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Old 01-09-2012, 11:13 AM
jim putman's Avatar
jim putman jim putman is offline
Washington State Director
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Location: puyallup wa.
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Default TWIG meeting in Nache

Just confirmed there is a TWIG meeting in Naches tomorrow night (1/10) This is a begining of a process on trail decissions that we need to have members involved in. PLEASE be there if at all possible.

The meeting is at the Naches ranger station. Starts at 7 pm come around back and in the back door.
Member #40 Hombres jeep club
Region 2 landmatters chairman
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:12 PM
Ceg_'s Avatar
Ceg_ Ceg_ is offline
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Thank Jim for posting this up!

The Region 4 meeting is also tomorrow night so some of us cannot make the TWIG meeting.

The Naches Ranger District is looking to close some trails for all user groups. Hiking, horse, motorcycle, ATV, 4x4, etc. You might want to speak now before your favorite trail is closed forever.
Clay Graham

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:44 PM
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Naches Ranger District trail users at odds with district over possible closures
By Scott Sandsberry
Yakima Herald-Republic

Before too long -- this year, perhaps, or 2013 -- some trails within the Naches Ranger District will be closed in response to Forest Service budget cuts.

And the four-wheelers, snowmobilers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, skiers and hikers who use the trails are so up in arms about it that tonight's meeting of the district's Trails and Wilderness Interest Group (TWIG) is almost certain to draw an overflow crowd.

Many of those outdoor enthusiasts who attend these meetings -- which serve as a conduit between the ranger district and its most fervent user groups -- believe they're about to lose access to fully one-10th of the district's trails. That's not the case, said District Ranger Irene Davidson, but some trail closures are almost a certainty.

"A decision is going to have to be made," Davidson said, noting that the decision-making process will depend on input from tonight's meeting -- specifically on which trails users want to keep open.

"Our budget is not as good as what we thought it was going to be," Davidson said, adding that the current omnibus spending bill would mean cutting the district's budget by roughly 10 percent.

"I can't look at these people and say, 'We've got 1,100 miles of trail and by God we're going to keep all of them maintained with absolutely no budget. That's just ridiculous.

"At what point do (trail users) not think we need to tighten our belts?"

Trail-group representatives at TWIG meetings have repeatedly responded to the district's trail-closure suggestions with offers of volunteer trail-maintenance crews.

"Our trails are not in bad shape. They're really not," said Carol Swan, a Backcountry Horsemen of Washington member from Selah. "And they've got (TWIG) people raising their hands wanting to volunteer and help. And the Forest Service's response is to close."

Even the format of tonight's TWIG meeting, in which the visitors will be asked to argue on behalf of their favorite trails, grates on Swan.

"(Davidson) should have to justify closing a trail," Swan said, "rather than we having to justify why to keep it open."

The Forest Service's current Travel Management Plan process requires each district to identify roads and trails it can manage with its current staffing -- and, by extension, identify likely motorized roads and trails for closure.

"What I've been preaching is, 'Tell me about the trail, tell me why it's important to you, so we can start talking about where to spend our money to get the best bang for our buck,'" Davidson said.

Trail enthusiasts, she said, "are just fearful. And no matter how many times I try to tell them, my goal is not to get them out of the forest. My goal is to make my business run here. If I have $100, where do you want me to spend it?"

Some recreationists, though, believe that -- despite Davidson's contention that she's "tried to be so transparent with this whole process" -- district staffers aren't being entirely above-board.

In one recent meeting, Davidson showed photographs of a trails area devastated by four-wheeler use, using the ugly images as an example of why some trails should be closed to motorized traffic.

The problem with that example, said several trail users in attendance, was that the photographs -- taken in the Sleepy Park area off Forest Road 1202 near White Pass -- were more than 30 years old, the area having long ago been rehabilitated.

Walls have definitely gone up between Davidson and some user-group representatives, as evidenced by the November TWIG meeting when she pointed out two attendees and said she didn't want them on any trail-use committees.

One of them, longtime four-wheeler and trail-maintenance volunteer Ron Rutherford, said he was told by other attendees he was persona non grata because he was "set in his ways" and was "not moving in (Davidson's) direction."

"I told Irene it's OK we don't agree," Rutherford said. "She has a job to do, and I have a dedication to recreation and keeping public lands open to recreation.

"My take on this is that for management and Irene, it's easier to close and eliminate than deal with the problem."

And that problem may go beyond just the trails themselves.

"If they close a lot of these trails like they want to, businesses up here or on White Pass, we're going to go down the tubes, pretty much," said Pam Remley, who works at the Woodshed store on State Route 410.

"Right now there's no snow, and (business is) so slow we're just kind of twiddling our thumbs. You've got income and revenue down, employees getting laid off, and if recreation goes down to practically nothing and people don't want to come recreate here, what's going to happen?

"It's a big, vicious circle. It's not just the trails. It's revenue. It's the economy. It's frustrating."
Dave Walters
Tri Cities Peak Putters
Land Use Coordinator


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Old 01-11-2012, 09:39 AM
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So how did the meeting go?
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave McMains View Post
So how did the meeting go?
Clay Graham

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Old 01-11-2012, 12:06 PM
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Art Waugh Art Waugh is offline
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Grumpy- This is what I was bringing up in the TMP, other shoe thread. Look for a lot of closures, and you can bet most will hit the motorized routes. If they can't get to the hiking trailhead, the non-motorized trails won't get the use, and the upkeep won't be as much, so they will stay available.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:14 AM
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Kelda Hagemeier
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Location: Selah, WA
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Default TWIG Meeting Feb. 7 Naches

The Trails Wilderness Interest Group Meeting will be this upcoming Tuesday night (February 7th) beginning at 7PM at the Naches Ranger Station. I know that it seems like we were all just at the last TWIG, but we are back to the First Tuesday of the Month schedule.

The focus of the meeting this month will be to review the compiled data from the trail information sheets that we all completed last month during the mapping exercise, and to review a draft Volunteer Vision Statement for the Naches Ranger District Trails Program and corresponding proposed adopt-a-trail program. We also plan to discuss options and opportunities for volunteer coordinator positions for the volunteer trails program.

Additionally we have invited Michelle King back to introduce the scoping process for the NEPA analysis for the proposed Spring Motorized Trail Closure for the Naches Ranger District as we postponed her presentation last month.

See you there. Enter through the back door
Kelda Hagemeier
42 Willys Bobcat
Trail Jamboree Co-Chair
Shindig Wheeler Member #1
Region 4
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:46 AM
Merrick Graves Merrick Graves is offline
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Is Kelda going to tonites meeting? I have some Jamboree stuff I'd like to pass your way. If not we can make other arrangements.
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