Regional forester affirms decision

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RBC I Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams announced today that regional forester Jerome Thomas has affirmed the White River National Forest travel management decision. This decision comes after a review of a number of appeals to the travel management plan and will now allow the White River National Forest (WRNF) to begin implementing the new travel management plan on Thursday, Aug. 25. According to Fitzwilliams, “We are very pleased with this decision. A lot of work and effort went into the travel management plan. The White River has a good plan to work from now, one that will meet the needs of the forest and public. We certainly understand that the travel management plan needs to be a dynamic decision to address situations. We recognize that there will be certain site-specific situations where the decision will need to be adjusted to further meet objectives and seek opportunities for an even better travel system. The Forest Service will continue to work with all parties to identify potential changes and implement potential opportunities and solutions.”In affirming the decision, the regional forester provided a series of instructions to address issues raised in the various appeals to include:n Making specific documents available on the forest website,n Continuing a dialogue with several user groups to resolve key issues,n Conducting some additional site specific environmental analysis regarding the methods to be used to decommission specific roads and trails,n The additional instructions do not provide specific direction regarding which roads or trails are to be decommissioned.The White River NF is developing an implementation plan for travel management decision. The public can expect to see implementation actions this fall with an emphasis on information and education. The staff of the WRNF will work with groups and organizations on travel management plan implementation.