Please remember that comments on the Huron-Manistee Forest Action Plan are due by December 23, 2011 and it really couldn’t be easier. You may recall that this issue came up in response to a law suit which attempted to force a ban on firearm hunting in large areas of the Hurin-Manistee Forest.
As a result of earlier stakeholder comments and an internal review, four management option have been offered for comment and we are encouraging sportsmen-conservationists to support Alternative #3 or #4. More information is also available through MUCC at http://www.mucc.org/2011/11/huron-manistee-never-quite-quiet/ http://www.mucc.org
The USFS letter follows and you can submit electronic comments painlessly by clicking on the link which follows, inserting “Forest Plan SEIS” in the subject line, and merely state that you prefer Alternative #3 or #4.
Send Electronic Comments To:
The Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) to the 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan for the Huron-Manistee National Forests was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 23, 2011.
The document and related maps are available on the Forests’ website at:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hmnf/landmanagement/?cid=STELPRDB5335552 . You may request a printed copy or a CD of the material by calling the Supervisor’s Office at (231) 775-2421.
As you may recall, the DSEIS document was developed at the direction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which identified deficiencies in how the Forest Service revised the 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan. The court’s decision and the method the Huron-Manistee used to develop the DSEIS are described in Chapter 1 of the document.
In summary, the Huron-Manistee National Forests has developed four alternatives to address the deficiencies found in the 2006 Forest Plans, including:
Alternative 1: the No Action Alternative (the 2006 Forest Plan)
Alternative 2: the Proposed Action (the Forest Service would ban firearm hunting and snowmobile use in some portion of the 13 existing Semiprimitive Nonmotorized Areas (SPNM) and the Primitive Area, subject to existing rights).
Alternative 3: change Management Areas (MA) designation of the 14 affected areas to match the current Recreation Opportunity Spectrum class inventory.
Alternative 4: change MA designation of 11 of the affected areas to Special Management Area and continue to manage them according to their current Standards and Guidelines; change the designation of two of the affected areas to roaded natural; and maintain the current designation of Nordhouse Dunes as 5.1 MA, Wilderness but change the ROS classification to SPNM.
The purpose of this letter is to remind you that we are still in the current three-month comment period where you can let us know your thoughts regarding the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The three-month comment period began on September 23, 2011 and ends on December 23, 2011.”