Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) System - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 02-27-2009, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) System

FYI!

File Code: 1950-1/2350-5
Date: February 27,2009

Dear Interested Party:
The USDA Forest Service is seeking comments on two proposals regarding management of the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) System:

1. An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the long-term management of the Upper Tellico OHV System. You may download a copy of the EA and related graphics at http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/tellico. If you would like to receive a paper copy of the EA, please e-mail your request to: [email protected] or call (828) 257-4817, and one will be mailed to you. For questions concerning the project or the EA contact Candace Wyman, Project Coordinator, at 828-257-4816.

2. A temporary closure of the Upper Tellico OHV System for resource protection, effective April 1, 2009. This closure would prohibit possession or use of a motorized vehicle on a road or trail within the Upper Tellico OHV System, with the exception of highway-legal vehicles on 420-1 and certain other exceptions described in the closure order until a final project decision is implemented.
The Upper Tellico OHV System is located on Tusquitee Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, Cherokee County, NC. In June 2008, we publicized a proposal for long-term management of the System, designed to greatly reduce the amount of soil leaving the System and entering the Tellico River and its tributaries, while still providing an OHV trail system. This proposal is referred to as the “proposed action” or Alternative B and is described in detail in Chapter 1 of the EA. We received around 1,500 public comments on the proposed action. Alternatives to the proposed action were developed in response to the comments and environmental issues identified by the Agency. A wide range of comments was received, so six alternatives are analyzed in the EA, identified as Alternatives A through F. We would now like your review and comment on the alternatives and analysis before making a final decision on long-term management of the System.

The following is a brief description of the alternatives analyzed in detail in the EA. Please refer to the EA, Chapters 2 and 3, for more information about each alternative.

• Alternative A is the “no action” alternative that reflects the existing trail system with 2007 management and funding levels.
• Alternative B is the “proposed action” that was released in June 2008 for public comment. It was developed to address the problems initially identified in trail condition surveys conducted in 2007-2008.
• Alternative C closes the OHV System, but maintains over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads in the area, open year-round or seasonally, to provide for public highway-legal vehicle access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses. It was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) did not go far enough in eliminating trails on sensitive soils and trails near water.
• Alternative D was developed in response to public concerns that the OHV Trail System should meet current trail density and challenge level standards, and not require a Forest Plan amendment.
• Alternative E was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) would eliminate too many high challenge OHV experiences.
• Alternative F was developed in response to public concerns that the proposed action (Alternative B) would eliminate too many OHV trail miles.

The environmental concerns that initiated the proposed management changes are described in the EA, as are the projected direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of each of these Alternatives.

The EA shows that the Upper Tellico OHV System has extensive damage and contributes unacceptable levels of sediment into the Tellico River and its tributaries. Sediment is leaving the OHV System from more than 2,000 locations along the trails. The Agency is in violation of North Carolina state water quality standards because of the conditions on Upper Tellico OHV System. Since the Upper Tellico River watershed is located in an area of steep terrain, highly erosive soils, and high rainfall, maintaining an OHV trail system without causing significant environmental damage is extremely difficult.

While I understand how important the Upper Tellico OHV System is to OHV users, the impacts to water quality are so significant that I cannot recommend keeping the System open at this time. After careful consideration of the environmental effects of the alternatives as presented in the EA, my preferred alternative is Alternative C, which closes the OHV System. Alternative C would maintain over 10 miles of existing Forest system roads (currently also OHV trails), open year-round or seasonally, to provide public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation uses. Trail 1 (FS Road 420-1) would be paved and kept open as a through route for highway-legal vehicles.

I want to emphasize that a final decision has not yet been made. This public review period is an opportunity for you to give us constructive feedback. I encourage you to review the environmental assessment and provide us with any information that you think we have not considered adequately. Your comments need to be as specific as possible and you must provide the following information: 1) Your name and address; 2) Title of the project; 3) Specific substantive comments on the proposed action, along with supporting reasons that I should consider in reaching a decision; and 4) Your signature or other means of identification verification. For organizations, a signature or other means of identification verification must be provided for the individual authorized to represent your organization.

Comments must be postmarked or received within 30 days beginning the day after publication of this notice in The Asheville Citizen-Times. Comments may be mailed electronically, in a common digital format, to: [email protected]; or by regular mail to: National Forests in North Carolina, Attn: Candace Wyman, 160 A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801, or faxed to 828-257-4263. Hand delivered comments must be received within our normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Thank you for your continued interest in management of the National Forests in North Carolina and the Tusquitee Ranger District.

Sincerely,



MARISUE HILLIARD
Forest Supervisor
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post #2 of 39 Old 02-27-2009, 01:41 PM
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Uh Oh.... I didn't get past "temporary closure". That always means closed forever!

They just need to ban all 4x4 full size vehicle activity except on private lands. It's the 4x4's causing the massive erosion in most cases. They create massive pits and ruts with their extreme tires and destroy all the trails causing water and runoff to be redirected improperly. Hardly any of the 4x4 owners know when to call it quits, they just keep tearing in to the ground making bigger and deeper ruts like all of a sudden they'll get grip. Instead, they just make it worse with every pass until it's impassable and only a wench can get anyone through. Everywhere I've been I've seen their damage and it will never end until every offroad area is closed.
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post #3 of 39 Old 02-27-2009, 06:40 PM
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As long as the beer coolers are full. LOL

*** KLR650, Tweeting long before your kids thought it was cool.

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post #4 of 39 Old 03-10-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWanderer View Post
Uh Oh.... I didn't get past "temporary closure". That always means closed forever!

They just need to ban all 4x4 full size vehicle activity except on private lands. It's the 4x4's causing the massive erosion in most cases. They create massive pits and ruts with their extreme tires and destroy all the trails causing water and runoff to be redirected improperly. Hardly any of the 4x4 owners know when to call it quits, they just keep tearing in to the ground making bigger and deeper ruts like all of a sudden they'll get grip. Instead, they just make it worse with every pass until it's impassable and only a wench can get anyone through. Everywhere I've been I've seen their damage and it will never end until every offroad area is closed.

Yes, because our knobby tires never damage the terrain at all.

With a mentality like your's, off road enthusist's will alway's suffer.

Thanks,
Todd
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post #5 of 39 Old 03-10-2009, 04:09 PM
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I don't think so, try again!

I rarely leave a mark on the terrain unless it's trying to get out of some selfish 4x4 operators rut or pit that THEY! left. I've backed tracked many times and could barely notice, if see at all, the line I came in on.

Give it a rest because everyone already knows 4x4's are the problem.
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post #6 of 39 Old 03-10-2009, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWanderer View Post
I don't think so, try again!

I rarely leave a mark on the terrain unless it's trying to get out of some selfish 4x4 operators rut or pit that THEY! left. I've backed tracked many times and could barely notice, if see at all, the line I came in on.

Give it a rest because everyone already knows 4x4's are the problem.


Again...narrow minded people like yourself are part of the problem, just like the disrespectful off roader's you mention.

I'm not saying full size 4X4's don't damage terrain, but I've seen plenty of ATV's and dirtbikes ripping up mother earth as well. You want to see some trail damage, go watch a pack of the little UTV's for a day at Tellico. And a little FYI (cause you obviously spout off more than you research), many motorcycle/atv ONLY OHV area's are dealing with the very same environmental issue's and get closed off seasonally for recovery time as well.

Education and land management is the key to keeping OHV area's open for future generations and for all off road enthusiasts playing peacefully together.

Thanks,
Todd
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post #7 of 39 Old 03-11-2009, 12:11 AM
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Peace among all riders is all good and well, but there is no denying the 4x4's are the biggest problem. Quad's are next when they are ridden improperly. I saw many an idiot doing nothing but pealing out and tearing up the trail during my rides at Evarts. Inconsiderate riders exist in all forms, but when they are in 4x4's that idiocy adds up quick to major trail damage in short time. Same with a quad, doesn't take long to tear things up. The reason you see the damage from these groups is that those vehicles are boring as hell to ride because there is no challenge to ride either one, so the challenges must be created. Dirt bikes are fun without looking for ways to damage the trails, keeps the riders more in check, most MC riders see no need to sit and spin the rear and ruin trails in order to create some fun.
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post #8 of 39 Old 03-11-2009, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TheWanderer View Post
Peace among all riders is all good and well, but there is no denying the 4x4's are the biggest problem. Quad's are next when they are ridden improperly. I saw many an idiot doing nothing but pealing out and tearing up the trail during my rides at Evarts. Inconsiderate riders exist in all forms, but when they are in 4x4's that idiocy adds up quick to major trail damage in short time. Same with a quad, doesn't take long to tear things up. The reason you see the damage from these groups is that those vehicles are boring as hell to ride because there is no challenge to ride either one, so the challenges must be created. Dirt bikes are fun without looking for ways to damage the trails, keeps the riders more in check, most MC riders see no need to sit and spin the rear and ruin trails in order to create some fun.
Agreed...

Also, your absolutely right on the degree of difficulty with different type vehicles. I'm a 4X4 enthusiast at heart and always do my best to tread lightly. Mainly I use my rigs to explore and get to my favorite camping/hunting/fishing spot's, not for rock climbing/bogging and general earth destruction, but even so, it's generally a boring, no talent event of just driving.

However, nothing compare's to the feeling of riding my KLR thru the wood's and mountain's...even if I'm just tooling down a twisty blacktop. The old adage "if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand" is so true about motorcycling in general but even more so in Dual Sporting. I wouldn't trade my KLR for anything cause it take's me places 4X4's don't even see and I get a great sense of satisfaction knowing I just mastered a challenging single track or hill climb and didn't destroy the earth doing so.

Thanks,
Todd
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post #9 of 39 Old 03-11-2009, 06:36 PM
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I don't mind 4x4 operators who show some respect, it's the aholes I'm talking about.

Around here, we have just gained a riding area of 3600 acres. Yep... I can't believe it either. In an age of close every damn thing down, we actually had a place open. The problem already... 4x4's! They refuse to keep off the trails where the soil isn't capable of supporting their activity. They have destroyed the entrance to several trails to the point of being 3 foot deep mud (not water) pits 20' to 30' long by 10' wide. Impassable now except for those willing to coat every inch of their ride and themselves with some foul smelling pit mud. The open road areas are developing massive pits around 30' to 40' both long and wide because they keep going further and further to the left and right dodging the now impassable middle sections. Soon, we'll have 20' wide roads with 100' wide mud pits every 1/4 mile. I've heard winter riders have decimated even more trail. I haven't been there to see what else I can no longer ride due to these aholes. This place was open due to high demand with a police yourself attitude, but I honestly think it was open just so the offroad community can sink themselves and the entire place will get handed over to the horse community. Looks like I was right, because that is exactly what is starting to happen. DNR will only stand by so long, as the watch the trail system degrade rapidly, and will eventually shut it down.
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post #10 of 39 Old 03-11-2009, 09:00 PM
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Man, that sux....I can see why your so disgruntled with the 4X4 crowd.

There are a lot of disrespectful people in the world now and that could get me started on another rant entirely about today's parent's not teaching/disciplining their children and in return them becoming bad teen's/adult's with no repect for authority or property. It all start's in the home.

But I'll spare you the rant and just say I sympathise with your attitude toward these aholes and hope the best for you and your new (albeit destroyed) riding area.

Thanks,
Todd
2006 red/silver.
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