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WASHINGTON - Comments on Motorized Travel Management Proposed Action Due January 20

January 07, 2015 4:22 PM

WASHINGTON - Comments on Motorized Travel Management Proposed Action Due January 20

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is proposing changes to motor vehicle use on specific roads, trails and areas within the non-wilderness portion of the Forest. Winter -- over the snow motorized use -- will not be analyzed at this time and is not part of this proposal.

The proposed action is to close the Forest to cross-country motorized travel off the existing National Forest system road network, and existing National Forest system motorized trails, consistent with current designations of vehicle type and seasonal closures.

  • All roads currently open for motorized use (maintenance levels 2-5) would remain open to highway legal vehicles.
  • All motorized trails would remain open to the current vehicle designation (4x4, ATV [<50 inches wide], or motorcycle).
  • All closed roads (maintenance level 1) would be closed to motorized vehicles, unless part of a motorized system trail.

Motorized vehicles would be allowed to drive up to 30 feet from the edge of all open roads to park. As displayed on the proposed action maps, motorized access to dispersed camping within 300 feet of specifically designated roads would be permitted.

Motorized travel would be restricted to existing routes within those corridors and not permitted closer than 100 feet from water. An exception to the 100 foot set-back from water would apply for identified Respect the River sites.

Motorized travel off the identified system of roads and trails, and off established routes to access dispersed camping within corridors, would be prohibited.

LINK TO PROPOSED ACTION WITH MAPS

BRC continues to review this proposal with local OHV enthusiasts and agency staff.  At this time, there are five major areas of concern. Those issues are the closure of all level 2 and 3 roads to non-street legal OHVs, accuracy of the maps, and forest-wide closure of level 1 roads to OHVs.

Level 2 Roads - (often called 4WD or high clearance vehicle routes) are often the backbone of any OHV trail network as they provide non-street legal connectivity for ATVs and dirt-bikes between the trails and provide recreational opportunity for OHVs that are wider than 50 inches such as jeeps, SxS,  and 4x4 pickups.

Level 3 Roads - When designated as mixed-use roads for use by all OHVs, they provide connectivity and recreational opportunity for larger vehicles.

Accuracy of Maps - BRC urges local OHV clubs and enthusiasts to review the maps to see if any trails or other routes were left off the map.  If so, request the agency make corrections to the map.  Also, review the maps to see what level 2 and 3 roads are needed for connectivity (for non-street legal OHVs) and recreational opportunity for larger non-street legal vehicles. 

Level 1 Roads - Review the level 1 roads that are proposed for closure and urge the agency to convert important routes (that provide connectivity or have high recreational value) as "roads-to-trails" or to manage them as a motorized trail.

Water BuffersBRC is concerned that this restriction (as written in such broad and undefined terms) could effectively ban a significant number of OHV routes, since routes often parallel water courses and/or cross them.  Users should request the agency to better clarify this proposal so that designated routes are not inadvertently impacted by these 100 foot "non-motorized" buffers.

Please provide written comments on the Proposed Action by January 20, 2015.

The preferred comment method is online via this website:

Comment on Motorized Travel Management Proposed Action 

You can also print and fill out this Comment Form, and mail it in. 
 
For more information contact Jennifer Zbyszewski, Interdisciplinary Team Leader at: okawen-travel-management@fs.fed.us

Contacts for additional information about Access Travel Management: 

Tonasket Ranger District
Mathew Reidy, District Ranger
Betsy Peterson, Recreation Staff
509-486-2186

Methow Valley Ranger District
Michael Liu, District Ranger
Jennifer Zbyszewski, Recreation Staff
509-996-4003

Chelan Ranger District
Kari Grover-Wier, District Ranger
Paul Willard, Recreation Staff
509-682-4900

Entiat Ranger District
Janet Flanagan, District Ranger
509-784-1511
 

Wenatchee River Ranger District
Jeff Rivera, District Ranger
509-548-2550

Cle Elum Ranger District
Mary Maj, District Ranger
Pam Novitsky, Recreation Staff
509-852-1100

Naches Ranger District
Kelly Lawrence, District Ranger
Bill Zimmer, Recreation Staff
509-653-1401 

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107 

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education
and collaboration among recreationists.
1-800-BLUERIB - www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org

_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://archive.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

  

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