[V]
Please pass this on..... and comment..... would sure appreciate it.....

Comment Period Extended to February 13, 2004

COMMENTS URGENTLY NEEDED for Winter Recreation Management

Rabbit Ears & Buffalo Pass - Hahn's Peak and Columbine Analysis - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The complete "scoping document" can be reviewed at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/projects/rec/ as public meetings have already been held.

Submit your comments by February 13, 2004 and please indicate the component on which you are commenting.
Also please copy the Powder Riders on your letters: P.O. Box 0043, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 or powder_riders@yahoo.com

SUGGESTED RESPONSES TO THE FOREST SERVICE SCOPING STATEMENT REGARDING ROUTT NATIONAL FOREST


From: Routt Powder Riders Snowmobile Club, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

RE: ANALYSIS AREA A – RABBIT EARS PASS AND BUFFALO PASS

Hogan Park and the area behind the Mt. Werner ski area should not be designated as a skier only area as shown on the Routt Winter Recreation Map because:
a) This area is rarely used by skiers.
b) This area has been and is still frequently used by snowmobilers.
c) The likelihood of both being in the area at the same time is infrequent and for only short periods of time at that.
d) Skiers have to use ski lifts or snowmobiles to access the area, so expectations of a totally quiet environment is a moot point.
Parking should be expanded to meet current and future growth in recreation population
a) The growth trend of the nation and state has carried over to recreation and snowmobiling is growing much faster than backcountry skiing.
b) Parking lots designated for skiers on the west summit are only partially utilized.
c) Parking lots could be shared, realizing that within a short distance of the trailhead user groups disperse onto the forest.
RE: AREA B – NORTH ROUTT COUNTY, INCLUDING COLUMBINE & HAHN’S PEAK

The area west of County Road 129 on Map B should not be closed off to snowmobile use because:
a) Ice fishermen could not access Hahn’s Peak Lake.
b) A large, prime snowmobiling area that is beyond the skier ability area would be made inaccessible to motorized recreationists.
The snowmobile community heavily uses the area east of County Road 129 on Map B
a) Consideration could be given, if separation of uses does occur, to moving the non-motorized area east of County Road 129 over to Hahn’s Peak Village and north to Hahn’s Peak. This offers the residents of Hahn’s Peak Village a ski area out their back door, plus there is adequate parking for the non-motorized user behind the Village. This proposal is contingent upon maintaining the current motorized routes in this area.
b) Eliminating the snowmobile trails there would be privatizing a very historic area for the benefit of only a few.
c) The trails in this area have been used by snowmobiles for decades.
d) Back county skiers/snowboarders need the trail to access desirable slopes for their choice of recreation.
RE: USER FEES
Only two parking lots on Rabbit Ears Pass are on Forest Service land, and both are snowmobile lots. Therefore, the FS would not have jurisdiction to enforce the fee on skier lots.
The cost of enforcing the user fee on all winter access lots on Rabbit Ears Pass, not to mention other areas of Routt National Forest, would be astronomical, far outweighing the proceeds of a fee.
Charging a fee to use public lands is double taxation and a taking of the public’s right of use.
RE: WHY DO THIS PLAN?
Ninety-eight percent (98%) of motorized and non-motorized winter recreation users surveyed on Rabbit Ears Pass in the winter of 2001/2002 expressed that they had a good or better experience. A similar survey conducted on Vail Pass, which is a fee demo area, indicated that only 82% enjoyed their experience.
Today’s technology is producing snowmobiles that cause no more damage to air quality than most other forms of transportation.

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To submit comments via e-mail, click here mailto:r2_mbr_vis@fs.fed.us or copy and paste this address: r2_mbr_vis@fs.fed.us including the underscores:

When submitting comments via e-mail, the SUBJECT LINE MUST be “Winter Rec” to ensure proper routing.

When submitting your comments, either by e-mail or written, be sure to include your full name and address.

Written comments should be submitted to:
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests
Attn: Mary Sanderson
2468 Jackson Street
Laramie, Wyoming 82070
Telephone Number: (307) 745-2422
Fax Number: (307) 745-2398

All future documents and information on the winter recreation efforts will be posted at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/projects/rec/ and you are encouraged to utilize this site for all your participation in the analysis. Please let us (the Forest Service) know if you want to remain on the mailing list for hard copy information on winter recreation.

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