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WASHINGTON & OREGON - FS to Hold Forest-Level Listening Sessions

April 28, 2015 3:19 PM

The Pacific Northwest Region has announced plans for holding additional forest management plan revision listening sessions. Eleven listening sessions are planned so far in locations throughout Oregon and Washington. These sessions follow an initial round of listening sessions held earlier in Portland, Seattle and Redding, CA. The purposes of the sessions are to share our current thinking on plan revision, share how science will inform the process, and listen to

WASHINGTON & OREGON - FS to Hold Forest-Level Listening Sessions
FS Responds to Desire for More Forest Plan Revision Listening Sessions

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

The Pacific Northwest Region has announced plans for holding additional forest management plan revision listening sessions. Eleven listening sessions are planned so far in locations throughout Oregon and Washington. These sessions follow an initial round of listening sessions held earlier in Portland, Seattle and Redding, CA.

The purposes of the sessions are to share our current thinking on plan revision, share how science will inform the process, and listen to ideas and thoughts about how to approach public engagement for forest plan revisions on each National Forest.

The Dates, Locations and Forest(s) follow:

April 23rd, Mt. Vernon, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
April 27th, Corvallis, Siuslaw National Forest
April 28th, Issaquah, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
April 28th, Olympia, Olympic National Forest and Gifford Pinchot National Forest
April 28 (tent.), Bend or LaPine, Deschutes National Forest
April 28th, Roseburg, Umpqua National Forest
May 4th, Pleasant Hill, Willamette National Forest
May 4th, Lakeview, Fremont-Winema National Forest
May 5th, Klamath Falls, Fremont-Winema National Forest
May 6th, Stayton, Willamette National Forest
TBD, Hood River, Mt. Hood National Forest, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and Gifford Pinchot National Forest
TBD, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Ochoco National Forest, and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

BRC believes the agency should develop travel management strategies as a solution to mitigate our access concerns and that those should be included in the forest plan revision process:

ML 3 Roads to Trails - Reclassify ML3 roads to ML2 roads. Reclassify ML2 road to motorized trails or manage appropriate ML2 roads as "roads managed as trails." Manage appropriate ML1 roads as  "motorized trails."

ML 2 Roads to Trails - Convert "roads-to-single track trails" or "roads-to-motorized trails less than 50 inches in width" and "roads managed as motorized trails greater than 50 inches in width" as a tool to help the agency achieve its budget objectives while still providing a substantive and high quality recreational route network.

Single Track Trails - 2005 Forest Service Travel Management Rule (TMR) Subpart B planning efforts in the Western States resulted in the loss of many, if not most, of our historic single-track motorcycle trails.  Historic and legal motorized single-track opportunities such as enduro trails, old pack-mule/mining or pioneer trails were simply eliminated from consideration due to time constraints.

During those early planning efforts, agency representatives promised the OHV community that once these initial "foundational" route networks were established and codified that they would work with the users to either bring some of these historic single-track opportunities "back onto the system" or construct new engineered single-track system trails.

BRC believes that a strategy should be developed to replace the lost single-track experience. Retention or enhancement of high quality single-track dirt-bike trails is no different than keeping or enhancing "quiet" single-track hiking, equestrian, and mountain-bike trails.

Wet Weather Closures - Any TMR-based wet weather closure strategy should allow for native surfaced trails and roads to be open when soil conditions/lack-of-rainfall permits. If a wet weather closure is needed, the implementing Forest Order should be for the shortest period of time rather than a longer time period. In NEPA, it is always easier to extend a short closure versus repealing a longer closure.

Mitigate Trail Impacts from Non-Recreation Projects - The impacts from non-recreation projects often include obliteration of the trail or removal of water control structures such as rolling dips and catch basins.  Those soil erosion measures can often cost $15,000 to $20,000/mile to install (or replace).  Other sections such as at-risk species, water quality, and ecosystems have the same recreation mitigation deficiencies.  BRC recommends that "trail mitigation" guidelines be added to relevant non-recreation projects.

Specific locations and times will be announced by each Forest as their plans are finalized, and posted on forest and region web sites at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/landmanagement/?cid=stelprd3831710.

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

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May 31, 2016 10:48 AM
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CALIFORNIA - Public Invited to Rasor Off-Highway Vehicle Area Tour and Comment
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