BLM Jack-Ash Phase II Transmittal Letter

Download PDF Here (Jack-Ash-Phase-II-Transmittal-Letter-Signed.pdf)

We are VERY HAPPY to share the announcement that BLM has released the Environmental Assessment for Phase II of the Jack-Ash Trail for public review and comment. This EA presents the analysis for  constructing an additional 24 miles of trails within the existing Jack-Ash and Sterling Mine Ditch Trail system on Anderson Butte, as well as segments that will get us closer to our goal to connect to the East ART trail and Jacksonville.

The BLM announcement and instructions for accessing the EA are provided in the attached letter. The link for the EA is: https://go.usa.gov/xd7xb. Comments are due by 4:30 PM on April 22nd.  BLM is happy to receive positive comments, and those are helpful to indicate the level of interest and community support for these trails, but the NEPA regulation only requires that they respond to those considered substantive.  As noted in the transmittal letter, comments that are considered substantive are defined as those that provide (1) new information that would affect the analysis, or (2) information or evidence of flawed or incomplete analysis.

We anticipate that the EA will be approved and a Record of Decision and final approval to proceed will be granted by early summer. SUTA will be applying for various grants to fund this large project, and we expect to begin trail construction this fall. We will be busy working to raise the funds that will be required to complete this project, and welcome any and all support from all of you. It is a testament to your support and continued use of the trails that helps make any of this possible, so Thank You!

I hope to see you out on the trails!

Joy Rogalla

SUTA President

 

UPDATE:  APRIL 22, 2020

To all trail users and volunteers – a reminder that public comments on the Jack-Ash Trail Phase II EA are due by 4:30 PM TODAY, April 22nd. We hope you have or will provide comments on the EA (link listed above). If you have already submitted comments, there is no restriction on submitting additional comments within the allowable timeframe.

We have received a number of questions about the language regarding trail segments described as ‘shared use’. BLM included Segments 8 and 12, which are user-created OHV (dirt bike) trails that are included in BLM’s overall trail maps. SUTA was not consulted about including these segments and in fact we do not agree that they should be part of the Jack-Ash trail system since part or all of those trail segments are too steep, highly eroded, and unsustainable. In addition, we do not believe the single track trails can be safely used for both motorized and non-motorized recreation.

SUTA is recommending that the project be approved with modifications. In particular, we recommend:

  • Approving the project for the non- motorized segments, and dropping Segments 8 & 12; or
  • Approving the project for the non-motorized segments with the modification to work with BLM to develop sustainable routes in those areas, and for the Segment 12 area, developing a route that will better meet the connectivity goal to reach the East ART.
  • The existing OHV trails that have damaged the environment should be closed and properly decommissioned. In fact, the end of Segment 8 that drops into the Wolf Gap TH parking area was decommissioned by BLM more than 2 years ago because it had created such damage to the environment.

We hope this clears up some of the confusion that this has caused, and that you’re all getting out on the trails a bit during this stressful time.

Thank you,

Joy Rogalla
SUTA President

2 Comments
  1. I support SUTA’s recommendations for modifications for. Jack-Ash Trail System phase II. As a hiker and worker on trail maintenance I have seen damage on single track trails where motorized and non motorized users are forced to share the trail. Avoid injury and prerve the trail by dropping segments 8 and 12 or consider the alternatives suggested by SUTA . Thankyou.

  2. I support SUTA’s recommendations for modifications for. Jack-Ash Trail System phase II. As a hoker and worker on trail maintenance I have seen damage on single track trails where motorized and non motorized users are forced to share the trail. Avoid injury and prerve the trail by dropping segments 8 and 12 or consider the alternatives suggested by SUTA . Thankyou.

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