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Tonto National Forest Releases Impact Statement

Tonto Releases Supplemental Impact Statement For Motorized Travel

 

Tonto Releases Supplemental Impact Statement For Motorized Travel

Tonto officials have released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to address responses resulting from the Forest's 2016 Final Travel Management EIS and associated Draft Record of Decision (ROD).

The Draft SEIS responds to 13 objections as well as direction from the Southwestern Regional Forester to conduct additional analysis prior to issuing the Final ROD for Travel Management on the Tonto National Forest.

According to Neil Bosworth, Forest Supervisor for the Tonto, the Draft SEIS is a limited scope document and a supplement to the Final EIS. "This document will only address public issues raised during the formal objection process to the Draft ROD," Bosworth said. "It will not revisit those parts of the Final EIS that received no objections."

Areas identified for additional analysis under 36 CFR 212 Subpart B include -

Compliance with the Travel Management Rule, including how the Tonto applied criteria to minimize resource impacts from motorized trails and clarifying route designations

Objections regarding designations of specific route segments and areas

Analysis of the impact of motorized travel on designated and eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers

The recommended minimum road system resulting from the travel analysis process (36 CFR 212 Subpart A) completed in 2011

Compliance with the Clean Air Act

Compliance with the National Forest Management Act for changes to recreation opportunity spectrum classes

Release of the Draft SEIS begins a 45-day public review and comment period. The document is available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=28967 Additional details can be found at:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tonto/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fsbdev3_018761. The public is invited to review the Draft SEIS and provide comments by Monday, May 21, 2019, using one of the following methods:

Using the Interactive Web Map. Pop up boxes will appear on routes and areas that are eligible to submit comments. You will be able to type your comments directly there, and they will be captured in our comment database, anchored to the location on the map.

Using the Online Comment Form. You may submit a general comment, or comments about other travel management issues not related to a specific route using this online form.

By U.S. Mail:

Tonto National Forest

Attn .: Greg Schuster

2324 E. McDowell Road

Phoenix, AZ 85006.

Comments may also be hand delivered at the above address between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

What Is The Travel Management Rule?

In 2005, the Forest Service published a new rule for providing motor vehicle access to national forests and grasslands after receiving more than 81,000 comments on a draft rule published in July 2004. Many user groups, environmental groups, and state and local governments endorsed the concept of a designated system of roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use.

The final rule requires each national forest and grassland to designate those roads, trails, and areas open to motor vehicle use. Designated routes and areas will be identified on a motor vehicle use map. Motor vehicle use outside of designated routes and areas will be provided for fire, military, emergency, and law enforcement purposes and for use under Forest Service permit. Valid existing rights are honored. The rule itself does not designate roads or areas for motor vehicles but provides a framework for making those decisions at the local level.

For more information, contact Carrie Templin, public affairs officer, at (602) 225-5290 or (602) 677-1267 or at carrietemplin@usda.gov.

 

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