Below are the notes from a Nov 7th meeting of the ODNRA OHV Designated Routes Working Group, provided by Greg Hoover. I was unable to attent this meeting but Mrs Senator and I should be at the next one, which takes place January 23rd. If all goes well, we also plan to tag along on the field tour, which takes place the preceding Friday. As outlined below, it will go down in Florence but it affects ALL Oregon Dunes. We'll be going down from Seattle if anyone on the I-5 corridor is interested in caravaning. Those that are more local are even more strongly encouraged to attend, since the closer you are the easier it should be to get there. As you can clearly determine from the notes, there are some with a clear agenda to chip away at the riding area by whatever means necessary. I have inserted some commentary on the notes of the field trip to outline this. For those who already ride the Oregon Dunes and for those who wish to someday ride them, it's important that you know that critical decisions are being made at an increasingly rapid pace to prevent you from doing so. Hope to see some of you out there:thumbsup:
One thing I learned that is of great concern is the fact that as of Jan. 1st 2010 ALL trails that are in the forested and some of the grassy areas of the ODNRA WILL BE CLOSED!!!!!
This includes Banshee Hill.
Now before we get to excited I have been assured that the closures will not be enforced until the workgroup finishes and make their recommendations to the district ranger.
But there are members of the workgroup that want all trails closed and fences put up around the water features including the ones south of the 3rd parking lot.
Take a minute to read these meeting notes and try to attend the next meeting,
· Friday, January 22: Field Tour of north riding area (south of Florence)
12:30 - 4:30
Starting location to be determined
· Saturday, January 23: Working Group Meeting
8:30 - 3:30
Honeyman State Park - Group Meeting Yurt
more info here
Siuslaw National Forest - Oregon Dunes NRA OHV Designated Routes
Feel free to post this where it might matter.
Thank you for your time
ODNRA OHV Designated Routes Working Group
FIELD TOUR/MEETING NOTES
November 6-7, 2009
Middle Riding Area Field Tour (Nov 6)
Meeting – Winchester Bay Community Center (Nov 7)
Friday, November 6
Welcome and Introductions:
Field tour attendees gathered at the Douglas County Staging Area on Umpqua Beach Road at 12:30 P.M. Ross Holloway welcomed the attendees, and introduced guests. Working Group members and others introduced themselves. Ross highlighted the field tour objectives, and Sharon Stewart provided an overview of logistics and transportation for the afternoon.
Attendees – Working Group Members and Staff:
Name Representing Name Representing
Ross Holloway Facilitator
Sharon Stewart SNF – ODNRA
Larry Robison - Coos County Parks Dept
Barbara Taylor - Cape Arago Audubon
Jody Phillips - OHV Users
Scott Ryland - Organized OHV Groups
Liz Kelly - USFWS
Arrow Coyote - Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians
Ron Price OPRD – State ATV Program
Mark Tilton - Community Leader
Greg Hoover - OHV Organized Groups
Doug Duchscher - OHV Guides/Outfitters
Marty Giles Non-OHV Guide/Outfitter
Adele Dawson - General Public
Working Group members not present: Michael Cobb, John Carnahan and John Getz
Attendees – Others:
Name Representing Name Representing
Courtney Cloyd USFS – Region 6 Marty Stein SNF - Botanist
Jeff Farm OPRD Roger Geeting SNF – Law Enforcement
Trisha Wymore OPRD Sarah Wassam SNF – Law Enforcement
Jean Ryland Self Barbara Rowland Self
Lance Rowland Self Gerry Roach Self
Dianne Price Self Rod Roberts Coos County Sheriffs Dept
Nick Batz Congressman Peter DeFazio
The group departed for the first stop at 12:50 P.M.
Stop 1 – Banshee Hill – Group viewed a user created trail on a steep hill in the first (northern-most) forested finger on the east side of the middle riding area. The trail originated as a single track in ~ 1992. Initial efforts to close it were not successful, and it has developed into an increasingly wide trail, with a large "fan" of sand at the base of the hill. This trail connects through to another portion of the open riding area. OHV group reps indicated that this type of trail is desirable because of the challenge it presents, and they believe that such trails should be planned for and provided. This particular trail is well-known among users, and one of the few challenges available. Jeff Farm, Ocean Shores Program Manager for OPRD, talked about OPRD concerns as an adjacent landowner.
*Senator inserted* Roughly translated, this means that this individual, as an adjacent land owner, doesn't like sharing the land set aside by Congress for ALL OF US to use because he doesn't like the noise. I shed no tears for you or your greed Sir.
OPRD land (Umpqua Lighthouse State Park) lies to the north of the middle riding area, and is closed to OHVs. High resource values associated with the area around Lake Marie raise the level of concern about OHV use "spilling over" onto OPRD lands. Group needs to consider potential adjacent landowner impacts when making recommendations for designated routes. Marty Stein, Siuslaw National Forest Botanist shared information about the plant associations in the area. He pointed out that while the plant species present in the ODNRA are not necessarily unique, the plant associations found are very unique.
*Senator inserted* Roughly translated, this means that even as a botanist, he can offer no real reason to save these plants, other than a statistical anomoly that appears in the way they associate. Nice try you clever Devil but I'm not buying it.
Stop 2 – Parabola Dune – Group viewed a parabola dune that lies between the first and second forested fingers. The end of the forested finger provides an example of how user created OHV trails have "cut off" a piece of forested habitat, essentially creating a tree island.
*Senator inserted* The trails in question are all merely as wide as an ATV. At roughly 4 feet wide, it's physically impossible to "cut off" a piece of forrested habitat. I see animals running across the trails all time, I can assure everyone that the 4 foot wide trails are creating no boundaries for our furry friends.
Courtney Cloyd, USFS Geologist, provided an overview of the local geology and geologic processes that created the dunes, and continue to change them. The ODNRA contains large portions of the Florence and Coos Bay "dunes sheets", which originated from sand that has been transported by the Umpqua River over many thousand, or perhaps millions of years. The parent material for the sand is the Cascade Mountains. He explained that the tree islands are indicative of more stable periods, where sand didn’t move as much, and vegetation was able to develop more. He explained how two different types of dunes (transverse and parabola) form, and how vegetation stabilizes sand movement and affects the dune formation process. The introduction of European beach grass in the 1930s is causing more rapid stabilization of dune areas than what occurred historically.
Stop 3 – User Created Trail – Not all vehicles were able to access the planned stop. The group viewed user created trails near the end of another of the forested fingers (fourth finger). Courtney Cloyd pointed out a landslide feature on the slope, and indicated that it may have been triggered by OHV activity on the toe of the slope.
*Senator inserted* Did you read that? May have? Seriously? How about this, it may have been caused by a meteor. It may have been caused by heavy animal traffic. It may have been caused by gravity and explained simply with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Give me a break.
The group viewed how European beach grass and scotch broom were invading the parabola dune at this location, and reducing OHV access in this portion of the open riding area.
*Senator inserted* That's right, let's make note of this please. Open riding area is being reduced because of the invading, and unnatural, European beach grass. Seems like maybe we should be mitagating this loss by opening up at least as much as is being lost, right?
The group also discussed concerns about these invasive species being spread into the forested fingers if designated routes are located in that area. May need to consider locating such routes in a manner that minimizes the potential to spread beach grass and scotch broom into the forested areas of 10C.
*Senator inserted* WHAT? European beach grass will survive everything and anything thrown at it and it spreads like wild fire. Animals and wind surely transport it more readily than ATV's. Maybe we should keep the animals out of the forrested fingers as well, huh? After all, they are the primary culprits of transporting this stuff after the wind.