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Bosterson

Central Oregon Cascades - USFS comments due 5/21

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The USFS has released a proposed management plan that would require prepaid permits with quotas even for day use in the Central Oregon Cascades. This would massively restrict access, and would affect climbing on all of the Central OR Cascades volcanoes. Comments are due to the USFS by 5/21/18. I just found out that the Access Fund has a page set up to help send in your comments.

 

If you want to read the whole 188 pg USFS proposal, it is here.

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As the Deschutes NF decided to still take the nuclear option and plans to institute a massive paid permit and quota system for the Central Oregon Cascades from May - October,  people who submitted comments on the original draft proposal have an opportunity to object or appeal the USFS's decision. Someone I know wrote out a guide on how to do this, which I am quoting below:

 

Quote

First, please take the time to read the Draft Decision Notice. Not just the article in the Bulletin or the Oregonian, read the original document. I suggest doing that with a pen, a highlighter and a glass of wine.

 
Then, consider this. Several of us argued that the proposed permits and quotas will not even solve the very problems they are being proposed to solve. Other ideas like enforcing illegal parking, providing more education, using better trail design in popular areas, etc we felt would be more equitable and provide continued access while maintaining the wilderness character of these lands.  
 
Now, here's what you can do:
  1. If you submitted comments to the Forest Service earlier this year regarding the project, you officially have standing and you are able to respond to the proposal in one of two ways: sending an objection or an appeal. (If you did not submit comments in round one, skip to the bottom for next steps for you.
  2. According to our local NEPA expert Woody, if you submit an objection this will trigger no action from the Forest Service. If you submit an appeal, this will initiate a new phase of the NEPA process involving sending the decision up to a higher management level. This is the first item on your to-do list.
  3. In order to submit an appeal, go back and read the original comment you sent to the FS. If you believe that some or all of your concerns were not adequately addressed in the Draft Decision notice, you can state this in your appeal.
  4. You may also consider including concerns regarding other people's comments (you can read these online!) If you believe the FS did not address those either.
  5. Submit your appeal by the deadline, which we estimated to be December 20.  There are a few different ways to submit an objection to this proposed decision. The preferred method is for you to go to the following URL and submit it electronically: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=50578. Objections may also be mailed to Regional Forester, Objection Reviewing Officer, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service, Attn: 1570 Appeals and Objections, PO Box 3623, Portland, OR 97208-3623.
If you did NOT comment on the initial project here are some ways you can still take action:
  1. Contact your represented officials. Let them know about your frustrations with the public process, including how much information we have to digest in such a short amount of time (around the holidays!) in order to help shape policies that will directly impact our access to public lands.
  2. Write a letter to the editor. Make a succinct, cohesive and persuasive argument that offers an alternative solution to the one proposed (if you've got a better idea).
  3. Encourage your friends who have standing in this project! Help them write or edit their appeals.
 
LINKS:
The entire project can be found here:
  • Scroll to the bottom and click "Analysis" to find the comments.
  • Click "Decision" to find the draft and the objection process.

 

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