Alternative 6?
I think you know the answer to that question.
A few comments to those naïve citizens who attended the Forest Plan meetings and without thought supported the CBD and the Sierra Club; you place so little value on your freedom; you relinquish it without thought or deference. Only the intellectually bankrupt defer to ignorance on such important issues.
What does "Protect and Restore our Forests!" really mean?
The long version is:
"Protect and Restore our Forests!" means although we pay lip service to allowing mountain bike recreation we must make every effort to ban the evils of mountain biking from the forest by use of restrictive designations, unrealistic standards and requirements that the Forest Service will not be able to meet. This strategy will allow us to manage by lawsuit and by abusing the Endangered Species Act - and achieve our goal of radically removing public access to the forest.
The short version is:
"Protect and Restore our Forests!" means banning mountain bikes.
The CBD and the Sierra Club have been anything but honest with the public by not revealing the details of their proposals, instead relying on the Sierra Club's false "mainstream" reputation as a balanced environmental organization, a reputation that over the years has become increasingly tarnished; their behavior during the Forest Plan process has only confirmed their decline as a trustworthy organization.
History has shown that Democracy can not long endure in a climate where the information that will govern it is denied or hidden behind slogans such as "Protect and Restore our Forests!" This tactic has found a home in the agenda of fanatics worldwide - as recent history has shown.
The Sierra Club's path of deception, built on fanaticism and not reason, shows how far they have fallen from grace. We must remember that Jihad under any name poses a great risk to those subject to it; the folly of misplaced faith and ignorance over reason - and the subsequent destruction of our freedom.
The Sierra Club places such little value in your freedom, the freedom that many or our citizens have sacrificed their lives for.
Our next "Forest Plan Update - What's at Stake Part IV (Vision)" will deal with what the future holds.
We will be evaluating and commenting on the forest plans before the comment period ends in August. We will be releasing these comments to our supporters with a link to the Forest Service web site so you can comment too. Please do your part to protect your access by visiting our web site for this information or sign up on our email list to be kept informed on the forest plans.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST
LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST
The following information is needed:
We need to know what trails are contained within the specially designated areas: Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Natural Research Areas and Special Interest Areas.
Questions to ask related to these areas:
1. What existing trails are located in proposed special designated areas - Wilderness, Wild and Scenic, Research Natural, Special Interest?
2. What is the real "need" for a particular direction - are existing uses such as trails not impacting these areas and thus should access not be restricted.
3. Are the proposed wilderness areas, or areas with the Primitive ROS (Recreation Opportunity Spectrum) designation at high risk for fire, which could affect local communities, and what strategies are being implemented to address fire suppression and management of these areas? Alert your local fire marshal and Fire agency union representatives and ask them to review and comment on the fire management proposals being advocated in Conservation Alternative 6, which is advocated by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club (copies can obtained from the Warrior's Society) and in Alternative 2 (for the Cleveland) and 4 (for the Angeles, San Bernardino and Los Padres National Forests). Also ask what threats are being posed to these areas that they warrant wilderness protection? Are the threats real or overblown, etc.
The information from these questions is what we need to comment on the DEIS Draft Plan. This information many also be used for future actions, such as an appeal (if needed), and to show a particular direction or designation is simply not needed.
Remember when evaluating these areas:
Your feedback will be most helpful if you:
* are as specific as possible with your comments by naming the proposed wilderness area, Wild and Scenic River, Natural Resource Area, Special Interest Area that you are commenting on (and provide pictures if possible).
* indicate what trails will be affected
* suggest alternative management approaches or solutions to the specific problem(s) that warrant specific designations - i.e. trails will not impact area (take pictures for proof) or trails can be rerouted around area prior to designation being applied.
What ever information you can provide would be most helpful, so don't feel overwhelmed. We are going to compile all the information received after the meetings are over and formulate our appeal. Your help will be a big part of influencing these plans.
PROPOSED DRESS AND BEHAVIOR CODE FOR FOREST PLAN OPEN HOUSES
1. THE TASK: inform our motorized, equestrian and mountain bike recreation representatives (whom are planning on) attending the Forest Plan Open Houses to wear "business casual" attire, preferably kaki, and or, green unmarked garments.
2. DEFINITION: These are public business meetings, not club social events. Hence the concern and suggestion is, "Please, resist the temptation to wear your favorite 'motorized, equestrian or mountain bike recreation interest' apparel."
3. RESULT: Adhering to this simple "plan of action" will help minimize the initial "stereotyping" from opposing non-recreational representatives. This will enhance our effectiveness in discussing opposing opinions and give us the freedom to roam the room with less likely-hood of confrontation.
4. PROPOSED GUIDELINES:
PROPOSED CONDUCT CODE FOR RECREATION ATTENDEE'S
1. Don't argue! Remain calm. On either end of the spectrum we will encounter folks that can be quite vocal and militant.
2. Assign a knowledgeable group representative for each meeting, to address your initial questions and concerns and plan for action. If you have no knowledge of the Forest Plan Alternatives don't get caught airing your lack of understanding outside the privacy of your group.
3. Identify those in your group that have experience speaking at public meetings and ask them to act as your liaison and address those in attendance. They must also try to neutralize the emotions of those fed up with the religious fanaticism of the environmental movement. Ask these individuals to share their prime concerns within the control of your group. Use a "reflective listening" technique such as, "So, what you are saying is, you are adamant about this boundary being here, as opposed to there?" Or, escort that person to a FS person you trust, to privately address their fear.
Please follow these instructions so you can be an effective representative of the recreation community.
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