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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    224

    Helena request for action: Elkhorns

    Hi everyone – the Helena District of the Helena Lewis & Clark National Forest has proposed a great nonmotorized trail project. We need to rally comments in support by November 30.

    This project is in the northern Elkhorn foothills outside Helena near Montana City and Clancy. If you’ve ridden Pinecrest, that’s where this is. This area has quite a few popular non-system trails. The trails are old cattle trails, old double-track, and similar that were never officially closed in the 1980s. As use has grown, they’ve become popular with local bikers, hikers, and equestrians. The USFS is proposing to convert this area to a network of system trails. It’s a good proposal. There are some great ideas in it. We need help supporting the Forest’s proposal, though. Backcountry Horsemen and Helena Hunters & Anglers are stirring the pot and trying to drum up opposition. In a change for Montana, the Wilderness groups seems to be sitting this one out so far. It is a front-country project, after all.

    Maps of the trail proposal are at this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54963

    Specific points that are helpful:
    Project is long overdue; there is long-standing use in this area, and managing it in a constructive way is a good move.
    This will help disperse use from the Helena South Hills
    Doing this project under a categorial exclusion makes sense

    The opposing voices are going after the CatEx, arguing that more NEPA review is needed. They’ll cite the USFS’s only Wildlife Management Unit as a reason. The USFS feels that converting the existing non-system network to a system network is an action with a nonsignificant effect. We agree with that.

    Comment on this trail project is via email to:
    Roy Barkley
    Helena Ranger District
    rbarkley at fs.fed.us

    Thanks!

    USFS release:
    The Helena Ranger District is seeking public input on the Strawberry Butte Front-Country Trail Management Project, located in the Strawberry Butte, Willard Creek, and Maupin Creek areas of the north part of the Elkhorn Mountains. Generally, the proposed action will add nearly 39 miles of non-motorized trails to the overall National Forest trail system, while also closing numerous miles of unauthorized, user-created trails and addressing the associated resource damage as a result of those unauthorized trails.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Vernon BC
    Posts
    1,466

    Helena request for action: Elkhorns

    would mountain bikes be permitted?

    and (asking for a friend) ... what about e-bikes?
    Last edited by cmcrawfo; 11-08-2018 at 08:55 PM.
    "Its not the arrow, its the Indian" - M.Pinto

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    10,042
    Consider it done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,104
    Quote Originally Posted by evasive_MT View Post
    It is a front-country project, after all.
    Then I'm sure IMBA will be all over it. And happy to take credit, too!

    Good luck. Will send comments....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    224
    Quote Originally Posted by cmcrawfo View Post
    would mountain bikes be permitted?

    and (asking for a friend) ... what about e-bikes?
    It’s USFS and they consider ebikes motorized use. No, in this case.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Gapper Alley
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by cmcrawfo View Post
    would mountain bikes be permitted?

    and (asking for a friend) ... what about e-bikes?
    The proposal doesn't say bikes, it is unfortunate lingo the feds developed. Non-motorized trail system with the restriction that mechanized use is limited to system roads and trails = bikes allowed, stay on official roads and trails.

    E-bikes, no, they are motorized.
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/bdnf/...d=FSEPRD601048

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,048
    done, thanks for posting.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NNW
    Posts
    99
    Comment sent. Bump for an important cause, commenting is the key to public participation and having the Forest Service's ear in the future.
    It sucks to suck.

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