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Old 06-19-2004, 01:38 PM   #1
wvonkessler
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Member#: 36136
Join Date: May 2003
Default Urgent: Rally West Virginia: Comments to Forest Service Needed!

The Monongahela National Forest issued a scoping letter on June 10, 2004, and has asked for comments on the road use permission request for Rally West Virginia. Apparently, this has energized the environmental community into responding en mass in opposition to the permission request. The comment period is until July 10, 2004.

We would appreciate you sending in comments to dispel the misperception by the environmental community that rally events are destructive to the environment, and in support of the proposed use, emphasizing your choice of any of the following points, or any other points you may see fit which are supportive of the road use request:

Automobile rallies are not off road events. By definition, they only run on existing roads, and do not cause damage to land or roadless areas.

Automobile rally vehicles are street legal and emissions compliant, and are muffled and subject to sound testing.

As part of the permitting process, there is a mitigation process for any damage done to the roads used.

Automobile rallies are a contemplated recreational use of National Forests.

Automobile rallies provide a significant positive economic impact in the millions of dollars - to their hosting communities.

In over 30 years of automobile rallies being conducted in National Forests, there has never been a finding of a significant environmental impact as a result of an automobile rally event.

The passage of 60-80 vehicles over 30-40 miles of road over each of two days is a minimal impact in light of the 1800 miles of Forest maintained and 3600 miles of existing road in the forest. It represents use of less than 2.5% of the maintained roads in the Forest.

Please try to personalize your comments and keep them positive. You may send them by e-mail to Sara Schell with the Monongahela National Forest at [email protected]. You may also send them by regular mail to: Sara Schell, Monongahela National Forest, HC 59 Box 240, Petersburg, WV 26847.

Following is a copy of the scoping letter as published:

DECISION MEMO

Rally West Virginia and Camp Tygart USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region, Monongahela National Forest Pocahontas County, West Virginia

The Monongahela National Forest requests your comments on two requests to use national forest land, Rally West Virginia - John Shirley of Rally Promotions, LLC has requested the use of forest roads for portions of an automobile rally on September 3 and 4, 2004. The event would take place on portions of the Greenbrier and Marlinton Districts. This would be a stage rally, which is a performance form of sports car competition sanctioned by the National Auto Sport Association. The proposal includes the temporary closure of some forest roads for safety reasons. Some roads would be closed the night before the event and opened by 8 p.m. the day of the event. Other roads would be closed a few hours during the event. The national forest roads requested for use include: FR55 from State Route 84 to State Route 39, FR24, FR368C, FR135, FR235, FR233, FR227, FR92, and FR14 from Forest Road 423 to State Route 28.

Camp Tygart - The Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston operates Camp Tygart in Huttonsville, West Virginia. They have requested the use of national forest land for hiking and backpacking trips on the Greenbrier Ranger District. The following Forest Roads are requested for hiking and/or shuttle services to trailheads: FR92, FR47, FR49, FR188, FR209, FR27. The following trails are requested for hiking and backpacking: TR360 Stonecoal Trail, TR361 Whitmeadow Ridge, TR362 Crouch Ridge, TR372 Yokum Ridge.

Further information can be obtained from Sara Schell at Monongahela National Forest, HC 59 Box 240, Petersburg, WV 26847; phone; voice 304-257-4488, e-mail: [email protected].

Comments are due within 30 days of the date of this notice.

Fred Way, Greenbrier Ranger District
Rondi Fischer, Marlinton/White Sulphur Ranger District
6/10/1c
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Old 06-19-2004, 07:29 PM   #2
SUBE555
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Member#: 24043
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Oshkosh, WI
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2014 BMW 335i Sedan
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I hope things go well, I know there has been a lot of negative criticism towards many forms of motorsports for the aparent lack of understanding about them. Many places that have been hosting events for years understand, but a lot of new places aren't so welcoming. We have run into such with many local venues with the local sports car club and just AutoX.

Once again, good luck, hope everything goes well.
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Old 06-20-2004, 02:45 PM   #3
nogger
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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As I stated in the thread in Mid-A, Petersburg is my hometown so I'll make a personal visit next weekend. Any good information to present would be greatly appreciated.

-Aaron
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