AZ - Florence Junction Travel Management Plan Public Meeting April 14th - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 04-10-2009, 03:00 AM
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AZ - Florence Junction Travel Management Plan Public Meeting April 14th

Tues, APRIL 14, 2009
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
1826 W. McDowell, Phoenix
Arizona Game & Fish building at the Fairgrounds located at the junction of I-17 & I-10
PLEASE NOTE: Entrance gate off McDowell (just east of 19th Avenue) will be the only gate open. As entering the gate you will have to explain to the guard you are there for a meeting at the Game & Fish building. Continue straight past the Coliseum and then turn left. You may have to hunt for a parking space as the fair opens the next day and they are worried parking may be difficult. The Game & Fish building is a large building just east of the coliseum.
Wear RED if you chose………….. the important issue is to have NUMBERS. We will get nothing if we don’t show interest!

BLM will be in attendance with the maps. We will not be able to “speak” but BLM will take written questions/issues/concerns at which time they will read and answer to the group as a whole. Hopefully this will help everyone understand the detailed issues and how each of us can help make this work for both sides. I believe BLM have helped make this a quality recreation area but it’s going to be up to all of us to keep it this way as well as improving it as we move forward. Pinal County has supported the MGCP in maintaining this area for recreation……………… We are not going to agree with everything but all in all we certainly haven’t lost like California has. Below are a few of the questions that have been put to me over the past couple of weeks. Please feel free to add to them. I will have paper available if BLM does not. Following this meeting it is asked each of you write comments to BLM. DUE by MAY 8, 2009.

The proposed CLOSED trails:
Lower Woodpecker
Martinez Canyon
Woody’s Wash
Broken Ankle
Jawbreaker (this trail has been officially closed for a number of years)
1) Page 5 of the Summary Plan, paragraph a: WHO will be responsible for maintaining roads? Will all roads be maintained “annually” as stated?
2) What if we don’t want roads to be improved unless it’s a safety issue or resourse issue?
3) Page 5 of the Summary Plan, paragraph b: What are “primitive roads”? How do these trails apply to the stated “annual maintenance”?
4) WHY 139.3 miles of CLOSED ROUTES? My concern is by closing this amount of existing trails it only puts more impact on the trails remaining open and it looks as though the ATV’s and bikes have fewer places to ride thusly putting them on the 4x4 technical trails or major routes. This is a safety issue.
5) Are there any plans to designate trails only to ATV’s or UTV’s or bikes?
6) Page 6 of the Summary Plan, paragraph c: Please explain the last paragraph relating to 12.6 miles of routes related to rock crawling to be identified as specialized recreation sites? Does this mean that in the area of the trail the sides or rock obstacles are part of the trail?
7) Page 7, paragraphs 3 & 4: you refer to route widths, intensity, surface, curves etc……. Why would you enhance the problems with managing these issues by closing so many miles of trails. It seems most of the trails on the ground today are due to “supply and demand”. These numbers will not lessen.
8) Will OHV vehicles be restricted from major ingress/egress routes that “hauling trucks” use? If so how will the recreational vehicles be warned?
9) Page 9, paragraph 5b: I don’t find specific plans or proposals regarding the Great Western Trail. Is it specified on the maps?
10) Page 3, paragraph 5c: How do the Pinal County Trails along the river affect OHV recreation? Can OHV no longer access camping sites along the river?
11) Will there be any approved river crossings for OHV?
12) Page 11, paragraph 2: WHO makes the site plans? Many of the “OHV SITES” shown on the maps are simply 4x4 trails. They are not technical trails and do not require any special equipment. WHY do ALL these trails fall under a “special site” designation?
13) Page 12, paragraph D; I note some of the 139.3 miles of closed routes are self claiming…… why are the remaining trails being closed? Many of these depicted trails should be designated for ATV, UTV or bike routes.
14) Due to the fact the State Land Dept. has put so many stipulations regarding access to Trust lands will BLM lands offer anything in the way of “staging areas”; or “camping or event areas”. If not, how do we move forward with getting some of these areas implemented into the area plans?
15) Page 14, paragraph 5 of the Summary Plan it states “pull off a designated route up to 100 ft on either side of the centerline”. What exactly does this mean?
16) Page 15, paragraph I of the Summary Plan talks of issuance of a Record of Decision and map. Please explain and what is the timeline for all of this to take place? Are the existing trails open to our use until such time all this is final?
17) It is my understanding we can propose to BLM additional trails for future use. HOW do we do this and how long does this take?
18) Can we propose reopening trails as the OHV numbers increase?
19) I’m assuming NEPA must be done on any “new trail proposals”. Will this also include trails that are now on the inventory? Will we just be told such things as: “No money, time or personnel to do the required work for new trails?”
20) Regarding dollars for funding NEPA, trails, etc can we, the public, write grants with BLM supporting them?
21) It is my understanding BLM regulations state you need “reasons” for closures. Will you give us the specific reasons for the closures of: Martinez, Lower Woodpecker, Woody’s Wash, Overdose and Broken Ankle?
22) It is my understanding Broken Ankle was suggested for closure by the OHV reps in the evaluation portions of this procedure because it was felt it was unsafe for a novice driver. Can we replace another of the closed trails by rebuilding this trail to be of equal difficulty to replace our loss?
23) I am specifically interested in the reason behind the closure of Martinez. There have been years of accusations towards OHV regarding damage to the structures and resources. I know for fact the damage at the cabin has nothing to do with OHV and the crossing of the stream just above the ponds has been ruled by BLM fish specialist to not be a problem. OHV offered a number of years ago to help rebuild or stabilize the house………… at our cost by the way, but we were never allowed to do anything. We were recently accused of destroying the rock outbuilding where it shows definitively that Mother Nature did the damage. We asked for a partnership proposition of “gating by permit for 3 years” to give time to rebuild and restructure the canyon while being able to monitor who goes into the canyon. By closing out only the OHV only allows the RAVE groups and campers to do whatever they wish. The only thing it does is take the blame off OHV. If this canyon is to be closed it needs to be closed to EVERYONE.
24) If Lower Woodpecker is closed do we have use of the Middle Woodpecker area as a “play area” or just a pass through to Upper Woodpecker without traveling the main road?
Please add additional questions or concerns so everyone sees and understands the issues.
Jack Hickman

President - Arizona Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition
Vice-President - ASA4WDC
Arizona Rock Rats
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