Author Topic: Letter to Redding Editor  (Read 2534 times)

Offline Sage

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Letter to Redding Editor
« on: October 01, 2008, 05:14:02 AM »

      They closed the forest to the lumberjacks

And I did not speak up

Because I was not a lumberjack

Then they closed the forest to the OHV community

And I did not speak up

Because I was not part of the OHV community

Then they closed many of the forest camping locations

And I did not speak up

Because I was not a camper

Then they closed the forest for my favorite activity

And there was no one left to speak for me.

This seems to be the destiny of the national forests. The local off-highway vehicle community as well as hunters and others have been working in cooperation with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest identifying old logging roads and trails. These roads have been around for years but never added to the Forest Service inventory. Since they never were on the inventory, the Forest Service never spent money to maintain them.

The Forest Service was very open to public assistance, and asked for our help in identifying where we ride. The agency even has a Web site for it: www.fs.fed.us/r5/shastatrinity/news/ohv. The local community responded and spent many hours identifying the longtime existing trails and roads that suddenly were classified as "unauthorized." Right off the Web site we are told, via a Feb. 19, 2005, Record Searchlight article:

"Shasta-Trinity Supervisor Sharon Heywood said OHVs are a legitimate use of public forests. Riders will be asked which routes they feel should be designated.'

" 'It's a very difficult thing to do, to prove we are trustworthy,' Heywood said. 'But I think you'll find we're keeping our word and that we need your involvement and cooperation.' "

The story also reported, "OHVs still will be allowed on official Forest Service roads, just like any car or truck."

After we provided the Forest Service information leading to 1,200 miles of roads and trails called "unauthorized," they took the information behind closed doors. When the doors were opened again, they showed us a proposal of 32 miles of road that they are willing to consider. Now I'm told that those may be reduced as well. That is 2.67 percent of what was identified. They are offering us less than 3 percent access to the trails we identified for them. I really believe the "hard to prove we are trustworthy" statement on their Web site was an honest statement.

The Shasta-Trinity is closing many gravel Forest Service roads referencing a California Motor Vehicle Code calling them "highways" when the CHP has clearly written (I have seen the letter) and explained that these roads are not highways. Take the time to visit the Forest Service office north of the Redding Municipal Airport to see where you used to go in the forest for a ride, or where you may have camped before, as they probably are removed from the proposal maps. Everything is now declared closed and illegal unless it is on the new maps. Fines can go as high as $5,000 for riding or camping where you used to. Speak up now before they close your forest activity.

Dale A. Hevner, president of the Shasta Rock Rollers ATV Club, lives in Cottonwood.
The more people I meet, the more I like the dog!

All who wander are not lost!

Offline Sage

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Re: Letter to Redding Editor
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 03:14:21 AM »
This artical appeared in the Redding paper today. Go Sylvia!


  Off-roaders want more land access
Supervisors to review letter to Forest Service

Monday, October 20, 2008

OHV enthusiasts help with Motion Fire rehab


Members of various off-highway vehicle clubs help clear and stabilize a new section of the #15 trail in the Chappie-Shasta OHV area Saturday during a volunteer event coordinated by the Bureau of Land Management. Club members also did rehabilitation work in sections of the OHV area affected by the Motion Fire.


If you're going
What: Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting.

When: 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Where: Shasta County Administration Center, Board of Supervisors chambers, 1450 Court St., Redding.

Agenda includes: Proposed letter to U.S. Forest Service, asking it to revisit the designation of off-highway vehicle routes.

      Concerned that the U.S. Forest Service isn't listening to them as it plans to revise their paths through the north state woods, off-roaders are looking for help from county leaders.

"This is a massive lands closure," said Randy Mitchell, president of the Redding Dirt Riders, a local off-highway vehicle (OHV) group.

He said the changes in forest road rules would affect hunters, anglers and hikers, as well as off-roaders, by limiting where they can drive.

But Shasta-Trinity National Forest officials said the public will still be able to drive vehicles, both street legal and not, on almost 3,800 miles of forest roads - or more than what would be covered in a drive from Redding to Washington, D.C.

"And we don't expect that to change," said Brenda Tracy, assistant public use staff officer for the forest.

On Tuesday, Mitchell's group, as part of the Recreation Outdoor Coalition, is set to ask the Shasta Board of Supervisors to send a letter to the Forest Service, saying the agency's plans don't mesh with the county's desires for public access.

Like their counterparts at other forests around the country, Shasta-Trinity officials are evaluating the forest's roads and determining where OHVs should be able to go.

As part of the lengthy process, which started in late 2005 and is expected to be completed in September 2009, forest officials asked the public to provide them with an inventory of roads, routes and trails that are used but don't appear on maps.

The Shasta-Trinity inventory yielded close to 1,200 unmapped miles, Mitchell said. Of those unmapped miles, forest officials are planning to add only 32 to the forest's fold - far too few, Mitchell contends.

But Tracy said the 32 miles will be added to an already expansive road system. The forest will have 5,209 miles of roads - which includes rough roads as well as smooth roads, some of them paved, she said. Non-street legal rigs are not allowed on the paved roads.

During a comment period between early August and mid-September this year, 246 people filed comments on the issue and proposed changes.

"People from all walks of life have commented on it," Tracy said.

In designating OHV routes, forest officials are following an order from the agency's leadership to limit resource damage caused by vehicles. Once the plan is completed, the forest will have a map showing where OHVs can go and cross-country travel will be banned.

"We know that at the end of the process, travel will be limited to designated routes," Tracy said.

Off-roaders also are concerned that the designation process will leave OHV routes isolated from each other. That would mean that licensed vehicles would be needed to travel between approved OHV routes, said Sylvia Milligan, chairwoman of the Recreation Outdoors Coalition. Her group wants to see road loops that could provide half-day and full-day OHV drives.

She said the forest's plans don't allow for those.

"They are in essence shutting the forest down to OHV recreation," Milligan said.

The county should share their concern, said Pat Minturn, director of county public works. Minturn drafted a letter that the supervisors will consider Tuesday at their regular meeting. In it, the county asks the Forest Service to revisit the process and proposed OHV designations.

"We need to keep the whole road system available," Minturn said.

Reporter Dylan Darling can be reached at 225-8266 or ddarling@redding.com.




   

 

 

The more people I meet, the more I like the dog!

All who wander are not lost!