Deschutes County 4 Wheelers are located in Central Oregon and are part of Region 6 of the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association. The agencies around our area have been creating OHV trails and areas for over 30 years. Tom Harris in various positions would assist in the mitigations. Total class II trails for his trouble is zero. There is one graveled road in East Fort Rock OHV area. Trails that Tom deemed too sensitive are now great class I and class III high speed courses and rocky tracks. In fact, the Forest Service is now realizing that some of these trails would be highly suitable for Class II use and are contemplating a change in designation. This is no judgment just fact.
Tom's letter to the editor simply reiterates his opinion and mitigation style. Have faith and patience and the agency will make class II trails. This is no judgment just Tom’s approach. I ask, “Why would the agency designate class II trails when 10 to 1 the letters they get are; close this area and close this area and close this area.”
Alan D. you are right:
Lets put aside all of the he said, she said and who hates who crap and talk about the real issue here.
I think it would be a big mistake to just accept the Forest Service's proposal to close all level 1 roads and user created trails. If they don't take the time to evaluate them now, during a required analysis, why would we believe they will make the time in the near future to evaluate them in separate projects?
We all know that it is easier to keep an existing trail open than it is to get a new trail open. The longer the existing trails are closed, the more the anti-motorized groups will be able to argue that opening them back up will create new impacts and the less the motorized groups will be able to argue in favor of historic use.
At the very least, the Forest Service should do a high-level analysis and close only those routes that have obvious problems, such as running down the middle of a fish-bearing stream. Alan Dragoo
Spokane 4 Wheelers
Alan P. you are right:
Thank you for keeping the Fremont- Winema, on the radar. There are many 4 wheeling opportunities there. I've been going there with my Dad for MANY years.
Umpqua Valley Timber Cruisers 4 Wheel Drive Club
Region 6 Director PNW4WDA
The Fremont-Winema had since 2005 to evaluate and designate as the USFS had directed. That was the law. Now it is our turn to give our opinions and that is the law. We class II users have to comment, "We are not pleased with the Fremont Winema TMP." Beth spoke of phone calls? My e-mails have been, "what was Tom thinking?" Why would he have the faith of a Phase II when as you can see there are zero miles designated for class II in Phase I? Phase II is a dream. Phase I should have been as directed by the agency, a time to inventory needs of users and designate areas of trails. Not a blanket closure with a promise of something in the future.
Tom is not being maligned just because an article which he authored was placed on the PNW forum. After all, it was published in a paper which has a much larger readership than this forum.
Sensitivity to the subject and blame and/or flame throwing is childish. So is spinning your tires so as to spray gravel on the region delegation, (potentially harming innocent children) when the majority did not vote your way. Yes, Region 6 had a shake up last year. Four families left because the majority did not agree with those four families. They have since moved on to California clubs or Region 5. We do not call this "kowtowing" but rather "majority rule".
This TMP process is an adult game. If you do not have the heart or stomach to participate don’t do it.
Within the last couple of years, Deschutes County 4 Wheelers, with the assistance of Region 6, have built a rock crawl play area. We have also signed 21 miles of class II trails in the Deschutes National Forest. And we are currently building over five miles of "more difficult" and "most difficult" NEW trails, and are currently in negotiation for an additional four miles of trails, all with ATV matching funds in conjunction with the BLM and the USFS. We are not the agency’s enemy in our back yard; we do cleanups, maintain trails and assist the agencies by cutting wood for snow mobile shelters and what ever they wish. We do not kowtow to their TMPs. If we disagree we state it. Our future four-wheelers will remember this as they negotiate “trails”.
The Fremont-Winema TMP shows:
Type of Road Miles
ML 1 – Closed to vehicular traffic 5,472
ML 2 – Open to all vehicles 6,011
ML 3 – Open to highway legal vehicles 722
ML 4 – Open to highway legal vehicles 256
OHV Trail 8.5
Total Transportation System Miles 12,469.5
Vehicle Class Proposed Action (Miles)
Roads designated for highway legal vehicles only 380
Roads designated for all vehicles 6,202
Trails designated for vehicles 50 inches or less in width 8.5
Trails designated for all vehicles 0
Areas designated for motorized cross-country travel 1@80 acres
I urge all of you to read the Fremont-Winema TMP. We are simply opposed to the closure of over 5000 miles of roads/trails which are currently not posted as closed. These are Level I roads which are used by hunters, fishermen and 4x4 enthusiasts; class II families. We are also opposed to the closure of undesignated trails which are shown on the countless maps and gps'd areas submitted for this TMP. We are now told that submitted maps and gps files have been "lost". The Klamath Falls Four Runners who have taken their time to submit their wishes will not be acknowledged for their input. This is against the written law.
There is no attack on Tom Harris. There is a difference of opinion on how to address an issue. The issue is: do we have enough Class II trails.
The issue is how will each individual deal with the fact: Fremont-Winema did not follow the letter of the law, there are no Class II trail opportunities designated in the Travel Management Plan of the Fremont-Winema.
Deschutes County 4 Wheeler
Deschutes County 4 Wheeler Trails Developement Committee
(editor of the newsletter)
Harney County High Desert Wheelers
Region 6 Secretary
Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council Member OHV Recreation Commercial
High Desert 4X4 Looking to the future.