White Mountains Public Meeting

Issues and concerns on land use and trail issues. Look here for recent articles related to these two concerns

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White Mountains Public Meeting

#1 Post by cleary » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:38 pm

Greetings: We are sending this message to folks who have indicated an
interest in the White Mountains National Recreation Area. If you'd rather
not receive information about the White Mountains by email, please let me
know. Our intent is to inform, not inundate you with information you don't
want. If you have questions about the meeting announced below, please
contact Mr. Lon Kelly at 907-474-2368. Also, please note that our web site,
http://aurora.ak.blm.gov has been off-line for several months and continues
to be unavailable. We don't know when it will be back up.

BLM Revising the
White Mountains National Recreation Area
Resource Management Plan

FAIRBANKS, AK…The Bureau of Land Management’s Eastern Interior Field Office
will hold a public meeting concerning the White Mountains National
Recreation Area on Wednesday, September 7th in the Fairbanks North Star
Borough Assembly Chambers from 7-9 PM. The Fairbanks North Star Borough
building is located at 809 Pioneer Road.

BLM is updating and amending the Resource Management Plan for the
recreation area focusing on summer Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) management.
Summer OHV access has changed considerably since the White Mountains
Resource Management Plan was prepared in 1986, and the existing plan
decisions may be amended somewhat to control long-term resource impacts.
BLM recreation planners will outline several management alternatives at the

A Notice of Intent announcing the planning effort and a 60 day public
comment period was published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2005. A
public scoping meeting for the planning effort was held in Fairbanks on
April 20, 2005, to help identify issues and concerns about management
opportunities for the popular 1-million acre recreation area near

For more information about the planning process, the White Mountains
National Recreation Area, contact Lon Kelly, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at
907-474-2368 or visit the BLM Fairbanks District Office located at 1150
University Avenue in Fairbanks.

Doug Stockdale
Public Affairs Specialist
Bureau of Land Management-Fairbanks District Office
1150 University Ave., Fairbanks AK 99709-3844
(phone) 907-474-2264 (fax) 907-474-2238
email: doug_stockdale@blm.gov

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#2 Post by Darrell » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:22 pm

Now that anyone with a motor is out of town doing the moose hunt thing is this a good time for a meeting? I hear no one has come forward for 4 wheeler. Wonder what surprise's there are for Snowmachiners.

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Location: Nordale Road area

From the news Miner

#3 Post by Darrell » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:27 am

Article Published: Sunday, September 11, 2005

Making trails

Anyone who has traveled in Alaska knows the problem. You start at Point A, and between there and Point B there will be some bad spots. Motorists will come to permafrost heaves in the road, backcountry travelers hit sinkholes in the trail, ruts and mud and muck--sometimes bottomless muck.
In our destination-driven minds, we find a way around over or through however we can, put the bad trail off our backsides and move on. The problem is left for those who come behind us--or for us to think about again should we happen to return. The more trail users who hit the bad spot, the bigger and badder it may become.

Depending on the area, however, there may be a land owner or land manager who will get to inherit those rough chunks of trail.

Managing the bad spots is a portion of what has planners at the Bureau of Land Management Fairbanks District Office reworking part of the management plan for the White Mountains National Recreation Area. At a public meeting this week, managers said they are looking specifically at off-road vehicle guidelines.

Given that the plan was last modified in 1986, it's about time it was updated. ORVs and the frequency of their use have come a long way in the past two decades. The existing plan doesn't provide the flexibility managers need to offer a sustainable network of trails and continue to provide full use of the recreation area.

Managers have forwarded three management options for discussion, one that would designate all trails in the area for specific types of uses, another that leaves trail use as it is with steps to monitor and adapt trails to accommodate use, and another that would allow ORV use only on trails suitable for regular ORV use or first upgraded to accommodate regular ORV use.

Only one of these options truly fits the way a federal recreation area should be managed for the public, and that is the adaptive option--or at least some form of that draft adaptive plan.

Knowledge of and methods for building and maintaining backcountry trails, not unlike methods for building Alaska roads, have come a long way over the years. Few land managers know as much about building and maintaining trails for multiple use as those who have monitored trails, their use and related effects on the environment and those looking after the nearly 1million-acre White Mountains area.

A designated trails plan creates an unenforceable set of restrictions and encourages management of users rather than adapting a recreation area for, well, recreational uses. The protective plan likewise directs managers to first restrict activities but then, ironically, expect to retain a constituency that would advocate for building and maintaining useable trails.

Only one option allows managers to continue to exercise a full range of tools in protecting the White Mountains National Recreation Area and maximizing public use of and interest in the area, and that is their adaptive plan.

Another public meeting on the trails plan will be scheduled for October. After that, there will be a 30-day period for protest before it goes to the state for comment.

For more information on the process, contact Lon Kelly, outdoor recreation planner for the White Mountains National Recreation Area at 474-2368 or visit the BLM Fairbanks District office at 1150 University Ave.

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How about winter?

#4 Post by Darrell » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:29 am

For you who made it to the meeting, any changes for winter use :?:

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Only ATV's this year

#5 Post by Shane » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:09 pm

So far BLM is only trying to restrict summer users. You know how it goes in 5 year snowmachines will be fighting for our lives.

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