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USFS Fire Closure Order Singles Out OHV Use

July 09, 2015 4:19 PM

 

POCATELLO, ID  (July 9, 2015) -- The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group,  is questioning the recent Fire Closure Order #06-03-01-15-02 that bans OHVs from using over 250 miles of system trails on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest located in Washington State.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Fire Closure Order that BANs OHV Use on System Trails
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3844001.pdf

BRC understands and supports the agency's desire to protect public lands from the effects of human caused catastrophic wildfires. However, BRC is concerned about the order singling out OHVs when data and experience shows that virtually all human caused wildfires are from non-OHV activities.

BRC supports the following High and Moderate Fire Hazard prohibitions used in other Forests such as the Inyo and Stanislaus National Forests which also have many system trails open for OHV use: (1) Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, except in Developed Recreation Sites, (2) Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, within a Developed Recreation Site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material, (3) Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame, and (4) Using an explosive.

Stanislaus National Forest Fire Closure Order that Does NOT Ban OHV Use on System Trails
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3844169.pdf

Inyo National Forest Fire Closure Order that Does NOT Ban OHV Use on System Trails
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3843173.pdf

Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, states, “There is no evidence that spark arrestor-equipped OHVs on system trails have started catastrophic wildfires. I believe this restriction was created when many Forests were “OPEN” to cross-country travel. The route designation process  combined with the lack of hard evidence that OHVs with legal exhaust are a high fire risk has made said bans unnecessary. I think the Gifford Pinchot NF should withdraw the OHV restriction.”

BRC has placed a request to the Forest asking them to review our concerns and take the appropriate steps to insure that OHV recreation is treated in a fair manner when issuing fire restrictions.

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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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Associated Image

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