Great News from the Recreation HQ! As many of you know, HQ and other riders are concerned about the current proposal by the FS to severely restrict OHV recreation (particularly in the sand trail areas) at the OR Dunes. The public comment period for the Travel DEIS was supposed to end on Dec. 10.
BRC Alert with Copy of FS Letter to Countieshttp://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/2012/12/06/comment-period-on-oregon-dunes-10c-designated-routes-project-deis-extended
However, because of a lot of hard work by Save the Oregon Dunes club with help and support from BRC, local businesses, and county officials the Forest Service extended the public comment period until Jan. 24, 2013 to give Coos, Douglas, and Lane counties a chance to place the DEIS for the Oregon Dunes Travel Plan on their county commission agendas as an action item.
HQ believes the current preferred Alternative 4 in the DEIS is simply a recipe for disaster because it does not recognize the important role that OHV recreation has in managing encroachment of non-native plant species into the open dune areas. Over time, new portions of the open dune riding area would have to be fenced off each year to provide habitat for species such as the Snowy Plover (it needs open sand to nest). In 15-20 years, there would be no OHV recreation because of the need to continually close off more open sand areas for the plover. OHV recreation as we know it would go extinct at the Dunes.
Stay tuned as this issue continues to develop. Let’s hope the FS, local users, and the counties can come up with a long-term strategy (modified Alt. 5?) that will protect both OHV recreation and natural resources for generations to come.