The following comments were submitted in regards to the Shoshone National Forest Travel Management Plan on behalf of Wyoming BHA.
Please accept our comments on the draft Shoshone National Forest Travel Plan document. We appreciate the Forest Service recognizing the Shoshone National Forest (SNF) as a “backcountry forest.” We also appreciate that there no additional routes planned in the Wiggins Roadless Area.
We urge the SNF to maintain its existing route system, and enforce the regulations currently in place before adding any additional rouses on the Forest. A thorough, detailed plan needs to be developed addressing funding, staffing, signage with goals and timelines before any new routes should be planned.
We are perplexed the SNF is unable to manage and enforce its current motorized route system, especially in the south half of the Forest yet proposes a 40% increase in loop miles. As you recall, more than 75% of individual Wyoming commenters opposed additional motorized development on the Forest.
It needs to be remembered there are more opportunities to ride OHV’s than just on SNF lands. There are approximately 10,000 miles of two-tracks open to OHV’s on the 3.2 million acres of BLM lands in the Bighorn Basin. There are also tremendous riding opportunities available on the nearby Bighorn National Forest. The notion put forward by some motorized users that their riding opportunities are very limited, is of course nonsense.
BHA strongly supports the closure of the trail before it gets all the way to all of to the Dick Creek Lakes. If opened, the large meadow area around the lakes will simply become an OHV play area. With a little creative chainsaw work, OHV’S would be able to access the alpine areas just above the lakes opening large areas to illegal use. We support leaving the closure where it is.
The Warm Springs proposal will have negative impacts on the scenic landscapes and will divide wildlife habitat. BHA is strongly opposed to this trail.
The Bachelor Creek OHV loop bisects the a roadless area and borders the Fitzpatrick Wilderness. BHA is STRONGLY opposed to changing the current hiking/horse trail to allowing OHV use. If the trail is changed non-motorized users will be required to use 4 miles of OHV trail to access the Moon Lake Wilderness trailhead. We believe opening this trail will lead to the development of unauthorized routes in roadless areas just as system road 600 already does.