VISUAL RESOURCES TECHNICAL MEMO
1. An important consideration with respect to the extent of various
impacts is the relative amount of area affected. This is particu-larly
critical for riparian areas (visual sensitivity rating 6 or 7).
For example, in alternative Cl, the total riparian area affected
is estimated at 9.5 acres. This calculates to be a strip approxi-mately
9 feet wide for the entire middle section of the canyon, and
agrees closely with the amount of riparian area affected by addition
of a strip 8.5 feet wide to the ' highway (modified standard). Since
the middle section is very . narrow, all land between the road and
the river is riparian (U.S.F.S. standard is anything less than
100 feet). How much of the total riparian zone would be affected
in this alternative? 50%? 75%? For alternative 0, 40 mph, it must
approach 100%, since this calculates to be a strip 13.5 feet wide
for the entire section. In order to evaluate the impact, an esti-mate
of the amount (%) of total riparian zone destroyed in each
alternative needs to be given.
2. The maps showing the area to be affected are somewhat misleading,
since they indicate, e.g., riparian zone only exists where the
R/7(6) symbol occurs. In fact, in the middle canyon, the entire
area between the road and the river is riparian zone, and any widen-ing
of the road will affect it for the entire length of the section.
This should be clarified for Cl, 01 alternatives.
3. No accounts is taken of the impact on visual resources for those
using the canyon but not driving. Campers, fisherman, hikers, etc,
not on the road may have their visual resources adversely affected
by the various alternatives, but in a different manner than drivers.
How is this to be evaluated?
4. Page 6. Evaluation Criteria. It is stated: "Roadsides with
a 3-5 rating can absorb alternations, but will require major mitigation
(retaining walls, bridges, etc)." It is hard to understand
how a retaining wall or a bridge can mitigate the loss of naturalness.
5. The memo indicates all alterations in areas with a 6 or 7 sen-sitivity
index (which includes all riparian zones) cannot meet the
VQO or Retention, which is required by the Forest Plan. These
amount to a considerable amount of the total area affected, partic-ularly
in the middle canyon (35% for Cl; 34%. for 01, 35 mph; 35% for
01, 40 mph), as well as parts of the upper canyon (Franklin Basin
road to Beaver Mountain Road, Summit). No indication is given,
however, as to how this impass is to be solved. Clearly, this will
require a revision of the Forest Plan for these alternatives, since
such a large part of the total area will be affected. The implications
of this must be spelled out in the OEIS. This is a critical
6. The spot Improvement Alternative (B) appears to include all spot
alternatives in the form originally proposed. There is no such alternatives,
since the number and extent of each improvement must be agreed
upon. It must be made clear this alternative includes all spot improvements
at the maximum level for each, and the final alternative will
be for fewer and smaller improvements. As it now stands, there is
little to differentiate Bl from Cl in the sections affected: the only
difference is in the width of the road between improvements.
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