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Wilderness Alert

March 1st 2002

WILDERNESS ALERT #2 FROM THE BLUE RIBBON COALITION

By Don Amador, BRC

I know many of you are actively monitoring or participating in local efforts to address many of the access and management. concerns we all have about Boxer's Wilderness proposals.

Here is some FOIA info I just got from the Angeles NF. I think the Forest points out some important access, resource/fire management, and "user conflicts" that could occur if more Wilderness is designated in the Angeles NF.

I reviewed the map and it does appear that it would impact a lot of OHV and Mtn. Bike Trails in the Forest.

Thanks for your interest and participation in this issue.

Don Amador, BRC

Here is the Forest Service reply to my Freedom Of Information Act Request on the Angeles National Forest

Angeles NF
Supervisor's Office
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006-2725
File Code: 6270
Date: Feb. 22, 2002

Dear Mr. Amador:

In response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request faxed to my attention on February 6, 2002, the following is provided:

Within the last six months the enclosed letter to Sierra Club, dated August 16, 2001, and attached map, are the only communications the Angeles National Forest has had with environmental groups with reference to new wilderness areas or proposed new wilderness areas.

Please contact the Forest FOIA Coordinator at (626) 574-5205, if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

/s/ JODY COOK
Forest Supervisor
cc: Region 5 FOIA Coordinator
Recreation & Lands Staff Officer

(Here is the Forest Service letter to Sierra Club)

Angeles National Forest
Supervisor's Office
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006-2725
File Code: 2320
Date: August 15, 2001

Sierra Club, Wilderness Campaign
Mr. Tim Allen
3435 Wilshire Blvd. #320
Los Angeles, CA 9001 0

Dear Mr. Allen:

Thank-you for the opportunity to provide management issues to you regarding the proposed wildernesses.

My primary concern regarding the proposed wildernesses is for fire management issues. Wilderness designation affects vegetation management and fire suppression capability. This is of particular concern in the areas proposed closest to urban interface areas, such as the area you delineated west, south and east of Placerita Canyon State Park, and the area you delineated around Silver Mountain. In addition, the Pleasant View and Magic Mountain areas are adjacent to private lands to the north posing fire risks to those lands.

Congress has tasked the USDA Forest Service, along with other,agencies, to increase fire management in high-risk areas by increasing fire suppression capability, by increasing vegetation management and by working cooperatively with the communities at risk. The Forest Service National Fire Plan addresses these three tasks. For example, the Placerita and Silver Mountain areas both have vegetation management plans involving the use of mechanized equipment. Designation as wilderness would limit our ability to manage these areas to reduce risk. Suppression techniques in these areas would also be limited, increasing risk to urban interface areas.

My secondary concern is for reduced recreation opportunities. In total, the proposed wilderness areas, combined with the existing wilderness areas would limit recreation activities to hiking and dispersed camping for roughly 40% of the forest. This would limit the agency's ability to provide the preferred day use recreation opportunities to under-served communities in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Specific conflicts with existing and proposed recreation uses are indicated on the attached map.

The attached map locates proximity to existing electronic sites and other uses that could result in conflicting uses.

I also wanted to point out that the road separating the Salt Creek and Fish Canyon areas has been decommissioned north to Knapp Ranch, and the Knapp Ranch is now in federal ownership.

Again, thank-you for the opportunity to point out potential conflicts and issues during this early stage of the process. Raina Fulton, the Forest Recreation and Lands Officer, is available for additonal questions or clarifications.

Sincerely,

/s/ SUSAN SWENSON

for
JODY COOK
Forest Supervisor
Enclosure
cc: Senator Barbara Boxer

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