Another Win For Piute Trail Lovers
In case you missed our recent Newsletter last week the Sequoia Forest Service started closing the irreplaceable historic motorized single track Piute Trails, even though Stewards and the public were assured by the Forest Service that all Piute trails would remain open until Piute Planning was completed.
UPDATE-WE HAVE PREVAILED
On Tuesday June second, Stewards filed a letter objecting to the Piute Trail Closures with Sequoia Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliot. We received a swift response from him and were extremely surprised to read that neither he nor the District Ranger ordered closures of trails or restoration of trails (obliteration). That is welcome news and in a subsequent phone call with the District Ranger, he clarified that no more trails will be closed, and none of the existing trails open signs will be removed, or tickets issued for riding on signed trails including what they refer to as non system trials (these are the ones with TR trail numbers on the sign).
There are still some things in the Forest Supervisor letter which we find do not match the document record, but we are not going to quibble about it so long as the Piute Trails remain open.
THE NEXT STEP
The Supervisor and the District Ranger have committed to resuming Piute Travel Planning once they complete Forest Plan Revision. Stewards have offered to help them by performing surveys. We also suggested that a contractor be hired to do the analysis, which Forest staff lack the resources to do. The District Ranger offered his full support for these programs.
Stewards will continue to work with the Forest Service to ensure that as many Piute Trails become designated during the upcoming Piute Travel Plan.
I want to thank the hundreds of Stewards members who took the time to call and email the Forest Service. You left a very positive impression on District Ranger Al Watson, who told me that he appreciated the polite but passionate conversations with you. He sees that each of you care deeply about the Piute Trails and your public lands and he looks forward to working with us to designate more Piute Trails.
At this time we want Stewards members to stop phoning or emailing the Forest Service. We are calling off the dogs.
If any of you have posted on blogs or Facebook urging people to TAKE ACTION please update those posts to let people know we have prevailed and the Piute Trails will remain open for now.
THE WAR IS NOT YET WON
The war to keep Piute Trails is far from over, but today Stewards won another important battle.
It will be costly to win the Piute War and we need to be sure we have the funds to do it.
If you care about the future of the Piute Trails please consider making a donation to the Piute Legal Action Fund or make a regular donation to fund Stewards proactive progams that stop trail closures and maintain your trails. Many thanks to those who have recently donated.
Two Ways to Help Keep your Piute Trails Open
THE TURNING POINT
You can see the information Stewards submitted which Stopped the Piute Closures including our Letter of Objection, Legal points justifying continued use of the Piute Trails and our Powerpoint describing the Piute Process Error below:
You can read the Forest Supervisor's letter here