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BLM Releases Plan for ORV Park Outside of Jacksonville

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In March, the Bureau of Land Management released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Timber Mountain Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) emphasis area. The BLM has outlined five alternatives that would designate ORV routes between the towns of Jacksonville, Ruch and Gold Hill. The alternatives call for between 30 and 375 miles of ORV routes and between 43 and 500 trail/stream crossings. The BLM is accepting public comment on the DEIS, with a deadline of May 13th.

The plan covers 15,114 acres of public lands for ORV recreation, while the planning area includes an additional 34,456 acres of private land. This proposal creates enormous concern within the local and regional community, including impacts to forest and aquatic resources, wildlife, fish, water quality, rare plants, adjacent private land, safety, tranquility and non-motorized recreation.

Take Action: Submit comments to the BLM by the May 13th deadline. Pasted below is a sample letter. Personalizing the letter is best. Click here to send an automatic email.

 

SAMPLE LETTER
                                                                                          
Timothy Reuwsaat, District Manager
John Gerritsma, Ashland Field Manager
Bureau of Land Management   
3040 Biddle Road
Medford, OR 97504

RE: Timber Mountain Recreational Management Plan DEIS

Dear BLM:

I believe that a supplemental DEIS (SDEIS) needs to be developed to address the following issues:

1) The DEIS “no action” alternative is meaningless because in order for it to be a true no action alternative the clock would have to be turned back to before Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) used the area and before illegal trails were punched in throughout these subwatersheds. I request that BLM provide a SDEIS to reflect a true “No Action” alternative that analyzes no ORV use in this area.

2) I am very concerned about the impacts of the proposed action on riparian reserves, water quality and aquatic health. The watersheds in the area are important for at-risk and threatened salmon species. Forest Creek, Birdseye Creek, Foots Creek, Galls Creek, Kane Creek, China Creek, Jackson Creek, and Willow Creek all occur in the proposed ORV emphasis area, including 26.7 miles of critical Coho habitat.

3) Gentner’s fritillary is a federal and state listed endangered plant found primarily in Jackson and Josephine counties. Of the 128 known sites, the Timber Mountain OHV area occurs in 55 sites. That is 43% of the sites of this federally listed endangered plant species potentially impacted by this OHV plan. Since the BLM is mandated to recover this species, how will this action help recover Gentner’s fritillary?

4) When did recreation become synonymous with motorized ORV recreation? This document is biased in favor of the ORV community with no consideration of other values. Where is there a consideration for enhanced hiking trails, horseback trails or nature walks? We request a SDEIS which provides a balanced assessment showing the loss of other recreational activities in the proposed “Recreational Management Plan.” The SDEIS should include an alternative that equally emphasizes motorized and non-motorized recreation in the area.

Please issue a SDEIS that more fully analyzes the impacts of this proposal and aims to manage the area for its multitude of values, including fish, water quality, rare plants and the concerns of adjacent private landowners.

Sincerely,

 
(Name)
(Address)
(phone)

cc:
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
US Senator Ron Wyden
US Senator Jeff Merkley
US Senator Jeff Bingaman
US Representative Peter DeFazio
US Representative Raul M. Grijalva
Oregon Natural Resources Policy Director Michael Carrier