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Yacolt Burn Motorized Trails - The Columbian 6/12/14
A nice article in the Columbian today. Click on the link to go directly to The Columbian to read the article:
I don't give verbal interviews anymore because they never seem to capture what I am trying to say.
Following is the e-mail interview I gave The Columbian - I just want people to have a clear understanding of how what I say gets converted into what is printed...
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E-MAIL FROM THE COLUMBIAN REPORTER, ALLEN THOMAS
This is Allen Thomas, outdoor writer for The Columbian. I’m working on a story that four years after completion of the West Yacolt Burn State Forest recreation plan some new motorized trails finally are being built.
Mike Ames suggested I contact you, saying that volunteers from Pistons Wild Motorsports Club are building the 4x4 routes at locations approved by DNR.
Is that correct? If so, could you send me your thoughts regarding the following questions?
1) what are the building plans for 2014 summer-fall? How many miles in what locations? Also, are there non-sanctioned trails you have to decommission?
2) If I understand correctly, there are no sanctioned 4x4 routes in the Yacolt forest? These will be the first?
3) Are you excited to finally get to build some trails?
4) Are the 4x4 trails in the Yacolt plan in good locations for you?
E-MAIL REPLY FROM ME, CRYSTAL CROWDER
1) Our building plans for 2014 Summer-Fall are well under way. We started officially building the first 4x4 trail on May 15th and will continue to work through November with weather permitting. There are approximately 10 miles planned for Phase I of the 4x4 trails – we will complete as many miles as we can this year before Winter and then start up again next Spring. Phase II and Phase III will bring an additional 20+ miles of 4x4 trails in the coming years. Some of the planned trails that are already in existence (non-sanctioned) will just take some fine tuning and be ready to open quickly – others can be quite labor intensive with heavy equipment as we carve new paths across clear-cuts and through the timber. In addition, the Yacolt Burn Plan requires that we abandon one mile of non-sanctioned (unsustainable) trail for every one mile of trail that we plan to open to the public – that will be a daunting task all in itself…
2) Currently, there are no sanctioned 4x4 trails in all of SW Washington (4x4 travel is currently only permitted on gravel roads) – these will be the first local legal off-road 4x4 trails made available to the public in decades. These trails will also provide recreation access to UTV’s (also known as Side-by-Sides). As UTV’s have progressively grown in size over the years – they have been unceremoniously squeezed out of the ATV trails – so this will be an excellent opportunity for both recreation groups to get back into the forest locally. We appreciate that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources reaches out to the recreational communities and works with the user groups to bring a diverse recreational experience to the Yacolt Burn so that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy our public lands. Piston’s Wild Motorsports is one of many active 4x4 clubs in the Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association who work to bring safe and sustainable off-road recreation trails to 4x4 enthusiasts in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
3) As a club – we have been working towards this goal for over seven years – so we are very excited to be moving forward with finally building the trails. The 4x4 community as a whole looks forward them opening up as soon as possible! Piston’s Wild Motorsports club members and guests have already logged over 1,800 volunteer hours building 4x4 trails in the Yacolt Burn for the past 25 days. This club was formed in February 2007 with the primary purpose of bringing 4x4 trails back to the Yacolt Burn – working towards that goal while supporting all types of OHV recreation in SW Washington and NW Oregon. Piston’s Wild Motorsports has also formally adopted a 4x4 trail in the Tillamook State Forest.
4) While the terrain in Phase II and Phase III of the plan on the Western end of the Yacolt Burn is the most ideal for building 4x4 trails – Phase I offers up access to some spectacular panoramic views on the ridgelines and refreshing paths through denser areas of the forest. In addition, Phase I is the key link to connecting the existing motorized (ATV/Dirtbike) Jones Creek trails to the central and Western sections where the landscape already provides an abundance of existing (non-sanctioned) motorized trails that will be the easiest and lease expensive to complete. All of the trails that we build will be open to 4x4’s, UTV’s, ATV’s and Dirtbikes – the ultimate motorized “multi-use” trails!
At this time, most of the work is being performed by volunteers who have been certified to operate heavy equipment. We plan to open up volunteer opportunities to the general public to assist with trail construction sometime in July. All information regarding the 4x4 trail building process can be located on the Piston’s Wild Motorsports forum. Go to www.pistonswild.com and select the “FORUM” button. Anyone who registers for the forum will receive e-mail updates on events and activities surrounding the Yacolt Burn OHV Trails project – including work parties, fund raising and helpful forest updates.
Thank you again for your interest in this project – I look forward to reading next Thursday’s Columbian.
President & Founding Member
Piston’s Wild Motorsports
aka "Pistons Chick"
Piston's Wild Motorsports
PNW4WDA Member for 25 Years
"SARCASM - because beating the crap out of people is illegal."