Posts tagged: orv
PUBLIC LANDS — The Clearwater National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) has been released to guide where motor vehicles can be used on the forest.
The published maps, which answer frequently asked questions about roads and trails open to motorized traffic, are available online and free at the forest headquarters in Orofino and at other offices.
In 2005 the U.S. Forest Service published a new rule requiring each national forest and grassland to designate those national forest system roads, trails and areas open to motor vehicle use. It further required designated routes and areas to be identified on an MVUM that is available to the public free-of-charge.
On January 12, 2012, after nearly four years of public involvement and analysis, the Clearwater National Forest issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision that designated roads, trails and areas where motorized uses are allowed.
Read on for more details from the Forest Service.
TRAILS — Farmers and disabled visitors could be allowed to used motorized vehicles on portions of two major state rail-trails under a proposal being considered by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
A public meeting is set for Nov. 1 in Ellensburg to discuss the proposed regulation changes on Iron Horse State Park’s John Wayne Pioneer Trail (JWPT). The trail is the former Milwaukee railroad corridor that runs from North Bend east to the Idaho border near Tekoa.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, in the Teanaway Room at the Hal Holmes Community Center, 209 N. Ruby St. in Ellensburg.
The Washington State Legislature directed that the JWPT be managed for non-motorized uses, and various grants over the years also have limited trail use to non-motorized recreation. A state law restricts motor vehicle use of the JWPT.
However, farmers with property adjacent to the trail and State Parks concessionaires have requested that the agency allow them motorized use.
The proposal would allow motorized use by special permit through the agency for farmers s well as a new class of motor vehicles defined by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as “Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices.”
The proposed changes are not intended to alter the primary non-motorized recreation focus of State Parks’ trail management, officials say.
Washington State Parks manages five long-distance rail trails for non-motorized recreation, including hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and winter activities such as cross-country skiing and dog-sledding. The trails include the JWPT, managed as part of Iron Horse State Park and comprising most of the old Milwaukee Railroad corridor between Cedar Falls/North Bend and the Idaho border; the Centennial Trail near Spokane; Columbia Hills Plateau Trail from East Pasco to Fish Lake/Spokane; the Willapa Hills Trail from Chehalis to Raymond; and the Klickitat Trail, with a trailhead in Lyle near the Columbia River.
Info: Susan Koch at email@example.com.
HUNTING – The Idaho Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Public Outreach Campaign is urging people who use ATVs or motorbikes during hunting season to stay on designated trails and do their homework to ensure that the trails they plan to ride are open.
New resources are available to help OHVers learn which routes on public lands are open and closed.
About 70 percent of the 240,000 people who hunt in Idaho (residents and non-residents) during the fall months are using motorbikes or ATVs to access their hunting areas, according to the latest survey cited by campaign officials.
Here are five ways that hunters can research what trails and hunting units are open to OHV use:
1. National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM's) from the national forest where you plan to hunt. Hard-copy maps are available from national forest ranger district offices (that is, when they reopen from the current federal shutdown), IDFG offices, and in many cases, the MVUMs are online. The OHV Campaign's stayontrails.com web site has a link to all of the current online MVUMs: http://stayontrails.com/mvum/.
2. BLM travel maps defined route open to motorized use. See a comprehensive list of BLM travel maps statewide online at http://stayontrails.com/blmTravel/ and on BLM web sites. Hard-copy maps are available at BLM district offices and field offices (but, again, remember the shutdown).
3. Idaho Department of Fish and Game's website Hunting page has a big game unit map that lists restrictions on OHV use in specific hunting units. The IDFG Motorized Hunting Rule affects 30 units statewide. Here's a link to the big game unit map of the units affected by the rule.
4. Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation has an online map resource that's great for researching new OHV trails and for checking on whether OHV trails are open during hunting season, and when. The web site is: http://trails.idaho.gov. The maps break down trail restrictions by OHVs, Utility Terrain Vehicles, ATVs and motorbikes.
5. YouTube hunting tips video walks hunters through the multi-step process of researching whether trails are open or closed. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/edit?ns=1&video_id=dTgL0ZH41i8&o=U
Officials with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Idaho Department of Fish and Game say that hunters riding off-trail on ATVs or motorbikes continues to be a problem on public lands during hunting season.
“We are most concerned with instances where a hunter drives off-trail to scout for game or retrieve game,” said Andy Brunelle, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. “One set of tracks through the brush or in a meadow can invite others to do the same, and the impacts add up, damaging vegetation and causing soil erosion into streams.”
Under the Forest Service's National Travel Rule, “it's incumbent on the user to know if the trail is open or closed” regardless if the trail is signed appropriately, forest officials said. That's because people have been known to shoot signs full of bullet holes, remove signs or vandalize them.
Jon Heggen, enforcement chief for the Idaho Department of Fish and game, encouraged motorbike and ATV riders to be sensitive to the fact that some people may be hunting on foot in the same area where they are riding their trail machine.
“We want to remind hunters to stay on trails and be courteous to other users,” Heggen said.
A new Idaho state law requires youths who do not have a driver's license to take a free safety course before they ride OHVs on forest roads. The law also stipulates that youths under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet when riding on an OHV or driving one.
PUBLIC LANDS — Several Idaho mining claim owners have sued the federal government, joining a push to expand motorized access in the West’s backcountry using a Civil War-era law governing travel across public lands, according to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boise, argues the U.S. Forest Service illegally restricted use of four roads in Idaho County.
It’s similar to Utah lawsuits that were partially resolved this year when the federal government unlocked three gates, allowed all-terrain vehicles into the state’s western desert.
The Idaho County case was brought by 13 people with mining claims reached via roads extending deep into the Nez Perce National Forest.
The lawsuit contends federal Forest Service officials outstripped their authority by barring motorized access on roads used for more than a century for mining and recreation.
Click “continue reading” for the expanded version of the AP story with more details and context.
HUNTING — While public land managers have restrictions on where motor vehicles can be driven, Idaho also restricts some hunters from using vehicles such as ATVs in some areas to curb conflicts between motorized hunting and other sportsmen and landowners.
The restrictions are south of the Idaho Panhandle.
The Idaho Fish and Game’s motorized hunting rules apply to big game animals, including moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats, in designated units from Aug. 30 through Dec. 31.
Between these dates and in the designated units, specific to all big game hunting, hunters may use motorized vehicles only on established roadways that are open to motorized traffic and capable of being traveled by full-sized automobiles.
Motorized hunting use restrictions apply to units 29, 30, 30A, 32, 32A, 36A, 37, 37A, , 45, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 52A, 53, 56, 58, 59, 59A, 66, 66A, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77 and 78.
The rule does not apply to upland game animals or birds in hunts within the designated units.
OHVs — Two conservation groups have sued to block the opening of nearly all of Okanogan County’s roads to ATVs, according to the Wenatchee World.
Conservation Northwest and the Methow Valley Citizens Council sued Wednesday in Okanogan County Superior Court seeking an injunction prohibiting the ordinances from taking effect, and an order declaring that they violate state law.
PUBLIC LANDS — Fireworks are prohibited year-around on national forests, BLM lands, state wildlife lands and most other public lands.
That's the first rule to know before heading out for the Fourth of July holiday.
Here are more considerations from the Idaho Panhandle National Forests:
Responsible Motorized Use. Please stay on designated routes and obtain the appropriate travel maps before you go. On the Colville National Forest as well as the Coeur d’Alene River, Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint and Priest Lake Ranger Districts visitors should carry the FREE Motorized Vehicle Use Maps, available at Forest Service Offices.
No mud bogging is allowed anywhere on National Forest System lands. State traffic laws apply to all motor vehicles including off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and motorcycles of all types.
For the latest information on road conditions, including restrictions, closures and construction, visit the national Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ “Road Status” web page.
Camping. Camping is allowed for up to 14 days within any 30-day period in developed recreation sites, undeveloped recreation sites, campgrounds, wilderness areas and other general forest areas. Visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ “Recreation” web page to check the status of your favorite site.
Campfire Safety. Even if it’s “green,” please practice good sense by using caution with fire and smoking at all times, in all places. Drown, stir and check your campfire for heat with your bare hand. ALL fires must be DEAD OUT when left unattended and before leaving the site.
Keep it Clean to Avoid Bear Encounters! Proper food storage practices are recommended throughout the Idaho Panhandle National Forests and are required on the Sandpoint, Priest Lake and Bonners Ferry Districts. Bears often develop a strong liking for human and pet foods. Store food in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof containers. Keep sleeping areas, tents and sleeping bags free from food and food odors. Wash up, change clothes and remove all scented articles nearby before going to bed. Wild bears avoid people, but bears conditioned to human food can be aggressive and may be euthanized if problems occur. For more information on safety in bear country visit our “Food Storage” web page.
More info: contact your local Idaho Panhandle Forest Service office.
PUBLIC LANDS — I don't care much if you drive onto your own land and rip it to shreds with your four-wheel drive vehicle as long as you're not polluting public waters downstream.
But the chronic spring problem of mudboggers ripping public lands to shreds is disgusting to the core.
Photos here show two recent abuses from the Colville National Forest and the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Memorial Day weekend was a free-for-all on portions of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, where Forest Service officers wrote ticket after ticket and never scratched the surface of the off-road riding abuse.
Here's an observation from Franklin Pemberton, spokesman for the Colville:
Most of the truly obvious abuse (torn up meadows and giant mud holes next to or on roads) are from individuals in 4X4 vehicles that actively seek out a “mudding” experience in meadows or on fragile spring roads. In one instance we had a “mudder” completely destroy a beautiful meadow that once had a crystal clear small stream running through it by driving a circuit through the meadow and spinning their tires in order to create deeper mud. They did this over and over again all the while digging deep ruts that diverted a once clear stream into a muddy series of pools and puddles. (Pictures attached) This was near Big Meadow Lake.
The sad thing is, many of these mudders have no idea that the stream they damage was feeding Big Meadow Lake and will degrade the water quality and reduce the number of fish the lake can support. A few of the people we have caught in the past claimed to be avid hunters and anglers and were shocked at how this activity can impact fish and wildlife aside from water quality and the spread of noxious and invasive weeds.
Here's today's report about recent damage on the Nez Perce-Clearwater:
Forest Service officials have discovered evidence of extensive resource damage near Camp 60, a popular site for camping and off-highway vehicle use, on the North Fork Ranger District of the Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forests.
An area that was, until recently, a beautiful meadow, has now been transformed into a giant mud bog, covering approximately .25 acre of National Forest System Lands. In addition, new illegal routes have been developed, crossing through area streams.
While an exact date of when the resource damage occurred has yet to be determined, Forest Service officials believe that the activity took place very recently, perhaps within the past two weeks.
If anyone has information pertaining to this incident, please contact Law Enforcement Officer Steve Bryant at (208) 875-1131.
PUBLIC LANDS — Here's a possible precedent setter that could be costly in the long run…
An eastern Idaho woman is suing the federal government for an injury she sustained in 2011 when her all-terrain vehicle rolled down a hill located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.Accoding to the Associated Press, Karleen Linford, of Inkom, filed a complaint Thursday seeking almost $800,000 in damages for serious injuries related to her ATV crash on federal land.Linford says she drove her ATV up a fence crossing ramp on the Inman Canyon Trail, and then fell four feet as the ATV rolled off the hillside and landed on top of her.She alleges the U.S. Forest Service was negligent in its construction and care of the fence crossing, and hopes to secure compensation for her own injuries.She's also asking for about $1,300 to pay for damage to her ATV.
PUBLIC LANDS — Congressman Doc Hastings, R-WA, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, is promoting a Republican plan that would remove restrictions on motorized access to 43 million acres of public land nationwide.
A tip of the hat to the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers organization for trekking to Washington, D.C., to let Congress know that's a lame idea.
Read the story from McClatchy Newspapers.