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Soldiers Pass #KeepSoliderPassOpen

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--- Quote from: pinchel (Rob) on September 16, 2016, 09:36:55 AM ---We posted a meeting and vote they were having months ago regarding this. They are trying to limit vehicle traffic and make it more hiker friendly.

--- End quote ---

No longer trying, they just closed it. Not sure the effective date, but will only be open for Jeep tours, Emergency vehicles and forest service vehicles.

--- Quote ---File Code: 1950

Date: September 6, 2016

Dear friends and neighbors,

Thank you for your interest and participation in the Soldiers Pass Motorized Use Project. The proposed project will change the management of motorized use on the Soldiers Pass Road. The project was proposed to bring use into compliance with forest plan direction and to reduce conflicts that are occurring on adjacent City of Sedona and private properties as a result of the high volume of motorized traffic accessing the forest.

An environmental assessment was published in the spring of 2016 and was made available for a

30-day comment period. We have reviewed and responded to all comments received. As the

Responsible Official, I have prepared a draft Decision Notice. After consideration of the Soldiers Pass Motorized Use Project Environmental Assessment, Additional Analysis and public comments, I have decided to select modified alternative B, which would allow motorized use by Red Rock Western Jeep Tours, the Forest Service, and emergency responders. No other motorized use would be allowed.

The environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact, and the draft decision notice are available electronically for your review at: These documents are also available for review at the Coconino National Forest Supervisor’s Office.

The actions proposed in the Soldiers Pass Motorized Use Project draft decision notice are activities implementing a land management plan and not authorized under the HFRA, and are subject to 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B.

How to file an Objection and Timeframe

Objections will only be accepted from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated opportunity for public comment in accordance with §218.5(a). Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless based on new information arising after the designated comment opportunities.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, express delivery, or messenger service (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays) to Cal Joyner, Regional Forester at the following addresses. Mail: Southwestern Region, 333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102; FAX: (505) 842-3800; or Email: Electronically filed objections may be submitted by email in word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), text (.txt), and hypertext markup language (.html).


Objections must be submitted within 45 calendar days following the publication of this notice in the Arizona Daily Sun. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Those wishing to object should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. The regulations prohibit extending the time to file an objection.

At a minimum, an objection must include the following (36 CFR 218.8(d)):

1. The objector’s name and address, with a telephone number, if available;

2. A signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for email may be filed with the objection);

3. When multiple names are listed on an objection, identification of the lead objector

(verification of the identity of the lead objector shall be provided upon request);

4. The name of the proposed project, the name and title of the Responsible Official, and the name(s) of the National Forest(s) and/or Ranger District(s) on which the proposed project will be implemented;

5. A description of those aspects of the proposed project addressed by the objection, including specific issues related to the proposed project if applicable, how the objector believes the environmental analysis or draft decision specifically violates law, regulation, or policy; suggested remedies that would resolve the objection; supporting reasons for the reviewing officer to consider; and

6. A statement that demonstrates connection between prior specific written comments on

the particular proposed project or activity and the content of the objection.

Incorporation of documents by reference is permitted only as provided in §218.8(b). It is the objector’s responsibility to ensure timely filing of a written objection with the reviewing officer pursuant to §218.9. All objections are available for public inspection during and after the objection process.

Additional information can be obtained from: Julie Rowe at or 928-203-7516.


cc: Christine Handler, Julie Rowe, Mike Dechter, Nicole Branton
--- End quote ---

I just read through all the documentation from the USFS.  There is a 45-day period for those who have previously written letters / emails to write an Objection.  If no Objections are received, then it will be closed 5 business days after the Objection Period ends (~50 days from now).

If they receive Objections (from those who previously have written / emailed them only), then they will have to respond to those Objections before taking final action to close the trail.  I will be writing an Objection, but they way their documentation is written, there is a 99.9% chance that this trail will be closed to the motoring public.

The Soldier's Pass trail will be closed to all motorized traffic EXCEPT for the Red Rock Jeep Tour company (they are currently the only tour company allowed to operate on Soldier's Pass, as they pay a yearly permit), USFS personnel, and Emergency Services (if a hiker is injured).

If you want to run this trail, I suggest you head up there soon, because it will likely be closed by year end.

pinchel (Rob):
There is a new post on Facebook regarding an invite only meeting with the Reviewing Official, Deputy Regional Forester Jim Upchurch,  and Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West, and other objectors with similar concerns, on Wednesday, December 14 at the Red Rock Ranger District in Sedona, AZ to discuss.

Meeting times: 8 am, 10:30 am, and 1 pm. If you are aware of any other time please post on the Facebook Event page, as this information is not maintained by AZXC.

The public is allowed to attend the meeting, but only those who were extended actual invitations may speak.

Here is the event page:


Instead of closing the trail, has any looked at the ATV Crowd  and put restrictions / accountability on their reckless?

I road Enduro Events and trail riding on Motorcycles and we always had ethics on how and when.
We established off roads understand Tread Lightly.

Is their any enforcement?  The other problem is the rental Houses rent to anyone who has money.

Truly this is a problem.

pinchel (Rob):
Voices are being heard, they are considering the permit type access, and the trail is still open for the moment.


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