Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association

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Peppermint Patti 08-20-2009 12:30 PM

Freemont-Winema Travel Management Plan
Here is the official posting from the Forest Service (our comments are posted below):

The Fremont-Winema National Forests invite you to comment on the Travel Management Proposed Action. The Proposed Action identifies designated routes, vehicle class and season of use, motorized access to dispersed camp sites and designated areas for use by motorized vehicles.

The Forest's Travel Management Planning effort embraces a collaborative approach to involve the public, including user groups and adjacent landowners. In order to accomplish this task, a multi-phased approach was developed. Phase I will meet the intent of the Travel Management Rule by publishing the first Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). The intent of Phase II is to continue the ongoing collaborative process to resolve outstanding needs and issues. In the spring of 2010, available information will be used to publish the first MVUM. Regular revisions to this map will occur, integrating additional information like localized Ranger District planning efforts.

Submitting Comments:
Written, faxed, hand-delivered and electronic comments will be accepted until August 28, 2009.

Written comments can be faxed to 541-883-6709 or mailed to:

Glen Westlund, Forest Environmental Coordinator
2819 Dahlia Street
Klamath Falls, OR 97601

Hand delivered comments should be brought to any of the Fremont-Winema National Forests' offices. Office hours for submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Electronic comments should be submitted as part of the actual e-mail message or as an attachment in Microsoft Word, rich text format (RTF), or portable document format (PDF) and sent to

For electronically mailed comments, the sender should normally receive an automated electronic acknowledgement from the agency as confirmation of receipt. If the sender does not receive an automated acknowledgement of the receipt of the comments, it is the sender's responsibility to ensure timely receipt by other means.

All materials sent in mailings along with information about public meetings will be posted on the Fremont-Winema National Forests Travel Management website:

If you have any questions concerning the project, please phone either Robert Wetherell or Glen Westlund at (541) 883-6714.

Thank you for taking time to review this project. Your comments, concerns and observations are important to the development of the final project.

Our comments:

This is a bad plan for sure!!!!!!!!! Please comment!!! Some concerns the Deschutes County 4-Wheelers and the Klamath Falls Four Runners have brought to the table are listed below. (If you copy please re-word.)

1. The TMP has no Class II trails designated.

2. No consideration has been given to the comments and suggestions made by the Class II community during the comment period. In particular, the Klamath Falls Four Runners time, energy, GPS’ed maps and monies spent have been ignored.

3. Unmarked Level I roads have been used historically in this area under the old plan which allowed cross country travel if no damage was done to the area traversed. The new plan is a blanket closure of all of these Level I roads called trails, two tracks or ways used by the public for decades.

4. Class II use is a legitimate use of public lands. The Travel Management Plan has been mandated since 2005. This is not a “Plan” this is a closure. Unwarranted closures to pacify a mandate are poor planning or no planning. Closing all Level I roads and trails will limit the use of the forest unduly. However, designation of the Level I roads as Class II Trails will generate monies for the Fremont-Winema National Forest from state and federal ATV funding grants.

5. The mandate to manage recreation will be difficult if not impossible. The Class II user, whether they be hunting, fishing or sightseeing, will find no opportunity for a fulfilling Class II opportunity available.

6. Phase II has no time line and is not an option that is acceptable. Class II use should be included and planned for in the initial TMP. Forest ways should not be closed without their actual replacements being initiated.

Peppermint Patti 08-25-2009 11:16 AM

Help!! We need everyone to email comments to the Freemont-Winema National Forest immediately!! As stated above, the F-W NF plans to close all Level I roads, close all user created trails, close all undesignated two-tracks, ignore all trail suggestions made by the Klamath Four Runners and omit all Class II users from its Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). Their plan is to address these issues sometime in the undefined future instead of now. The Travel Management Rule states:

§ 212.50 Purpose, scope, and definitions.
(a)Purpose. This subpart provides for a system of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands that are designated for motor vehicle use. After these roads, trails, and areas are designated, motor vehicle use, including the class of vehicle and time of year, not in accordance with these designations is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.13. Motor vehicle use off designated roads and trails and outside designated areas is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.13. (Emphasis added)
Notice the word “AFTER”. The rule does not state that the purpose is to close everything first and then think about trails. The rule says to designate first, then close the rest. The whole purpose of Travel Management was to identify roads, trails and areas BEFORE publishing the MVUM, not after!!!!

Unfortunately, we have some users who do not understand this concept and are writing in favor of this plan. This only makes our job tougher. The following article was published in the local paper. It is in direct opposition to the opinions of the local club, hinders efforts to make the Forest Service designate trails, and does not hold the Forest Service accountable to their own rules.

Blanket closure without designated trails is NOT management and does not do what Travel Management was intended to do. Please write today and encourage the Freemont-Winema National Forest to listen to the local users group and provide adequate Class II trails BEFORE closing all Level I roads, user-created trails and two-tracks.

high desert 4x4 08-25-2009 08:50 PM

I quote Art:

Wallowa-Whitman TMP (OR-WA-ID)

Again, we need to ask for "class II" "TRAILS". All we have been getting from USFS so far is roads that you can drive down in your vette or porsche. If that is what you want for recreation (a gravel driveway) more power to you, don't bother to work for your sport. But when you have nowhere to run, I don't want to hear about it. un quote

The belated TMP's are afterthoughts of USFS planning, Phase II is not going to be anyone's front burner priority. Comment on these two TMP's the Wallowa-Whitman TMP (OR-WA-ID) it is extended to the middle of September and this one the Fremont Winema is due Aug 28th, but he will entertain late entries. Please be a voice behind a steering wheel. Ask for trails!!! Mona Drake of High Desert 4X4

CJ3BWILLYS 08-25-2009 10:05 PM

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. :icon_biggrin:

bjeepin3 08-25-2009 10:17 PM

My letter has been sent, acknowledging the work that Klamath had done proactively to map trails and get them recorded in their area.

Patti, I am grateful that you came up with talking points on the subject. However, I really am sorry that you have chosen to include in your posting the editorial and pointing a finger at Tom Harris and his views. He has been at this a long time and has been successful in working with a wide range of land mangers and their personalities. Just because he does not espouse your way of accomplishing a goal does not make him wrong. It means he has another viewpoint and a way of going about solving a problem and it should be respected every bit as your own. The Harris's no longer belong to PNW4WDA and do not visit this website to provide their take on your use of the article. I wish that you could delete the article as a part of your posting. Your post stood alone without it and it has opened up old wounds for folks that have stopped being active members of the region because of the level of acrimony between certain members of the region and the Harris's. Myself included.


Peppermint Patti 08-26-2009 10:00 AM

Beth, I am sorry that you feel this way. You are correct that the Harris’ no longer belong to the PNW, but have in fact joined the California association. They are no longer members of the local Klamath Four Runners, nor are they members of Region 6. I do not know if they belong to any local quad or motorcycle club.

However, I do not feel that settling for nothing with the empty promise of trails “in the future” is an acceptable response. The Freemont-Winema has known for several years that Travel Management was going to happen and they chose to do nothing, chose to close everything and chose to put off until sometime in the future their responsibility of providing trails.

Mr. Harris states that, “To its credit the U.S. Forest Service has taken extra time with the Scoping Document to identify where we are at this time, how we got here and propose what we can do to identify, qualify and quantify sustainable access to our chosen recreational disciplines.” They have spent four years on the “where we are and how we got here.” He also states that “opportunities to evaluate user-created or new routes and acquisition of easements will be considered in Phase II.” However, the whole purpose of Travel Management for these past four years was to identify, qualify and quantify as well as evaluate user-created and new routes!! It is simply unacceptable that this key part of Travel Management is being put on the back burner.

Mr. Harris also states that the, “MVUM is the vehicle for the start of Phase II.” In reality, the MVUM is supposed to be the result of what they call Phase II.

Like Art said, “We need to ask for class II ‘TRAILS’. All we have been getting from USFS so far is roads that you can drive down in your vette or porsche. If that is what you want for recreation (a gravel driveway) more power to you, don't bother to work for your sport. But when you have nowhere to run, I don't want to hear about it.”

We, as the PNW, have spent years encouraging the Forest Service to work with the local users’ groups to get input, insight, and information. It is these users’ groups that will be key in maintaining and sustaining the trails. I find it to be an outrage that someone would allude to represent the local clubs, yet would publish a lengthy opinion in the local paper that is in direct contradiction to the opinions of these clubs. Mr. Harris did not contact the Klamath Four Runners or the Deschutes 4-Wheelers for input, insight or information, nor is he a member of these local 4x4 clubs. Yet he published an opinion in a public paper for all to see that could significantly hinder any chances of getting trails.

If Mr. Harris did not want people to see his views he would not have published them. I therefore do not want to remove his article from my post. The people who visit this sight can read both opinions and make up their own minds.

bjeepin3 08-26-2009 11:28 AM

Sorry, but Tom did not allude to any affiliation with the Four Runners or PNW4WDA. He is belongs to clubs that do frequent the area that are not PNW4WDA members. All I am saying, is that I do not see where he is not advocating for the class II system, I don't see that anything he has said is against what we are fighting for. If you will recall, he was one of the first to advocate that we do GPS trails and submit them to our land managers. He has also advocated that we as a 4x4 community need to stand with other user groups to make head way with state and federal managers. Again, it is not the way you believe something should be done and you are allowed to have your opinion about that. It would have been enough to just state the fact as you have frequently that not all share your belief on how to get things done. I however, still think it was a cheap shot at someone who is well respected and been at this a long time.


Peppermint Patti 08-26-2009 02:07 PM

Beth, I am not going to get into a pissing match with you and I don’t understand why you are so angry. My intent was not to take a “cheap shot” at Mr. Harris but to explain how the positions of the local 4x4 clubs differ. The local 4x4 clubs want trails designated BEFORE the MVUM is published and Mr. Harris has publicly stated that it is good to wait until sometime in the future. Both opinions have been posted. People can now compare both opinions and make up their own minds what is best for our sport. I think if you have any further anger on this, you ought to post it in the private section.

Art Waugh 08-26-2009 04:54 PM

Due to the recent (past couple of years) history with the two clubs mentioned, I for one, would be in total awe if Mr. Harris did ask or solicit any comments or information from the two clubs mentioned. I talked to Mrs. Harris earlier this afternoon, and she said that he had talked to an unidentifed member of the KF club, who had no problem with the article.

It appears that anyone who does not kowtow to your line is not working for the betterment of this form of recreation. I happen to know better, and as I have known Mr. Harris for the better part of 30 years, he is one of the best at working for 4 wheeling. My nickle and done......:Wildman:

ADragoo 08-26-2009 05:39 PM

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.

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