Northeast Oregon Four Wheelers - THANKS!!
A huge thank you goes out to the Northeast Oregon Four Wheelers. They are truly setting the example in Region 5 as detailed in the following article appearing in the Bend Bulletin today. Also a thank you to Shawn Warrington for volunteering to be the land use coordinator for Region 5, to Colton Wiseman for volunteering to be the land use coordinator for Virtue Flats and to Tyson Samples for volunteering to be the land use coordinator for MERA. If anyone has any questions, comments or concerns about our Region 5, please contact these fine folks. Here is the Bulletin article:
4-Wheel Drive Club Repairs Damaged Meadow
By The Associated Press
Published: October 22. 2010 4:00AM PST
LA GRANDE — A four-wheel drive club aiming to set an example for protecting the environment has repaired national forestland in Eastern Oregon damaged by vandals.
Members of the Northeast Oregon Four Wheelers showed up in force on Three Cabin Ridge last Friday, spreading seed and mulch over U.S. Forest Service land on Mount Emily that was extensively damaged last spring by vandals in four-wheel drives.
“It’s important for us to set the tone for four-wheelers,” club member Jamie Wilson told The Observer newspaper in La Grande. “The more damage is done, the more the state will want to close down Class II trails.”
Last April, the Forest Service discovered vandals had taken their rigs into open meadows, spun their wheels in the mud and cut gashes that in some spots were more than 2 feet deep.
Kurt Wiedenmann, district ranger for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, was outraged. In a newspaper article, he detailed the damage and warned the Forest Service would institute an emergency closure of the area if the vandalism didn’t stop.
Wiedenmann told The Observer last Friday that public reaction was swift and overwhelmingly positive. The Forest Service and local law enforcement received numerous tips. In one case, a juvenile four-wheeler was caught in the act of tearing up the land, prosecuted and fined.
At least one of the calls was about undoing damage.
In La Grande, club member Leslie Garoutte contacted Wiedenmann with an offer to help with the rehabilitation.
The Northeast Oregon Four Wheelers, made up of people who use Class II all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel drive trucks, was formed last November and now has about 15 members in cities from Hermiston to Ontario.
Setting an example
Garoutte said the idea was to show that most four-wheel enthusiasts are good land stewards.
“We knew about the damage, and doing this for community service was something we were all into,” she said.
The restoration work last Friday was supervised by Penny Hall, a botanist for the Wallowa-Whitman.
“By the end of next summer, we should see some aboveground growth,” Hall said. “Eventually, it will all blend in.”
Deschutes County 4-Wheelers
Oregon Executive Director Staff
PNW Forum Leader Team Member
Region 6 Delegate