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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

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:




To all:

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
Greg Hoover

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.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Stop 4 – Tree Island in Open Riding Area – The group made a brief stop on the edge of one of the tree island in Area 10B. They noted how user created trails also impact the edges of the tree islands, cutting off small portions of the forested habitat.

*Senator inserted* Boo fricking hoo. If someone were to measure the amount of dune area becoming forested habitat, it would more than offset it.

Stop 5 – Parking Area Adjacent to Beach, foredune and deflation plain – Following a short rest break, the group walked into an area of the foredune and discussed OHV use in this portion of Area 10C. No routes have been designated in this area. Area is unique in that it does not connect open sand riding areas, due to a beach closure implemented by OPRD. Marty Stein described how foredune stabilization by beach grass has led to more stable wetlands in the deflation plain to the east of the foredune.

*Senator inserted* Ahem...excuse me? Did you imply that a wetland needed stabliazation? There never used to be a wetland there before the beach grass formed the enourmous foredune, causing the deflation plane to rid it's sand to the east while not being replenished from the west. The wetland is an occurance resulting directly from the beach grass, and as such, is unnatural and does not require any stabilization.

He also indicated that the deflation plain wetlands do contain rare species. Historically, these wetland areas occurred between the transverse dunes and were more ephemeral in nature, existing for short periods.

*Senator inserted* What's that now? They are only to exist for short periods, why would we try to unnaturally stabilze it?

These wetland areas and the associated vegetation is also "creeping" steadily to the east, reducing the open sand area. Some group members questioned why the foredune area should be closed to OHV use, if it is all covered by non-native beach grass. Marty Stein commented that in the grass dominated portion of the foredune there are very few native species, and therefore not much to protect. One possible reason cited for closing this area was to minimize OHV access to the closed beach. It was pointed out that this could also be accomplished through fencing and through enforcement activity. Liz Kelly asked if the Army Corp of Engineers (COE) would have concerns about the designation of OHV routes within these wetland areas. She agreed to research this issue with the COE.

*Senator inserted* Loosely translated this means that since no one can come up with a good reason to keep this unnecessarily closed, we'll just table it under the disguise of "more research". Heaven forbid we actually open up land, right?

Stop 6 – Dunal Spring – The group viewed a small pond where a beaver dam has impounded water from a spring in the open riding area. Arrow Coyote described how water sources are culturally significant to native Americans, and specific cultural sites are often found nearby. This particular site does have evidence of fire-cracked rock in the adjacent vegetation. Courtney Cloyd described how the spring is likely the result of an impermeable clay layer that traps ground water, and it comes to the surface in a place where the sand over the top of the layer is shallower. Trisha Wymore, OPRD Beach Ranger, shared information about users violating the beach closure to the southwest of this area.

*Senator inserted* This is clear evidence of users, AKA you and me, breaking the rules. Everytime someone breaks the rules it makes it easier for these folks who are trying to close it. Do you see? Logic and reason we can argue but when ATVer's break the rules there is absolutely nothing we can do. It literally ties our hands behind our backs in a fight we are already outmatched in. When you see someone screwing it up for all of us, it's imperative that you take the time to convert them from the dark side, lest we lose all of our riding area even sooner.

Stop 7 – Douglas/Coos County Line at south end of middle riding area – The group viewed a lake (Schuttpelz Lake) and the Research Natural Area that lies to the south of the middle riding area. This area has been closed to OHV use since the 1979 management plan. Marty Stein described the purpose of the RNA. It essentially serves as a "control" area, where human impact is minimized, and the processes of vegetation and dune development can be observed and compared with areas where there is more human activity. The area is not completely closed, but is not subject to any active management or development. Sharon indicated that several colleges and universities do conduct research and field trips to this RNA.

*Senator inserted* What they failed to mention here is very important. The control area, that has been closed since 1979, is inteded to be observed for changes between it and the dunes where folks can ride. Want to know the outcome of that 30 years of research? Here it is. In the control area, where no OHV access is permitted, the vegetation between the foredune and the deflation plane has grown east at rate exceeding three times that of the area allowing OHV access. The obvious conclusion? That OHV access to that particular sand is what keeps the vegetation at bay, ultimately from taking over the dunes.


The field tour ended with the group returning to the Staging Area at ~ 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 7
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Introduction:

The meeting convened at the Winchester Bay Community Center at 8:30 A.M. Working Group members and others introduced themselves.

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
Jean Ryland NW Sand Deuces Barbara Rowland NW Sand Deuces
Lance Rowland NW Sand Deuces Gerry Roach Self (OHV User)
Dianne Price Self (OHV user) Alex Powers The Umpqua Post
Carey Jones Self Joe Mirvis Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce
Ron Korczak Self (Mushroom Picker) Aaron Abraham Self (Mushroom Picker)


Ross Holloway described the agenda for the day, and reviewed the materials provided in the packets for Working Group members. He reviewed the meeting objectives, included on the back of the agenda. The October 3 meeting notes were reviewed and discussed. The group revisited the issue of "carrying capacity" and reiterated the need for any information that might be available to help better understand this issue. In response to a request for clarification on the OHV revenue mentioned in the notes, Ron Price explained that it was a reference to the revenue from ATV program fees for vehicle registration and a portion of state gas tax proceeds. Ross explained that his intent was to have the group review and approve notes from one meeting at the subsequent meeting. However, this does not provide for timely sharing of the meeting notes with those not attending. In the future, he will distribute the draft notes quickly after each meeting, and ask for any additions or corrections within a few days. Final notes will be posted on the FS website sooner.



Feedback on Field Tour of Middle Riding Area:

· Scott Ryland – Commented about the need for some sort of parameters or criteria for the group to use in making recommendations. Ross indicated that was the intent of one of today’s agenda items.

· Jody Phillips – Asked what designated routes were present in the NRA today. There are none in the middle riding area. He commented that it will be critical that the group analyze the maps together. Ross indicated that was also planned for the afternoon agenda item. Also requested information on FS revenue collected on the NRA, and how it translates into budgets and expenditures for projects in the NRA. He pointed out that over 50% of the NRA is closed to OHV use, and diverse recreation uses are already provided for.

· Mark Tilton – Commented that the group needs good information on what beach areas are open and closed to OHVs. Ron Price will check to see if OPRD has a GIS layer for this. Mark also commented that it would be desirable to have more information on the real constraints in the wetland areas, so that the group does not waste time making recommendations for routes where they will not be permitted. Would also like information on expenditures for OHV projects and management, i.e. what is the County spending. He suggested that the group may want to include recommendations for funding or funding priorities. Ron Price agreed to provide info OPRD has on what is funded through ATV Program grants, which provides funding for most projects and programs.

· Marty Giles – Commented that she would like to have more information on other recreational uses and users for all three riding areas, as well as the SCORP information discussed at the October meeting. OPRD has some of this information. Ron Price and Sharon Stewart will look in to what is available. Also interested in seeing if revenue can be broken down between different uses. Sharon commented that it was unlikely.

· Liz Kelly – Would like more information on the deflation plain wetlands and what restrictions may apply. Would like to see the Snowy Plover critical habitat areas added to the displays (she agreed to provide the information). Also would like to see the Research Natural Area added to the display. Also interested in cost figures for FS projects and management.

· Greg Hoover – Would like information on the criteria used to designate the current routes. Sharon responded that the current designations were basically "grandfathered" in from earlier management decisions, such as the 1979 and 1994 plans. Ron added that most were probably designated because the FS had maintenance cost records on those particular routes and not others. Greg also commented that based on 8 years of experience in his business, the growth in OHV use has been constant.

· Arrow Coyote – Commented on the significance of the firecracked rock at the Dunal Spring stop, and the need for an archaeological assessment in that area. If it is a significant site, protection should be applied. She commented that only about .5% of these types of sites remain. She also commented that it will be important to involve more of the local community in education efforts. In response, Scott Ryland pointed out that the ATV fund is already supporting user education efforts.

· Larry Robison – Would like to know what the FS has planned in terms of vegetation management in the foredune areas. Sharon responded that there isn’t a formal plan, and that more analysis is needed. Larry also pointed out that there are several user created routes in the south riding area that have deeded access rights associated. This needs to be considered when designating routes in that area.

· Doug Duchscher – Describe a potential stop that the group did not visit, where the FS cut and burned a large portion of the foredune. The result is that the area is now beach grass, where it was previously forested. Sharon responded that she believes it was done to remove plantation shore pine, and reduce the wildfire risk. Similar treatments have also been applied in other areas. He also commented that he believes the group is focusing too much on the cost and revenue issues.

· Barbara Taylor – Would like to know if the distribution of wetlands is similar or different among the three riding areas.

(A complete list of information needs identified during field trip feedback is included on the last page of these meeting notes)


History of Designated Routes Issue on ODNRA:

Ross Holloway described significant events and management actions that have occurred over the past 37 years that have led to the situation today with existing user trails and designated routes on the ODNRA. He used Powerpoint slides and a written handout to provide the group with background information on the following topics:
· 1972 Executive Order on ORV Use of Public Lands
· 1972 Act creating the ODNRA
· 1979 ODNRA management plan
· 1994 ODNRA management plan
· Management actions following the 1994 plan to the present time
· 2005 Travel Management Rule affecting national forest lands
· Current situation with designated routes and enforcement on the ODNRA
· Future situation with designated routes and enforcement when the Siuslaw National Forest implements the travel management decision in January 2010.

(The handout provided at the meeting, which provides further details on these topics, is attached to these meeting notes).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Key point for the group to be aware of is that the context for specifying what is open to OHV use versus what is closed to OHV use will be reversed by implementation of the travel management rule decision. Currently, the forest must issue a specific closure order to enforce an OHV riding prohibition (i.e. riding off a designated route). While there are closure orders in place for some portions of Management Area 10C, there are not such orders in much of the management area. Following travel management rule implementation, all areas off of OHV routes designated on the map are subject to a closure. No specific closure order is required to enforce the riding prohibition. Group members expressed concerns about the "interim" period, between when the Forest implements the travel management rule decision (publishes motor vehicle use map), and when the current process for designating routes is completed. It is expected that the motor vehicle use map will be updated once a final decision on designated routes occurs. Some group members are concerned about the message sent by not enforcing the designated routes shown on the initial motor vehicle use map.


Criteria for Assessing Potential Designated Routes:

Ross described how the group will use criteria to evaluate various proposals for designated route recommendations. Once a set of criteria is developed and prioritized by the group, Ross will develop a scoring system that individual members can apply as they evaluate specific proposals. Ross referred to a handout distributed earlier to group members, and included in their meeting packets, with some examples of possible evaluation criteria. The example includes several that address goals and objectives in the 1994 Management Plan, as well as others that address other possible concerns (mushroom habitat and emergency responder access). The group was asked to propose potential evaluation criteria, and these were listed on easel sheets. The group listed 16 possible criteria that could be used to evaluate proposals, as follows…

"Extent to which a proposal for a designated route or routes…
· …Minimizes impacts to native vegetation.
· …Provides for managed (controlled) OHV riding opportunities.
· …Connects open riding areas.
· …Maintains blocks of native vegetation.
· …Affects the ability of users to use open riding areas (how levels of use are impacted, and thus economic benefits of use are impacted).
· …Affects the quality of the user experience.
· …Provides for emergency response vehicle access.
· …Impacts areas of quality matsutake mushroom habitat.
· …Impacts known cultural resources.
· …Avoids or minimizes wetland impacts.
· …Minimizes impacts to sensitive or listed species and to identified "critical habitat".
· …Is in close proximity to special wildlife habitats.
· …Is either compatible with or in conflict with other uses of the area.
· …Affects maintenance requirements and the cost of maintenance.
· …Provides for the safety of users.
· …Increases the potential for adverse impacts on neighboring landowners.



Ross will distribute the draft criteria to group members, and will ask them each to prioritize them. This information will be used to identify those criteria which are important to the largest number of group members.
.
Public Comment:

Five individuals provided comments as follows…

Ron Korczak – (Commented earlier in the morning, before the designated comment period). Identified himself as a mushroom picker, and expressed concerns about the effects of OHV trails on mushroom habitat and picking areas. Wants to see mushroom picking areas protected.

Barbara Rowland – Expressed concern about individuals just showing up at the meeting, making critical remarks and then leaving. Commented that riders in the NRA come from far and wide, and that any reduction in existing OHV routes will cause increased congestion. Feels that group is focusing too much on dollar issues. Is concerned that so far, there has been no discussion of disabled access to wetland areas and other viewing areas. Feels that concern about noise comes mostly from "anti-OHV" folks, and that adjacent landowners should expect to hear some noise. Would like to know what time of year studies are done to determine if areas are wetlands. Pointed out that most existing trails are not designated routes.

Lance Rowland – Would like to hear a description of this process and how it will be used to make decisions or change rules and regulations. Wants to make sure everyone is clear on where the process is going. Is concerned about empty seats (working group member absences) and would like to see those seats filled.

Gerry Roach – Commented that "environmental" people have 100% access to ODNRA, and the only group that seems to be restricted is OHV users. Supports protection of sensitive areas. Feels it is obvious that OHV users are going to lose part of the fraction that is currently open to their use.

Joe Mirvis – Wants to make sure that the economic impact of OHV use gets considered.

Ross Holloway provided some information in response to the two concerns raised by Lance Rowland. The Working Group process will result in a set of recommendations for designating OHV routes in the three riding areas. Ross will be drafting a recommendations report, which will be reviewed by Working Group members, and by others at a public meeting of the Working Group in the Spring of 2010. With input from that review, Ross will be submitting a final recommendations report to the Forest Service. The recommendations of the group are considered to be part of the scoping for the NEPA process that will take place following the Working Group process. The NEPA process will involve identification of alternatives, analysis of alternatives, additional public input, and eventually a decision on what additional routes to designate and add to the motor vehicle use map for the forest. On the issue of empty seats, Ross pointed out that two members not in attendance had indicated in advance that they were not available for this meeting. Both were present at the first meeting, and both have indicated their commitment to attend future meetings. The third member absent did not indicate they would be absent, as they had in October. This is a concern, and Ross will follow-up with that member in any effort to either confirm their commitment to attend future meetings, or withdraw from the group.
 

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Recommendations

Designated Routes Recommendations for the Middle Riding Area:

The group reviewed aerial photo displays of the west and east portions of the riding area, on which the location of existing user-created trails had been marked with yellow lines. The group was able to identify several marked trails that they believed did not actually exist in those locations, and identified the need to add existing trails that had not been mapped. Ross will be providing the image files group members so that they can mark additional trail locations and return them to Ross. Ross will work with Forest GIS staff to get the trails added to the display.

Group members identified a number of possible designated route recommendations for the 10C portions of the middle riding area, and brief descriptions of each were written on easel sheets and numbered. Initially, the group identified the two "bookend" proposals. Proposal 1 was to designate all existing user created trails in the middle riding area, and close all future user created trails. Proposal 2 was to designate no routes in the middle riding area and close all existing and future user created trails. For the remaining proposals the group focused first on the eastern portion of the riding area (forested fingers), listing four proposals, and then on the western portion (foredune/deflation plain), with an additional four proposals. The following proposals were recorded during this session…

1. Designate routes on all existing user-created trails in the 10C portion of the riding area, and close all future user-created trails.
2. Designate no routes in the 10C portion of the riding area, and close all existing and future user-created trails. (This could also be considered a proposal to "re-zone" 10C areas to 10A, non-motorized).
3. (East portion of area) Designate one OHV route to cross each forested finger, where there is a need to accommodate riders between open riding areas, avoiding sensitive areas, and close all other user-created trails. (proposed by Liz).
4. (East portion of area) Designate one OHV route to cross each forested finger, connecting the parabola dunes so that one continuous route would exist from north to south through the forested areas, and close all other user-created trails. (proposed by Scott)
5. (East portion of area) Designate a series of routes that provide for adequate access for emergency vehicles, and close all other user-created trails.
6. (East portion of area) Designate a more limited set of routes than Proposal 4. Limit designated routes to one per forested finger in fingers 1, 2 and 5, locating them where existing user-created trails have already created tree islands near the end of the fingers, and close all other user-created trails.
7. (West portion of area) Re-zone all or a portion of this area to 10B, open riding area. Designate a limited number of routes in the portion that remains 10C, and close all other user-created trails. (proposed by Doug)
8. (West portion of area) Designate one route from north to south, parallel to the beach, and re-zone the portion of the area to the east of this route as 10B, open riding area. Close all existing user-created trails on the beach side of the designated route. (proposed by Arrow)
9. (West portion of area) Designate a loop route, with a connector on the south end, and close all other existing user-created trails. (proposed by Jody)
10. (West portion of area) Re-zone the entire area to 10B, open riding to test whether or not unrestricted OHV use will lead to control of the beach grass.

The group agreed that additional work will need to be done by the proponents of several proposals to map out and display the specific routes that would be designated under their proposal. In mapping out routes for Proposal 4, Scott agreed to incorporate the concepts in Proposals 3 and 5. Separate displays will not be needed at this time for the other two proposals. Doug agreed to map out and display Proposal 7. Arrow agreed to do the same for Proposal 8. Jody agreed to do the same for Proposal 9. The remaining proposals do not require further work at this time, since they are either "all or nothing" approaches, or involve re-zoning, not route designation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wrap Up and Future Planning

Wrap Up and Future Planning:

Next meeting - The group identified January 22 and 23, 2010 for the next field tour and meeting of the Working Group. Both days will focus on the north riding area, and the meeting will take place in the Florence area, with a location to be determined.

The group identified several possible topics and sites to incorporate into the north area field tour, as follows…
· Dog Pond site.
· Mushroom habitat area.
· Incinerator Road area.

Roundtable feedback on the last two days resulted in the following input…
· Provide a vicinity map for future field tours so it is easier to see where we are.
· Get a facility with better heat for the next meeting!
· Good to have meeting objectives and include them on the back of the agenda.

The meeting concluded at 3:20 P.M.

Information/Data Needs Requested or Identified During Meeting/Field Tour


GIS Display/Mapping requests:
· Add beach closure areas to the displays for all three riding areas.
· Add Snowy Plover critical habitat to displays for all three riding areas.
· Add Research Natural Area to middle riding area display.

Other Information requests:
· Information on restrictions in wetland areas.
· Information on other recreational uses on the NRA.
· Information on the distribution of wetland acres between the three riding areas.
· Information on revenue collected by FS on the NRA.
· Information on FS expenditures for recreation management on the NRA.
· Information on State ATV Program Grant funds for NRA projects and programs.
· SCORP data on projected use levels.
(Meeting Handout)
Chronology of OHV Designated Routes Issue on the ODNRA
Key Events and Management Actions – 1972 to Present

1972 – Executive Order 11644--Use of off-road vehicles on the public lands – Called for several key things, as follows…
"…administrative designation of the specific areas and trails on public lands on which the use of off-road vehicles may be permitted, and areas in which the use of off-road vehicles may not be permitted…"
"…such areas and trails will be based upon the protection of the resources of the public lands, promotion of the safety of all users of those lands, and minimization of conflicts among the various uses of those lands."
"(1) Areas and trails shall be located to minimize damage to soil, watershed, vegetation, or other resources of the public lands.
(2) Areas and trails shall be located to minimize harassment of wildlife or significant disruption of wildlife habitats.
(3) Areas and trails shall be located to minimize conflicts between off-road vehicle use and other existing or proposed recreational uses of the same or neighboring public lands, and to ensure the compatibility of such uses with existing conditions in populated areas, taking into account noise and other factors."

1972 – Congress passes Public Law 92-260 creating the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area – "…to provide for the public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment of certain ocean shoreline and dunes, forested areas, fresh water lakes, and recreational facilities in the State of Oregon…and the conservation of scenic, scientific, historic, and other values…"

1979 – Management Plan for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area – Establishes a plan for management of OHV and other uses on the NRA. Expands previous OHV closure areas to include the area from the Siltcoos River to the Umpqua River. Prior to the 1979 plan, 91% of the NRA was open to OHV use. Following implementation of the 1979 plan, 47% of the NRA was open to OHV use.

1994 – Management Plan for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area – Establishes separate management areas with differing resource emphases within the NRA. These management areas or zones (10A through 10L) restrict or allow OHV use to varying degrees. The eleven management designations and associated acres so designates are as follows:
10 (A) – Non-Motorized Undeveloped – 7,830 acres (27%)
10 (B) – Off-Road Vehicle Open – 5,930 acres (21%)
10 (C) – ORV on Designated Routes – 4,455 acres (15%)
10 (D) – Developed Corridors – 1,050 acres (4%)
10 (E) – Snowy Plover Habitat – 1,010 acres (3%)
10 (F) – Plant, Fish and Wildlife Habitat – 3,120 acres (11%)
10 (G) – Wetlands Emphasis – 2,540 acres (9%)
10 (H) – Wildlife and Fish Viewing – 315 acres (1%)
10 (J) – Recommended Wild and Scenic River – 1,090 acres (4%)
10 (K) – Research Natural Area – 1,190 acres (4%)
10 (L) – Noise Control Buffer – *** acres (1%)

Management Areas where some level of OHV use is permitted:
10 (B) – Off-Road Vehicle Open – relatively unrestricted OHV use in areas that are predominantly open sand. May be localized areas within that are closed to OHVs protect special habitats or unique geologic features.
10 (C) – ORV on Designated Routes – Controlled opportunities for OHV riding and travel on designated routes to reach the beach and other areas which are open to OHV use.
10 (D) – Developed Corridors – OHVs only permitted on roadways within developed facilities that are open to OHV use.
10 (G) – Wetlands Emphasis – OHV use only permitted on a limited number of designated routes.
10 (L) – Noise Control Buffer – From 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. OHVs can travel to and from adjacent private land within east-west aligned corridors. Area is closed to OHVs from 10:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M.
Summary of other OHV restrictions that resulted from 1994 Plan adoption and implementation:
1994:
Non-street legal vehicles are prohibited on NRA paved roadways intended for highway vehicle use.
Non-street legal OHV use is prohibited in developed facilities without direct sand access (Waxmrytle, Lagoon and Bluebill campgrounds).
Closed the areas south of Horsefall Beach Road to provide non-motorized experiences consistent with the areas hiking and equestrian trails.
Noise Control Buffer established.
OHV facilities were converted from 24 hour use to day-use only; Horsfall, South Jetty, and Goosepasture, as well as any future construction. Night riding curfews were established; South Jetty to Siltcoos 10 pm-6 am, and Horsfall to Tenmile midnight to 6 am. Quiet hours between 10 pm and 6 am established in campgrounds, except for Horsfall and Spinreel Campgrounds (midnight to 6 am).
OHV use prohibited at South Jetty Beach Access.
OHVs are restricted to a limited number of designated routes in wetlands and other vegetated areas. (Primary direction was to secure the designated routes from the previous plan in high quality wetlands between open riding areas and the beach).
1995:
Closed Waxmrytle Road, Oregon State Parks prohibited OHV use on beach from Waxmyrtle Road to Takenitch Closure.
1996:
Most Wetland area designated routes are signed and managed.
1997:
Overflow camping in the Siltcoos Overflow was prohibited to protect wetland resources.
2005:
Designated 135 OHV Dispersed Campsites and established permit system.
Situation Today:
· "Formally" designated OHV routes are limited to those identified in the 1994 plan. These are generally located between staging areas and open riding areas (upland portion of 10C), and between open riding areas and the beach (wetland portions of 10C). All routes currently designated are within the north and south riding areas. There are currently no designated routes within the middle riding area.
· Only limited portions of Management Area 10 (C) are subject to formal closure orders, whereby the prohibition of riding off of designated routes can be enforced. Closure orders are in place in the wetland areas of Management Area 10 (C), with the exception of the area adjacent to Umpqua Beach.

Travel Management Rule (36 CFR 212, Subpart B, Designation of Roads, Trails, and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use) - Requirements and Effect on OHV Designated Routes Situation:
Highlights of the Rule:
· Adopted in 2005, with a requirement for implementation by 2010.
· The rule requires each national forest or ranger district to designate those roads, trails, and areas open to motor vehicles.
· Once designation is complete, the rule will prohibit motor vehicle use off the designated system or inconsistent with the designations.
· Designations will be shown on a motor vehicle use map. Use inconsistent with the designations will be prohibited.

Situation after January 2010 (approximate date for implementation of Travel Management Rule decision on Siuslaw National Forest):
· Those existing routes in Management Area 10 (C) that are shown on the "motor vehicle use map" will become the "designated routes", and motor vehicle use will be prohibited off of those routes.
· Specific closure orders will no longer be necessary in order for the motor vehicle use prohibition to be enforceable.
· Forest realizes that the Designated Routes Working Group process, and subsequent NEPA process is likely to result in identification of additional routes to be designated in Management Area 10(C). In this interim period, between implementation of the Travel Management Rule decision and a final decision on other designated routes, the emphasis will be on education, not enforcement.
 

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Stop 6 – Dunal Spring – The group viewed a small pond where a beaver dam has impounded water from a spring in the open riding area. Arrow Coyote described how water sources are culturally significant to native Americans, and specific cultural sites are often found nearby. This particular site does have evidence of fire-cracked rock in the adjacent vegetation. Courtney Cloyd described how the spring is likely the result of an impermeable clay layer that traps ground water, and it comes to the surface in a place where the sand over the top of the layer is shallower. Trisha Wymore, OPRD Beach Ranger, shared information about users violating the beach closure to the southwest of this area.

** Question, why because a fire-cracked rock was seen does this imply it was an OHV user who violated the closure? The beach is open to foot traffic, is that correct? maybe I'm not understanding this assumption?


Even though the OHV population is huge, it seems like we're outnumbered. So without sounding ignorant it's like we've lost a battle without even getting to fight it. What do we do to change it?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
** Question, why because a fire-cracked rock was seen does this imply it was an OHV user who violated the closure? The beach is open to foot traffic, is that correct? maybe I'm not understanding this assumption?

Even though the OHV population is huge, it seems like we're outnumbered. So without sounding ignorant it's like we've lost a battle without even getting to fight it. What do we do to change it?
Excellent questions Lucky. Note the following:

Trisha Wymore, OPRD Beach Ranger, shared information about users violating the beach closure to the southwest of this area.
The fire cracked rock and the shared information about users violating the beach closure seem to be independent of each other, excluding the discussion of their occurance near to each other in time. And truthfully, while not that likely, for all we know, she may be simply reporting rumors.

You're right, the OHV population is huge. You are wrong about being outnumbered though. The problem lies in the fact that while our numbers are great, the number of OHV users willing to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING about land closure is embarrassingly small. Everyone agrees that "we need to band together" and that "it's a shame all this land keeps getting closed" but...

...ask 100 random people on this site, or any random OHV site, what they have done to fight it in the last month. If even 1 person of that random sample has written their representatives in govenment, called their legislator, donated even one dollar to an OHV group fighting the cause, attended one meeting regarding any local or regional legislation, or has investigated any potential negative legislation in the pipeline, I'll be surprised. And therein lies the reason we're getting creamed on this.
 

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Those that fail to fight for their rights, in the end, aren't worthy to have them in the first place. Sorry to say that, but I have never seen a bigger group of lambs that only are ready to fight AFTER they have lost their rights than off-roaders. If you want to see action, watch a PETA group fight to save a cockroach or some other useless insect or animal. Look at the government imposed drought in Californina designed to save a two inch fish. Now their is a fight and the losers are losing everything.
 

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Those that fail to fight for their rights, in the end, aren't worthy to have them in the first place. Sorry to say that, but I have never seen a bigger group of lambs that only are ready to fight AFTER they have lost their rights than off-roaders. If you want to see action, watch a PETA group fight to save a cockroach or some other useless insect or animal. Look at the government imposed drought in Californina designed to save a two inch fish. Now their is a fight and the losers are losing everything.
This is 100% true. I have yet to figure out why, since I keep meeting such cool people year over year in this sport. But you're right, in the past, no one seems to give a shit until the land is already gone. Then that still hasn't been enough to motivate many people. Once upon a time, you're street-cred in the OHV community would have been measured by how effectively you participated in bettering the community as a whole, rather than by whether or not you bought a new pipe with Visa's money, or how many times you insert a clapping-hands smiley to someone's internet forum post about how to help turn things around.

My goal here is to get a few people up-and-at-it, that's it. I know the majority will still continue to assume someone else will take care of it. But there are a few out there, I just know it, that really want to get involved and help, they just need a spark and a little direction. For some reason, we've never been able to get the masses invloved but a few can do much if the efforts are directed properly.
 

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Those that fail to fight for their rights, in the end, aren't worthy to have them in the first place. Sorry to say that, but I have never seen a bigger group of lambs that only are ready to fight AFTER they have lost their rights than off-roaders. If you want to see action, watch a PETA group fight to save a cockroach or some other useless insect or animal. Look at the government imposed drought in Californina designed to save a two inch fish. Now their is a fight and the losers are losing everything.
Well said slider. Out of the 80,000 in America who ride ( my best geuss ) maybe only 2500 of them have ever actually went to a meeting in front of a group of legislator’s and tried to do something about our land closing. People must not realize that if we don't do something we will all be riding in a 25,000 acre park in Montana with dirt bikes from china with some cheesyass name.... Is that what we want it to come to? For us and for our kids?


While the other 85% of America could give a flying crap what we do, we are still being able to be beat back by some stupid money hungry greenies???

Come on..... :thumbsdown:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Anothet Excellent question Lucky because the most effective thing anyone can do is to speak up at meetings and write letters/emails to the correct people. Petitions are the least effective (read: not at all effective)

The more involved you become, the more information ends up in your lap. I strongly recommend supporting the Blue Ribbon Coalition. They seem to be getting things done, check them out.

Have your PRO-OHV friends get their own personalized CLOUT Alerts by having them send an email to [email protected] with "CLOUT" in the subject line along with:

1.Their Name,
2.voting Zip Code and
3.your name as a reference.

This allows motorized recreation to have a stronger voice in government.


A friend of a friend used to work with Land Use Issues but is no longer involved. A fella named Tod is now the land use coordinator. You might want to read up on what he and the NMA are doing and see if it's a direction you want to go.

Link: NMA Contacts

There is also the WOHVA that do a lot of grass roots stuff in Washington. Most states have them and finding them shouldn't be too hard. Figuring out which do any good will be what may take the time.
 

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Senator
Do you need to make some kind of reservations for the field tour or to attend the meeting? I doubt I can get those days off but I'm gonna try.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
That summarization was ideal Lucky.

Sticker Otis, that's very cool. If you can make it you will be welcome there, no reservation or anything. The details, as I understand, were just finalized yesterday and the wesite should be updated with the details on Monday. In the mean time here they are. The tour is meeting at the South Jetty staging area in Florence at 12:30pm. The date is still January 22nd, which is a Friday. You'll have to bring your bike for the tour, of course. It should last about 4-4.5 hours.

The meeting on Saturday the 23rd has two public comment periods. One is at 11:45am and the other is at 3:15pm. During the rest of the meeting we are welcome to be there but the organizer will primarily turn to the workgroup. Though I submit that it may be difficult to comment during the public comment period for anyone who is unaware of how the previous discussion of the workgroup went.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And in the spirit of this thread, below I am pasting a direct quote from a friend of mine that speaks well to this issue.



We allowed this to happen and have no one to blame but ourselves for allowing the greenies to get what they want.

Is it too late? No.

If we bombard our elected leadership and do it often and with control, we may stop some of the impending closures.

How much public access for off roaders are you willing to lose before you get mad enough to do something? How will you explain to your kids why you did not do as much as you could to keep these lands open?

We all know from how little attention my posts on these topics recieve that this is not something most want to think about or even do anything about. I tried. Now it is your turn to try to save what little there is left. Some of us remember 20+ years ago what we had, now we have less than half that. Perhaps that is enough for you. Are you willing to have half what we have now in 10 years, 5 years, or next year? It is up to you.

The greenies are so freaking organized and will get what they want, YOU OFF YOUR LAND, and their dedication to their plan of attack is so strong, that we are losing.

The Blue ribbon Coalition is an excellent way to stay informed and they can help you win at what needs to be done.

Yeah, some belong to an off road club, but what does that club really do for public access? Some write a few letters, maybe a meeting here and there. And to be fair, that is way more than many clubs do.


Organizing is part of the answer, but the single best way to change political views is for each and every person to step up, contact the leadership and tell them to keep these lands open, to manage these lands for the long term usage of all, to tell these ppl what it means to be able to utilize these lands, what it will mean for future generations, tell em whatever it takes to keep these areas open, all areas, not just the area you like.

The answer is in each one of you/us to GIT R DONE.

of course, you will do what you want to do about this, and history says most will do nothing (talking about it on chat lines, forums, filling out and signing petitions, or talking to your buddy does nothing to help).

The time for a last ditch action or attempt to do something is now.

If each one of us does something proactive about this issue on a daily basis, we can prevail. Again, it is up to you.

What will you do for the future of this sport?
 

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Here's a copy of the letter I wrote. It will go in the mail monday to a state representative, a Land Use Representative for the state of Oregon, as well as the US Forest Service Department.


January 8, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing you in regards to the current issue of designating OHV riding routes in upland areas of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

I am a frequent visitor of the ODNRA, and appreciate the opportunities that this land provides to me and my friends/family. My riding experiences in the ODNRA date back to before I even became a resident of Oregon. My Family and I used to make the 24 hour drive from Arizona to be able to enjoy a weekend of riding on the coast for Fathers Day. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to move here so I could frequent the area without having to drive a full day. Not only do I enjoy the riding this area provides, but also the lasting memories with close friends that are created when we get together for weekend activities in the sand. However, our activities are not all play, as we participate in beach cleanups ups from Winchester Bay to Sand Lake on a bi-annual basis. These are activities that would regretfully go away as a result of additional closures to the ODNRA.

My intent in this letter is for you to see how important it is to keep these areas open. The future of America is the children of today and if these closures are allowed to happen then the future for these children is going to look pretty grim. I would like to bring attention to a quote found on the US Forest Service website which is only appropriate when discussing the usage of OUR land:

“National forests and grasslands provide some of the greatest opportunities for outdoor recreation in the world. Recreation activities are not only fun; they create memories, provide physical challenge, provoke interest, and inspire wonder and awe of the natural world. Recreation contributes greatly to the health of individuals, bonds family and friends, and provides economic benefit to communities. Indeed, outdoor recreation is an essential part of American culture.”

Why any individual or group would want to break these bonds, devalue the memories that have been and will be made in the future, and stand in the way of enjoying the state we live in is unfamiliar to me.

Please strongly reconsider any changes that will eradicate the use of the ODNRA that so many have learned to love and enjoy. Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns on this matter.

Sincerely,
 

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Here's a copy of the letter I wrote. It will go in the mail monday to a state representative, a Land Use Representative for the state of Oregon, as well as the US Forest Service Department.


January 8, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing you in regards to the current issue of designating OHV riding routes in upland areas of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

I am a frequent visitor of the ODNRA, and appreciate the opportunities that this land provides to me and my friends/family. My riding experiences in the ODNRA date back to before I even became a resident of Oregon. My Family and I used to make the 24 hour drive from Arizona to be able to enjoy a weekend of riding on the coast for Fathers Day. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to move here so I could frequent the area without having to drive a full day. Not only do I enjoy the riding this area provides, but also the lasting memories with close friends that are created when we get together for weekend activities in the sand. However, our activities are not all play, as we participate in beach cleanups ups from Winchester Bay to Sand Lake on a bi-annual basis. These are activities that would regretfully go away as a result of additional closures to the ODNRA.

My intent in this letter is for you to see how important it is to keep these areas open. The future of America is the children of today and if these closures are allowed to happen then the future for these children is going to look pretty grim. I would like to bring attention to a quote found on the US Forest Service website which is only appropriate when discussing the usage of OUR land:

“National forests and grasslands provide some of the greatest opportunities for outdoor recreation in the world. Recreation activities are not only fun; they create memories, provide physical challenge, provoke interest, and inspire wonder and awe of the natural world. Recreation contributes greatly to the health of individuals, bonds family and friends, and provides economic benefit to communities. Indeed, outdoor recreation is an essential part of American culture.”

Why any individual or group would want to break these bonds, devalue the memories that have been and will be made in the future, and stand in the way of enjoying the state we live in is unfamiliar to me.

Please strongly reconsider any changes that will eradicate the use of the ODNRA that so many have learned to love and enjoy. Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns on this matter.

Sincerely,
Wish I could express myself that well.
Put in for those days off, we'll see. Will write our Reps either way.
 

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And guys its a good thing Senator and Lucky are bringing this to our attention. Most of us may not have heard about it until it was to late, so definitely use the link Senator provided to send an email and voice your opinion if you don't live close enough to go to a meeting or get time off to go. But definitely read all that is posted so you understand what you are commenting on. This is something that needs approached in a professional manner or we will get no where.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The BlueRibbon Coalition

Here's more information on the BlueRibbon Coalition

BlueRibbon Coalition

Who We Are:
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national non-profit organization dedicated to protecting responsible recreational access to public lands and waters. We want to keep your land open for use, whether you recreate on a mountain bike, snowmobile, motorcycle, personal watercraft, ATV, four-wheel drive, horse, or your hiking boots.

Today, the BlueRibbon Coalition is a respected national recreation group that represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide.


History of the BlueRibbon Coalition
The BlueRibbon Coalition was born in 1987 shortly after Clark Collins, Founder and first Executive Director, was told by then Idaho Governor John Evans that recreationists were not politically significant and implied that Wilderness was more important than motorized access to public lands.

Clark gathered and worked with other recreationists in a huge undertaking to educate all users of public lands in Idaho just how our resources were not being preserved FOR the public, but rather FROM the public. Thus, we have the seeds of what would ultimately become the BlueRibbon Coalition.

In early 1987, Clark was able to formally incorporate the Idaho Public Land Users Association to help educate and inform motorized recreationists about the state legislative effort. By April 1987, the BlueRibbon Coalition was incorporated and running full bore in getting folks involved in the land use and access process while building membership. (Note: See article by Darryl Harris for more background.)

In late 1988, the Coalition received additional financial support from the OHV manufacturers that enabled BRC to hire Clark full-time as Executive Director. Initially, he ran the organization from an office in his home. In 1989, Adena Cook became our second paid staff member as Public Lands Director. Up until that time, Adena had been our volunteer secretary since the first Board was elected in the fall of 1987.

With that cast in place, BRC continued to grow its effectiveness in national recreation advocacy. For example, in 1989 the Coalition focused on demonstrating the importance of national trail funding legislation. BRC empowered members to get involved in the National Recreational Trails Fund Act, which passed in 1991. The educational outreach and grassroots effort leading to the establishment of this program is considered by many to be the single most significant trail funding legislative effort in the country. (Note: See further below for timeline information from Clark Collins on RTP history.)

In 1996, the Coalition contracted Del Albright to help develop a Strategic Plan for BRC that BRC continues to follow. As one of our contractors, Del Albright currently serves as BRC's 4-wheel drive Ambassador. During 1996, the BlueRibbon Coalition also contracted with Don Amador as the group's Western Representative, a role in which he continues to serve.

Late in 1996, the BlueRibbon Coalition hired Michael Patty as editor of the BlueRibbon Magazine. In his full time position, Michael also took on the job of maintaining and improving the BRC website. (Note: See article by Darryl Harris for more on the BlueRibbon Magazine.)

In early 1997, BRC established the Legal Action Fund and retained the Boise legal firm then known as Moore & McFadden to help defend our recreation access in the courtroom (Note: See article by Adena Cook for more background). BRC blossomed into a significant resource to help recreationists understand and be represented in administrative and judicial arenas. This involvement has greatly enhanced our ability to participate in and influence the management of public lands.

Mary Jo Foster was welcomed full-time as the BRC Membership Manager in May of 1998 and thereby improved capacity to promote and service membership efforts. Mary Jo currently continues those efforts, as well as shoulders the responsibility of being Office Manager. Under her supervision, Barbara Larson came on board as full-time bookkeeper in the summer of 2004.

Following the BRC Strategic Plan, by June of 2002, the BlueRibbon Coalition's ongoing efforts to continue to improve communications with its members through the BlueRibbon Magazine justified full-time efforts in promoting advertising. Brandy Pearson was hired to fill that position. By the time Brandy retired, among many other things, her efforts had improved advertising to the point of relieving the major portion of the cost of producing the magazine from the BRC general budget. Shortly after her retirement, the BlueRibbon Coalition contracted with Stacy Albright in the fall of 2006 to continue to grow that successful effort.

When Adena Cook decided to retire from full-time employment in 2002, BlueRibbon was pleased to hire Bill Dart, who competently filled the position as Public Lands Director. Adena is still a part-time consultant and BRC continues to utilize her expertise on many issues.

In 2004, Clark Collins stepped into the role of Development Director to focus his time on planned BRC development efforts. Bill Dart made the shift from the Public Lands Director to Executive Director. Following that shift, in March of that year, Brian Hawthorne, formerly of the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL), was hired as the Public Lands Director for the BlueRibbon Coalition.

In late fall of 2005 and with the anticipated growth of Forest Service and BLM travel management planning, Brian Hawthorne strategically added Ric Foster to the Public Lands Department to facilitate managing the additional workload.

Prior to the BRC Board of Directors hiring Greg Mumm (previously a member of the Board of Directors) to serve as the Coalition's Executive Director starting in 2006, Clark had again served briefly as Executive Director before calling it a day at the end of 2005. (Note: See Interview with Clark for his thoughts in retrospect.)

Today, the BlueRibbon Coalition is a respected national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. BRC currently employs 6 full-time people and 1 part-time person in addition to 4 contractors and a multitude of volunteers to fulfill its mission.

From the beginning, the BlueRibbon Coalition has been and continues to be guided by a host of Board Members who have graciously donated their time, skill, and talents. These largely unsung volunteer heroes, who serve or have served, continue to represent the interests of recreationists across this country by communicating and meeting regularly to develop key strategies, policy, and implementation plans for the future of BRC.

The successful BRC strategy of working administratively, legislatively, and legally for effective recreational advocacy is now, this month of May in 2007, officially 20 years time tested and ground proven. The BRC TEAM looks forward to continuing its mission to "champion responsible use of public lands for the benefit of all recreationists" into the future. (Note: See current examples of what BRC does for you.)

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) TimelineOriginally known as the National Recreational Trails Fund Act (NRTFA)

1988: BlueRibbon Coalition receives information on concept for a national trail funding program.

1989: BRC Executive Director Clark Collins makes several trips to Washington D.C. on behalf of Coalition members in the spirit of public involvement on the proposal, and to provide a recreationist perspective to elected officials.

1990: U.S. Senator Steve Symms (R-ID) and U.S. Representative Larry Craig (R-ID) introduce The National Recreational Trails Fund Act.

"By enacting the National Recreational Trails Funding Act, not only do we improve the trails for ATVs, horsemen, hikers, 4X4 drivers, bikers, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers, but also we bring divergent groups to the table to discuss a common purpose." -- Steve Symms, 1990

1991: BRC assists with user input and educational outreach for trails and trails funding. On December 18, 1991, President George Bush signs the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), which included the Symms National Recreational Trails Act of 1991.

1992: Funding for the Trails Act fails.

1993: Senator Symms secures, as a temporary measure, $7.5 million from the transportation budget to set aside for the National Recreational Trails Act.

1994 & 1995: Senator Symms retires. Senator Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID) takes over the battle, but, despite his diligent effort, is unable to secure funding for the years 1994 and 1995.

1996 & 1997: Senator Kempthorne secures funds for the Recreational Trails Act for $15 million in contract authority (no appropriation required), and a 50/50 match of federal and state funds for these years. BRC reaches out to its members to inform and inspire them to get involved in the management of public lands and the funding of trails.

1998: Senator Dirk Kempthorne leads the way for reauthorization of the Recreational Trails Program through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) for the full values of $30 million for 1998, $40 million for 1999, and $50 million for each year from 2000 through 2003.

Subsequent to that, Congress reauthorized the Recreational Trails Program for $60 million for 2005, $70 million for 2006, $75 million for 2007, $80 million for 2008, and $85 million for 2009. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) may use up to $840,000 annually for program administration and trail related research, technical assistance, and training.
 
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