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September 3, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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September 3, 2014
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 3A M. Kate West Staff Writer chesternews@plu masnews.com Lassen National Forest official Chris O'Brien took the lead in laying out the reason and the process for the Travel Management Rule, subpart C, for over-snow vehicles during the townhall meeting held in Chester on Aug. 27. Plumas County District 3 Supervisor Sherrie Thrall called for the townhall meeting because of her stated desire for interested people to have the opportunity to learn and comment on the process early in the game. Lassen National Forest Supervisor David Hayes and Plumas National Forest Supervisor Earl Ford were present at the meeting. Accompanying Ford were David Wood and Mt. Hough Ranger District Supervising Ranger Michael Donald. In addition to O'Brien, Almanor Ranger District Supervising Ranger Kathleen Nelson joined the discussion. The general public was well represented with over 100 individuals in the audience. About the process "We are really in the beginning stages; we are not really sure at this point how we are going to begin," O'Brien said. He said the Snowlands Network lawsuit and settlement is behind the potential change to over-snow vehicle policy. O'Brien explained that the lawsuit was limited to Northern California and impacts five national forests; the Eldorado, Tahoe, Stanislaus, Lassen and Plumas. He said completing a National Environmental Protection Act study will be required on each of the named forests as a condition of the settlement. "In terms of how we want to approach this we had to determine how grandiose we wanted to be," O'Brien said. "Environmental impact statements will be completed on each forest and Lassen will be the first out of the chute in terms of this process. The Plumas will be last." He described subpart C as the over-snow version of subpart B, which is specific to off-highway vehicles. "The current timeline is that we would be done with the process and with the lawsuit in November 2015. The Forest Service is negotiating for more time. "We are still batting this around. That's why we want to continue public ' interaction. The LNF would prefer to have that interaction before they come out with a process. "We want to talk to our public first," O'Brien said. The LNF plans to host a public meeting, to be held around the last week of October or first week of November, likely in Susanville. Ford spoke on behalf of the PNF and said, "I'm sure we are all war weary from subpart B; we want to do it differently." He also emphasized that all voices would be heard, even those against OSVs, and that the Forest Service would meet with many groups. Plumas County District 3 Supervisor Sherrie Thrall hosts a townhall meeting on the topic of over-snow vehicles. Officials from both the Lassen and Plumas national forests joined her. From left: Lassen National Forest Supervisor David Hayes, Chris O'Brien, David Wood, Mt. Hough Ranger District Supervising Ranger Michael Donald and Plumas National Forest Supervisor Earl Ford. Not pictured: Almanor Ranger District Supervising Ranger Kathleen Nelson. Photo by M. Kate West "OSV clubs willhave the noise or smoke created by opportunity to input snowmobiles, many separately, as will cross-country skiers like the Snowlands," he said. snowmobiles because they According to the PNF groom the trails." timeline, scoping will likely Lake Almanor resident Wes start in the spring, a draft EIS Scott told the officials, will be completed and the "Thanks for showing up final decision will be tonight; it's not an easy presented in 2017. position. "The five forests deserve to "I've snowmobiled for 10 be as consistent as possible years, against any and want to avoid major restrictions. I've never run differences forest to forest," across country skiers," he Ford said. said. He also said he believed the Samples of public comment issue is not just The first question presented environmentalists, but that was, "I've been driving "those at top were snowmobiles since the 1960s. I like-minded and driving don't see the damage, is noise policy." the issue? .... In the 1980s the talk on the "Part of the problem is forest was all about when this recreation began recreation. First we had there was no NEPA, we were snowmobiles, Stover Ski Hill in a little bit different place," and the timber industry and O'Brien responded, then it became too "Cross-country skiers complicated. wanted to hit the trails "We have empty without the noise, yet those storefronts. We need the ski nice parking spaces they hill to come back to bring the enjoy were built by OSV folks Up from Chico. What funds," Ford added, happened to the plan for Discussion ensued about recreation?" one resident snowmobile use and queried. cross-country skiing on public Another gentleman made lands. More than one guest the comment about "the wall raised a hand to point out that up between the Lassen and seldom do snowmobiles and Plumas national forests; the cross-country skiers recreate wall needs to come down." in the same location because The example cited was snowmobile recreationists personal vehicles and usually travel greater woodcutting and the distances through the forests, difference in policy between Another member of the the neighbortng forests. public suggested the simple "We learned a lot from the solution was to divide the process last year. Because the forest into distinct recreation Lassen will go fn'st, they will areas: one for motorized have the opportunity to make recreation and one not. the model for others to It was noted that not all follow," Ford said. environmentalists are against "I think this level of OSVs. engagement is what we need Another commenter said, to have happen," added "While many do not like the Supervisor Thrall. A guest asked, "Is this a process that will be all smoke and mirrors?" Thrall quickly responded and said, "I would like to point out that this is not a For health, self-defense & personal development sugarpi Aviators Marth/Arts An AmericanJudo & Jujitsu Federation Dojo Johnny Moore, 283-26OO emai/: sugarpineav[ators@yahoo.com www~ugarpineavlatorsmarfialarts.weeb[y.com r I m m I ~ ~ m ~ N ~ ~ m n ~ ~ ~ ~ I When you purchase $9.99 or more. I ! Coupon expires on 9/16/2014. I I 54 E. Main St., Quincy (Plumas Pines Shopping Center, inside former video store) Sept. 3rd & 4th 3:30pm-5:30pm Adult & Children's Classes Available Classes Start Sept. 8th For More Info Call 530.249.3411 Visit Facebook.com/rhythmandgracedancestudio www.rhythmandgrace.wix.com/dancestudio Forest Service meeting but yet the supervisors and rangers were willing to meet with the public." "I enjoy snowmobiling at Bucks Lake. You have every /'eason to believe our ears are open," Donald added. When the question of snowmobile noise being the primary reason for subpart C was raised, O'Brien responded, "Snowlands has a laundry list associated with their lawsuit against the region." "On the laundry list are unquiet recreation and the lack of a NEPA," O'Brien said. Thrall told the audience she was going to upload the lawsuit on her website. "Many of your questions can be answered by reading the lawsuit," Ford said. "I think we are approaching this with our hearts in the right place," Hayes added. The meeting was taped and a full accounting of the townhall statements and questions will be made available for view at almanorpost.com. 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This starts with a business approach to revenue streams and costs, priorities in cost cutting, and opportunities to generate new revenue without tax increases. It is time we admit to ourselves our future is dependent on us. We cannot rely on the good old days ifPlumas County is to have a bright future. How can we improve the business climate in Plumas County? County Government should seek input from local business owners to review local regulatory issues and determine those that are of concern or not needed. We need to review and create incentive programs to encourage new and existing business investments. County leadership, both public and private, needs to advance vocational programs for a better future workforce. Doing so will lead to employment for young people, and help stop the declining county population. Why did Jim get involved with the CHP/Sheriff's Department joint jail facility proposal? As a hard-working taxpayer, I felt compelled to ask why a joint effort that would save millions in taxpayer dollars was cast aside for no apparent reason. Simply put, the Sheriff's Department needs our support! Being an action guy, I took action and helped facilitate the State to re-evaluate this proposal. The effects of AB-109 arc compounding the County's delay with a plan for a new jail. We cannot keep kicking the can down the road any longer! "1 fully endorse Jim Judd for Plumas CountyDistrict 5 Supervisor. He has the experience and vision to bring a much-needed business background to the Board of Supervisors. Our County needs the time commitment and Jim has pledged to do so. I urge you to vote for Jim, in November." Plumas-Eureka CSD, Plumas County Special Distdcts Join Our Team Send a Donation Committee to Elect Jim Judd PO Box 202 Clio, CA 96106 jim@votejudd.com www. votejudd.com (530) 836-7311 Paid for by the Committee to Elect Jim Judd - District 5 ur ?t r