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Letter: Illegal roads causing damage to Pryors

Letter: Illegal roads causing damage to Pryors

We the public have until Dec. 19 to comment to the Custer National Forest regarding its draft environmental impact statement on the Beartooth District Travel Plan. This includes the Beartooth Mountains and the Pryor Mountains. Most of the issues revolve around the impact of roads in these areas.

In the Pryors, roads access most of the navigable terrain, and many miles of these roads are user-created, i.e., not sanctioned by the Forest Service. Due to lack of information (signs, maps) and virtually no law enforcement, drivers have been able to drive off-road, create these roads and wear these tracks down until it is difficult to tell which are authorized and which are illegal roads. These excessive miles of roads highly impact the view, the solitude, erosion, noxious weeds, wildlife security, cultural sites and unique environments in the Pryors.

If only the authorized roads in the current (1987) Travel Plan were allowed, there would be more than enough access to drive to within a mile of any place in the Pryors. And the impacts to these public resources would be dramatically reduced. Send your comments to the CNF and explain why a reasonable amount of legal roads makes sense to you. For more information and addresses, go to www.pryormountains.org.

Grant Barnard

Red Lodge

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