New OHV Route System Underway in the Colville National Forest
In the next few weeks the Forest Service will decide where to allow off-road vehicle access on Northeastern Washington's Colville National Forest (CNF). Over 500 miles of existing roads could be opened up to OHV use with additional routes under consideration. This decision sets a precedent for other national forests as they implement a highly anticipated new rule for managing off-road vehicles in federal forests. Citizens throughout the Northwest are watching how the CNF implements this off-highway vehicle management plan which could be one of the largest projects to benefit the OHV community in decades!
We have a unique opportunity to make a difference as this off-road vehicle plan reaches its final phase. With sales of OHV's exploding, there is a serious need for more trails to accommodate these vehicles. Encourage the Forest Service to designate an off-road vehicle route system that provides a quality riding experience for the numerous OHV users. With the recent passage of EHB1003 in the Washington State Legal System, the FS can now legally allow OHV's to operate on the roads they decide to allow their use on.
We are all aware that there is a huge disparity in the number of miles available to motorized and non-motorized uses. On the Colville there are only 10 miles of ATV trails, 21 miles of Jeep trails, 130 miles of motorcycle trails compared to 306 miles of Non-motorized trails. Don't forget that Non-motorized uses are allowed on all motorized trails!!!
Lack of an adequate number of motorized routes leads to conflicts with other users, illegal trail building, overcrowding and resource damage. The Colville NF realizes that they need to address the lack of trail opportunities for the OHVs and ATVs in particular but there are many groups opposed to their plan. These groups will be sending in their comments I hope that the motorized community will take the time to do so alsothis is your chance to help see that additional motorized trails are going to be OPENED instead of closed, but YOU must send in your comments!
The more specific you can be the better but if you aren't familiar with the area, talk to someone that is or at least send a letter encouraging the FS to expand the riding opportunities on the Colville and address the need for more legal motorized routes.
In the next few days, please comment on the plan by letter, email or phone call to one or all of the contacts listed below. Your site-specific comments will help Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell choose which roads to open. Handwritten letters are the best, typed letters are second best. Phone calls, faxes, emails etc are also beneficial but don't carry the weight of a letter. Send your comments to:
Newport Ranger District
317 North Warren
Newport, WA 99156
Colville National Forest
765 S. Main Street
Colville, WA 99114
If you need more information contact Lori Jordan at email@example.com or look online at www.pantra.org - click on the forums link and look under the Land Use State of Washington Forum.