Tellico closure? [Archive] - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: Tellico closure?


drbeddow
10-17-2007, 03:52 PM
Just saw something about Tellico being closed. Don't know about the details, it's possibly seasonal? What ever the case it once again demonstrates the need to get our **** together. I saw an interesting post not long ago about a letter someone wrote during the review phase of an area. He brought up a very good point that he was disabled and his Jeep was the only access he had to these areas. I would think that there is a really strong argument to be made that closing areas to OHVs is discriminatory to a large population of Americans. Perhaps a little lobbying from the appropriate groups would make a difference. At least it's another angle we can come from in the fight.

kurtuleas
10-17-2007, 04:09 PM
Here's the letter that went out:

COMMENTS ARE DUE TODAY! THE 17TH!!

Dear Interested Public,

I am seeking comments on two proposals to establish new Forest Supervisor’s Orders on the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area in Cherokee County, North Carolina. This OHV area, located 15 miles north of Murphy on the North Carolina/Tennessee state line, includes approximately 38 miles of existing roads and trails that are managed for motorized recreation use. The following actions are being proposed:

1. A Forest Supervisor’s Order prohibiting motorized vehicles on Lower Trail # 2, Trail # 7, and Trail # 9, duration of order not to exceed one year or until a reasonable plan is in place to prevent adverse impacts to the aquatic resource.
2. A Forest Supervisor’s Order prohibiting winter-time motorized vehicle use on the Upper Tellico OHV Trail System from January 1 to March 31 each year. This would include all trails in the system except Trail # 1 and the upper section of Trail # 2 which would remain open as system roads used by vehicle types normally found on public roads.

The following persons would be exempted from these orders:

• Persons with a permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
• Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
• Owners or lessees of land in the Closure Area are exempt from the prohibitions listed above to the extent necessary to gain access to their land.
• Residents in the Closure Area are exempt from the prohibitions to the extent necessary to gain access to their residences.

PURPOSE AND NEED FOR THE PROPOSED ACTIONS

These actions are needed to correct and/or repair ongoing impacts to the aquatic resource caused by sediment entering area waters from the Tellico trail system.

Action # 1, prohibitions on Lower Trail # 2, Trail # 7, and Trail #9, is needed to provide immediate short-term resource protection measures. The greatest impact to area waters is coming from the movement of sediment off these three trails, as indicated by observation and on-site measurements of turbidity and suspended sediment concentrations.

Action # 2, winter-time closure of the OHV Area, is needed to provide resource protection. Forest Service personnel have observed that most of the damage to the trail tread occurs during the winter freeze/thaw period from January to late March, at which time soils are subject to increased rutting and displacement.

These actions would implement direction in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Land and Resource Management Plan to emphasize protection of perennial and intermittent streams in compliance with North Carolina Forest Practice Guidelines Related to Water Quality.

The actions would be implemented pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (b) which states, “The Chief, each Regional Forester, each Experiment Station Director, the Administrator of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and each Forest Supervisor may issue orders which close or restrict the use of any National Forest System road or trail within the area over which he has jurisdiction.”

Before a final decision is made I welcome your comments. Please make your comments as specific as possible along with supporting reasons why you believe your comments should be considered. Please include your name and address in any correspondence.

Your comments may be sent to Tusquitee District Ranger, 123 Woodland Drive, Murphy, NC 28906. Comments may also be sent via email to comments-southern-north-carolina-nan...itee@fs.fed.us.

We would appreciate receiving your comments by October 17, 2007.

Thank you for your time and interest in our management activities on the Tusquitee Ranger District.

Sincerely,

/s/ Tina R. Tilley, Acting District Ranger
TINA R. TILLEY, Acting District Ranger

kurtuleas
10-17-2007, 04:15 PM
Oh....

and we have been playing the disabled and Elderly card in ELDO National with the route des project that will close 1,800 mile.

The big problem is access to dispursed, primitive campsites. For almost ALL of them, you have to park your car on the side of the road and WALK not only yourself, but all your gear in.

My Father-in-law has diabieties and no feeling in his legs, so he has a hard time getting around. Closing access to primitive camping via vehicl means basically he will NEVER AGAIN be allowed to go with us to camp in the forest he loves.

The tree-huggers don't care about his access.....they want to shut the forest to everyone...

drbeddow
10-17-2007, 04:16 PM
Lets get on it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

drbeddow
10-17-2007, 04:30 PM
Just found this...........http://www.tellico4x4.com/tellico-update-trail-closures-sept-2007.html

kurtuleas
10-17-2007, 04:38 PM
More info...

I just posted this on another board. Of course they don't even take into consideration all the farming up river that dumps sediment into the water.

Oh, and how can you be taken seriously if your first name is "Squeak"???

Closures proposed for Tellico trails
Forest Service feels heat from ORV users, conservationists
By JEFF FISHER
jfisher@cherokeescout.com
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 8:34 PM CDT

Brasstown – The U.S. Forest Service announced its strategy for restoring water quality in the Tellico River, identifying immediate projects and future plans to counter sedimentation allegedly created by the mismanagement of the Upper Tellico Off-Road Vehicle area in response to claims that it is violating environmental laws.

During the ninth annual Upper Tellico ORV area stakeholders meeting Friday at the Brasstown Community Center, Forest Service officials addressed the June 28 “notice of intent to sue” issued by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the N.C. and Tennessee Councils of Trout Unlimited, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project. The conservationist groups requested that the Forest Service “take immediate action to remedy the significant and ongoing violations” of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (also referred

o as the “Clean Water Act”) and other various federal and state environmental statutes. The 60-day notice expired Monday.

“The fact remains that we are seeing sediment that is unacceptable,” said Squeak Smith, a representative from N.C. Trout Unlimited.

Smith “applauded” the Forest Service for its long-term proposals to monitor the ORV area’s effect on the Tellico watershed, but didn’t rule out pursuing legal action if adequate improvements are not made.

“The bottom line is this: We are not meeting the standards set by the state of Tennessee, North Carolina and the federal government,” Smith said, adding later, “Our notice of intent is still on file.”

MichaelW
10-17-2007, 04:49 PM
The actions would be implemented pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (b) which states, “The Chief, each Regional Forester, each Experiment Station Director, the Administrator of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and each Forest Supervisor may issue orders which close or restrict the use of any National Forest System road or trail within the area over which he has jurisdiction.”Wow TMU is affecting Tellico? Now that's a long reach! Or is this based upon rules started by TMU?

MichaelW
10-17-2007, 04:52 PM
Well at least they are calling it sediment rather than phosphates like Placer County tried to pull on Mc Kinney Road.

I wonder if the same types of runoff containment and diversion could be implemented at Tellico that helps stop sedimentation on Lake Tahoe by roads used in OHV activities.

BTW, the comments made by Placer County officials regarding sedimentation filling up succession lakes and turning them into meadows still makes me roll my eyes.

gcg
10-17-2007, 06:14 PM
The tree-huggers don't care about his access.....they want to shut the forest to everyone...
I'm an avid 4 wheeler and not a tree hugger. I don't consider myself an environmentalist. However, I do try to be mindful and respectful of the environment rather than destroy it. But ...

I really get tired of posts like this. I am fortunate to be able to wheel some mild trails within a mile or two of my home. Every time I go up there, I find mounds of shot gun shells, mounds of spent bullet casings, trash dumped in multiple locations, most of it shot to hell, illegal trails cut, old cars off the side of trails, etc., etc., etc. Some 4 wheelers are gun enthusiasts (I'm not). However, many people are not and are offended by seeing all the spent shells and casings. We are all offended by the trash and the illegal trails (or should be).

I watched a guy in a TJ come flying up a paved road that gives access to a local trail. He literally got air as he flew up the steep incline to the trail. People routinely hike and walk in this area. What sort of impression do you think it makes on them when a Jeep does this.

Went camping a while ago and was awakened at midnight by repeated automatic or semi-automatic gunfire that went on for two hours. Complaints were lodged the next day, the police came out and the same thing happened the next night, so we left 2 days early.

In driving trails I continually find trees with the bark stripped to the core on sharp corners because some guy is too incompetent or lazy to back up to make the turn without inflicting damage.

Beer cans, trash, etc. everywhere.

This is all pretty much just within a couple miles of my home.

So, my response is that if we don't want the "tree huggers" to work to close motorized access to these areas, then we have the responsibility to treat the areas with respect. I don't for one minute blame anyone for being upset with what I see out there. It's totally irresponsible, immature and completely selfish. We 4 wheelers often remark that "they" don't want to share the land with us, that it's our land. Guess what. It's their land, too. And when we destroy it we are infringing on their rights just as much as we think they are infringing on ours when they want to keep us out.

My only point is that if we treat the land with respect and treat others with respect and work to create a friendly, respectful relationship with every one out there, we will have a much easier time maintaining access than we will by simply proclaiming that they are all wacked out enviro-nazi tree hugging lunatics.

Pick up the spent shells and casings, pick up the trash, stay on the trail, drive sanely, don't bash the trees, be friendly and respectful. It's in our best interest.

MichaelW
10-17-2007, 07:21 PM
This has been a huge issue with OHV activity as the freedom of being in the country and off pavement also usually invites many free spirits and some wild activities.

It is truly unfortunate that many disrespect the land but this is because they have no respect for anything. So to teach respect to someone that would toss beer cans while driving down a trail will almost be impossible.

What WE CAN DO however is to apply the peer pressure along with awareness and education to impress upon people that we need to be the stewards or someone else will do it for us.

I can only hope that the community can learn and police themselves before we are policed. :)

gcg
10-17-2007, 07:25 PM
This has been a huge issue with OHV activity as the freedom of being in the country and off pavement also usually invites many free spirits and some wild activities.

It is truly unfortunate that many disrespect the land but this is because they have no respect for anything. So to teach respect to someone that would toss beer cans while driving down a trail will almost be impossible.

What WE CAN DO however is to apply the peer pressure along with awareness and education to impress upon people that we need to be the stewards or someone else will do it for us.

I can only hope that the community can learn and police themselves before we are policed. :)
Nicely stated!

kurtuleas
10-18-2007, 09:38 AM
I agree with you completly about education users gcg, HOWEVER...

Should the actions of a few take away my rights to access public lands forever?

Are you saying that we DESERVE to lose 1,800 miles of routes in Eldorado National (for example) becuase a small core of forest users, a good number of which are not OHV recreationists, thrash the forest? No matter what we do, that element will ALWAYS be there, unless of course you subscribe to the total closure policy that the "other side" wishes to push.

Saying, "well it's thier land too" is correct, but they wish to CLOSE that land to EVERYONE, including themselves. it's not just the 4x4 crowd that will be hurt when EISs hit all across the nation, it's hunters, campers, hikers, the RV crowd, atv and MX enthusists, fisherman, the guy in the Prius that wants to drive down a dirt road...and just about ANYONE that wants to access public lands by a dirt route. it's the difference between preservation and conservation.

In fact, a good number of OHV users do MORE than anyone else to keep the forests and trails in shape. This is done by the various "Friends of"..groups such as FOTR, FOE, FOHL, Stewards of Sequioa, PLINK etc. They do trail maintence and forest clean-ups. have you ever seen the "Other side' out there with shovels and garbage bags?

Have you ever seen the damage logging does to a forest floor, not in terms of cutting trees but by the use of their HUGE tracked vehicles? In 1,000 years my rig will NEVER do that much damage.

We lose access, not them, becuase recreation is the ONE THING land-managers can control. hence attacking the access at tellico, not the farming up-river.

In a nutshell, there is an element (a powerful one) that wishes to close all public lands to off-road use, and if you say "Well, we deserve it." you are only giving them more ammo and not helping the matter at all.

In fact, many of them read bulletin boards like this one, read comments such as the ones you posted and cut and paste them into a file and save it to use against us! You do not have to worry about it so much here, but at other BBS you do....I know that from first hand experience.

Gib
10-18-2007, 10:11 AM
And the people that go out and do stupid things in our forests and wilderness areas that we love and enjoy will not stop doing stupid things when they close down the area. But you won't get the 4x4 clubs going through there and cleaning up after the idiots anymore.

gcg
10-18-2007, 11:01 AM
I agree with you completly about education users gcg, HOWEVER...

Should the actions of a few take away my rights to access public lands forever?

Are you saying that we DESERVE to lose 1,800 miles of routes in Eldorado National (for example) becuase a small core of forest users, a good number of which are not OHV recreationists, thrash the forest? No matter what we do, that element will ALWAYS be there, unless of course you subscribe to the total closure policy that the "other side" wishes to push.

Saying, "well it's thier land too" is correct, but they wish to CLOSE that land to EVERYONE, including themselves. it's not just the 4x4 crowd that will be hurt when EISs hit all across the nation, it's hunters, campers, hikers, the RV crowd, atv and MX enthusists, fisherman, the guy in the Prius that wants to drive down a dirt road...and just about ANYONE that wants to access public lands by a dirt route. it's the difference between preservation and conservation.

In fact, a good number of OHV users do MORE than anyone else to keep the forests and trails in shape. This is done by the various "Friends of"..groups such as FOTR, FOE, FOHL, Stewards of Sequioa, PLINK etc. They do trail maintence and forest clean-ups. have you ever seen the "Other side' out there with shovels and garbage bags?

Have you ever seen the damage logging does to a forest floor, not in terms of cutting trees but by the use of their HUGE tracked vehicles? In 1,000 years my rig will NEVER do that much damage.

We lose access, not them, becuase recreation is the ONE THING land-managers can control. hence attacking the access at tellico, not the farming up-river.

In a nutshell, there is an element (a powerful one) that wishes to close all public lands to off-road use, and if you say "Well, we deserve it." you are only giving them more ammo and not helping the matter at all.

In fact, many of them read bulletin boards like this one, read comments such as the ones you posted and cut and paste them into a file and save it to use against us! You do not have to worry about it so much here, but at other BBS you do....I know that from first hand experience.

You make several good points. And, I'm not advocating closures in any way. Of course I'm not saying that the "actions of a few should cause you to lose your access", though it may in the end. What I am saying is the actions of those few taint others views of our sport in a big way because they are so obvious. And if we ignore that, we will eventually all be viewed as being the same as they are. That may be unfair but I think it is true. 100 wheelers can pass over a trail and not leave a trace. We get no credit for that. 1 guy goes through and does damage, leaves trash, shoots up a sign and we all suffer.

And, I don't think the "small core" you mention is as small as you might think. My experience is that there is quite a large group of wheelers that behave in ways that simply turn off and alienate others. I see it a lot and I'd bet that you do too. The evidence is everywhere on the trail. To be honest it turns me off and alienates me, too. Often it makes me ashamed of being an avid 4 wheeler because I get lumped in with them. So do you.

I'm not saying anyone deserves to have land closures. I want them to remain open just as much as you do. My point is that the actions of 4 wheelers are generally viewed as a whole by others. They don't necessarily see that there is a group of highly responsible wheelers out there that are respecting the land, cleaning it, protecting it, etc. (which I think is a great example of what we should all do more of). They can't really see any results from someone respecting the land and treading lightly because that kind of responsible behavior leaves the land in tact. Instead, what they see are all the trash and damage done by the irresponsible. And they tend to lump all 4 wheelers into that group (much like we tend to lump all of them into the "tree hugger" group, which is probably just as untrue as them lumping us all into the irresponsible group).

To simply state that they won't change anyway, so just ignore them and let me have my access isn't very realistic. What really needs to be done is to reign in these guys because they ARE spoiling it for you and me. That's easy to say and hard to do. I don't have the answer either, but I think we need to work very hard on it and find a solution before it's too late. Education is a great start. The "friends of" groups are great efforts and I'm sure there are other things we might do. Efforts like yours are very much appreciated.

But I will state it again that I simply don't blame anyone for being upset and disgusted with 4 wheelers when they see all the trash, drunkenness, rowdy behavior, gun fire, mounds of spent ammunition, shot up everything, illegal trails, bashed trees, dangerous driving, etc. It is way too prevalent out there. Right or wrong, that becomes a large part of our signature as a whole and we need to find a way to correct it or the bad reputation will continue and we will find it harder and harder to use the land. There are wrongs on both sides here. We should be working to correct both of them and not blame just the "tree huggers" until we have cleaned up our own back yard.

I think we have the same goals but probably see it a little differently. Thanks for all of your hard work on our behalf!

kurtuleas
10-18-2007, 11:38 AM
I think we have the same goals but probably see it a little differently.

No, we see it the same way, and you are right. I must have just mis-understood a little from your first post. Please forgive me. I guess I am a little pissy from losing so much. I just want my 2 little boys to experience the forest in the same way I did when I was young.

We DEFINATELY have the same goals. I will need to make sure that FOE is about education of users, not just cleaning up routes and campsites....


Thanks for all of your hard work on our behalf!

No, THANK YOU! It's this kind of input and discussion we need to get things going in the right direction.

And thanks for reading the land-use section!

KURT

gcg
10-18-2007, 02:54 PM
I think we have the same goals but probably see it a little differently.

No, we see it the same way, and you are right. I must have just mis-understood a little from your first post. Please forgive me. I guess I am a little pissy from losing so much. I just want my 2 little boys to experience the forest in the same way I did when I was young.

We DEFINATELY have the same goals. I will need to make sure that FOE is about education of users, not just cleaning up routes and campsites....


Thanks for all of your hard work on our behalf!

No, THANK YOU! It's this kind of input and discussion we need to get things going in the right direction.

And thanks for reading the land-use section!

KURT
Thanks for the nice reply! One of the problems with internet communications is it's really easy to say something in a way that misrepresents what you were trying to communicate. I probably didn't take enough time in my original post to be as clear as I could have.

I just took a look at your FOE web site. One of our favorite camping sites has been Silverfork! I would be happy to help in any way I can. Let me know if you think there's something I could do.

blue
04-05-2008, 04:15 PM
The irony I see with the Trout Unlimited law suite threat is that most of the trout they are going after aren't native . . . i.e. Rainbow and brown. The only native trout in those waters would be the Brookie. Most of the clowns claiming to be trout fisherman couldn't catch a brooke trout if it jumped in their pocket.
Perhaps Trout Unlimited should be sued when they stock non-native trout in streams since they displace brook trout.