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Unread 01-06-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
lupinsea
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Another Reiter Trails Meeting!

About a month ago the DNR took a lot of heat from the last meeting where a draft plan was released showing 75% of the 4x4 trail area was shut down! The agency is hosting a second meeting on Reiter.

Come on up and voice your mind on the plan!

I was at the last meeting and it was great. A ton of people turned out, several hundred with about 75%+ of them supporters of motorized access to Reiter. And we bombarded the DNR staff with our concerns.

Now we can do the same again! They NEED to hear from us.

If you complain about how our trail areas get shut down, then get off your rear and come on up. Get involved. Besides, it's a great way to connect with other trail users and offroaders.

January 13th @ 6pm

Monroe High School
17001 Tester Rd
Monroe, WA



Here is the DNR contact if you want more info about the meeting. I'm sure they can also direct you if you want to e-mail or phone in your comments, too:

360-854-2803 or e-mail candace.johnson@dnr.wa.gov

Still, if anyone can make it, try and show up in person. Having a lot of live bodies show up some place makes a bit more of an impact than simple e-mails and phone calls.

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Last edited by lupinsea; 01-06-2010 at 05:45 PM..
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Unread 01-06-2010, 04:29 PM   #2
McKBrew
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It's a bit far for me to make on a weekday, and I have duty that day as well. Any website, petition, or place to send an e-mail to that might help the cause?
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Unread 01-06-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
lupinsea
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Thanks for the reminder, I edited the original post.
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Unread 01-07-2010, 02:38 PM   #4
Racincowboy
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Lupinsea,

Thanks for keeping up on this. We are located quite a bit south of you guys down in Vancouver and I am watching the thread and glad to see someone up there has taken this project on. Dont get frustrated all the gov't red tape is a real pita but keep at it.

We have been working with DNR down here for the past 3 years and have had many challenges along the way. Including from our own motorized associations telling us we were stupid for even trying to get anything going down here in the Yacolt Burn area of SW Washington. We have thousands of hours into this project from our club. See the forum at Home and click on forum on the left it has "our" story in it under the Yacolt burn tab.


Keep your head up and network with as many off road clubs and groups as possible. You are doing fine. I wish I was closer to you and could help out. I am down here out of Portland. We being myself and a couple other delegates will be at the Pacific NW 4 wheel drive association winter convention on the weekend of Feb 14th in Shelton. I dont know how far that is from you guys?
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Unread 01-07-2010, 02:51 PM   #5
McKBrew
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Racincowboy

Read some of the write-up on the Piston's Wild Website about the Yacolt Trails. Kudos to you and your organization for working so hard on something like this. I am just starting out in the hobby and don't even have the beginning knowledge on the whole process, but it looks like a monumental task.

Look forward to wheeling in that area someday with you and your group.
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Unread 01-07-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
RaggedOleMan
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Jay~

The meeting is on my old lady's brithday so it's doubtful I/we will make it. Nonetheless I'll be sending off my concerns via e-mail, as I did previously, in advance of the meeting on the 13th @ 6:00 at Monroe High School...

~jL
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Unread 01-07-2010, 06:35 PM   #7
lupinsea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedOleMan View Post
Jay~

The meeting is on my old lady's brithday so it's doubtful I/we will make it. Nonetheless I'll be sending off my concerns via e-mail, as I did previously, in advance of the meeting on the 13th @ 6:00 at Monroe High School...

~jL
I know some place "special" in Monroe you can take her for her birth day.




But to everyone else, yes it's a monumental task but it's doable. Our government beauracracies move slowly but if we never push them then they'll never move. . . . or move in the wrong direction. The environmentalists and others who want to limit public access have been pushing hard for decades.

What Racincowboy and his group did in the Yacolt Burn area is an excellent example of engaging a public land owner and getting something going. Thank you so much for that work. It's a matter of persistancy and creativity.

One thing I'd like to present to the DNR and others at the next meeting is the idea of connector corridors between different wheel'n zones.

Looking at their initial plan the "feasible wheel'n areas" looked like a mess and patch work. They grouped the 4x4 trail area in a place that does not now have trail but there were patches of feasible area else where. I'm thinking it would be cool to have narrow travel corridors (trails) that connect these different areas. It would minimize the foot print in the sensitive areas but permit access to a wider area than proposed.


The other difficult thing that I was realizing from the last meeting is that the DNR people didn't quite "get" what makes a Jeep tail fun. They think a fun Jeep trail is some groomed path, maybe with a gravel base. To us that might as well be a gravel forest service road and is very boring. So there is an element of us educating the DNR about what we're interested in.

I think we can all work together. We need to understand their concerns and priorities when building the trails, too, which are durability of the trail to prevent erosion and tree damage.
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Unread 01-07-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
JIBTEXHNKA
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i wish they'd have one of these meetings on a weekend... i work evenings. oh well, i'll email them and i'm there in spirit!
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Unread 01-08-2010, 08:57 AM   #9
McKBrew
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Anyone have specific links to the Reiter area regarding the DNR draft plan, their concerns, and major issues with the Reither area (trash, erosion, etc..) so that I can address those a bit in my e-mail.
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Unread 01-08-2010, 01:49 PM   #10
JIBTEXHNKA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Anyone have specific links to the Reiter area regarding the DNR draft plan, their concerns, and major issues with the Reither area (trash, erosion, etc..) so that I can address those a bit in my e-mail.
x 2... i sat there for a while trying to decide what to type when i realized i know next to nothing of any specifics i should address.
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Unread 01-08-2010, 08:52 PM   #11
Racincowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Racincowboy

Read some of the write-up on the Piston's Wild Website about the Yacolt Trails. Kudos to you and your organization for working so hard on something like this. I am just starting out in the hobby and don't even have the beginning knowledge on the whole process, but it looks like a monumental task.

Look forward to wheeling in that area someday with you and your group.


Thank you for the kudos but it is our club and everyone in it that has a devotion to the sport that I have not seen before in any other club I have been in since I was 18 years old. Not to mention all our partners that have shed blood and tears to help us with this project.

We look forward to meeting you someday and take you on a tour once the trail system is in place and functioning. Should you want to learn about the process start sitting in on meetings and get involved with a local club in your area and make it known you want to learn about the political side of the sport as well.

This process has opened my eyes as to how much work and the thousands of hours of meetings and surveys and events to promote and get everyone involved to help us prove to the officials we want a place to play as well. In our little corner of the world down here we went with the approach as to make friends and partners of the other user groups on the committee as they fought along side of us to help us get trails as well. It is a long demanding process but very rewarding. When you have your head down and frustrated with the process we had others cheer us on which helped us continue down this road.

If you ever need info on clubs in your area or any questions you have feel free to pm me and I will get you my number and we can chat.


Lance
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Unread 01-08-2010, 09:05 PM   #12
Racincowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
I know some place "special" in Monroe you can take her for her birth day.




But to everyone else, yes it's a monumental task but it's doable. Our government beauracracies move slowly but if we never push them then they'll never move. . . . or move in the wrong direction. The environmentalists and others who want to limit public access have been pushing hard for decades.

What Racincowboy and his group did in the Yacolt Burn area is an excellent example of engaging a public land owner and getting something going. Thank you so much for that work. It's a matter of persistancy and creativity.

One thing I'd like to present to the DNR and others at the next meeting is the idea of connector corridors between different wheel'n zones.

Looking at their initial plan the "feasible wheel'n areas" looked like a mess and patch work. They grouped the 4x4 trail area in a place that does not now have trail but there were patches of feasible area else where. I'm thinking it would be cool to have narrow travel corridors (trails) that connect these different areas. It would minimize the foot print in the sensitive areas but permit access to a wider area than proposed.


The other difficult thing that I was realizing from the last meeting is that the DNR people didn't quite "get" what makes a Jeep tail fun. They think a fun Jeep trail is some groomed path, maybe with a gravel base. To us that might as well be a gravel forest service road and is very boring. So there is an element of us educating the DNR about what we're interested in.

I think we can all work together. We need to understand their concerns and priorities when building the trails, too, which are durability of the trail to prevent erosion and tree damage.


You are not alone in the DNR personel not having a clue what makes a jeep trail and what it is we like to recreate on. We had that same issue. The way we solved it was to take all of our DNR staff down here and one of the higher ups from Olympia down to Browns camp and ran some trails with them in the passenger seat to show them what we could build in the Yacolt Burn. That was a huge day as it showed multiple user groups using the same area and self policing each other. We started out the morning in the staging area with a breakfast of fruit and had snacks available for all involved. We then had a small chat session with the DNR folks and we also had two Oregon Dept. of Forestry recreation personel so they could talk for a while and exhange contact info for future meetings and phone conversations.

We then headed out onto the trails and showed our DNR reps that wheeling is not about flying through the woods destroying things it is a gentle easy ride through the woods and being stewards of the land and resources as well. We explained to them the tread lightly program and they were amazed there there was no automatic weapon fire or that the woods did not sound like a war zone. After running a couple easy trails we headed to a nice roadside spot and fed everyone lunch (sandwiches ect). After that we headed higher up into the hills and trails and found some 2 feet deep snow in spots. We then showed them crushers and walked in on some harder trails in order to give them a look at what we wanted to they could have a visual to put in for a mental picture of what we were after for a trail system.

We then headed back down to the staging area and said our good byes with a new understanding just what it was we were looking for. I hope that gives you some ideas on how to go about it.


Lance
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Unread 01-11-2010, 06:54 PM   #13
RaggedOleMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
I know some place "special" in Monroe you can take her for her birth day.
What? A special birthday dinner for my "Honey-Bunch's-O-Oats" in Monroe? Great idea! I could buy her a new D44 with an ARB for my Jeep, too! Like a fart in church...
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Unread 01-12-2010, 04:50 PM   #14
lupinsea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racincowboy View Post
You are not alone in the DNR personel not having a clue what makes a jeep trail and what it is we like to recreate on. We had that same issue. The way we solved it was to take all of our DNR staff down here and one of the higher ups from Olympia down to Browns camp and ran some trails with them in the passenger seat to show them what we could build in the Yacolt Burn. That was a huge day as it showed multiple user groups using the same area and self policing each other. We started out the morning in the staging area with a breakfast of fruit and had snacks available for all involved. We then had a small chat session with the DNR folks and we also had two Oregon Dept. of Forestry recreation personel so they could talk for a while and exhange contact info for future meetings and phone conversations.

We then headed out onto the trails and showed our DNR reps that wheeling is not about flying through the woods destroying things it is a gentle easy ride through the woods and being stewards of the land and resources as well. We explained to them the tread lightly program and they were amazed there there was no automatic weapon fire or that the woods did not sound like a war zone. After running a couple easy trails we headed to a nice roadside spot and fed everyone lunch (sandwiches ect). After that we headed higher up into the hills and trails and found some 2 feet deep snow in spots. We then showed them crushers and walked in on some harder trails in order to give them a look at what we wanted to they could have a visual to put in for a mental picture of what we were after for a trail system.

We then headed back down to the staging area and said our good byes with a new understanding just what it was we were looking for. I hope that gives you some ideas on how to go about it.


Lance

"Back in the day. . . " my club actually took the Govenor of Washington out on a trail run. This was when Dixie Ray was Gov. From what I hear it helped quite a bit to keep some trails open.

And great approach, too, to inviting the DNR / land management personel out for a ride-along so they can see what we're interested in.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 05:26 PM   #15
lupinsea
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For those wondering about the "Reiter Plan" here's the old thread that has some back-and-forth and what the meeting was like last time:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f157/...d-4x4s-903359/


Here is some DNR website info with the plan as a downloadable PDF:
Reiter Foothills Recreation Plan



I don't know what things will be presented at this new meeting being held tomorrow. Whether they have responded to comments by the public or are simply publically announcing the final plan. I don't know.

Background
We've been wheel'n Reiter for decades but it's been a no-mans-land that hasn't been officially managed and the trails criss-cross land owned by 4-6 different land owners including the DNR, another state agency and I thinks some federal land, plus some timber companies.

The total land area these trails cover is 4,000 acres.

The DNR has identified a total of 10,000 acres that make up what they are terming "Reiter Foothills". That is the public land the DNR will be managing.

What the DNR has so far proposed it to limit 4x4's to 1,000 acres. In other words, they want to shut down 75% of the acreage that has been traditionally used by the motorized community.



DNR's Big Concerns
There are a number of things that are of concern to the DNR. Top among them are:
  • Keeping streams from silting up and harming salmon (i.e. no water crossings, erosion issues, muddy runoff, etc.)
  • Preserving water quality for the town of Index (much of the 4x4 trails in certain areas sit atop the "recharge zone" for Index's aquafir)
  • Preventing destruction of trees. . . . which are a resource DNR sells to provide funds to public schools (state mandate)

There are others but it boils down to this. With these key DNR priorities in mind they are trying to figure out how to balance competing interestests and uses for:
  • Motorized access (ATV, 4x4, Motorcycle)
  • Horseback riding
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Other non-motorized uses


Big Picture vs. Little Picture
It's a little tough because while they are trying to divide up Reiter and give everybody a little slice it's like they're not looking at the "big picture." The little picture they are looking at is ONLY what land the DNR has and manages. For instance. . . how close is the next hiking area on DNR land? How close is the next mountain bike riding area on DNR land, etc.

What I and most other people look at (I think) is a much broader area . . . For instance. ADJACENT to Reiter is a 106,000+ acres of land that was JUST designated as Federal Wilderness area. You can't horseback ride there, or mountain bike, let alone take your vehicle there. . . but you can most certainly hike there.

So, with 106,000 acres of hikable land available RIGHT next to Reiter, why are we looking to carve up some of Reiter's 10,000 acres for hiking trails?

I don't want to necessarily exclude different user groups but let us realistically look at total available recreational opportunities (DNR, State Parks, Forest Service, etc.) and see how close they are located to Reiter. There are TONS of hiking places all over the place, no? But there are VERY LIMITED motorized vehicle places. The closest ones for 4x4s are Walker up near Mt Vernon (run by DNR) and Evan's Creek (run by the Forest Service) And these are about 2.5 hrs travel time apart.

Appropriate Uses And Areas And Shifting Trails
The DNR has identified areas that are suitable for various uses based on slope, run off, erosion concerns, and expected trail wear and tear. A big chunk of the existing trail areas fall in the "usable" area for 4x4s. Yet they're designating new area that currently doesn't have any trails as the new 4x4 area (also designated as suitable for 4x4 use). Rather than all this reshuffling of trails why not snip off some areas that are more problematic and add areas that are ok?


User Groups
In the DNR's draft plan in one of the appendexes I believe is this chart showing the various user groups frequenting Reiter:



By far, most people visity go there for motorcycling, 4x4ing, ATVing, and Camping with a decent-but-still minor showing for Hiking and other uses. Yet the plan was calling for shutting down 75% of present motorized trail acreage.


Cross Purposes
Also, a side note, I think the motorized user groups can be acting at cross-purposes to one another. I noticed at the meeting the motorcycle guys arguing that THEIR trails should be left open because they are narrower (~18") and a 250 lb. bike causes less impact than an ATV or Jeep.

While technically accurate, this struck me as a short sighted line of reasoning. The more people that enjoy these motorized trails the greater support the areas will have. By not giving a rats behind to the ATV and 4x4 crowd they're significantly cutting down support for their own trails.

Why are they doing this?

The motorcycle riders complain that the Jeeps and 4x4s end up crowding onto their nice single track trails. And that over time they widen, get rutted up, and basically less usable to a motorcycle rider. Which, frankly, I can't argue with this. I've seen it happen. What this means is that WE need to make sure we stick to Jeep and 4x4 trails ONLY. Otherwise we piss off an otherwise sypathetic user group to our cause.

This is yet another reason why it's important to "stick to the trail".







There's a bunch of weird stuff like that happening in the draft plan.

As I say, if you can, PLEASE show up and lend your voice. . .
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