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Sequoia Trails Newsletter October 2023

Future Of Piute Trails Hang In The Balance

The Piute Travel Management Plan has been on hold since 2011 when the Forest Service focused their staff on Revising the Sequoia Forest Plan. Last year they announced they would continue the Piute Travel Plan this past February, which was subsequently postponed to October. They just announced the Piute Plan will resume in January 2024.

All the Sequoia planning staff have changed since 2011 when Stewards brought together 30 organizations to work with the Forest Service creating a Piute Proposed Action where all existing Piute motorized trails would be considered for designation to remain open to motorized use.

Stewards previously thwarted several attempts by the Forest Service to close over 100 miles of Piute trails. Now 12 years later we again have our work cut out for us. It seems likely the Forest Service will attempt to ignore the valid 2011 Piute Proposed Action and instead create a new Proposed action with far fewer trails, effectively closing up to 100 miles of Piute trails. Stewards are in the process of getting the new forest trail planning staff up to speed on the past history of Piute Travel Management to justify considering and designating all existing inventoried trails as open to motorized use.

Thanks to those of you who have donated this year, but many have not donated or let your Stewards donation expire. Your support is needed. Please DONATE NOW to help fund Stewards program to keep the Piute trails open.

Oversight Needed On Sequoia Forest Plan Objections

Stewards is partnering with California Four Wheel Drive Association and others in an effort to have Congress perform oversight on the Sequoia and Sierra Forest Plans. We are asking Congress to look into why the Forest Service stated they would address our specific objections as required by law, but instead refused to, such as such as updating the non-motorized Recreation Opportunity Spectrum to motorized where there are motorized trails on the ground.and the Forest Service violating their own regulations by including a trail specific one mile wide PCT management area when their Forest Plan is not supposed to be trail specific.  

Sequoia Camp Fire Restrictions Lifted

Due to recent moisture and cooler daytime and nighttime temperatures, Sequoia National Forest fire officials terminated campfire restrictions effective midnight Friday, September 29, 2023. Campfires will then be allowed in developed campgrounds and dispersed sites of the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Campfire Reminder:

·         Campfires must be supervised and always controlled. Only leave when fully extinguished.

·         Campfires must have at least ten feet of flammable material cleared around them.

·         To reduce impacts to the landscape, if available, using existing “rock rings” is preferred rather than creating new ones.

·         Certain activities are prohibited year-round. For example, possessing, discharging, or using fireworks or pyrotechnic devices is prohibited.

·         A valid California Campfire Permit is still required for dispersed camp fires. It is not needed in developed campgrounds fire rings


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