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Jon_in_da_couve 04-09-2010 05:23 PM

MT Hood National Forest OHV management Plan
Howdy - Doing a little research here, and would appreciate any insight anyone can provide. I searched, but didn't find much. Did anyone from PNW4WDA provide input or help design the OHV management plan currently under review?


Art Waugh 04-15-2010 07:53 AM


In years past, like 7-8 ago, they had a 3 day collaborative meeting, and nothing came out of it. They have not really been interested in providing anything for class II. A couple of new areas for class I and III. They got some planning $ from the ATV fund a couple of years back. I don't know how the new wilderness desiginations affect even those areas they were planning. Region 3 did do some work and meetings with them a couple of years ago, but I don't know if anything came of it. Since the forest was not receptive no matter what, they tend to put the effort into TSF. I looked at their stuff last Nov., and there was very little for us, and comment period was past.

Jon_in_da_couve 04-15-2010 04:49 PM

Thanks for the input Art - The reason I got started even wondering about this was that I noticed the following press release.

"Decision on Mt. Hood National Forest OHV Plan Postponed

Sandy, OR By March, 2010, Mt. Hood National Forest had planned to release a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and accompanying Record of Decision (ROD) to document and disclose the potential environmental effects of designating a system of roads, trails and areas for Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs).

Forest Supervisor Gary Larsen has determined that additional field surveys are required prior to completing the environmental analysis for the Final Environmental Impact Statement and issuing the Record of Decision. Field work will occur this spring and summer, and a decision is expected to be made in August, 2010.

For the current status of this and other projects on the Mt. Hood National Forest, please visit our website at . "

I then dug a bit deeper and noticed that while they are being pretty quiet about it, the "proposed" plan does include some class II trails. Not much though!

Reading through the proposed action (alternative 2) it looks like out of the nearly 60 miles of new trails 3.4 of them will be open to class 2. Out of the total 221 miles available for OHV use under the propsed plan, Class 2 accounts for 71 miles, which doesn't sound bad until you drill down into the actual miles of "trail". Out of that 71 miles, 42 are "Mixed use" roads, which to me seems to indicate gravel road.

I guess the good news is that there will be class II trails created in the MT Hood National Forest. Even though the third "guiding principle" of this plan states "The OHV system designated should reflect that the Mt. Hood National Forest is not a key OHV recreation destination in the Pacific Northwest." and even though they make it quite clear that they do not want to compete with TSF, they are infact converting 25 miles of roads to class 2 trails. Given the desire to not be a key OHV destination, I am wondering who they will be working with to design these trails.

Honestly, it looks like the class I and III folks are far ahead of us Class II folks, and thats fine... I'd just like to try and do something in the future to get more share for class II. I completely understand focusing on TSF, but if all we did was focus on TSF, thats all we would have. I love it there, have a blast every time I go, but I also enjoy variety. The work the Pistons are doing in the Yacolt Burn will help bring a new option to the area, having a third (or even 4th 5th and 6th) would be awesome! Imagine having 3 legal wheeling areas within 50 miles of PDX. As hard as it may be to believe that could happen, it does seem to be happening. Not sure how good it will be, but it will be a start and the OHV travel plan has to be reviewed yearly.... so it could get better with a bit of work.

Anyway (this went way longer than I had planned) has anyone worked with the USFS recently on this? I have reached out to the forest service asking what user groups they have worked with but haven't heard anything back.

Thanks again for the info... it is helpful!

Art Waugh 04-15-2010 05:06 PM

The guy to talk to up there is Malcolm Hamilton in the main office. Surprised they are going to take another look(due to new wilderness perhaps?) The amount of routes available sounds close to what was in the draft. At least it is a change, they never wanted class II other than on roads. Unless someone in the Region has been talking to them recently, the last one I know of was Karen Fisher when she was either Region or State Director. Don't know if Randy has been in touch with them yet or not.

Some of the reason for no use is it has about 40% wilderness, and PDX watershed, and the hikers/mtn bikers have a lot better lobby than us.

Jon_in_da_couve 04-15-2010 07:24 PM

Thanks again Art, the additional info is helpful. I sent a follow up mail to Michelle Lombardo at the USFS to see if she could let me know who she has been working with. I also asked from some additional details on what caused the delay, what additional studies are needed, and how this impacts the recomendation for Alternative 2. Alternative two (in my opinion) wasn't the best, but it also wasn't the worst for OHV's (class II and other). I hope this delay doesn't mean something worse may be propsoed or implemented.

And your right, the hikers / mtn bikers do seem to have a better lobby in place.... at this point. ;)

Art Waugh 08-30-2010 11:58 AM

In our local fish wrapper over the w/e.

Have not seen the final, but it sounds like we didn't get anything out of this one. But when you figure that over 40% of the forest in in designated Wilderness now, along with Bull Run, not much left to work with and they are not interested in any motorized bigger than class 3 anyway, and even that is like pulling wisdom teeth.

Jon_in_da_couve 08-31-2010 10:22 PM

Thanks Art -I had found the decision on the forest service web site. I dont know much about this stuff, but it doesn't look good to me, at least not for class II. Here is the link to the decision.

It's a whole mess of PDF Files that I haven't completely waded through, but basically instead of choosing one of the 4 options on the table, the forest service has decided to implement a modified version of one of the options, (option 3). It almost seems like instead of choosing one of the 4 options they created a new one, can they do that?
  • Option 3 would have allowed 326 total miles of OHV use.
  • The modified version they have chose now only allows for 146 total miles for OHV use.
  • Option 3 would have allowed allowed almost 73 miles of class II trails.
  • The modified version they have chose now only allows for 13.7 miles of class II trails.
  • Prior to this decision, OHV stickered rigs could travel on over 2400 miles of roads.
  • Now they can only travel on 38.5 miles of roads.

Has anyone else read this thing yet? Appreciate any input...

Art Waugh 09-01-2010 08:00 AM

Yep, they can mix and match out of the alternatives based on comments or other reasons.

They have never listened to class II, and never will. The 4 areas they had were all pretty much outlined 7-8 years ago, and were going to be for class I & III at that time. To quote an old time member from 35 years ago----"A foregone conclusion to a preconceived notion". They have known for years that class II users were going to be limited to some roads and roads only.

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