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Go Back JeepForum.com > Four Wheeling Forums > Wheelin' Neighborhood > North West USA > Oregon Jeep Forum > Fremont-Winema National Forest final plan - 177.5 miles of trail

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Unread 04-27-2010, 06:18 PM   #1
CraigAllen
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Fremont-Winema National Forest final plan - 177.5 miles of trail

I wish I had the gift of words to be able to adequately express my frustration over being lied to by the Forest Service.

I just got home from the Fremont-Winema National Forest Travel Management Plan public meeting where they had all the final maps on display. Maps that show the roads that we the public may drive motorized vehicles on in our public forest.

And as for the maps that show the 1200 miles of Maintenance Level 1 roads which "they" said "we" could request ... Well, we (being the Four Runners Four Wheel Drive Club, the Oregon Hunters Association, and the Klamath Basin OHV Club) were apparently lied to when we were told we could pick any 1200 miles of ML1 roads for our recreational use, because after spending innumerable hours going over their maps picking out the 1200 miles of Maintenance Level 1 Roads (trails) that they said were available to us, in the end we ended up with "approximately 177.5" miles that made it onto the final map.

Sure that sounds like a lot of miles, but whats the point of driving the same trails every other time we have a run? And all the other open roads (some 6,484 miles of roads in the Fremont-Winema National Forest) pretty much don't require four-wheel-drive --- where's the challenge in that?

One gentleman attending was becoming very irate when he was told that he was not being discriminated against because he has mobility issues and can't use his ATV to explore the forest and recover game -- their justification is that if everyone is prohibited from using an ATV to explore the forest and recover game, then no discrimination exists. True, perhaps, but what that means is that now not "everyone" who wants to hunt, can. And there lies the discrimination - I thought the guy was making a good case. Which pretty much fell on deaf ears. A few minutes later an armed Forest Law Enforcement Officer showed up...

Anyone interested in more info on the Travel Management Plan for the Fremont-Winema National Forest can find it at Fremont-Winema National Forests - Travel Management Planning Project

Oh, and by the way, the fine for being on a closed road is set at $5,000. Remember, if you are in the FWNF, you MUST have the official map with you or you won't know what roads are closed, because they will NOT be signed or gated.

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Unread 04-28-2010, 09:03 AM   #2
McKBrew
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Same thing is happening at all the National Forests. Part of it is the environmental movement, but another issue is the lack of forest service money for road maintenance.

Maybe the battle isn't over yet, you might just have to find another way to attack it.
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Unread 04-28-2010, 09:05 AM   #3
McKBrew
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Lookiing at the website you linked to, it looks like the meetings were to look at the alternatives and you have until May 20th to comment.

So if anyone is giving up now, you might want to gather your forces and get your campaign started before the deadline.

After some more reading on that site, it looks like the final maps will not be released until January 2011.
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Unread 04-28-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
CraigAllen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Lookiing at the website you linked to, it looks like the meetings were to look at the alternatives and you have until May 20th to comment.

So if anyone is giving up now, you might want to gather your forces and get your campaign started before the deadline.

After some more reading on that site, it looks like the final maps will not be released until January 2011.
Yes, comments are being accepted - and you have to have registered a comment in order to file a protest later - - however, in the words of one of the representatives at the meeting, "Feel free to comment because we'd like your input, but the decisions have already been made and aren't likely to change."

We (the Four Runners 4x4 club) have been at all the public meetings from the very beginning of this debacle, and each time we were assured that our comments and input were vital to this decision making process -- yet at the same time we have learned that just because they have to hold public meetings and get public comment doesn't mean they have to listen or implement any of the public's suggestions or preferences.

Sorry for sounding so negative about this but speaking from personal experience there have been absolutely no members of the public who have attended these meetings that I've ever heard voice a "Good job, forest service, we like what you are doing" type of comment, everyone that I've heard speak (not just members of the 4x4 club, but hunters, fisherpeople, ranchers, and other users of the forest) feels that they are taking away our rights to enjoy and recreate on our own public lands.
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Unread 04-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
McKBrew
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I don't know anything about that National Forest specifically, so I'm not sure what the road conditions are like.

Are the 180 miles of road high clearance, 4WD roads? I've spent a lot of time up in Olympic National Forest and we have nowhere near that amount of that type of road. Most is easily accesible to 2WD vehicles as well.

I see how it would suck going from 1200 to 180 miles of road, but if that's 180 miles of 4WD only road, it's still a sizeable amount.
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Unread 04-28-2010, 11:39 AM   #6
CraigAllen
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Yes, it is, and you have a good point.
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Unread 04-28-2010, 02:57 PM   #7
McKBrew
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And I am definitely not suggesting you just shut up and be happy either. It's a big hit, and if you can do anything to preserve more miles of road, then go for it.

It might be too late in the game, or it might not. Now would be the time to contact some of the members on this forum involved in the Yacolt project and figure out who you need to talk to. It might take something as simple as a committing to "adopt" some trails or do a clean up a couple times a year in specific areas just to get your point across. I don't know much about any of these processes yet, but there is definitely a knowledge base out there.

So as it stands right now until the MVUM gets approved you have a bunch of 4WD trails, and even afterward might still have 180 miles. Good to know in case I ever make it down that way, I always enjoy seeing new places.
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