Thanks for the input Art - The reason I got started even wondering about this was that I noticed the following press release.
"Decision on Mt. Hood National Forest OHV Plan Postponed
Sandy, OR – By March, 2010, Mt. Hood National Forest had planned to release a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and accompanying Record of Decision (ROD) to document and disclose the potential environmental effects of designating a system of roads, trails and areas for Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs).
Forest Supervisor Gary Larsen has determined that additional field surveys are required prior to completing the environmental analysis for the Final Environmental Impact Statement and issuing the Record of Decision. Field work will occur this spring and summer, and a decision is expected to be made in August, 2010.
For the current status of this and other projects on the Mt. Hood National Forest, please visit our website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood . "
I then dug a bit deeper and noticed that while they are being pretty quiet about it, the "proposed" plan does include some class II trails. Not much though!
Reading through the proposed action (alternative 2) it looks like out of the nearly 60 miles of new trails 3.4 of them will be open to class 2. Out of the total 221 miles available for OHV use under the propsed plan, Class 2 accounts for 71 miles, which doesn't sound bad until you drill down into the actual miles of "trail". Out of that 71 miles, 42 are "Mixed use" roads, which to me seems to indicate gravel road.
I guess the good news is that there will be class II trails created in the MT Hood National Forest. Even though the third "guiding principle" of this plan states "The OHV system designated should reflect that the Mt. Hood National Forest is not a key OHV recreation destination in the Pacific Northwest." and even though they make it quite clear that they do not want to compete with TSF, they are infact converting 25 miles of roads to class 2 trails. Given the desire to not be a key OHV destination, I am wondering who they will be working with to design these trails.
Honestly, it looks like the class I and III folks are far ahead of us Class II folks, and thats fine... I'd just like to try and do something in the future to get more share for class II. I completely understand focusing on TSF, but if all we did was focus on TSF, thats all we would have. I love it there, have a blast every time I go, but I also enjoy variety. The work the Pistons are doing in the Yacolt Burn will help bring a new option to the area, having a third (or even 4th 5th and 6th) would be awesome! Imagine having 3 legal wheeling areas within 50 miles of PDX. As hard as it may be to believe that could happen, it does seem to be happening. Not sure how good it will be, but it will be a start and the OHV travel plan has to be reviewed yearly.... so it could
get better with a bit of work.
Anyway (this went way longer than I had planned) has anyone worked with the USFS recently on this? I have reached out to the forest service asking what user groups they have worked with but haven't heard anything back.
Thanks again for the info... it is helpful!