View Full Version : Coming to a N.F. near you...

August 29, 2010, 11:51
The Mt Hood National Forest has changed the rules on driving on National Forest Roads.

Link (http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood/news/2010/20100827.shtml)

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Management Plan Record of Decision and FEIS Released Today Sandy, OR- On August 27, 2010, Mt. Hood National Forest released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and accompanying Record of Decision (ROD) for the Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) Management Plan, including Forest Plan Amendment #17. The FEIS, ROD, and associated maps are available on the projects and plans page of the Mt. Hood National Forest web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood/projects/nepa_project.shtml?project=15824 The Off-Highway Vehicle Management Plan Record of Decision and associated Final Environmental Impact Statement were completed in compliance with the Travel Management Rule of 2005. The 2005 Rule directed all national forests including Mt. Hood National Forest to strike a balance in managing all types of recreation and to designate a system of roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use. The Mt. Hood National Forest’s Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) is amended by this decision. With this decision, OHV policy on the Forest is changed from “all roads and areas being open to motorized vehicles unless posted closed” to “all roads and areas are closed to motor vehicles unless designated open” and depicted open to motor vehicle use on the motor vehicle use map. This has effectively reduced the mileage of routes open to off highway vehicle use from 2,312 miles to 146 miles. Many of the roads that were closed to OHV use were closed based on safety issues related to mixed traffic use. In addition, all cross country travel by motor vehicles is now prohibited. The decision provides for OHV use on approximately 146 miles of designated routes in four distinct OHV systems. These OHV systems provide for a more diverse and higher quality range of OHV recreation than currently exists. An administrative appeal may be filed on the portion of the decision that designates OHV roads, trails, and areas under the 215 regulations; and an appeal may be filed on the decision to amend the Forest Plan to be in conformance with the Travel Management Rule under the Optional Appeal Procedures. A written appeal must be postmarked or received by the Appeal Deciding Officer (the Regional Forester) within 45 days of the date of publication (August 27, 2010) of the legal notice in the news paper of record.

Other National Forests are required to come up with similar plans in the near future.

The NF has reversed a decades old policy of roads being open unless posted to roads being closed unless posted. This effectively reduced the available mileage from about 2,300 miles to about 150 miles!!! WTF?

The bureaucrats are herding us all into the cities at an ever increasing pace.

OK, balanced budget idea: Get rid of the USDA and sell off all of the FS, BLM and other federal lands. NOW!

August 29, 2010, 12:54
I agree we are running out of places to test our manhood,,, and our skill at off roading. They say offroading in Afghanistan is a hoot. Fun, fun, fun....
OK, balanced budget idea:
Get rid of the USDA and sell off all of the FS, BLM and other federal lands. NOW! I was hoping there would be some wilderness for the future generations.
May I suggest we get out of our 4 wheel buggy and test our manhood on foot.
When we get too old to pack it in pack it up.

August 29, 2010, 17:41
OK martin35, are you suggesting that I am testing my manhood by packing my camping gear, the wife, and the grand-kids into the Surburban and heading out into the National Forest to do a little camping / fishing / shooting in the back woods of Oregon? Really? There is plenty of "nature" set aside in wilderness areas, both public and private to last forever here in this particular section of the country. We have a small National Park as well. I don't need to test my manhood, been there and done that. I know who I am and what I can do.

Did you know that Federal, State, County, and city agencies own and control more than 60% of the total land area in Oregon? (look it up,I have)

The National Forests ARE my back yard. I have literally worn out the Vibram soles on a couple of pairs of Dexter boots tramping around in them. Pacific Crest trail? The Olympics? Been there and done that...

Go play in the sand box to get a little off road traveling in? I'm insulted. I did my time on grey steel targets chasing Russians around the North Pacific and Bearing Sea in another time and place. Don't remember anyone even saying thank you for that one. Didn't expect it though. I do remember being told "No dogs or sailors allowed".

Just exactly what are you thinking? Should we lock up the National Forests around here for two groups of people: the Timber Companies and the Tree Huggers? You close down the FS roads to Off Road Vehicles and that is who has access. Is that what you are suggesting? I'm not paying taxes so that the Timber Companies can have tree farms for nothing. The Tree Huggers have some very good points, but I have been doing the tread lightly thing since before they were out of diapers. Nothing new there, and the closure isn't needed to preserve the National Forests. They have been doing just fine with the roads open to travel since the National Forests have been created.

August 29, 2010, 17:55
I'm adding this as well...I don't know how you do it in Texas, around here we do it a little differently it seems.

You know how Grand Dad died? Pushing his Pontiac out of a snow drift, with his girl friend, on a Forest Service road in the back country. Had a heart attack. He was 86. He was out scouting a favorite fishing spot in the spring. Out here we usually go until we die. Don't even expect us to pack it up when we can't pack it in any longer.

4x4's aren't how we show off our manhood around here, it's how we get where we are going, how we get to work & etc. I'm not sitting on the front porch just because someone decides that I can't use a road THAT I PAID FOR to go someplace THAT MY TAXES SUPPORT, that costs me money every year BECAUSE THE STATE DOESN'T COLLECT PROPERTY TAXES TO PAY FOR STATE GOVERNMENT ON THAT LAND!

So martin35, how DO you do it in Texas anyway?

August 29, 2010, 18:02
Get rid of the USDA and sell off all of the FS, BLM and other federal lands. NOW!

Screw the UN controlled national forests, but keep the BLM land, that's the stuff you ain't got to pay to use!

August 30, 2010, 06:52
I post my opinions and if I feel the need of a personal direct I will make one.
Regulation is what is needed when numbers exceed capacity to make reasonable accommodation.
I don't much travel out of Texas any more but I see areas that become popular and are trashed sometimes in one weekend. I see areas devoid of natural vegetation that become eroded by the first rains. I think any legislation should inform by what is common sense rules for ignorant people who are uninformed or without common sense.
I think there is a lot to learn in our wilderness areas, easy access is not wilderness by default. There are people who have the means to tow a mobile condominium into a pristine site so the can rough it.
Almost every roadside park in my area is closed to traffic, the state won't allocate funds needed to clean up after folks who won't clean up after themselves. We have a state motto "don't mess with Texas", too many do.
Anybody ready to be insulted by my opinions should get a early start, if they run out I can write'm some more.

August 30, 2010, 13:05
Fair enough martin35, maybe I need a thicker skin on some topics and maybe I need to take a deep breath before banging on the keyboard.

The issue is an old one. A percentage of people, who probably have no business out in the back country, cause regulations to be promulgated that drastically and negatively effect those of us that tend to "do it right". It doesn't matter that I pack out way more junk than I pack in. It doesn't matter that I put out fires that are left burning by the indifferent and the ignorant. It doesn't matter that I attempt to restore the places where someone has cut a switchback or gone mud bogging in a water meadow. I still get locked out, with the privilege of paying for it. That is wrong.

Excluding everyone who falls into a certain class is not the solution. That solution precludes almost everyone except for two categories:
1) Commercial Timber Companies using the N.F. as tree farms.
2) The small percentage of people who are capable and willing to hump a pack up and down hill and dale.

Most of the western half of Oregon can best be described as vertical. The best that a fit, experienced person can do with the correct equipment is about 6 - 10 miles +/- a day on established trails. Sure, you can blow through 25 miles +/- in a day if you are going out for one day on a point to point hike with no overnight. That puts a lot of N.F. out of reach for all practical purposes. If you have children or if you are not in good to excellent physical condition you are going to cover about three miles a day or less. You are only going to do that trip once or twice before you pack it in and find a different recreational activity.

So what is the purpose of the Forest Service and National Forests? Are they to preserve "nature" for some undetermined future generation to look at pictures in coffee table books? I reject that future for several practical reasons. Unless you have access to "nature" you have no concept of what that "nature" actually is. You have no concept beyond some trivial words provided by others. Because you have no experience, you are easily swayed by those words to believe whatever you are told about what nature is and how it works. Your interest in the wild lands becomes academic at best. People with narrow agendas, and shrill and insistent voices, then control the wild lands. We are now on the verge of that. The purpose of the Forest Service is not to manage the vast tracts of western lands that it controls for these narrow interests. I would rather see these lands in private hands than locked up in perpetuity.

I don't take my 4x4 out to prove my manliness. The opposite is true. It is a tool, and only a tool that allows me to pass along the skills and thought processes to the next generation of Oregonians. I have no better way to teach my children and grandchildren these skills and thought processes than the way I was taught. Honesty, integrity, hard work, social skills, forethought, practicality, reason, independence and a host of other traits and skills can be taught in small doses over a long time to even very young children by getting them out into the "nature" that I am being excluded from. It's really to bad too, because the lessons learned are internalized and stick much better when learned this way than any other way that I know. Don't want to help with the camp? You are immediately going to be cold, wet, hungry and in the dark. Help with camp? The reverse is true. Forgot your bug spray? Bet you don't make that mistake twice. Broke a piece of gear? Good, let's figure out how to fix it or come up with another way to do the task. I am the man that I am in large part because of my exposure to the "nature" that I am being excluded from. I am a citizen, in stead of a dependent peon in large part because of what I have learned in the "nature" that I am being excluded from.

If I am herded into the cities and settled countryside, and out of the wild lands, I am easy to control and manage. I only know dependency and subjugation to authority. I start to define my freedom by the boundaries set by others. I no longer question my masters.

Sometimes small stuff, like closing off access to 2.300 miles of road has way more impact than a person would suspect. My comment to the Forest Service is: Figure out another way folks, the price of this way is too high for the perceived benefits.

August 30, 2010, 15:42
The Comanche Indians had rules my Great Grand-paw could not abide,,, so he shot them.
I don't leave home now days mostly because nobody wants me to, but in day's gone by I have looked out over landscapes ravaged by war and by folks just having fun too often the results are alike, my Grand father told my daddy that G.G.paw said "If I hadn't shot so many injuns I probably wouldn't have so many neighbors today." Too late he learned environmental discipline, he sold the land he cleared of Indians and bought land farther south over run by Mexicans,,, you can't shot Mexicans much anymore,,,,,,, you can, but you know what I mean.
This thread was informative for me.

A afterthought "when do we become so civilized we can start to decline?"

August 30, 2010, 18:03
I'm glad that you got something out of this thread. Though it was mostly "offshore is a lunatic that flies off the handle a lot". :biggrin:

Interesting comments by your Grand-dad and Great Grand-dad...lots of truth there. Americans have the habit of loosing family history, and we are the poorer for it. We end up relearning the same thing over and over again it seems. It must be our focus on the future.

The early Americans up here (Indians) had a very unique culture. They were mostly gone by the time that western settlement started though. The early fur traders came around the horn by boat and imported disease that killed them off. en mass. If you get a chance - check out the Northwest Coastal Indians. The religion, trading, the longhouse, gambling customs, slavery customs and especially the Potlatch. Oh, and warfare customs. Cool stuff. If you know the geography and the climate it starts to make a lot of sense.

I find it sad that you don't get out of the house much any more because no one wants you to. That's unhealthy from my perspective. It happened to my Dad, and it was not a good thing to see.

A afterthought "when do we become so civilized we can start to decline?"

Now that, sir, is a very good question! Civilizations are cyclical. I've got some ideas on that, and we (the US) is giving all of the indications of being on the decline. That would be a good general discussion topic actually.

In a nutshell it involves hard work leading to leisure. Leisure leading to a flowering of the arts and sciences. The sciences leading to more leisure. More leisure leading to a decline in will, morals and shared beliefs. The decline in morals and shared beliefs leading to a fracturing of the civilization. That fracturing leads to overbearing bureaucracy. The civilization collapses under the weight of declining morals, fractured values and government control. People essentially get crushed individually under the weight of their own complacency and collectively under their government's over-control. In a nut shell. Sorta. Sometimes. YMMV depending on inputs, outputs. circumstances and etc. into your unique civilization...

August 30, 2010, 20:38
I used to have anthropological interest in and do comparative studies of the various native peoples of our country, those that found and adapted the use of equine transportation seemed to last the longest, they could run and hide from us.
Does that put you in mind of a present day political modus operandi?
Having traveled all my work life my fascination with my work and it's challenges kept me going as the travel became wearing. I would travel given the need,,, but I'll always have Google Earth and Paris in the spring,,, even if most of those images are dated.
To stay out of trouble I have applications in at 3 different Walmart's to be a greeter or a speedo model,,, I could do both simultaneously for a dollar more.

August 31, 2010, 11:17
Horses made a huge positive difference in the native American's lifestyle. Up here it was cedar canoes of different sizes and flavors. The canoes were amazing in their utility and design variations. Very specialized for the various local conditions. Horses were big in the Palous country east of the Cascades, but not very useful west of the Cascades. Most of that countryside is very vertical with a triple canopy forest. You don't do much brush busting around here, it's game trails or established trails / roads. Your other option is water transport.

"Run and Hide" is a completely valid response. Given the choice between invisible and invincible... I'll take invisible!

Let me know how that Speedo model thing works out...I"m looking for a new career. Have you seen pictures of Germans on holiday at the beach? No amount of eye wash is going to fix that sight!

snowhawk jockey
September 01, 2010, 00:11
Development of civilizations aside... Here is a little something for your enjoyment, hope ya'll don't choke:

The National Forest is a plantation managed under the Dept of Agriculture.
The point of the TMP, "travel management plan", is that the "good old days" revenues that maintained the roads and fire suppression on NF land were generated by the copious dollars in timber and mineral licenses. Those licenses are limited or no longer active, therefore, not generating enough money to justify keeping all the roads in NF inventory maintained for the mere public to thrash. So the easy solution is to just shut them down and the surrounding forest with them. If there is an active license, there are no such travel restrictions or rules for the licensee in the area defined in their license, they have different rules to comply with. It is just a public/unlicensed user restriction...
Nation wide, the Forest Service "TMP", has been an ongoing work since before 2004. There were "public" comment periods, meetings, working groups, recommended plans, final plans, the whole ball of shit. It was to be implemented by the various districts on Dec 31 2009(or maybe Jan 1, 2009, can't remember). Most have their plans in place and have designated ALL USFS land closed to motorized travel, except the remaining designated routes on their TMP maps. If you travel more than 150 feet off the designated route, you might as well be driving through wilderness area, get ready for the enforcement revenue opportunity... If your family heritage hunting grounds or fishing hole do not have designated routes, you are walking in.

The Dept of Interior, Bureau of Land Management is falling into lock step with the program, here is a recent American Motorcycle Association (nearly lame org with a magazine, just like the NRA) press release:

Aug. 11, 2010

Contact: James Holter
Phone: (614) 856-1900, ext. 1280
E-mail: jholter@ama-cycle.org
U.S. Interior Department eyeing possible closure of millions more acres to off-highway riding
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Recently revealed documents show that a federal land management agency has been talking about changing land-use designations on public land that could close from 35 million to 140 million acres to off-highway riding, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

In a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar dated Aug. 9, Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, noted that an internal government document indicates the Interior Department may have "a finely detailed plan to exclude Americans from accessing public lands despite the bureau's assertion that these documents are simply the result of 'brainstorming sessions.'"

Moreland asked Salazar to explain precisely what the language means in the internal memo produced by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is part of the Interior Department.

"According to a news report on Aug. 5 from Salt Lake City-based KLS-TV, a recently obtained BLM document outlines how the federal government is seeking to manage federal lands through more restrictive land management practices," Moreland wrote. "The AMA seeks assurances from you that all dispositions of public lands will be publicly debated before new designations are made."

The internal memo states that some 130 million to 140 million acres -- an area roughly the size of Colorado and Wyoming combined -- are under consideration for special land-use designations that could further restrict off-highway riding. This is about half of the 264 million acres of public land managed by the BLM.

At another point in the document, the BLM states that about 35 million acres of the land it manages "should be considered for a new and/or heightened conservation designation."

The BLM memo spells out a proposed plan for public land-use designations that could ban off-highway vehicle riding by supporting certain congressional land-use designation proposals, having the president pull an end run around Congress by unilaterally naming areas as national monuments "should the legislative process not prove fruitful" and to use the agency's internal land-use planning process to accomplish the bureau's goals for managing "conservation values" when those other two efforts fail.

"This memo doesn't read like a draft document," Moreland said. "It reads like a playbook for shutting the public out of land-use decisions."

September 01, 2010, 07:29
Wagon wheel ruts are still visible along parts of the Oregon Trail, those indelible marks were left in aid of a nations expansion not for entertainment, people concentrating on having fun don't use all their intelligence if any is available.
Even normal road maintenance may become a serious commuter impediment in a road system near you,,, as politicians have votes to buy and dreams to sell with our tax dollars.

September 01, 2010, 11:50
Interesting read snowhawk jockey...very interesting.

Personally, I don't care if they maintain the roads or not. I've got a shovel, a pry bar, an axe and a chain saw. With that and armed with the fact that there is usually more than one way in or out I can get to where I want to go in almost all cases. Safely, repeatably, and with minimal impact to the environment. I stay on the roads and trails for the most part and do just fine.

I still contend that this is all just a ploy to keep us all herded into the cities where we are much easier to control and keep tabs on. It is a scam to cause our independent spirits to atrophy and certain skills to be lost. This may be intentional or it may be unintentional. It makes no difference in the final analysis, the results are the same. The results are good little sheep herded into well managed pastures without the skills or desire to leave the protection and control of the sheep dogs.

I read a really interesting study on the social stratification between rural and city people and it's implications on political systems. I"ll try to find that again and post some observations from it. The gist of the study was that societies stratified into rural and city living according to political outlook. People who are independent tended to move into rural areas as a government became more controlling. People with dependent outlooks tended to move into cities. Governments could control the speed and thoroughness of this stratification by limiting or denying services to rural areas. The reasons cited could be efficiency, cost containment, environmental concerns or just plain neglect of rural areas. The stated reasons didn't really matter as long as they could be made to sound reasonably rational to the vast majority of the (city dwelling) population. The end game was that there was a huge majority of the population that was apathetic, indifferent or pro-government-control residing in cities and developed areas, with a small minority of anti government free spirits residing in rural areas who could essentially be ignored because they had no voice or power in the government. The study indicated that the government could cut its enforcement costs by half to two thirds by implementing this plan.

Now, I am usually not a conspiracy nut, but something just doesn't smell right with all of these access closures. I can see the fed.gov telling the population that we are not going to maintain the roads any longer in the NF and BLM lands, so you are on your own out there. Why would they feel the need to actively deny access to public land? There are enforcement costs associated with that.

I still say that if the agencies are not going to allow access to public land by the public, they are failing in their duties and responsibilities to the public. Disband them or cut their budgets to the point where they can make all of the stupid regulations that they want but don't have the resources to enforce them.