CALIFORNIA – BLM Releases Draft Land Use Plan Amendment and Draft Supplemental EIS for the West Moja

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Navy-Jeeper

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Advocate III

1,692
Odessa TX
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11799

https://sharetrails.org/alert/california-blm-releases-draft-land-use-plan-amendment-and-draft-supplemental-eis-for-the-west-mojave-route-network-project/

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Draft Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the West Mojave Route Network Project (WMRNP) within the West Mojave (WEMO) Planning Area of the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) and with their recent notice is announcing the opening of the 90-day public comment period.

To ensure public comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the DSEIS/LUPA within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

Comments are due by June 14, 2018.

You may submit comments related to the WMRNP by any of the following methods:

Email: blm_ca_wemo_project@blm.gov.
Fax: 951-697-5299; Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment.
Mail: Bureau of Land Management, California Desert District, Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment, 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553.

Copies of the WMRNP Draft LUPA and DS EIS are available in the California Desert District Office at the above address; the Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 S. Richmond Rd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555; and the Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow CA 92311. Copies are also available online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/plans-development/california/west-mojave-plan-route-network.

BRC urges its members who recreate in the WEMO planning area to attend one of the public open house meetings listed below. The meetings run from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

April 17 – Victorville – Hilton Garden Inn, 12603 Mariposa Rd, Victorville, CA 92395
April 18 – Ridgecrest – Kerr McGee Center, 100 W. California Ave. Ridgecrest, CA 93555
April 24 – Lone Pine – Statham Hall (Lone Pine Senior Center), 138 N. Jackson St., Lone Pine, CA 93545
April 25 – Joshua Tree – Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst St, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

BRC will issue an update alert on this planning effort after conclusion of the public open house meetings.

For further information, contact Matt Toedtli, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311; telephone 760-252-6026; email mtoedtli@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

Read Federal Register Notice Here

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2
 
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slomatt

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Bay Area, CA
@Navy-Jeeper , thank you for posting. As with most government processes there is a huge amount of documentation related to this issue. Can BRC provide a summary and an analysis of the proposed alternatives in the EIS? I think this would help people get to the core of the issue and educate them in case they decide to submit a comment.

I briefly looked at the documentation and it seems the 4 alternatives are listed in https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/93521/137935/169703/West_Mojave_Route_Network_Project_Draft_Supplemental_Environmental_Impact_Statement_508.pdf.

1) No change (6,074 miles of motorized routes).
2) Limit motorized access (5,231 miles).
3) Maximize motorized access (10,864 miles).
4) A compromise that seeks to address environmental concerns while limiting changes to motorized access (the proposed action, 6,313 miles).

Obviously alternative #2 is a negative for vehicular access, but it's hard to compare the other 3 alternatives without digging deeply into the documents. Does BRC have an official position regarding a recommended alternative?

Thanks,
 
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Navy-Jeeper

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Odessa TX
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Slomatt

I will get with our folks who are working this issue.
At one time, the compromise on this was we were going to loose around half of our trail mileage on the Mojave.
Then something happened that changed all that, and they are starting this process over again.
This has been going on for a little over 10 years as best as I remember.

Thanks for the questions.

Todd
 
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Navy-Jeeper

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Advocate III

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Odessa TX
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This is what I got from our expert on this issue.
He has been working this issue since its inception years ago.

My initial review favors Alt 4.

Right now I have been more into reading the analysis for consistency and any potential problems.

Overall, it appears the real issues are going to be in the maps and specifics about each route to be (or not be) designated.

Thanks and we will keep you updated.

Todd
 
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slomatt

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Bay Area, CA
Thanks Todd,

I am happy to send in comments, I just want to make sure I'm consistent with the views of BRC and others who know more about this issue than I do.
 

Navy-Jeeper

Rank V
Member

Advocate III

1,692
Odessa TX
Member #

11799

Thanks Todd,

I am happy to send in comments, I just want to make sure I'm consistent with the views of BRC and others who know more about this issue than I do.
Thanks for wanting to send in comments.
Individual comments are just as or more important that the comments from an organization.
Even though BRC represents a few thousand members in California, our comment only counts as one.

I will see if I can find what we have sent in, or will send in, and then you can use those to adjust to your specific comments.

Thanks

Todd
 

slomatt

Rank V

Influencer I

1,723
Bay Area, CA
Sounds good, I think if BRC can help summarize the issue and the suggested alternatives then many OB members would be happy to send in polite comments advocating for preserving vehicular access.

I've been an official commenter on several access issues in Northern California, such as reopening the Deer Valley Trail, and have been impressed with how responsive the National Forest officials are. They seemed honestly interested in public input and the Forest Supervisor personally took time to respond to a few of my questions. It takes just a few minutes to send in an email, and the more voices from our side the better.