Friday, October 30, 2009

Quiet Recreation is Making Noise

After submitting formal comments on the Mount Hood National Forest’s DEIS for Travel Management, I am reminded of the growing howl coming from anti-access groups like BARK demanding that more multiple-use roads, trails, and areas be closed to OHV use.

See My Sept 9 Blog on BARK/Quiet Recreation and the Mt. Hood

Photo: Amador on Single Track Trail on Mt. Hood

Some of you have seen recent articles espousing the economic virtues of non-motorized “quiet” recreation such as hiking while downplaying the economic benefit of motorized recreation such as ATV or dirt-bike use.

Article in Fiscal Impacts of “Quiet Recreation”

It appears that a new study called the “Recreation Economic Impact Tool” produced by
Kreg Lindberg at Central Oregon Recreation Services is being used or misused as a bullhorn by the quiet recreation crowd to loudly shout (or BARK in some cases) for blanket closures to OHVs including non-street legal OHVs on Forests going through the TMR process.

Link to CORS and the Tool

I did contact Professor Lindberg regarding my concerns about the fact that I could not find in any of his research where the nexus is appreciated between the use (and hence the economic benefit) of motorized vehicles by forest visitors to access non-motorized activities.

The General served on the California OHV State Park Commission in the 1990s and I remember an old public land planning tool/concept that was used by both state and federal land agencies. That historic foundation block in land use planning was that a vast majority of all types of recreation (motorized and non-motorized) is vehicle-based and takes place with ¼ mile of the vehicle.

See How the Quiet Recreation Crowd wants OHV (Mt. Hood is a good case study) restricted to just a few "small islands" in the NF.

One source of user conflicts between quiet recreationists and the OHV community is often times roads and motorized trails are used by folks who want quiet recreation and then they are frustrated when OHVs use the same area. Since, most quiet recreation occurs (or should occur) in Wilderness or other non-motorized land-use classifications…the quiet user is only ¼ mile or less from the road. Hence, the quiet recreation sought after is sometimes disturbed.

Many quiet recreationists don't have time to hike into the core of Wilderness areas because of a lack of time or resources. Rather they use a vehicle for rapid access to the outer boundaries of the Wilderness (or go to an OHV area!) and then complain about legal motorized uses.

OHV advocates must be aware of Quiet Recreation Groups who are now loudly screaming for you – the OHV user – to not only be silent… but be gone as well.

Thanks for your service!

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