OHV Rule Notes
I am inclined to approach the USFS in a more positive manner, but Gene's and Jerry's warning that the OHV Rule ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES our involvement in order to not take away routes is well taken. If we have either an adversarial relationship, or no relationship, with a district's land manager, we will likely lose trails and forest roads/routes/ways.
I have spoken with Brian Rasmussen on the OHV Rule and he and Cat are positive about its ramifications to the OHV community, but Christine (the ranger) and Ed (the assistant) can decide with wide latitude under the OHV Rule. YMMV in other districts. KEEP INVOLVED!
From Gene King:
This is an email from Jerry Abboud in answer to a question about "trusting" the forest service to include roads and trails on their OHV Map. He is reiterating what I keep saying but he has a great point that if WE don't get the info to the forest service, they will definitely NOT get put on the OHV map.
We need to GPS roads and turn them into the local ranger district or we will lose them when the OHV Map is published. Please make sure all your club members are aware of this.
We haven't spoken in awhile, hope all is well. Thought I would share my perspective on what is going on with the OHV rule and trail inventories. You are 100% correct on trusting the Forest Service. However, there are a couple of legal issues that are contained in the rule that differ from the way existing roads and trails have been treated in the past. Right now under the rule we will have the opportunity to legalize the use of a trail through the designation process. Here is the catch; in the past many of the trails were never opened or closed, they were merely created.
Once a forest designates under the rule, unlike specific closures in the past, all roads and trails not a part of the designated system are closed by operation of law. So the result will be the same whether they have a complete inventory or not. The problem is, if they don't have a trail for consideration it cannot be designated and will therefore be closed, no ands ifs or buts. In the future, if we try to petition the Forest Service to open a route the enviros and the FS have the ability to resist not on the basis of it never having been identified , but on the legal position that that trail is closed. The vast majority of trails we want them to consider don't have current closure orders.
In short, if we don't stick it under their nose and push as hard as possible, it's going to be closed anyway. I guess to the extent you choose to ride that trail after it is closed is your decision. But for public purposes the only possibility to get it designated is to identify it. You are great resource for trail info, so please think it over carefully and do what you feel is right. I wanted to make sure you had all the info.
Hope that helps.
Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
I'm that gun-totin', farm-raised, evangelical, pro-environment, OHV ridin'/drivin', Southern civil rights pro-labor Liberal yo' momma told you couldn't possibly exist.