What is a SOPA?

As part of carrying out the mission of the Forest Service, agency resource specialists develop proposals that will enhance or maintain resource values on public lands, as well as generate products. In addition, the public may submit proposals for various uses such as rights-of-way, land exchanges, and recreational events. A necessary part of the planning for these is the environmental analysis and documentation, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and agency direction.

The Schedule of Proposed Actions provides a list of proposals that will begin or are undergoing environmental analysis and documentation so that people can become aware of and indicate their interest in specific proposals.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Once you figure out how to find projects, this information IS NOT BORING. The SOPA contains hard details on projects proposed, planned, and being implemented in YOUR forest. [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

The Schedule of Proposed Actions includes proposals whose decisions are expected to be documented in a Decision Memo, Decision Notice, or Record of Decision, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and agency direction.

The Schedule of Proposed Actions is published in January, April, July, and October. It contains the best available information at that time. Proposals that start and finish before the next schedule is produced will be listed in the next schedule as Completed.

You can find more information on what a SOPA is here.

Here are recent items from the SOPA that relate to trails in the Big Bear area:

Santa Ana Watershed Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Forest Health EIS

Decision: In process
Description:
 Fuels reduction within a 21,000-acre analysis area to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire to adjacent communities, organizational camps, and recreation residences. Occurs within Sugarloaf IRA. 
Web Link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=24122

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Why is this important?  These fuels projects cause significant ground disturbance and impact. Creating a trail afterwards in this area causes less impact and the environmental processes are lessened because analysis has already been done in the area. The Skyline Trail was created within a Fuels Reduction area. [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

Santa-Ana-Watershed-Hazardous-Fuels-Reduction-and-Forest-Health-EIS

Alpine Pedal Path Improvement – CMTL Major Project CE

Decision: In process
Description: 
Widen the Alpine Pedal Path by 3 feet so it can better handle the current volume of foot and bicycle traffic. 
Web Link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=43329

North Big Bear Fuels Reduction and Forest Health EA

Decision: In process
Description:
 Cut and remove dead and dying trees as well as some green trees to reduce hazardous fuels in the community defense and threat zones along the North Shore of Big Bear Lake. 
Web Link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=3836

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Why is this important?  These fuels projects cause significant ground disturbance and impact. Creating a trail afterwards in this area causes less impact and the environmental processes are lessened because analysis has already been done in the area. The Skyline Trail was created within a Fuels Reduction area. [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

North-Big-Bear-Fuels-Reduction-and-Forest-Health-EA

Rattlesnake Mountain OHV Trails EA

Decision: In process
Description:
 Proposal to evaluate adding aproximately 20 miles to the forest trail system designated as exculsive to motorcycle use. New trails would be on Rattlesnake Mountain, northeast of Big Pine Flat. 
Web Link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=43331

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Why is this important? This is an example of a trails project in our forest that has required an Environmental Assessment.  [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

Snow Summit Mountain Bike Trails – Ski Area Permit Amendment CE

Decision: In process
Description:
 Authorization and construction of mountain bike trails both on and outside of ski runs 
Web Link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=43432

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Why is this important? The Ski Area is in the process of developing a 3 mile long beginner trail from the top of the mountain down to the bottom. This will be an important non-motorized connector trail for users.  [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

May Valley Non-Motorized Trail System EA

Decision: In process
Description:
 Create a system of non-motorized trails in May Valley utilizing existing non-system roads and trails. 
Web Link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=15568

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Why is this important? This is an example of a trails project in our forest that has required an Environmental Assessment.  [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

Baldwin Lake Fuels Reduction EA

Decision: 3/2013
Description:
Hazardous fuels reduction on approximately 5,300 mostly forested acres around the Baldwin Lake, Erwin Lake, Woodlands, and Gocke Valley communitiesto reduce fire risk to communities and improve forest health. 
Web Link:  http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=27521

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Why is this important?  These fuels projects cause significant ground disturbance and impact. Creating a trail afterwards in this area causes less impact and the environmental processes are lessened because analysis has already been done in the area. The Skyline Trail was created within a Fuels Reduction area. [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

Baldwin-Lake-Fuels-Reduction-EA

Habitat Restoration in the Big Bear Watershed Project CE

Decision: 9/2012
Description:
 Decommission selected roads in the Big Bear, Holcomb, and Coxey Watersheds for transportation system management and watershed improvement. Some roads would be converted to non-motorized trails to improve non-motorized opportunities in the areas. 
Web Link:  http://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/nepa_project_exp.php?project=38938

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundblue”]Why is this important?  Several non-motorized trail in the South Shore area (Cabin 89, etc) were created underneath this CE. Quite a few roads were decomissioned underneath this CE. This is important to understand historically how trails were created in the area, and also to understand which roads were decomissioned, as it may be possible to designate these as non-motorized trails in a future system.  [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]

Habitat-Restoration-in-the-Big-Bear-Watershed-Project-CE-1

Habitat-Restoration-in-the-Big-Bear-Watershed-Project-CE-2

Habitat-Restoration-in-the-Big-Bear-Watershed-Project-CE

[xyz-ihs snippet=”backgroundgreen”]PLEASE NOTE: Much of the above has been directly copied from referenced sources publicly available on the internet. Subjective opinion and interpretation can be found in color-hilited text boxes. [xyz-ihs snippet=”closeparagraph”]