Go back to main project page

Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Shuttle System #47916

Commenting on This Project

The Santa Catalina Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest has prepared an environmental assessment (EA), draft Decision Notice (DN) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Shuttle System. The decision provides for the operation and maintenance of a shuttle system within the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.

The draft DN details the intended selection of Alternative 2 and provides the rationale for selecting that alternative. Per the DN, the operation and maintenance of a shuttle system along six miles of paved National Forest System Roads (NFSRs) 100 and 100A will be allowed within the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The authorization would allow operation of and access to (along FSRs 804 and 804A) a vehicle storage and maintenance yard approximately one (1) acre in size, and a space to provide information and sell tickets.

The draft DN also includes a number of design features relating to exhaust emissions, safety, noise, water quality, wildlife, cultural and historical resources, scenery management, and accessibility developed in response to public comments during the scoping and 30-day comment periods. These design features are requirements intended to avoid or lessen the potential effects associated with the following shuttle operations:

Sabino and Bear Canyon Routes

·       Shuttle operations would occur five (5) to seven (7) days per week.

·       Shuttle service for passengers meeting demand during peak season and peak days, up to 150,000 passengers over a year. Shuttle service for groups for special events.

Annual shuttle free days for 3 days during the year.

Sabino Canyon Route

·       Nine (9) regularly scheduled shuttle drop off and pick up locations along the 3.7 mile route in Sabino Canyon.

·       During peak season (mid-December through May), there would be a maximum of 32 round- trips per day, excepting emergency situations.

·       During the off-peak season (June to mid-December), a minimum of eight (8) round-trips per day, one (1) per hour, would be authorized.

·       During peak season (mid-December through May), shuttle operations would depart every 30 minutes from 9:00 am with the final shuttle departing at 4:30 pm in Sabino Canyon.

·       During the off-peak season (June to mid-December), weekday shuttle operations would depart every hour beginning at 9:00 am, with the final shuttle departing at 4:00 pm. 

·       During the off-peak season (June to mid-December), on weekends and holidays, shuttle operations would depart every 30 minutes beginning at 9:00 am, with the final shuttle departing at 4:30 pm.

·       Evening rides would be allocated to a maximum of 18 round-trips per year.

·       Shuttle service for 6,000 round-trips per year.

Bear Canyon Route

·       Three (3) regularly scheduled stops at existing locations along the 1.9 mile route in Bear Canyon.

·       A maximum of eight (8) round-trips, no less than one (1) per hour, departing every hour beginning at 9:00 am, with the final shuttle departing at 4:00 pm.

The EA, draft DN, and FONSI are available on-line at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=47916. These documents are also available for review at Santa Catalina Ranger District office. Additional information can be obtained from District Ranger, Ken Born, at SantaCatalinaRD@fs.fed.us.

The Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Shuttle System is an activity implementing a land management plan and not authorized under the HFRA and is subject to 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B.

How to File an Objection

The 45-day objection period is now open. 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.

Electronic objections in common formats (.doc, .rtf, .pdf, or .txt) may be submitted to objections-southwestern-regional-office@fs.fed.us with the subject titled: “Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Shuttle System.”

Objections may also be faxed to 505-842-3173 to the attention of “OBJECTION: Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Shuttle System,” sent by mail to the following address, or hand-delivered during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays:  Cal Joyner, Regional Forester and Reviewing Officer, 333 Broadway Blvd. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. 

A written objection, including attachments, must be postmarked or received within 45 days after the date that notice of this draft decision is published in The Arizona Daily Star. 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. Identification of the lead objector when multiple names are listed on an objection, (verification of the identity of the lead objector shall be provided upon request);
    4. The name of the proposed project (Sabino Canyon Shuttle Recreation Area Shuttle System), the name and title of the Responsible Official (Kerwin Dewberry, Forest Supervisor), and the name of the National Forest (Coronado) and Ranger District (Santa Catalina) 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.

Objections received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who object, will be considered part of the public record on these proposed actions and will be available for public inspection.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Submitting Comments

If you wish to submit a comment, please send it to:

Cal Joyner
Santa Catalina Ranger District
333 Broadway SE , Albuquerque, NM, 87102
objections-southwestern-regional-office@fs.fed.us