Mt. Hood OHV Travel Managment Comments Due
In the It's-Not-Washington-But-We-Hike-There category, we ask that folks take a look at the Mt. Hood OHV Travel Management plan.
In response to unmanaged OHV use in the forest, the Mt. Hood National Forest has spent the last two years developing an OHV travel management plan. Comments are due on Wednesday, October 28th.
The draft environmental impact statement describes two preferred alternatives that best respond to public comments and each describes a very different possible future for the forest.
The overall goal of the planning effort is to identify appropriate areas for OHV use that would minimize impacts on other recreational uses and natural resources. Although we applaud the Forest’s interest in this pressing issue, it is disheartening that one of the preferred draft alternatives (#3) proposes 8 OHV areas including sites adjacent to wilderness areas, as well as 69 miles of new trails for OHV’s. In total, Alternative 3 would authorize 325 miles of routes including one that would cut across the ridge dividing the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness from the Roaring River Wilderness.
In contrast Alternative 4, proposes no OHV areas that are adjacent to designated wilderness, rather focusing OHV use to 3 areas totaling 100 miles of routes. The Forest Service analysis predicts that the capacity of OHV trails in this scenario would exceed user demand for at least a decade; which is more than sufficient especially given that only 0.52% of all Mt. Hood visitors participate in OHV activities. Although the OHV sites in Alternative 4 are not without some problems, we agree with a broad coalition of recreation and environmental groups that support Alternative 4 as the best option.
Lend your voice in support of quiet recreation and natural resource protection by submitting your comments by this Wednesday, October 28th. For more information, including, maps and links to scoping comments by Rep. Earl Blumenauer and the Restore Mt. Hood Coalition, – visit BARK’s website.
You may also submit your comments directly to:
Jennie O'Connor Card
Mt. Hood National Forest
6780 Highway 35
Parkdale, Oregon 97041
(541) 352-6002 ext. 634
Or electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org