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21Oct/04Off

ALERT: Washington State Forest Plan Revisions Information

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SAWS Action Alert

Colville, Okanogan, and Wenatchee National Forest Plans Revision Activities Comments

As many of you are aware, the Colville, Okanogan, and Wenatchee (COW) National Forests are going through a Forest Plan Revision (FPR) for the first time in about 15 years. It will be complete in March of 2006.

During the FPR the forest service will attempt to add as much roadless land as possible as new designated wilderness. In the 2004 issue of the COW N.F. publication Cascade Lookout, the article "Join the Effort to Revise the Forest Plan" states "Evaluate and determine whether roadless areas should be recommended as part of the National Wilderness Preservation system”. Currently there are over one million acres of so-called roadless areas. As you most likely know, many of these so-called roadless areas contain roads that we use for recreation. For more details on these tactics, please refer to my editorial Forest Plan Revisions - Is the Goal to Convert Roadless to Wilderness.

The forest plan revision team this week released their September 2004 News, providing the agenda and schedule for meetings that will occur this fall in towns near these forests where you will be able to provide input. You should attend one of these meetings and tell the forest service about the activities you participate in, particularly ALL areas (by name), where you snowmobile in these national forests.

Here’s the Meeting Schedule - All Meetings begin at 7:00 P.M. and end at 8:30 P.M.

Spokane 18-Oct Spokane County/WSU Extension Service N 222 Havana, Spokane
Ione/Metaline Falls 19-Oct Selkirk High School, on Hwy 31 between Ione & Metaline Falls
Colville 20-Oct Community Colleges of Spokane, Colville Campus, Dominion Room
Newport 21-Oct North Portable Building On Campus of Old Sadie Halstead Middle School, now largely vacant; (portable bldg. is on right as you face the front door)
Yakima 25-Oct Red Lion Yakima Gateway Hotel, 9 N. 9th St.
Wenatchee 26-Oct Wenatchee Red Lion Hotel, 1255 N. Wenatchee Ave.
Cle Elum 27-Oct Cle Elum Ranger District Office Conference Room
North Bend 28-Oct Snoqualmie Ranger District, 42404 SE North Bend Way, North Bend
Okanogan 3-Nov Agriplex Annex, Okanogan County Fairgrounds
Republic 4-Nov Republic Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room
Tonasket 8-Nov Tonasket High School Commons
Methow Valley 8-Dec Liberty Bell High School Multi-Purpose Room

 Please make every effort to attend one of these meetings, but regardless of your attendance, please go to the FPR web site and provide a very detailed list of all the places you do ride.  Be specific and tell the forest service why each of these areas that you ride in are “special” to you or why they have ”value” to you. These catch phases that are used by the forest service are very important. If 100 snowmobilers mention that ten different riding areas provide the same “value” – for example, let’s say the value is for “good high marking areas” - then the forest service may decide that six of these ten areas can be closed to snowmobiles, because you can achieve the same “value” in the other four areas. Keep this in mind when submitting your very specific comments about the areas you ride and the “value” that the specific area has that you cannot get anywhere else in these forests.

Many of you may remember the I-90 Wilderness study from two years ago in which the forest service proposed to close Lake Ann, Scatter Creek area, and areas around Van Epps Pass as new wilderness near Cle Elum. That proposal is far from over. This is the FPR that the forest service will use to advocate that these new recommended wilderness areas be treated as designated wilderness, even though Congress has not yet authorized them, and may never do so. Make sure you review detailed maps and provide the names and “values” of the places you ride, and also encourage all of your riding buddies to comment at the FPR web site, or come the winter of 2006 some of your favorite riding areas in these forests will be gone forever.

Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision

It’s seems there are forest plan revisions occurring all over the state of Washington and northeast Oregon. The Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests are revising their Forest Plans too. It will be complete sometime just prior to September 2007.

Although this FPR does not yet allow comments to be submitted through the Blue Mountains FPR web site , you can send an email to this FPR team at blue_mtn_planrevision@fs.fed.us. They will also have ten public workshops scheduled during October and November that you should also attend to provide your valuable comments. The meeting schedule and locations are shown below. You can also refer to the Blue Mountains October 2004 News.

Each workshop will run from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Burns, OR 13-Oct Harney County Senior & Community Services Center, 17 S. Alder St.
John Day, OR 14-Oct Malheur National Forest, Supervisor’s Office, 431 Patterson Bridge Rd.
Enterprise, OR 19-Oct Wallowa County Fairgrounds - Cloverleaf Hall, 600 NW First St.
La Grande, OR 20-Oct Eastern Oregon University - Hoke Hall, Room 309, One University Blvd.
Baker City, OR 21-Oct Baker County Fairgrounds - Extension Building #2, 2610 Grove St.
Dayton, WA 26-Oct Columbia County Fairgrounds - Youth Building, 105 Columbia County Fair
Pendleton, OR 27-Oct Convention Center, 1601 Westgate
Heppner, OR 28-Oct St. Patrick’s Senior Center, 182 N. Main St.
Pasco, WA 3-Nov Franklin County Public Utilities District Office, 1411 W. Clark St.
Portland, OR 4-Nov Doubletree Portland – Lloyd Center, 1000 NE Multnomah St.

When you attend one of these meetings, keep in mind the information I described above regarding roadless areas. Within the Blue Mountains Forests there are around 970, 000 acres – 17% of these national forests.

Dave
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

Copyright © 2004 Snowmobile Alliance of Western States. All Rights Reserved.

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