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Old 01-08-2015, 02:46 PM
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Default My comments on Ok-Wen TMP

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Travel Management Plan for the Forest. It is important for all stakeholders to have input into a document that will affect how they use the Forest for years to come. Economic, recreational, and lifestyle impacts all need to be taken into account. Past management decisions have had major impacts on how the Forest is used, to the detriment of some major contributors to the local economy, such as timber production. I will leave that to those more qualified. My concerns are the affect the plan may have on the recreation industry and those who use the Forest for their chosen forms of recreation.
Motorized recreation has been a major part of Forest use for several generations, and a major contributor to the stability of the local economy. Those who come to the area spend thousands of dollars on lodging, food, fuel, and vehicle parts and accessories. This use has, over the years, contributed greatly to the recreational growth around the Forest, and is one of the more outstanding facets of life here. This should be considered one of the legitimate, planned uses of the Forest.
A number of things in the plan need to be addressed that could, in the long run, adversely affect those of us who choose to use a 4x4, ATV, or motorcycle. Following are my comments on a few items of concern.

Level 1 Roads – Many of these roads need more review as they provide connectivity in the system or do, in fact, have high recreational value. I would urge they be considered for management as trail in many cases.

Level 2 Roads – These roads can, and often do, constitute the backbone of any OHV trail network, and provide non-street legal vehicles access to other system trails, and recreational use for larger 4x4 vehicles.

Level 3 Roads – These should be mixed vehicle use to provide connectivity to all portions of a trail system, and are also key to larger vehicles being able to access trails.

Water Buffers – This is vague in its wording. A large number of our trails run along water courses, and cross in many places. I believe more clarification is in order here. The fear is that this could be used to close trails and disrupt how we use our trails. There are methods to mitigate any crossing issues, and these need to be looked into in more depth. More work is needed here.

Manastash Trail – Now that The Nature Conservancy owns land above Cle Elum that includes part of the Manastash Trail, there are concerns over what their plans are, and how they will affect our ability to ride the trail. This needs to be addressed to the satisfaction of all involved.

Trails missing from maps – There are trails missing, most notably the Raven’s Roost trail. This alone should be cause for delay in some of the process. This is one of the most important parts of the process, and leaves one to wonder how good these maps may be. Hard to make decisions when lacking some vital information. Much more work needed here.

Involvement of local officials – I have been seeing, in my conversations with other OHV users in other areas, some lack of consideration where local government bodies are concerned. These will be some of the most affected by any decisions made, and their input is critical to how the plan comes together.

In closing, let me say I look forward to seeing the progress on this project, and will be watching along with many others. It is my hope that all sides will be included on equal footing, and comments weighed on their merits.

Dave Walters
Land Use Coordinator
Tri Cities Peak Putters
Kennewick, WA
509-734-8694
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Last edited by Grumpy; 01-08-2015 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:08 PM
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Only 20 comments submitted since I put mine in...Who wants to keep trails on the Ok-Wen
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:59 PM
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:31 AM
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Another comment from one of my co-conspirators:


1. This is Subpart B of the Travel Management Plan. Therefore it can only be used as the authority to close unclassified (non-system) roads and trails to stop cross country travel. The proposal to close ML1 roads is inappropriate because they are system roads. According to your own regulations, system roads cannot be closed under Subpart B. They must be retained on the road system until after Subpart A is complete and project level NEPA is performed on these roads.

2. ML1 roads are often where the best firewood is available, so these roads must be left open for woodcutters to gather wood to heat their homes. It also helps reduce the fire hazard in the forest.

3. Making ML2-ML5 roads open to only highway legal vehicles is unacceptable. Green sticker vehicles need to travel on these roads to reach designated trails. Loading the green sticker vehicle into a truck to transport it between trails is not feasible.

4. Closing ML2-ML5 roads to green sticker vehicles is unacceptable specifically for hunters. Quads and side-by-sides need access to these roads for hunting, accessing hunting camps, and for retrieval of legally taken game.

5. Closing 34% of the roads on the Forest is not acceptable. With reductions in logging activity, it is essential that maximum access be preserved for recreation and tourism. This is vital to the rural communities who depend on forest land for their economy. Roads allow not only motorized recreation, but all forest users must have roads to access areas for hiking, fishing, bicycle riding, hunting, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, and other non-motorized activities.

Summary: We want to see the ML1 road closures dropped from this decision. We want ML2-ML3 roads to remain open to green sticker vehicles. It is imperative to keep as many miles of roads open as possible, for the economic health of the area.

Corky Lazzarino
Sierra Access Coalition
Quincy, CA
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:34 AM
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All of 416 comments...
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:28 AM
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legal or not, most ML 1 roads were "closed" in the early 90's throughout USFS Region 6. Now they are starting part "A" and getting down to "sustainable" road system based on the maint. budget. Here on the Willamette NF, over the last 5 years they only have a budget of approximately 25% of what is required to maint. what roads are open.

Forests are now in the process of holding meetings and asking those that show up, what roads and areas do you use and mark maps accordingly. They won't/don't tell you that will be the basis for the next series of closures to get to that "sustainable" system. They figure that the roads on the maps marked by users will get used the most and generate the fewest complaints later if they are the open ones. Part "A" was supposed to be done by the end of this year, but will probably run into 2016/2017.

Don't forget that when the fire budgets get blown out, they start raiding other funds to pay for fire control, so there goes thinning/cleanup and road budgets as well.
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