|These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:|
Sierra Access Coalition (SAC) and the California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA) recently filed a joint administrative appeal to the Plumas National Forest (PNF) Travel Management Plan.
The appeal document argued the new plan would adversely impact not only motorized recreational use of the forest but also cut down access necessary for "camping, firewood cutting, hunting, fishing, hiking, driving for pleasure, horseback riding, bicycling, nature viewing, relaxing" and other non-motorized uses.
The user groups contended that the Forest Service failed to adequately involve the public in the process of developing the plan and didn't give proper weight to the input it did receive.
The two groups requested the Forest Service develop new dispersed camping, woodcutting and big game hunting permit programs, allowing cross-country access for those uses.
The organizations also requested more consideration for "access to important points of interest for disabled, handicapped and elderly people," updated terrain information and cooperation with counties within the PNF.
Plumas and Butte counties have both filed their own appeals of the plan, contending that the Forest Service didn't adequately coordinate with the public and local governments in coming to a decision.
SAC declined to participate in an optional consultation with the PNF "under advice from counsel."
This means the appeal will proceed to a formal appeals committee at the regional level.
The Forest Service will have 45 days to issue a ruling.
Stories in next week's paper will cover Plumas County's consultation with PNF Supervisor Alice Carlton and the joint appeal submitted by The Wilderness Society and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
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