The Douglas Ranger District from Coronado National Forest held an open-to-the-public meeting at the Visitor Center on March 1, to share valuable information regarding the proposed actions to the designated road system in the Chiricahua, Dragoon and Peloncillo Mountains.
Ruben A. Morales from the Coronado National Forest show Douglas resident Gary Clark the location of one of the roads that Clark is interested in. Francisco Barrios/Douglas Dispatch
“There are a lot of roads that are in our books that are not working anymore,” Edwards said. “In controversy, there are roads that have been created through daily users, whether hunters, recreationists or other; some of those roads are very good and we want to add those to the system.”
Edwards expressed his interest in receiving public comment regarding the proposed changes that the Douglas Ranger District would incorporate with these actions.
“We have got a ninety day comment period for the public to express their concerns or suggestions about the proposed actions,” he said. “The purpose of this comment period is to see if there are substantial issues out there that we need to modify the proposed actions for its development in the future.”
The notice for proposed changes was signed on February 19, giving the public the opportunity to submit their comments toward these changes until middle of May.
Proposed changes include:
1. Add 32.01 miles of unauthorized roads (i.e., non-NFSRs) to INFRA and designate them as “open to all vehicles”. In general, these roads are needed to provide access for hunting, camping, hiking, OHV travel and other public uses. An NFSR identification number would be assigned to each newly designated road, and they would be classified as ML 2 roads5.
2. Change the INFRA designation of 1.40 miles of NFSRs currently “open to all vehicles” to “restricted to administrative and permitted use only”.
3. Add 2.56 miles of unauthorized roads to INFRA and designate as “restricted to administrative and permitted use only”.
4. Decommission 25.53 miles of NFSRs that are currently “open to all vehicles (ML 2 through ML 5)”. Motorized access would be physically blocked (e.g., placing bollards, boulders, berms) and, if necessary, the road prism(s) would be restored to natural conditions to impede motorized use. Their identification numbers would be removed from the NFSR database.
5. Change the INFRA designation of 17.26 miles of NFSRs from “open to all vehicles
(ML 2 through ML 5)” to “closed to all motor vehicles (ML 1)”.
6. Change the INFRA designation of 0.71 miles of NFSRs from “closed to all vehicles
(ML 1)” to “open to all motor vehicles (ML 2)”.
7. Add 1.86 miles of unauthorized roads to INFRA as “NFS non-motorized trails”.
8. Add 3.14 miles of unauthorized roads to INFRA as “closed to all vehicles (ML 1)”.
9. Decommission 21.33 miles of unauthorized roads. These will be physically blocked as noted in item 4 above. These roads have no INFRA database designation.
These changes would result in a net increase of 4.66 miles of NFSRs on the Douglas District motorized transportation system. If the proposed action is approved, the system would comprise of 358.24 miles of NFSRs open to all vehicles (ML 2 through ML 5).
For a complete view of the proposed actions people can access the maps available for the Douglas District by visiting the http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/travel/index.shtml and select Douglas Ranger District.
For public interested in submitting they concerns or suggestions there are several options:
U.S. Mail: Douglas Travel Management Project Leader, Douglas Ranger District, 1192 W. Saddle View Road, Douglas AZ, 85607.
Facsimile: ATTN: Douglas Travel Management NEPA, at (520) 364-6667.
Electronic mail (email): email@example.com with “Douglas Travel Management NEPA” in the subject line.
Email comments: send in the body of the message, in rich text format (.rtf) or in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx). Comments may also be submitted electronically at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa_project_exp.php?project=36555 by selecting “Comment on Project” in the blue “Get Connected” box.
You may also indicate here that you would like to receive electronic updates about this project by selecting the “Subscribe to Email Updates” link at the same internet location.
In a related effort, the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict has identified a group of interested citizens to serve as extended representatives on the “Collaboration Alternative Team” (CAT). On March 29, the Institute will host a meeting from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Douglas Visitor Center. The meeting will begin with open discussion for all participants. The CAT will then focus specifically on proposed changes to roads on the Douglas Ranger District. The public is welcome to this portion of the meeting.
For details, call the Douglas Ranger District at (520) 364-3468.