I recently saw this letter and decided to share, do what you must:-
Steve Kruse is the GM of Timberline. As cycling advocates you will be interested to read on:
As most of you are aware, the Timberline Bike Park proposal was approved in 2012 following 2 years of environmental studies, resulting in a comprehensive Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposal. The Forest Service issued a Decision and Finding of No significant Impact based on the analysis in the EA. This approval was subsequently appealed by a consortium of groups, led by the Friends of Mt. Hood. Upon review by the Region VI Regional Forester, the decision was upheld and the appeal was denied.
Just prior to the start of construction, the CRAG Law Firm, representing Friends of Mt. Hood, the Sierra Club, BARK and the NW Environmental Defense Center, filed suit against the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and requested an injunction to halt any activity in regards to the proposed Bike Park. Timberline requested and was granted the right to be joined as a co-defendant intervenor with the Forest Service. A federal judge issued an interim injunction pending the court issuing a ruling regarding the merits of the issues in the case. This injunction applied to any trail building, but allowed most of the restoration work to proceed. The restoration work was substantially completed in the Fall of 2015. Subsequent to the initial stages of the law suit, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was also named in an amended complaint.
In the Spring of this year, the federal judge ruled in favor of the Forest Service, NMFS and Timberline on most of the issues in the lawsuit, and deferred ruling on the few remaining issues pending Forest Service and NMFS completion of updated reviews of additional information in the form of an additional NFMS Biological Opinion, and the results of further Western Bumblebee surveys.
Yesterday, the Forest Service issued their review of the additional information on their website, their reasoning behind why they feel that the new information is consistent with prior work, concluding that no supplemental EA or other additional NEPA is required, and provided for another public comment period regarding their review and conclusions, ending October 31st. The intent of the comment period is to receive input from the public as to whether or not to prepare a supplemental EA or otherwise reopen the EA process, which would further delay implementation of the Bike Park project.
It is our firm belief that the environmental analysis and other processes that were followed regarding the Bike Park have been professional, exhaustive, and more than adequate. We would appreciate any brief comments that you may want to provide to the Forest Service that agree with the conclusion that no further NEPA process is warranted, and supporting construction of the bike trails and other implementation of the project without further delay. Any comments should be sent prior to October 31st to the email address in the links below:
Public Comment Request Letter: http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/68144_FSPLT3_3902051.pdf
Thank you for your continued support, and please share with anyone who supports Mountain Biking on our National Forests
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