Shoshone Travel Management Plan
Motorized use planning for our oldest and wildest National Forest
The Shoshone National Forest released its Environmental Assessment for their long-awaited Travel Management Plan on October 19th. In short, the plan proposes significant new motorized routes and trails while ignoring the illegal motorized use, enforcement capacity, and deferred maintenance concerns that have dominated public comment. The proposal adds four new large motorized loops on the Wind River District, the area of the forest with the most documented enforcement and maintenance issues. The new summer motorized trails would bisect Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRA's), a Wild and Scenic eligible River, and crucial wildlife habitat bordering the Fitzpatrick Wilderness. The winter travel plan grossly extends the open over-snow vehicle season from Nov 1 to June 15, and fails to protect the High Lakes Wilderness Study Area as required by the Wyoming Wilderness Act.
WWA and our partner organization submitted the following concerns regarding the SNF Travel Management Plan:
We insist the Forest Service honor public comments and use its limited resources to enforce, maintain and improve the Shoshone’s existing roads and trails - NOT add new ones.
Oppose the multiple new motorized trails, route construction and motorized loops proposed on the Wind River District. Adding more motorized trails to the District that already has the largest motorized trail system and the greatest enforcement and maintenance needs does not meet user demand or public comment concerns.
Specifically oppose these two new OHV routes/loop additions:
1. the Warm Springs Canyon additions (WR07,WR13).
2. Benchmark Roadless Area MT14 additions (WR03, WR90, WR11,WR78).
These new route proposals would have significant and cumulative impacts to Inventoried Roadless Areas, Wild and Scenic eligible Rivers, unique geologic areas, and existing non-motorized recreation.
Told the Forest Service to mitigate increasing snowmobile use in the High Lakes WSA and comply with the Wyoming Wilderness Act through winter travel planning. Request the Forest-wide snowmobile season be limited from December 1 to April 30.
Thanked and support new seasonal road closures, one of the best tools for protecting wildlife and preserving road conditions.
To learn more about the motorized additions in the Dubois/Togwotee area and proposal specifics:
We will keep you updated on the SNF Travel Plan as updates continue to come.
TRAVEL PLAN TIMELINE
SNF accepts pre-scoping comments and public travel proposals, WWA submitted Initial Proposal Responses
SNF addresses unauthorized motorized use concerns. WWA serves on the Education and Compliance Working Group to produce
recommendations for the SNF
SNF releases Preliminary Environmental Assessment, despite covid and public engagement concerns
SNF intends to release a revised draft by year end. WWA submits request for improved readability of travel proposals
WWA Travel Management Project
WWA’s volunteer Travel Monitoring Project documented motorized use concerns to help guide a responsible Travel Management Plan. The report highlights the Shoshone’s challenges maintaining and enforcing existing motorized routes, and demonstrates that more illegal motorized use occurs in areas with more motorized routes and loops.
Wyoming Wilderness Association would like to recognize that public wildlands are Native lands, and that more than twenty indigenous tribes are connected to Wyoming including, the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Lakota, Dakota and Nakota bands), Hinono’ei (Arapaho), Sáhniš (Arikara), Panati (Bannock), Niitsitapi (Blackfeet), Tsistsistas (Cheyenne), Apsaalooké (Crow), A'aninin (Gros Ventre), [Gáuigú (Kiowa), Nimi'ipuu (Nez Perce), Tukudeka (Sheep Eater), Newe (Shoshone) and Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute). These tribes were forcibly and often violently removed from the areas where Wyoming’s public wildlands and communities now exist.
WWA would lastly like to admit that this land acknowledgement, as well as our commitment to engaging Native peoples in our work is far from perfect. We welcome and encourage all feedback and suggestions.