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Wild Rivers Road System input critical

12/04/14 -- Are you interested in the future of the road system on the Wild Rivers (Grants Pass/Cave Junction/Merlin) Ranger District of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest? If so, the District is hosting an open house on December 11 to discuss the “Travel Analysis Process” (TAP or Subpart A). TAP makes no decisions about the current road system. TAP is about assessing current information on forest roads and rating those roads based on a variety of factors, including whether the road is safe to travel on, the level of use it receives, the need for agency and cooperator access for fire, emergencies and permits; and providing adequate resource protection.

Broad-brush analysis
TAP is a broad-brush analysis that will help inform future, more detailed, site-specific decisions regarding changes to the road system on National Forest-administered lands on all ranger districts across the forest. Before any decisions are made to close or in some rare cases to decommission roads, there will be additional opportunities for public comments.

This is the fourth in a series of open houses that is covering TAP/transportation planning for each Ranger District on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The miles of roads that currently exist in the forest system far exceeds the available funding for maintenance. It is critical for all who are interested to provide input as we work towards an affordable and environmentally sustainable road system that meets Forest Service management goals and responsibilities including addressing public access needs for road access.

The Wild Rivers Ranger District open house is scheduled on Thursday, December 11, 2014 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Anne G. Basker Auditorium, 604 N.W. Sixth Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526

Formal presentation
A short formal presentation at 6:00 p.m. will provide an overview of the Travel Analysis Process. After the presentation, natural resource specialists and forest staff will be available to discuss the analysis methods that were used to rate the access needs and environmental risks. The public will have the opportunity to review several maps that display the various benefits that forest roads provide (access needs), as well as the environmental concerns and risks associated with roads (environmental risks). Your comments regarding thoughts or concerns regarding the draft rating system and what roads are important from a public access or environmental risk standpoint, will be most helpful. Comment forms will be available at the open house and are also available on-line at the Forest website (see below).

Motor Vehicle Use Map will be produced
Don’t confuse the Travel Management Planning (Subpart B), which is nearing completion, with the Travel Analysis Process (Subpart A). Decisions regarding the road system are being made in Subpart B, but no decision is being made during Subpart A. When Subpart B is complete, a Motor Vehicle Use Map will be produced that shows where forest visitors can legally travel on forest roads.

TAP, or Subpart A, will help inform future, site-specific decisions regarding development of an economically and environmentally sustainable road system.

Additional information on the TAP-Subpart A, including an interactive map of the forest road system, an executive summary, FAQs, public comment forms and comment inbox, and a brochure and graphic that explains the differences between Subparts A and B of Travel Management, is available on our forest website homepage.

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