There was a large turnout at the Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Trail scoping meeting on Monday, February 13th, with over seventy people attending. The meeting was set up open house style: project information was presented on tables where attendees could fill out a comment form, and two large project maps were available for viewing. Dan Morris from the U.S. Forest Service and Ann Bolinger from Carson City Parks & Rec did a great job organizing this meeting.
Scoping is the public portion of the NEPA process where citizens can voice their concerns or show support for the project under review. For our project the USFS is going for a Categorical Exclusion (CE), meaning, “a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment . . . and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required”. With our ground surveys completed and the strong public support, getting a CE is a good possibility. Considering we didn’t hear any negative comments at the meeting, the decision will depend on written comments the USFS receives regarding the project.
The attendance reflected the tremendous support base this project is garnering from the community and local trail groups. Jeremy Vlcan from the CVTA attended, and the entire board from the Poedunks ( I’m not sure if it was the entire board, but pretty darn close) showed up to give support. Thanks,guys!
There were also a few local legends in the crowd. Ranger Bill (Champion) from State Parks was there. It was great talking with Ranger Bill about the “Big Picture” that the Kings/Ash Canyon trail will one day be a part of. With all the outstanding contributions to trail access (from TAMBA in the State Park, the Poedunks in Reno, the CVTA in Carson Valley, and Muscle Powered in Carson City) it isn’t hard to imagine that with a few connections to link the systems, we could eventually have an amazing trail network that would offer a myriad of epic loop opportunities.
If we receive a CE, the next step will be to scope the project and negotiate cooperative agreements with Carson City and the USFS. If all goes well we could break ground this summer.
If you would like to show support for this project here are a few ways you can comment:
Send a letter to:
Dan Morris Recreation Officer
Carson Ranger District
1536 S Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701
Or call: 884-8140
Comment deadline is March 2nd, with a decision expected on March 15th.
If you would like to get involved with the Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Trail please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org