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Shoshone National Forest

Travel Management Plan

Travel Planning on the Shoshone National Forest
 

The Preliminary Environmental Assessment has been released, and it is time for action.

 

 2014 Final Forest Plan dictates what can happen on the Shoshone, but the Travel Management Plan (TMP) determines what will happen on these public lands. After three years of work, the TMP went dormant in 2017. WWA has been waiting patiently for three years, eager to move the plan forward. However, Covid-19 has changed a lot, including the public's ability to partake in public land management decisions. Yet, the Shoshone National Forest chose to release the Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Plan on July 30, 2020 with originally only 30 days for public comment despite the pandemic's limitations. 

 

Luckily, with the help of our partners and supporters like you, the comment period has been extended to September 28th, giving more adequate time to identify motorized use options for many of the Shoshone’s spectacular front-country roadless areas. Check out the letter we sent requesting this extension. 

This extension was just the first step in a long process ensuring this backcountry forest receives management protocols that respect its wildness. For example, the final Forest Plan designates almost 80 percent of the South Zone’s non-wilderness-protected lands as available for summer and winter motorized use. Many of these areas, like the 30,000-acre Wiggins Fork Roadless area, are critical elk-calving, grizzly and lynx habitat and are locally championed as the best easily-accessed foot and horseback hunting and summer recreation areas on the Shoshone.

 

Unregulated motorized use has been the primary concern raised by the public to date, as it negatively impacts wildlife, non-motorized recreation opportunities, and local economies that rely on the Shoshone’s unique wilderness character. Please consider writing to the Forest with your concerns about the plan now, or wait to hear from us about the top concerns we identify and join us in a unified message concerning the alternatives currently on the table. 

WWA comments on
Travel Management Plan

The last comments WWA submitted  on the Travel Management Plan were in July 2016. Four years have passed but these are still important resources as we dive into this next round of commenting and attempt to influence the outcome of this process.

Click below to access comments and supporting documents. 

Travel Monitoring Project

 

WWA embarked on a citizen-initiative campaign to document motorized use concerns to help guide the Shoshone National Forest in developing a responsible Travel Management Plan. Almost 50 concerned citizens have reported motorized use observations to WWA, resulting in more than 300 photo-tagged waypoints on the Wind River Ranger District alone.

 

Click below to read our report (2016) on our Travel Monitoring effort.

 

This report summarizes our observations and conclusions regarding unauthorized motorized use on the Shoshone and explains how to navigate the Google Earth data and Travel Data below. The report begs the question: Can the Shoshone afford to maintain and enforce additional designated routes?

 

To access the Travel Data (Excel spreadsheet) click below:  

To access the Google Earth Data, click on the document link below. The .kmz file will download to your computer. You will need Google Earth in order to access the data. Click HERE to download Google Earth. 

Timeline of Events

Spring 2017 

Additional public meetings with new information

Summer 2017

Hold additional public field trips

Fall 2017

Planning was put on hold indefinitely...

Spring 2020 

SNF announces plans to release Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) in June 2020

July 30, 2020

SNF releases Preliminary EA and announces 30 day comment period 

August 11, 12 & 13 2020

Virtual Public meetings help for each ranger district ​

August 28, 2020

Public comments due

(unless our request for an extension is granted)

One of several unauthorized routes leaving from Wildcat Loop parking area. System road is not signed open or numbered, no sign of closure on unauthorized routes.

WWA photo.

Your concern inspired action in 2016, and it can do so again in 2020! 

As a result of the public concern regarding existing motorized use, the Shoshone National Forest assembled a Compliance Working Group to help the Shoshone enforce its designated route system. Although the working group fell dormant with the plan, Wyoming Wilderness Association continues to argue that the greatest opportunity to improve compliance on the Shoshone is to effectively close unauthorized routes.

 

Learn more about the Working Group by clicking here

WWA's Travel Plan Goals

 

  1. Protect the Shoshone’s vulnerable high alpine roadless areas from increased motorized development.

  2. Hold the Forest Service accountable to maintaining and enforcing its existing designated route system before considering additional motorized routes.

WWA Photo

Example of motorized use continuing past end of route because there are no signs or barriers to indicate end. 

PO Box 6588 (Mailing)

44 S. Main (Physical)

Sheridan, WY 82801

307.672.2751

info@wildwyo.org

Wyoming wilderness Association

A nonprofit 501(c)(3) grassroots organization dedicated to protecting Wyoming public wildlands.

Tax ID #38-3667856

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