PROPOSED MOTORIZED 10-YEAR PLAN
- Western Portion of the Yacolt Burn Forest Area
Respectfully submitted by:
- Barbara Vertz of the Cougar Area Trail Seekers (CATS)
- Bill Manbeck of the Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association
- Crystal Crowder of Piston’s Wild Motorsports
- Joe McLaughlin of the Jones Creek Trail Riders Association
At the October 2008 Planning Committee meeting - 3 scenarios were offered by DNR for facilities and trails in the Yacolt Burn. The largest offering of motorized trail miles at that time was for 45 additional miles plus a motorized trailhead at 4-corners. The motorized representatives were in agreement that 45 miles would not be enough to meet the needs of the growing motorized community. In response – DNR has asked the motorized representatives to put their heads together and come up with an alternative plan prior to the November 19th planning committee meeting.
DNR is presenting development and maintenance dollars restrictions as the reason for the 45-mile scenario limitation. They are saying that it will take $650,000 to build 45 miles of trails. We believe that 75-85 miles can easily be developed with $650,000 (especially since the majority of these trails already exist). Brian indicated that the $650k amount would provide a bridge for every 5 miles of trail. Other than Grouse Vista – we don’t see very many instances that can’t be resolved with culverts or hard rock crossings.
DNR is also saying that it will take $1.35 million dollars to maintain these 45 miles of trails for ten years - that’s $135,000 per year just for those 45 miles of trails - the current maintenance budget for the entire Yacolt Burn is $210,000 per year.
We also strongly believe that the DNR is drastically underestimating the volunteer power and generosity of the motorized clubs and their associates. One group alone has contributed over 3,500 hours in the last two years to the Yacolt Burn – and that is a group working on projects in a trail system that currently has no legal trails for their particular type of use (4x4). Another user group (JCTRA) has already successfully acquired a $65,000 grant for trail maintenance in the Yacolt Burn. These are just a sampling of what is possible…
In an effort to alleviate any concerns of the planning committee members that may arise from this proposal – we would propose a 3-stage progressive process for the 10-year plan:
Stage 1 – allow implementation of 45 new motorized miles immediately upon approval of the planning process & develop motorized trailhead only at 4-corners (parking + restroom) – we would also like to see a designated overnight volunteer camp host area for event coordinators or forest watch patrol – we also request that (10-20) motorized campsites be developed at Cold Creek on the opposite side of the Day Use Access Road that can be reserved for group camping.
Stage 2 – when the first 45 miles are developed under estimated budget and the system is functioning adequately – allow implementation of additional 20 miles & upgrade 4-corners trailhead to include overnight RV camping for at least 25 spaces.
Stage 3 – when all 65 miles are developed under estimated budget and the system is functioning adequately – allow implementation of additional 20 miles & increase 4-corners camping capacity to at least 50 spaces.
Proposed new motorized trail miles breakdown:
Proposed New Trails
Beginner Only (52”) 5 mi
Single Track Only 10 mi
Double Track (52”) 25 mi
SWB 4x4 / UTV Track (76”) 35 mi
Full-size 4x4 Track (86”) 10 mi
TOTAL NEW TRAILS 85 mi
Total Motorized Trails *
Beginner Only (52”) Total 5 mi
Single Track Total 93.75 mi
Double Track Total 83.75 mi
SWB 4x4 / UTV Track (76”) 45 mi
Full-size 4x4 Track (86”) Total 10 mi
TOTAL MOTORIZED TRAILS * 98.75 mi
* total motorized trails table includes existing 13.75 miles
It is important to note that although it appears that the single-track user gains the windfall of this proposal – the majority of these miles would not be their preferred design of choice. In addition, all of these trails would be true multi-use as they can be traveled by any user group including, horses, hikers & mountain-bikers.