ALERT: Black Hills National Forest

SAWS Action Alert

Phase II Amendment DEIS

Comments must be received at the addresses below by December 15,2004

Your comments on the Draft EIS can be submitted in two ways:

1.)  Via Email (preferred) to:
2.)  Mail to: BHNF Phase 2 Amendment, P.O. Box 270990, Littleton, Colorado 80127-0017

Forest Service documentation on the Draft EIS is located at the link provided below:

Alternative 6 is identified as the preferred alternative but SAWS does not support any alternative that allows RNAs (Resource Natural Areas), which are de-facto wilderness.┬á We recommend you support either alternative 1 or 2, which contain NO RNAs. Although SAWS does prefer the proposed forest thinning of some 46,000 acres in alternative 6 to alleviate fire hazards, we can not accept the 5 RNAs that are included in this plan that comprise nearly 5,000 acres. Per the forest service, ÔÇ£Alternative 6 would move the Forest towards pre-settlement processes and conditionsÔÇØ.

The DEIS also states ÔÇ£The Black Hills National Forest has been managed for over 120 years and few areas meet RNA quality, condition, viability, and defensibility requirements for the nine plant series targeted for consideration as RNAs. SAWS does not support any new wilderness designations. Since these RNAs are essentially wilderness and do close down some snowmobiling areas, we cannot support any alternatives that contain any RNAs.

Per the forest service DEIS ÔÇ£The Forest examined these species [Species of Local Concern (SOLC)] through an eight-step process (See Species of Local Concern Report) and found 89 species that warranted additional analysis for viability in the Phase II DEIS (See Chapter 3 and Appendix C). Again, all 89 species were found to be viable under all alternativesÔÇØ. Please tell the Black Hills National Forest that you support prudent management of our forests and most efforts to thin them, but that you cannot accept ANY RNAs.

Kim Jackson
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

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