Questions about "Land Use?" Let's see 'em - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Land Use Action Forum A place for information on land closures and what you can do about them.

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about "Land Use?" Let's see 'em

I might not be the world's foremost authority on land use issues and processes (yeah, that's an understatement!), but I hope I know a bunch of them. If you have questions about "Land Use" post 'em up and I'll try my best to get them answered.

Have at it, folks...your input is very welcome and valuable!

Heather
Red and White 1973 FJ55
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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Is the Forest Service required to ban motorized recreation from Recommended Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions about "Land Use?" Let's see 'em

Damn good question. The whole idea behind “wilderness areas” is that they are remote, which means that they don’t want people there, or at least not the kind that get there via a motorized machine. These are “roadless areas” that do not allow any vehicles, including non-motorized bikes.

A "wilderness area" is defined in Section 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 261.2 as:

"National Forest wilderness means those parts of the National Forest System which were designated units of the National Wilderness Preservation System by the Wilderness Act of September 3, 1964, and such other areas of the National Forest System as are added to the wilderness system by act of Congress."

In addition, 36 CFR § 261.18 states that:

The following are prohibited in a National Forest Wilderness:
(a) Possessing or using a motor vehicle, motorboat or motorized equipment except as authorized by Federal Law or regulation.
(b) Possessing or using a hang glider or bicycle.
(c) Landing of aircraft, or dropping or picking up of any material, supplies, or person by means of aircraft, including a helicopter.
[42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977, as amended at 42 FR 35959, July 13, 1977; 50 FR 16231, Apr. 25, 1985. Redesignated at 70 FR 68291, Nov. 9, 2005]

In order for an area to become a Wilderness Area, which takes a designation from Congress, it is usually set up as a Recommended Wilderness Area or a Wilderness Study Area. Then it's monitored for a period of time, and then is submitted for approval by Congress (and that is a VERY brief summary!) For more info on the Wilderness Act, See U.S. Code Title 16, Chapter 23 at US CODE--TITLE 16--CONSERVATION or on Wiki at: Wilderness Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As far as Recommend or Study Wilderness Areas, I don’t think that there is a specific prohibition set up in the CFR. However, the USFS (or which ever land management agency) can pass specific rules for specific areas if they go through their correct administrative process.

If you want to put some time into this, anyone can search the CFR here: Code of Federal Regulations: Main Page

I hope that helps! But as a disclaimer, in points of law, it's always best to consult a lawyer. Like I said, I am not the expert, but I can at least give you some ideas and resources on which to base opinions.

Heather
Red and White 1973 FJ55

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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Re: Questions about "Land Use?" Let's see 'em

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k9crazy previously said:
As far as Recommend or Study Wilderness Areas, I don’t think that there is a specific prohibition set up in the CFR. However, the USFS (or which ever land management agency) can pass specific rules for specific areas if they go through their correct administrative process.
Good reply k9. You are so correct.

I am actully pretty familiar with some of the codes, and I can find nothing in the codes that requires the Forest Service, or any other land management agency, to ban any type of motorized vehicles from Recommended Wilderness Areas. But in Region One (Mainly Montana), that is exactly what they are doing.

I guess they figure to hell with Congress and the President, the FS will do as they please.

Thank you for your reply!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions about "Land Use?" Let's see 'em

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CleElum Sledhead previously said: View Post
Good reply k9. You are so correct.

I am actully pretty familiar with some of the codes, and I can find nothing in the codes that requires the Forest Service, or any other land management agency, to ban any type of motorized vehicles from Recommended Wilderness Areas. But in Region One (Mainly Montana), that is exactly what they are doing.

I guess they figure to hell with Congress and the President, the FS will do as they please.

Thank you for your reply!
Thanks! But remember, the FS does operate under their own rules and regulations. They have land management plans that can be very loosely translated to go one way or another. They can make decisions on their own land within their agency if they follow their own rules and those rules are in compliance with NEPA and other administrative laws. It does NOT take an act of Congress or of the President to close an area to motorized vehicle traffic. If an area is under consideration for designation as a Wilderness Area, one of the first things they are going to go after is motorized vehicle access because it is EXACTLY the opposite to remote.

This all seems to make for a pretty hard fight. And one that we don't see on the East Coast very much. We just don't have that much Federal land left.

Heather
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