Monday, April 04, 2011

New Mexico Forest Road Plan Blocked

In response to an appeal by the Center for Biological Diversity, Amigos Bravos and WildEarth Guardians, on Monday the Southwestern Regional Office of the U.S. Forest Service reversed a decision to add user-created roads to the Carson National Forest’s official road system. The Carson must now close those roads and exclude them from maps showing which roads are open to the public. “Closing harmful roads will help sensitive soils, watersheds and wildlife,” said Cyndi Tuell, a Southwest conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “For years we’ve asked the Forest Service to protect our forests from harmful roads. In this case they didn’t even bother to visit the roads they were proposing to add to the system.” “User-created” roads are made when people drive off-road to camping spots with their motorhomes, trucks and off-road vehicles. “Over time these trips create tracks that others follow, and before you know it a whole new road is in place,” said Tuell. “Because they’re not designed to any standard, these roads can cause erosion, destroy stream banks and critical wildlife habitat and even cause safety problems.” The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance also appealed the Forest’s decision. That appeal was rejected by the Regional Office of the Forest Service. This is the second appeal filed by the ORV users’ group rejected by the Regional Office for the Carson National Forest...Press Release

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