Save our Forests from ORVS

Don’t Let Off-Road
Vehicles Run Amok in Our Forests

The halls of Congress may be quiet but our public lands won’t be if a motorized mayhem bill gets traction.

H.R. 4272, the Forest Access in Rural Communities Act, would open the floodgates to uncontrolled motorized uses of national forests. This bill ties the Forest Service’s hands—prohibiting the agency from common-sense management of motorized vehicles and reverses 9 years of public participation.

Tell Chairman Calvert to stop motorized anarchy from returning to our national forests.

In 2005, after identifying unmanaged motorized recreation as one of the top threats to national forest lands, the Bush Administration began to rein in off-road vehicle abuse. Nine years later, and after extensive public involvement, nearly 90% of our national forests have completed management plans—outlining where motorized vehicles can and can’t go.

But Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) is doing the work of a vocal minority (just 1.4% of forest visitors refer to off-road vehicle use as their primary activity) and introduced H.R. 4272 which would undo all that work by putting an outright ban on the plans or enforcing the rules.

Take action and sign our letter to the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee asking him to stop legislation that would throw over 9 years of planning into the trash bin.

Walden’s bill would allow counties to veto any national forest management decision related to roads or off-road vehicles. This underhanded attempt to put federal land management into the hands of local politicians would set a new precedent. No road signs will be installed, no maps showing the public where roads and trails are located will be printed, and roads that are polluting drinking water and harming fish will be not be repaired.

Essentially, this bill would reverse all progress towards a manageable and sustainable motorized road and trail system on national forests.

Public lands are ravaged enough by extreme off-road vehicle use. Help us and the Forest Service curtail motorized mayhem and ensure public land management stays public.

For the Wild,

Sarah Peters
Wild Places Program Attorney
WildEarth Guardians
speters@wildearthguardians.org

ORVsMayhemWildEarthGuardingOver 50 million acres of public lands are currently protected from destructive cross country motorized use and 50,000 miles of routes/roads are closed because of Forest Service travel plans.impactORVWildEarthGuardians
Don’t let Motorized Mayhem Return to National Forests
Poorly located motorized routes cause severe impacts on the environment.This action closes July 25 so please speak out today.TakkActionWildEarthGuardiansSee the letter (pdf) signed by over 60 groups opposing this bill.

Read more about Guardians work on travel management.

 

Wild
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Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Hike Escudilla Wilderness Act

When: Friday, July 11, 9:30 to 2:00
Where:  Escudilla Trailhead
Pre-registeration Required:  Limited to 22 people
To register contact Stephanie Rainey,

Conservation Education specialist for the Alpine Ranger District
928.339.5021

JouneyStoriesHikeOct2013800x600

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Register for Wildlife Tracking Workshop

Introduction to Wildlife Tracking
We share our hiking trails with a lot of different wildlife that leave behind signs of their passing journeys.IMG_0044CaldwellReducedSize Is that a bobcat track or a coyote track? Are you following mountain lion tracks or was someone hiking with their family dog?

WHEN:

Indoor session: Saturday evening, June 21, 2014

  • 4 pm arrival/set-up;
  • 5pm Happy Hour;
  • 6pm Dinner;
  • 7pm Talk Tracking hike:

Sunday morning, June 22, 2014

  • 8 am breakfast;
  • 9 am– 1 pm hike/lunch

WHERE:
Nutrioso, Arizona at Billie Hughes and Russ Winn’s home.
Directions to follow.

NEED A PLACE TO STAY?
Camp-out space is available at Billie and Russ’s.

To RSVP/Questions: Contact Janice Przybyl: mtlion2009@gmail.com, 575.322.2065 & Billie Hughes: chediski@nutrioso.com,928.339.4684

You will learn basic wildlife tracking skills, including:

  • How and where to look for tracksTrack300px
  • What clues in a track help you identify species
  • How to recognize the difference between canine and feline tracks
  • An introduction on how to properly photograph wildlife tracks
  • Natural history elements of each species so you can gain an appreciation of how wildlife move and live on the landscape.

Track identification cards focused on southwest critters will be available for purchase ($5 a set) as well as tracking rulers specifically designed for photo-documentation ($5).
Please bring:
~ A chair to sit on during morning presentation
~ A notebook and pencil/pen
~ A digital camera (if you have, not mandatory)
~ Your normal hiking gear including water and snacks
~ Be prepared for any type of weather
~ Overnight camping gear
~ Food and beverages for yourself for at least 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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Fire on the Mountain

Last June, 19 firefighters lost their lives trying to control a blaze near Yarnell, Arizona—the highest death toll for firefighters battling a wildfire in this country since 1933. What went wrong? Is it time to reconsider our approach to fighting fire?


 

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/fire-on-the-mountain/361613/

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Apache County Fire Restrictions

Apache County Enters Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Due to extremely high fire risk, effective May 23, 2014 at 8:00 a.m., all unincorporated areas of Apache County will be placed under Stage 2 fire restrictions. Under Stage 2 restrictions, the following prohibitions and exemptions apply:

  • Prohibitions:
    The following acts are prohibited until further notice:
    1. Building maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, including fires in developed campgrounds or improved sites.
    2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
    3. Outdoor Mechanical and Industrial Prohibitions
    a. Operating any internal combustion engine in the course of mechanical or industrial operations that would produce open flames or sparks.
    b. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
    c. Using an explosive.
    4. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.
    1. Use of any and all fireworks.
    2. Use of explosive targets.
    3. Use of tracer round ammunition.

Exemptions:
1. Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.

2. Industrial operations where specific operations and exemptions are identified and mitigation measures are implemented as outlined in an agency plan.

3. Persons operating internal combustion engines with spark arrestors such as lawnmowers and landscaping equipment in maintained landscaped space.

4. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame in an enclosed or developed area designated for that purpose that is equipped with appropriate fire protection.

5. Persons using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.

6. Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.

7. Operating motorized vehicles on designated roads and trails so long as you park in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.

8. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads and mitigation measures are implemented as outlined in an agency plan.

9. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.

10. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

11. All land within a city boundary is exempted unless otherwise stated by city ordinance.

An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity.

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Stage II Fire Restrictions

Stage II Fire Restrictions coming this Friday May 23rd

This coming Friday, May 23,2014, at 8:00 am, both Apache and Navajo counties will enter into Stage 2 fire restrictions. This means no campfires, charcoal, coal, or wood stoves including fires in developed campgrounds or improved sites. Smoking only allowed within a vehicle or building. Other prohibited acts: operating any internal combustion engine, welding, operating motorized vehicles off designated roads/trails. Use of any and all fireworks, tracer bullets and/or explosive targets are prohibited.

Devices that use LPG fuels and have an on and off switch can be used but only in a cleared and designated area.

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Become a wilderness steward

The White Mountain Conservation League (WMCL) is very pleased to invite our members to become official Wilderness Stewards for wilderness areas on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. This opportunity is available through our special partnership with the Arizona Wilderness Coalition which developed and manages this statewide program. Stewards will participate in a one day training and then will serve as volunteers of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The duties can vary but for the most part the Stewards serve as the eyes of the US Forest Service – observing and reporting on wilderness conditions including recreational impacts, visitor use, trail conditions, presence of non-native plants, etc. The minimum time commitment is for the Stewards to spend two days per year visiting their chosen Wilderness Area(s) although most Stewards are more active. Please read more (below) about this fun and exciting program, and we hope you can join us at the training on May 16!

______________________________
Friday, May 16, 2014
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Alpine Ranger Station, Alpine Arizona

Directions will be provided in your registration packet.

Additional details will be provided soon!

The Wild Stew program is a statewide program developed by the Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC).  Wild Stew represents more than just our AWC-led field events, we also have a cadre of trained individuals who serve as Wilderness Stewards on their own time.

Individual Stewards receive training on wilderness philosophy and history, federal wilderness management policy, field monitoring protocols and techniques, first aid, backcountry travel preparedness, and more. This one-day training prepares you to collect field data while you are exploring one of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas.

We request your commitment to monitor wilderness conditions twice per year, either in different locations or at an adopted area. Simply observe and report, all while enjoying the outdoors.

Please note: Normally you must attend at least one (1) AWC-led Wild Stew field event prior to applying for the Individual Steward Training.   However, the required attendance of  at least one (1) AWC-led Wild Stew field event prior to applying for the Individual Steward Training will be waived for WMCL members due to the ongoing partnership with AWC.

Sign up for the May 16th training at:

http://www.meetup.com/Arizona-Wilderness-Stewards/

Be sure to identify yourself as a WMCL member. Thank you! Not a member?  No problem.  Join by subscribing to our newsletter on the upper right of this page.

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More and Bigger Wildfires

More, bigger wildfires burning western US over last 30 years

Date:
April 17, 2014
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years. The total area these fires burned increased at a rate of nearly 90,000 acres a year — an area the size of Las Vegas, according to the study. Individually, the largest wildfires grew at a rate of 350 acres a year, the new research says.

Read more…

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Wildfire Preparedness Meeting

Wildfire Information and Preparedness Meeting for Apache County Residents April 29

Release Date: Apr 18, 2014

Contact(s): Liza Simmons 928-333-4301

 

Springerville, AZ; April 11, 2014Local fire departments, the U.S Forest Service, Emergency Preparedness, Public Health, ADEQ and managers of the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grant Program will present wildfire information and preparedness at the Eagar Town Hall on April 29, 2014 at 6 pm.

The main focus of the evening is the new Ready, Set, Go program, a tool to educate individuals on preparedness, situational awareness and safety. Developed as a three step process through a nation-wide discussion about how to protect homes and lives in the Wildland-Urban Interface, the Ready Set Go program helps increase your knowledge and ability to act safely during an emergency situation.

Other topics to be discussed include expected spring and summer weather conditions, fire season, fire restrictions, red flag warnings, and the Northeastern Arizona Public Information System. Managers of the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grants Program will be discussing the benefits of the program and how to get signed up.

For current fire information, restrictions and red flag warnings visit www.311info.net, www.noaa.gov, www.fs.usda.gov/asnf and www.firerestrictions.us. You can also dial 311 or (928) 333-3412.

Follow the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests on Twitter (@A_SNFs) for instant updates on fire restrictions, red flag warnings, prescribed fire and wildland fire.

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National Trails Day

Walk for the Woods in Pinetop-Lakeside will be held on National Trails Day, June 7.  It’s a  benefit for the White Mountain Nature Center and for Save Our Park, both non-profits.  It will be held at the Nature Center off of Woodland Road and registration for the walks begins at 7:30 am.  At 8:00 there is a walk to Woodland Lake, at 8:30 a walk to Walnut Creek, and at 9:00 a short nature walk.  Registration is $25 (tax-deductible) and includes the walk, a t-shirt, and lunch and music.

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