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BRC's Recreation News 01.12.10: Sen. Tom Coburn weighs in on Outrage on the Ouachita, Inside Baseball department and Sand Duning on Mars

Did a greenie group try to take control of county lands purchased with state OHV money?

Board rejects 'community forest' management plan

I have no knowledge about this whatsoever, so take this with a grain of salt -- the size of Montana -- but it looks like a "citizens group" petitioned Oregon's Union County to manage part of an area purchased with Oregon's Parks/OHV fund as a "community forest." According to the story, a community forest is to be managed for "recreational, aesthetic, wildlife and educational values."  Union County didn't bite because the citizens group's proposal went against how the county agreed to manage the lands when it received the funds for purchase.

In 2007, Union County bought 3,700 acres of land on Mount Emily from Forest Capital Partners, using grant money from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department's ATV program and the Blue Mountain Habitat Restoration Program. The county established the MERA, pledging to manage it for multiple uses, including recreation and resources. [snip] Much of the talk after the close of the hearing centered on the county's pledge to voters - made before the MERA purchase two years ago - to manage the MERA for multiple uses. [snip] Commissioner Nellie Hibbert said repeatedly she is leery of any plan that might cause the county to go back on its promises. [snip] "I think we're losing sight of what Union County stepped up to do. We stepped up to manage," she said.

Impossible to say if the community forest paradigm would mean no OHVs, but it is reasonable to assume this is a case of yet another "citizens group" trying to oppose multiple use. Kudos to Union County for keeping its commitment.

Outrage on the Ouachita.... continued
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn criticizes off-roading limits in Ouachita National Forest

Quote of the day:
The Forest Service's approach to the matter, Coburn said, had been "a case study in bureaucratic incompetence and arrogance." [snip] He said, "This plan will not only hurt the economy of Southeast Oklahoma but will also hurt the very forest they are trying to protect. [snip] "Mass road closures will result in greater concentration of off-highway vehicles in limited areas, resulting in greater damage to the forest."

I forgot to link to Don Amador's review of Nimby Wars. Definitely a must read.                                        

Inside Baseball department
As BRC's public lands guy, I know only a small percentage of BRC members want to know the detailed details on public land management issues. But many do, and many also are active participants in various planning activities. The Inside Baseball department is for them, so if you see that title you'll know what you'll be getting.

As the FS develops yet another planning rule, there are several websites that offer useful info to OHV advocates who want to be informed and participate. One is the FS's official planning web page.

Inside Baseball BONUS!
Speaking of the FS planning rule, there is a brand new blog about U.S. Forest Service planning run by the University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation and the Forest Service. The blog, launched last November 11, is called
A New Century of Forest Planning and its stated purpose is solicit broad participation from a cross-section of interests in a respectful atmosphere of mutual learning.  We believe that ideas will be stronger and choices clearer if developed through such a multidisciplinary, multi-perspective dialogue. The blog is administered by UM's Martin Nie, Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Sharon Friedman, Director, Strategic Planning. Rocky Mountain Region, USDA Forest Service.

I noted Andy Stahl was one of the first posters. Andy runs the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, a group known among actual Forest Service employees as a "frequent filer" -- as in filing lawsuits. Honestly, if Andy participates, it should be a fun and educational website to watch. We'll check in from time to time and pass along any useful info.

Sand Duning on Mars?
This is not recreation related, but we came across some awesome high-resolution images of sand dunes on Mars from the University of Arizona.  The question is, will Dan Patterson end his political career to run a campaign to close these dunes to OHVs?

December 8, 2011 2:36 PM

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This land is my land  - Current wilderness legislation is underlining an ideological conflict over public land use

December 6, 2011 4:35 PM
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December 1, 2011 3:29 PM
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