Winter Travel Management
Stanislaus National Forest
Stanislaus National Forest issued a Notice of Intent and Proposed Action for Winter Travel Management on June 26, thereby becoming the fourth of five forests to begin winter travel management after a settlement between the Forest Service and Snowlands Network. Public meetings were held in November, 2014, and July, 2015, and the comment period for the initial scoping phase ended August 10, 2015.
You can learn about the Stanislaus plan on their project page.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Stanislaus NF scheduled two public workshops to discuss their OSV Designation plan. The first workshop, on January 25, was well-attended by about 50 people, mostly snowmobilers. Representatives from Snowlands Network, Winter Wildlands Alliance, The Wilderness Society, the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, and the Sierra Club were there to stand up for nonmotorized recreation, wildlife, and the environment.
At the February 18 workshop the Forest Service presented maps of the five alternatives being developed for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, including the alternative submitted by Snowlands Network and Winter Wildlands Alliance and that submitted by the interveners in the grooming lawsuit. Attendees were encouraged to write comments on the maps indicating desired changes in the alternatives.
Snowlands Network and Winter Wildlands Alliance submitted a proposed alternative for managing OSV recreation on Stanislaus NF. You may download these documents as PDF documents here:
Our proposal includes the following winter motor vehicle closures:
- Two areas near the Cabbage Patch Maintenance Station north of Highway 4 and west of Bear Valley Village. This includes the Poison Spring, Pumpkin Hollow, Mattley Ridge, Flagpole Point, and Thompson Meadow areas. These areas have always afforded great backcountry skiing, but now snowmobiles are starting to encroach into these areas and diminish the backcountry experience for nonmotorized users.
- The Osborne Hill area adjacent to the Lake Alpine Sno-Park.
- The Big Meadow area.
- The Eagle/Night and Pacific Valley Natural Areas. Near Natural areas are identified in the current Forest Plan and were supposed to be managed as nonmotorized. However, no formal Forest Orders were ever issued to close these areas to OSV use, which meant that the closures were unenforceable. Snowmobilers have been violating the nonmotorized designation. Now, the Forest Service wants to open up to OSV use because of this "historical use". Tell the Forest Service that ignoring a Forest Plan designation should not be rewarded by making the violations legal.
- A small area from Herring Creek Road to the north near Strawberry just off Highway 108.
This is the time for you to let the Stanislaus NF know what changes you want to see in order to improve backcountry skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
Thank you for participating in this community effort.