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Contact FOB for updates at dsoehren [AT] bresnan.net

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Friends,

Please take a moment to send comments, even if it's just a few sentences, to the BDNF as outlined in George Wuerthner's e-mail below.

Doug



Hi everyone,


I hope everyone is commenting on the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest Plan.


The Beaverhead NF is the largest in Montana and one of the most spectacular.


Alternative 3 is the best alternative in the Plan for a variety of reasons, including that it recommends the most wilderness, but just a letter supporting wilderness for all the larger roadless areas would suffice. Also attached is an alert from the Quiet Trails association that has some additional background on key points to make.


In particular, there is a concerted effort by the Montana Mountain Bikers Association to keep some key areas from wilderness designation. If you mountain bike or know someone who does it would be very helpful to write a letter to the BDNF saying that as a mountain biker you/they support wilderness for the forest. In particular mention protection for the entire Continental Divide Trail as a hiking trail, and wilderness designation for Italian Peaks, Lima Peaks, and West Big Hole.


Thanks, Geo.



_______________________________________




Beaverhead-Deerlodge

Montana’s largest, wildest & least-protected national forest


3.3 million-acres, 18 mighty mountain ranges, 350 miles of the Continental Divide, 2.2 million acres roadfree wild lands, crystal clear streams, lakes and rivers brimming with trout, legendary elk country, last refuge for wolverine, mountain goats, grizzly, wolves, moose, marten, lynx and BIG UNTRAMMELED PLACES


The freedom to head for the hills and enjoy quiet trails amid big, wild uncrowded mountains is what makes living in Montana so special.


As more people and vehicles come to Montana ---our quiet trails and wild mountains get smaller and smaller.


You can help convince the USFS to PROTECT Montana’s beautiful trails, wilderness and quiet mountains so there will always be room to get away from it all – whether on horse, by foot, or bicycle.


ACT NOW Deadline March 31


Please send a quick message to Supervisor Bruce Ramsey

Email: comments-northern-beaverhead-deerlodge@fs.fed.us

Snailmail: Bruce Ramsey, Supervisor

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

420 Barrett St

Dillon, Montana 59725


KEY POINTS


1) SUPPORT QUIET MOUNTAIN TRAILS …


Too many forest trails have been widened, rutted and damaged by off-highway vehicles –in violation of laws governing responsible use.


Support forestwide goals to protect and restore quiet mountain trails (single track) throughout the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.


Quiet mountain trails need stronger protection to ensure they don’t degenerate into rutted ATV tracks.


Request a clear forest standard that the Continental Divide Trail will always be managed for nonmotorized uses.


STRONGER PROTECTION FOR WILD MOUNTAIN LANDS


Alternative 6 allocates most of the forest (61%) for motorized recreation. The final plan needs to strike a better balance by enlarging quiet mountain areas free of roads and ATV traffic:


The West Big Hole, North Big Hole, Sapphires and West Pioneers should be classed as wilderness and nonmotorized backcountry areas.


Boundaries for Torrey Mountain Wilderness (East Pioneers) should include Cherry and Granite Lakes to prevent ATV abuse.


The spectacular Tobacco Roots merit expanded nonmotorized protections including trails to Curley Lake, Gneiss Lake, Lost Cabin Lake and Hollowtop Lake.


Continental Divide wild lands should be better protected as nonmotorized backcountry and recommended wilderness: Mount Jefferson, Garfield-Lima Peaks, Italian Peaks, West Big Hole and Pintler Wilderness Additions.


AND express your support for MONTANA HIGH DIVIDE TRAILS

Montana High Divide Trails is an exciting new shared vision for southwest Montana connecting quiet trails to people and communities along the Continental Divide.

Support three conservation keystones of Montana High Divide Trails:


Nonmotorized Backcountry: Lost Creek, Flints, Whitetail-Haystack-O’Neil


Recommended Wilderness: Pintler Wilderness Additions, Dolus Lakes, Highlands Crest (Table Mountain)


Fully Protect Electric Peak by blending Wilderness and Nonmotorized Backcountry.


SOME BEAVERHEAD-DEERLODGE NATIONAL FOREST FACTS

3.38 million acres –largest national forest in Rockies

2.2 million acres are roadless, traversed by trails (65%)

219 thousand acres (2 areas) are designated wilderness (6%)

Plan allocates 2.1 million acres to motorized recreation (61%)

Plan allocates 1.3 million acres to quiet recreation (39%)

Plan will INCREASE forest system roads by 1550 miles.

Plan proposes 6,700 miles of roads/ trails open to motor vehicles.

Plan proposes 1,564 miles of quiet mountain trails.

Plan recommends 330,000 acres of wilderness (9.7%)

Plan proposes 751,000 acres of nonmotorized backcountry (23%)


Montana High Divide Trails is endorsed by: Highlands Cycling Club, Mile-High Back Country Horsemen, Helena Bicycle Club, Montana Wilderness Association, Last Chance Back Country Horsemen, Prickly Pear Land Trust, Helena Trail Riders, Great Divide Cycling Team, Helena Outdoor Club, International Mountain Bicycling Association and Continental Divide Trail Alliance. http://www.wildmontana.org/programs/quiettrails2.php



2007 Open Forest System Roads: 4113 miles/ Revised 08 Plan Open Forest Roads: 5,663


“The plan released today calls for having 5,663 miles of roads and 1,037 miles of trails open to motorized use. “ - Forest Plan Revision Bulletin, Feb 2008, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest