Public input sought for Basin recreation improvements | SierraSun.com

Public input sought for Basin recreation improvements

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) invites the public to share their opinions on a strategy to improve the quality and maintenance of its developed recreation sites.

The strategy is part of a process called “Recreation Facility Analysis (RFA)” that national forests are using to determine how they will provide the best recreation opportunities in the right places. The RFA helps forests prioritize expenditures and investments for recreation facilities with consideration of public input.

The end result of the RFA will be a five-year plan to reduce the maintenance backlog (called deferred maintenance) on LTBMU recreation facilities by 20 percent over the next five years. Like other national forests, the LTBMU will also be analyzing its ability to reduce deferred maintenance 90 percent by 2020. The current level of deferred maintenance associated with LTBMU’s developed recreation facilities, excluding roadways, is approximately $23 million.

“Reducing the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’s maintenance backlog 90 percent by 2020 will require creativity, collaboration with partners and some strategic decisions over the next 12 years,” said LTBMU Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron. “The LTBMU will be seeking public input to meet the challenge while providing the best possible recreation experiences for residents and visitors alike.”

The plan only addresses developed recreation facilities, not dispersed recreation, private facilities on National Forest System (NFS) lands or other issues associated with recreation opportunities on NFS lands. Road systems associated with recreation sites also are not included in the RFA. The Forest Service will analyze proposed actions under the National Environmental Policy Act as appropriate.

The five-year plan prioritizes projects that address health and safety needs, such as installing or replacing restrooms. Meeting best management practices to protect water quality is another focus. The LTBMU is not planning to close any facilities. Proposed fee increases at several sites would directly benefit those facilities by allowing improved maintenance. Whenever facilities or amenities are replaced, they will be designed to provide for universal accessibility.

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A detailed list of possible actions the LTBMU is considering for its developed recreation facilities over the next five years and additional information on the RFA process are available at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/. The plan sets forth an array of projects to consider within the next five years, but all of these projects may not be implemented during this timeframe. The plan does not preclude considering additional management activities or proposals aimed at improving LTBMU recreation facilities.

For more information, call project manager Daniel Cressy, (530) 543-2857 . Please send any input by March 10, 2008: via email to dcressy@fs.fed.us; fax to (530) 543-2693, attention Daniel Cressy; or mail to Daniel Cressy, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, USDA Forest Service, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.