Arizona Land Use - Please Do What You Can.

3 replies to this topic

Posted June 25, 2002 - 06:20 PM


Five out of the 6 National Forests in Arizona are considering new rules for
use of off-highway vehicles on 9.5 million acres of public lands in
Arizona. Of the 5 Alternatives being considered by the Forest Service, the
preferred alternative for Arizona is a complete yearlong ban on all
cross-country travel. This is the proposed plan amendment, Alternative #4.
Off-highway vehicles will be severely restricted to use on designated
trails only. The actual trail designations may not come for several years.
The 5 National Forests to be affected by this ban include: the
Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto National Forests.

Cross-country travel is defined by the Forest Service as travel off of or
away from open roads or trails. The Forest Service has noted that user
created trails, particularly in areas adjacent to residential development,
lack engineering and environmental elements of design and they will be shut
down with the issuance of this new policy.

The implementation of this policy in Arizona will create a precedent for
other National Forests throughout the U.S. This is a policy decision that
has the potential to affect everyone.

Throughout Arizona, comment was received by the Forest Service in response
to its March 27, 2001 Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS. The Draft EIS
containing the 5 Alternatives and the Proposed Action Alternative is now in
the final drafting stages and it is anticipated that it will be released by
late July 2002. Opportunity to comment on the Draft EIS and Proposed Action
Alternative #4 will occur at that time. There will be a 45 day comment

The second part of the National Forests new OHV management strategy to be
undertaken will be the local site specific planning that will occur
following the final EIS. The site specific planning phase will then
designate the trails open for recreational OHV use.

First your riding areas will be closed outright! Then the Forest Service
will consider which trails to designate for OHV recreational use! As you
know, this can be a long process.


To add your name to the mailing list for future announcements contact: Jim
Anderson, Land Management Planner at the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest,
928-333-6370. Email:

Contact the Forest Supervisors in the 5 National Forests:

John C. Bedell
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Forest Supervisor's Office
PO Box 640
Springerville, AZ 85938

James W. Golden
Coconino National Forest
Forest Supervisor's Office
2323 E. Greenlaw Lane
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Mike King
Prescott National Forest
Forest Supervisor's Office
344 S. Cortez
Prescott, AZ 86303

Karl Siderits
Tonto National Forest
Forest Supervisor's Office
2324 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Mike Williams
Kaibab National Forest
Forest Supervisor's Office
800 S. 6th Street
Williams, AZ 86046

ARRA will notify you of additional information when it becomes available.
ARRA's website can be found at:

Note: Fire danger is extreme throughout Arizona. Large area closures
continue on several National Forests. The Apache-Sitgreaves, Coronado and
Prescott National Forests are closed. There are additional closures in the
Kaibab and Coconino National Forests. Information about fire conditions and
closures can be obtained by visiting Some
developed campgrounds remain open with restrictions on campfires and
cigarette smoking. Fireworks are illegal in Arizona. Our thoughts are with
the fire fighters.

  • armourbl

Posted June 26, 2002 - 08:05 AM


Are the Forest Service reps responsive to our feelings or are they pretty much already set to do as they see fit without regard to our opinions. Why isn't public vote ever taken on these types of issues. Or maybe it is and I just missed it.

Those forests make up pretty much all of the riding areas in AZ. I guess I'll just sell my dirtbike and start hiking. :)

Ok, I might sound stupid, but it is really just my brain boiling with anger that is effecting my ability to write intelligently.


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  • neWRiver

Posted June 26, 2002 - 08:23 AM


Ben, in my limited experience I have found that the Forest Service itself is not really the adversary and does have some power to alter its plans to meet its responsibilities to the public needs. In fact, accommodating the needs of the OHV community is one of their jobs. The comment period is the mechanism which allows the public to monitor the Forest Service's planning activities.

It is a staged process. First comments are taken on the general direction for an EIS. Then a draft is put forth and opened for public comment. Even once the EIS is finalized, specific local actions are directed by regional offices which must continue to seek public comment. This process is wide open for us to let them know what the public wants them to do. Once actions plans are set forth, the only recourse left is litigation.

Attend as many public meetings as you can and write the letters. It does make a difference.


Posted June 27, 2002 - 07:43 PM


Lets help our friends out in AZ. It doesn't take that long and we will all benefit. Thanks, Paul


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