The Future of OHV at OR Dunes?
The Recreation HQ believes that the Coos County Resolution (see below) articulates a well thought out foundation for a desired future condition for the OR Dunes. HQ believes the agency has underestimated the resolve of the counties/users/small business owners to fight back against their effort to implement the 1994 Management Plan (actually that is a misnomer since it only focused on areas to close to OHV recreation and did not address the most important issue impacting the dunes and that is the encroachment of non-native vegetation).
Dec 4, 2012 Coos County Resolution
One option for the counties is to ask the FS to do a supplemental DEIS because they failed to properly analyze and create alternative(s) that address the real environmental crisis that is impacting the dunes nor did he vet the economic impact that the decision will have on OHV tourism.
Another option is for the counties to engage the OR congressional delegation to help direct (i.e. new legislation, direct talks, etc.) the FS to develop a travel plan that fosters both a robust OHV program and a dune restoration program that deals with the encroachment of non-native vegetation that is taking over the open sand dune areas.
Getting the congressional delegation involved on another Forest’s travel plan was key to having the Wallowa-Whitman NF withdrawn their proposal due to a massive closure of routes. Their help may be needed to encourage the FS to push the “reset button” on the current dunes travel planning process.
Link to article on travel plan withdrawn on Wallowa-Whitman NF
Many of the key tenets below were stated in the Coos County Resolution. They should be non-negotiable going forward for the long-term protection and restoration of the OR Dunes to their 1972 condition of being mostly open dunes.
· Re-designate all 10C areas to 10B open riding areas – for about 11K total acres open for OHV
· Reestablish the Resource Advisory Council
· Aggressively attack the encroachment of non-native vegetation in the non-motorized areas and utilize OHV recreation as a veg. management tool as well.
· Cooperate and formally consult with the counties
Also, here is a great TV news story that recently ran on the Dunes issue. One of the best OHV TV stories ever done on our sport.
TV Video/News Story on OR Dunes
Thanks for your interest in the OR Dunes!