Concerns About USFS Public Comment
by Mark Halper, Telluride
Jun 02, 2013 | 1366 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor:

I am addressing you as a member of the nation and the public – the rightful owners of the affected U.S. Forest Service land. I am now alleging that Judy Schutza as Norwood District Ranger and yourself as Forest Supervisor are derelict in your responsibilities, and are now in the process of denying the public the rightful and legal opportunity to become involved in and submit public comments on the use of the affected U.S. Forest Service land, which is located just south of the common southern boundary of the private property of Sunshinemesa LLC and the U.S. Forest Service.

The U.S. Forest Service is now apparently in the process of intending to permanently damage and destroy this piece of land by altering the natural pre-existing original condition and environment. Extensive effort has previously been undertaken by myself to restore and enhance the affected U.S. Forest Service land to its pre-existing, original condition and environment after having previously removed fallen trees into the stream, which had caused impediments and obstructions to the stream, thus deflecting and diverting water out of the natural stream bed onto the adjacent land.

The location of the affected land is a strategic and unique gateway to a most spectacular and special form of outdoor recreation to provide camping, picnic, scenic viewing and unequalled hiking into the “Kalalau of Colorado” within the Lizard Head Wilderness Area. For your information, it was named after the famous Kalalau trail within the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on the northern shore of the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The affected U.S. Forest Service land is presently included in the current legislation to expand the wilderness, and upon approval would become part of the Lizard head Wilderness Area. The affected U.S. Forest Service land is also natural habitat for deer, elk, bear, coyote, porcupine, rabbit, sage grouse and turkeys and used by cows as part of a grazing permit. The U.S. Forest Service is now apparently in the process of intending to permanently damage and destroy the natural preexisting, original condition and environment without affording the public the rightful and lawful opportunity to become involved in this process through public notice, site visit and public comment on the use of the affected U.S. Forest Service land. This goes against the lifelong dedication and values of President Theodore Roosevelt, which the U.S. Forest Service chose to honor in constructing a beautiful kiosk at great cost on the turn-out off of Highway 145 facing and proudly highlighting this unique and special area of the Lizard Head Wilderness. His famous quote in 1910 states, “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value and behaves badly if it leaves the land poorer to those who come after it.”

In the earlier ruling dated Dec. 19, 2012 from U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez, the judge states, “The Forest Service failed to provide notice of the ‘time, place, and nature of the public rule making proceedings.’ 5 U.S.C 553(b).” The U.S. Forest Service now has repeated this same misconduct and again is apparently intent on failing to adhere to and honor procedures and regulations.

– Mark Halper, Telluride
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