Legal Notice of Decision for Travel Management on the Santa Fe National Forest Published

SFNF News:

Illustration: Map of the Santa Fe National Forest showing the widely separated Ranger Districts. Courtesy/SFNF

SANTA FE—The legal notice of decision, which triggers the appeal period, for travel management on the Santa Fe National Forest was published today, July 6, 2012, in the Albuquerque Journal. The Notice of Availability for the Santa Fe National Forest’s Decision and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for managing motorized travel were also published in the Federal Register today.

The decision makes changes to the forest’s motorized transportation system and provides for a system of roads, trails, and areas designated for motorized travel. Motorized cross-country travel off this designated system will be prohibited.

“There is an administrative review and appeal period that starts the day after the legal notice of the decision is published,” said Forest Supervisor Maria T. Garcia.

Only those who commented on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement during the official comment period have standing to appeal the decision.

The appeal period begins on July 7, 2012, and runs for 45 days. Appeals must be received on or before the 45th day. The content of appeals must meet the requirements described in the Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR 215.

Appeals must be filed (regular mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, or express delivery) with the Appeal Deciding Officer. Written appeals must be submitted to: Corbin Newman, Appeal Deciding Officer, Southwestern Region, 333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, N.M. 87102.

The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered appeals are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Electronic appeals must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), portable document format (.pdf), or Word (.doc) to appeals-southwestern-regional-office@fs.fed.us. The fax number is 505-842-3173.

The Santa Fe National Forest will publish a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) to coincide with the resolution of any appeals received. The MVUM is a legal document that will show the designated roads, trails, and areas that are legal to drive on, in what kind of vehicle, and what time of year.

Once published, the map will be available on the forest’s website and at all Santa Fe National Forest offices. The forest is now launching a public information and education campaign to help visitors understand the new travel system and how to use the map.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), maps, and Record of Decision (ROD) are available on the forest’s Web site at:
www.fs.usda.gov/detail/santafe/landmanagement/projects/?cid=FSBDEV7_021065.

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