Yacolt Burn Trails Update!
I just got off the phone with my contact at DNR and he has informed me that the Commisioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark, has signed the Yacolt Burn Recreation plan and has given it his blessing. There should be an official press release going out today or tomorrow with that information.
With that, in cooperation with DNR, we will be finalizing our p-lines (proposed lines) for the first section of trails by the end of this month (maybe sooner). After we submit our proposed lines, we just need to wait for an internal DNR Project SEPA (water crossings) to approve our chosen path through the forest and the Cultural Research (for the Tribes) - neither of which should be a problem.
DNR has received some comments from concerned citizens and we have addressed their concerns in our plans to ensure that everyone is accepting and supportive of the final product. We will start clearing trails immediately (above ground work), but cannot turn dirt until the three items above are completed - I am optimistically hoping for mid - late September...
Although it seems like this story has taken forever - the Yacolt Burn planning process for motorized trails has always been fully supported by DNR staff as well as the other user groups in the forest. Of the three planning processes for DNR lands that have most recently been approved, only the Yacolt Burn Plan provides for a CONSIDERABLE increase in sanctioned motorized trails. ONLY the Yacolt Burn Plan has received the support of all of the other user groups in the forest, multiple community corporate sponsorships and national recognition coupled with grant funding. This backing, in addition to the ongoing support from off-road organizations, clubs and individuals is what has made this all possible.
Piston's Wild members have been FULLY engaged from the very beginning of this project almost 3 1/2 years ago and will stay fully engaged to it's completion. We are working on new fund raising ideas every day including the Yacolt Burn Trails Foundation which should be introduced and fully functional by October 2010. This foundation will provide the structure needed to draw in the community on a massive scale to support motorized recreation in the Yacolt Burn.
Piston's Wild Motorsports is an active, respected member club of the Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association (PNW4WDA) as well as a member of the Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Association (WOHVA). In addition, all of our members have also joined the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the club belongs to the United 4-Wheel Drive Association to support our sport not only in the Pacific Northwest, but across the Nation.
Thank you to everyone for your donations over the past three years; businesses, sponsors, organizations, clubs and individuals - your contributions will be well spent on building trails in a "World-Class" motorized recreation area that will be open for your children and grandchildren to enjoy for many years to come...
great news. please keep us posted....im sure our club would help in any trail building or projects on this.
State DNR Adopts Recreation plan for Western Yacolt Burn Forest
Just released this morning from DNR Communications:
* * * * *
For Immediate Release
August 16, 2010
A map with the location of the Western Yacolt Burn Forest is inserted at the end of this news release.
State DNR adopts recreation plan for Western Yacolt Burn Forest
Plan proposes nearly 80 miles of new trails
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today formally adopted a comprehensive recreation plan that will guide the safe and sustainable management of recreation in the western portion of the Yacolt Burn State Forest.
“This plan will enhance existing recreation and create new recreational opportunities while ensuring the health of the forest’s resources and habitat in the Western Yacolt Burn,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “I really appreciate all the hard work and collaboration on the part of the citizen advisory committee who worked closely with DNR staff to make this plan a reality.”
The Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan addresses recreation on 40,000 acres of the western half of the Yacolt Burn State Forest. The entire forest, located in southwest Washington, encompasses 90,000 acres and is located 10 miles northeast of Vancouver and 20 miles from the heart of the Portland metropolitan area.
As the region’s population has grown in the past two decades, so has the popularity of the Western Yacolt Burn. In addition, opportunities to recreate on nearby privately owned land—especially for motorized activities—is growing scarce. As a result, people are turning more to the Western Yacolt Burn Forest for recreation.
Public plays strong role in plan development
For nearly two years, DNR worked on the plan with an 11-member committee of people who represented a spectrum of recreation and community interests. The committee members provided invaluable insight and energy in developing the plan.
Chris King, a project manager for Howard S. Wright Constructors out of Vancouver, served on the committee. He lives within 20 minutes of the Western Yacolt Burn. “I believe we produced a plan that will go a long way toward meeting recreational needs and increasing safety in the Western Yacolt Burn,” King said. “I look forward to continuing my relationship with DNR as the plan is adopted and will be excited to go out on the trail and help put shovel to earth as the plan comes to life.”
Jon Brobst has lived next to the Yacolt Burn for 22 years and served on the recreation planning committee. He owns an auto parts business in Washougal and also participates in a neighborhood watch association. “The most important point of our work on the committee was to protect the area as a multi-use asset for future generations,” Brobst said.
Gary Collins represented the equestrian community on the committee and is concerned about the future of funding for recreation, given the economy and budget priorities. “But with no plan, we have no chance for funding,” he said.
In addition to working with the recreation planning committee, DNR sought public input before and during development of the plan through public meetings, a survey of users, public review of the draft plan, and a public comment period during the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review process.
Highlights of the Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan
The Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan sets goals for a 10-year period and proposes adding nearly 80 miles of authorized trails—20 miles of non-motorized and 58 miles of motorized trails. Also included in the plan are a new campground and trailhead, centrally located to off-road vehicle (ORV) trails. DNR also proposes expanding some of the existing campgrounds and parking at an established trailhead in the forest.
The plan provides for the development of separate trail systems for motorized and non-motorized recreation, which will result in more enjoyable recreational experiences and increase safety by reducing conflict among different user groups. DNR has used this approach effectively in other recreation areas, such as the popular Capitol State Forest, south of Olympia.
This planning effort was funded from grants from the Nonhighway and Off-road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) program in 2007. DNR’s ability to carry out the projects proposed under the plan will depend on securing funding for construction, maintenance, operations, and enforcement.
Download the Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/a...0_plan2010.pdf
More information about the planning process and links to individual maps from the plan: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEduc...colt_plan.aspx
Recreation planning on DNR-managed lands
DNR-managed lands provide more than 1,000 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Most of these recreation areas are located on state trust lands, which provide revenue for public institutions such as K-12 schools.
DNR’s primary responsibility is to manage these trust lands for future generations. In addition, as a steward of public lands, DNR also works to protect the natural resources that support the trust. DNR must balance these obligations with providing enjoyable, safe, and sustainable recreation opportunities.
One of the tools DNR uses to better manage recreation is to develop comprehensive recreation plans. The Western Yacolt Burn Recreation Plan is the most recent planning effort.
Recreational opportunities on DNR-managed lands include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating. DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive experience in a natural setting.
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, Recreation Program Communications Manager,
360-902-1523, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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