Smith River National Recreation Area Travel Management Mediation
The Smith River Road Management and Route Designation Project Environmental Assessment had been twice appealed, once by stakeholder groups interested in a higher level of preservation of roadless areas, and once by stakeholder groups interested in maintaining greater access for motorized and non-motorized recreational users. Looking to resolve the conflict, the Forest Service and other interested parties agreed to engage in a series of facilitated discussions to resolve issues related to travel management in this region of the forest. To initiate the process, Austin and Laura conducted a thorough assessment of the situation by interviewing key Forest Service staff as well as interested parties. With a solid understanding of the issues and concerns, Austin facilitated three meetings and a site visit during which all issues were discussed and a consensus agreement was reached. In the end, the process resolved access issues on a number of key historic OHV routes, improved relationships amongst parties, and resulted in a stay of a legal case filed by recreation groups and county officials against the Six Rivers National Forest. The legal stipulation can be viewed at: http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Stipulation_Six_Rivers-Order_Staying_Case.11-30-10.pdf
Assorted interests around the table discussing off-highway vehicle access issues on the Smith River National Recreation Area of the Six Rivers National Forest, California. Participants included Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and staff, Six Rivers National Forest staff, representatives from local Native American tribes, various environmental and motorized recreation groups, and the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the California Wilderness Coalition.
Representatives from local environmental groups and concerned motorized recreation interests engaged in collaborative review and discussion of proposed off-highway vehicle routes within the Six Rivers National Recreation Area. Through intensive back-and-forth exchanges of ideas and concerns, parties worked successfully to develop a proposed route network for the contentious portion of the national forest.
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