U.S. Forest Service to update Magnolia Trails System, seeks public input

BOULDER, Colo. –U.S. Forest Service Boulder Ranger District (BRD) staff is seeking comments on the proposed action of creating a sustainable non-motorized trail system in the Magnolia area immediately south of the town of Nederland. Comments need to be submitted by email, postal mail, fax or hand delivery before the close of business Fri. Sept. 6, 2013.

BRD officials propose to re-route, create and close specific system and non-system trails. In the proposed action some roads and non-system trails will be converted into official classified trails. Designated trail miles are expected to increase. Social trails not identified on the proposed project map will be scheduled for obliteration. For more information on the proposed action or see a project map visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=41601

Additional proposed actions include: obliterating unauthorized trails, prohibiting snowmobiles to protect resources, and restricting mountain bike and equestrian use to designated system trails.

This project would also allow BRD officials to seek opportunities for improve connectivity with Boulder County’s current trail planning project on nearby County Open Space and the Nederland Area Trails Master Plan.

Recently, the West Magnolia fuels reduction project south of the town of Nederland and an analysis of the area’s trail system were completed. The large network of system and non-system trails has experienced a substantial increase in recreation use over the past several decades with substantial resource damage and unmanaged recreation use.

U.S. Forest Service staff will host an informational public meeting at the Nederland Community Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mon. Aug. 19, 2013. This meeting will be in open house format.

To email comments, send to: comments-rocky-mountain-arapaho-roosevelt-boulder@fs.fed.us To use postal mail send to: Attn: Cat Luna 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301. For hand delivery to staff, bring to the Boulder Ranger District during office weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except holidays. To fax written comments use fax number 303-541-2515, Attn: Cat Luna.

The purpose of the public comment period is to identify issues, concerns and suggestions related to the proposed action. In addition, this activity may identify information and management opportunities that could be incorporated into the proposed action, or assist in formulating alternatives to the proposed action.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 included a provision directing the Secretary of Agriculture to replace the Forest Service appeal process with a pre-decisional objection process. Beginning Mar. 27, 2013, this provision went into effect for the Forest Service for NEPA analysis when documented in either an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement.

In order to have standing to object to the project, you must submit a specific written comment during this public scoping and comment period. More information about the Objection Process can be found here: http://www.fs.fed.us/objections/

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