ANNOUNCEMENT: PSI Public Motor Vehicle Use EIS – Scoping Report is now available for public review

Scoping Report release announcement – Trails Preservation Alliance & COHVCO
 Scoping Report Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Public Motor Vehicle Use Environmental Impact Statement – USDA Forest Service

  1. Background: The Pike and San Isabel National Forest (PSI) is working to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS) for travel management on the PSI as the result of a 2015 court settlement agreement. Analysis in the EIS will determine and decide which roads and trails will be open for public motorized use and included in future Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs).
  2. The project Scoping Report is now complete: The formal public scoping comment period began on July 25, 2016 with the publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI), and was slated to run 45 days and end on September 8, 2016. However, the PSI extended the scoping comment period by 15 days until September 23, 2016, thereby giving the public more time to submit comments on the proposed project. The final scoping report analyzing these comments was approved by the PSI in September 2017 and is now available for public review at
  3. Next Steps: The TPA and COHVCO recommend that our constituents consider the following in response to the release of the PSI Scoping Report:
    • This Scoping Report is the first “official document” coming out of the PSI EIS process.
    • In general there appears to be a lot of support for continued multiple-use/OHV recreation and access. Several local governments and utilities are supporting Alternatives C or D.
    • The process is moving forward and we cannot afford to be complacent, all interested parties should remain vigilant, engaged and interested. Regularly check the TPA’s website, “News Page” ( for updates and information.
    • All routes, roads and trails that were initially at risk are still all at risk.
    • The full scoping report can be downloaded at:
    • A copy of the scoping report, highlighted by the TPA for easier reading, is available at the top of this page.
    • The TPA and COHVCO recommend that our constituents review the report, if individual comments were provided, we recommend individuals review the report to see if their comments were indeed received and included, and if the comments were considered “substantive” or “non-substantive”. (Excerpt from the NEPA Handbook
      • Substantive comments do one or more of the following:
        • Question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in the EIS or EA.
        • Question, with reasonable basis, the adequacy of, methodology for, or assumptions used for the environmental analysis.
        • Present new information relevant to the analysis.
        • Present reasonable alternatives other than those analyzed in the EIS or EA.
        • Cause changes or revisions in one or more of the alternatives.
      • Comments that are not considered substantive include the following:
        • Comments in favor of or against the proposed action or alternatives without reasoning that meet the criteria listed above (such as “we disagree with Alternative Two and believe the USFS should select Alternative Three”).
        • Comments that only agree or disagree with USFS policy or resource decisions without justification or supporting data that meet the criteria listed above (such as “more grazing should be permitted”).
        • Comments that don’t pertain to the project area or the project (such as “the government should eliminate all dams,” when the project is about a grazing permit).
          • Comments that take the form of vague, open-ended questions.
    • It is important to see and understand the conflicting goals and aspirations of the pro multiple-use/OHV citizens and the anti-access groups and understand the level of effort and amount of resources the anti-access groups are willing to expend to reduce and drastically close access to multiple-use/OHV recreation on the PSI (the Wilderness Society alone had 58 pages of comments listed in Appendix D).
    • We suggest that our constituents review and read the comments that the TPA/COHVCO has submitted for the project scoping phase (TPA comments begin at Submittal Comment No. 1062, pg. D-226)
    • This is just the beginning of the process and will continue for about another year, and it will be very important for folks to remain engaged, go to future meetings and once again prepare and provide at least one more round of meaningful and substantive public comments. Public comments are not required at this time. Form letters do little, each of us must continue to be specific about what is important to us, which routes are important to us and why. A good example of scoping comments was prepared and submitted by the Central Colorado Mountain Riders (Submittal Comment No. 935, pg. D-47).
  1. What can you do now?: Maintaining periodic dialogs with your local PSI, USFS, District Ranger staff will continue to be important to better understand all of the issues and challenges. Also, helping to inform and educate your local elected officials, local leaders and business owners on the positive economic impacts of OHV recreation and the potential for substantial and extensive loss of routes, roads and trails on USFS lands in the PSI.  When speaking to elected officials, be sure to have a plan, an organized list of discussion topics and make sure to do your homework regarding the discussion topics that are important to your respective local officials and business owners.
  2. The PSI Public Motor Vehicle Use EIS project and the resulting decision will likely have long-term implications for multiple-use/OHV recreation nationwide on all USFS lands, and the importance of this decision cannot be understated.