July 1, 2011
District Ranger, 57 Taff Drive, Crawfordville, FL 32327
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
The Apalachicola National Forest (ANF) is developing a report that will recommend a minimum road system on the forest needed to provide a safe and efficient travel system and that provides for the protection, management and use of National Forest System lands. At this time, we are requesting comments from the public which will be considered in the evaluation process.
In 2007, the ANF completed the process to designate roads, trails, and areas for the Motor Vehicle Use Travel Analysis as required by Sub-Part B of the 2005 Travel Management Rule. This effort resulted in a set of Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs), which identify which roads and trails are open to the public for motorized use. Roads not identified on the MVUM maps are closed to motorized use.
The ANF is now beginning work on the Travel Analysis (TAP) to identify the minimum road system needed for safe and efficient travel and for the protection, management, and use of National Forest System (NFS) lands as required by Sub-Part A of the 2005 Travel Management Rule. This analysis will not result in immediate changes to specific roads currently open to motorized use on the forest. The TAP will provide information that will be used by interdisciplinary teams during site-specific project analyses such as timber sales to help determine which roads should remain open.
The ANF currently receives insufficient funding to maintain the existing 1,524 miles of system roads that are open to the public. The forest currently receives funding to properly maintin only 30 percent of the roads on the forest and funding for 2011 was cut by 26 percent. As a result, many of the roads on the forest are not maintained to the required specifications, which results in environmental damage, as well as limiting access when unmaintained roads become impassible.
One of the primary requirements of the TAP is to evaluate the road maintenance costs needed to maintain a safe and efficient road system.
HOW TO COMMENT
Please submit your written comments by July 15, 2011. Make your comments as specific as possible, and include the name of the proposal (TAP-ANF), as well as your name, address or email, and phone number. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project and may be available for public inspection. Mail your comments to: District Ranger, 57 Taff Drive, Crawfordville, FL 32327, or faxed at 850-926-1904. Comments also can be mailed electronically in a common digital format to: email@example.com, with the subject line of TAP-ANF.
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