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1BLKJP 06-10-2008 06:35 PM

Forest Service Announces Proposed Changes For Upper Tellico Ohv Trails
 
FOREST SERVICE ANNOUNCES PROPOSED CHANGES FOR UPPER TELLICO OHV TRAILS

Steve Lohr, Tusquitee District Ranger, on the Nantahala National Forest, today announced proposed changes in the 39.5 mile Upper Tellico OHV Trail System. The proposal calls for maintaining approximately 24 miles of trails, upgrading five miles of Davis Creek Road for street-legal vehicle use, and closing and restoring 11 miles of other trails.

Under the proposal, the agency would construct about one mile of new OHV trail to preserve loop routes on existing OHV trails and correct water quality problems. In addition, seasonal closure of the entire system from January 1 to March 31 would be continued to prevent rutting and excessive sedimentation during winter wet and freeze-thaw periods. Temporary closures would be implemented after high rainfall events to prevent excessive erosion.

"No decisions have been made at this point and the proposed action is just a starting point for additional dialogue among all interested parties and a beginning of the formal environmental analysis process," stated Lohr.

For the next 30 days, the Forest Service will be inviting public comment on this proposal, which may be found at http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico.htm. Comments may be sent to the Tusquitee District Ranger, 123 Woodland Drive, Murphy, NC 28906. Comments may also be sent via email to comments-southern-north-carolina-nan...itee@fs.fed.us.

THE COMMENT DEADLINE IS JULY 9, 2008

Interested parties are also encouraged to attend a public open house with informational displays where participants will be able to ask questions, learn more about the proposal and submit written comments and suggestions.

The Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle Trail System Open House on new Trail Management Proposal is scheduled for Saturday, June 28, 2008 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM. It will be held at the First Baptist Church, 517 Hiwassee Street, Murphy, NC. The church is located at the intersection of US 74-19 and Hiwassee Street in Murphy (across the street from McDonald's); entrance for the open house will be marked. Individuals may come anytime during the open house hours.

For additional information about the open house, contact Candace Wyman at 828-837-5152 extension 113, or go to http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico.htm


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