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Old 04-01-2009, 10:41 PM
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wynnsman wynnsman is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seymour Tn
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PURPOSE AND NEED FOR THE ACTION



The purpose of this temporary, emergency closure is to provide short-term resource protection for the Upper Tellico watershed, while allowing time to complete environmental analysis, public review and comment prior to implementation of a forthcoming long term management decision.
Direction in the Land and Resource Management Plan for the Nantahala National Forest (Amendment 5, 1994) identifies the lands within the Upper Tellico OHV Area as existing in Management Areas 1B and 2C and 4D. The description for these management areas state “These lands are managed to provide opportunities for public enjoyment of the Forest through motorized recreation – driving for pleasure in conventional and four-wheel-drive vehicles as well as machines commonly classified as ORV’s. While these uses will be encouraged on appropriate roads and trails, use will not be allowed to damage the Forests’ environment.” (MA 1B, p. III-57). Also, “Provide opportunities for vehicles commonly classified as ORV’s on designated routes primarily within designated ORV areas... if such use does not adversely affect other resources.” (MA 2C, p. III-67). Also, “Maintain roads to accommodate the intended use and to protect resources. Identify where existing designated four-wheel drive ways do not meet water quality standards and develop strategies to bring them into compliance. (MA 4D p III-88 ) These actions are needed to correct ongoing impacts to area waters and aquatic resources caused by sediment from the Upper Tellico road and trail system.
In October and November of 2007 and March of 2008, the Forest Service conducted comprehensive condition surveys of the entire Upper Tellico OHV System.
Additional survey and analysis conducted during the remainder of 2008 found numerous problems with the trail system in its current configuration. These are discussed in detail in the Upper Tellico OHV System Environmental Analysis. Some of the key findings include:

Forest Plan standards for soil and water are being violated.
  • The Nantahala and Pisgah Land and Resource Management Plan (the Forest Plan or LRMP) standard for soil and water management states: “Prevent visible sediment from reaching perennial and intermittent stream channels…”
  • Comprehensive field surveys conducted in 2007 and 2008 revealed 2000 sources of visible sediment along the 39-mile trail. This represents over 50 points of visible sediment for each mile of trail.
  • One third of the 2000 sources of visible sediment are reaching the Upper Tellico River and its tributaries.
  • Six miles of the trail are within 100 feet of streams and 1.7 miles are within 25 feet of streams.
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