Thank you for your support on this critical issue!
Below, you’ll find two sample comments for the 2016 Sierra National Forest Draft Revised Land Management Plan: one for the Forest Service and one for Congressman Tom McClintock — just copy and then paste and email Sierra National Forest Supervisor Dean Gould: email@example.com
Forest Service Sample Comment
I am very concerned about the 2016 Sierra National Forest Draft Land Management Plan (Plan) that preempts NHPA Historic law and Forest Service policy by changing existing recreation facilities current Plan verified “impact free” status (exempt from affecting resources) to the Plan’s components where facilities are subject to mitigation action to protect any kind of cultural resource (obsidian chips etc.) and can potentially change a facilities recreation use to tribal use: under Sustainable Recreation, page 104, states, “to protect the cultural setting of a site and visitor experiences, commercial use of heritage based sites should be limited to activities that enhance the public understanding of the resource, protect and preserve the resource and are consistent with tribal interest”: the Plan’s Management approach for Sustainable Recreation, Chapter 3, page 89, states, “use management strategies to mitigate recreation use and resource conflicts…” (Appendix D): page 140, states, “…Management strategies can be applied to existing or new recreation sites and uses whenever a conflict between sensitive resources (any cultural resource) is detected”.
My family and friends have enjoyed Mono Hot Springs Resort, Campground and the Hot Springs for many years and would be very distraught if we were no longer able to fully enjoy the Mono Hot springs areas recreation opportunities. All true historic resources are lawfully defined as not affected by existing facilities, therefore, what possible logic is there to apply punitive mitigation actions against existing facilities to protect non-historic obsidian chips that have been picked up and scattered all over the place by the public? And the Plan’s new twist defines resources as Native American Contemporary Use Areas that allows another vehicle to inappropriately compromise existing recreation facilities.
My recommendation: for consistency with the NHPA and Forest Service Policy and to do what is ethically right: The Forest delete all Plan components that could potentially compromise existing recreation facilities to protect any kind of cultural resource, other resources, and Native American Contemporary Use Areas.
Also, I would like the following questions directly answered: could the Plan potentially affect Mono Hot Springs Resort and campground, to protect obsidian chips recorded on the facilities, when their Special Use Permit changes (without changing facilities operation)? I would like Supervisor Gould to answer this question: do you believe it is justified for facility owners to have their existing facilities compromised based on perceivably protecting obsidian chips or any other cultural resources on or near their facility?
Below is a sample comment to Congressman Tom McClintock: just copy and paste for email:
Congressman Tom McClintock: email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congressman McClintock Sample letter
Congressman Tom McClintock
2200 A Douglas Blvd., Suite 240
Roseville, CA 95661
Subject: 2016 Sierra National Draft Revised Forest Land Management Plan (Plan)
Dear Congressman Tom McClintock,
My name is (your name) residing at (your address and phone number).
I have reviewed the May 2016 Sierra National Forest Draft revised Land Management Plan (Plan) language that essentially enables tribal control of Forest Service administered private and public existing recreation facilities and activities to perceivably protect cultural resources, “not adequately protected by historic law”, found on or near an existing recreation facility. Currently, all existing federal administered facilities: highways, ski resorts, Power Company facilities, pack stations, resorts, campgrounds and Yosemite village are all exempt from resource impact mitigation action, i.e. “impact free”. The Plan is all about changes that go after the “impact free” existing recreation facilities and activities: “management strategy to mitigate recreation use” to protect obsidian chips etc.
The Plan’s Assessment says, the “Forest have viewed cultural resources through the framework of legal compliance with NHPA”; and for existing recreation facilities: “their impact free management is problematic”; therefore, the Plan’s desired conditions (required to be specific), page104, states, “to protect the cultural setting of a site and visitor experiences, commercial use of heritage based interpretive sites should be limited to activities that enhance the public understanding of the resource, protect and preserve the resource…“ And under …Sustainable Recreation page 89 states, “Use management strategies to mitigate recreation use”, and Resource Conflicts: Appendix D, page 149 states: “Management strategies can be applied to existing and new facilities”… And one direct action of many, page 150 states … “take steps to permanently discontinue facilities and visitor use”. I respect Native American culture; but I am very concerned that the Plan allows the Forest to eliminate valuable existing recreation resources for an obsidian chip or a Traditional Cultural property (legally not affected by facilities) experience, and potentially compromising existing facilities to protect the Plan’s new resource: Native American contemporary use areas.
Cultural Resources are defined in the Plan’s Final Assessment as any kind of Native American artifact: Obsidian chips etc. not necessarily protected under the NHPA. The Bottom line: existing facilities should not be subject to the Plan’s resource protection management strategy to “mitigate recreation use”; this is inconsistent with historic law, Forests policy and scandalously wrong. Therefore, I would like to request your assistance in using your influence anyway you feel appropriate to help stop all Plan language that potentially allows the compromising of existing facilities (the mitigating of recreation use) to perceivably protect any kind cultural resource.
Thank you in advance for looking into this important unjust issue of compromising valuable recreation uses.