Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 NCAT Tour - North Coast "TMR Genie" Has Left the Bottle


As HQ prepares for its 2014 North Coast Access Tour (NCAT) early next week, it is reminded there are no silver bullets or shortcuts when it comes to OHV-related access issues.  The 2005 Travel Management Rule’s Subpart B planning efforts over the last nine years have been challenging for both users and agency officials.

Nowhere has this complexity been more evident than on the Smith River National Recreation Area located on the Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California.  During that time-period there have been stakeholder groups, lawsuits, a stipulation, and lack of a substantive or meaningful relationship between the agency and county.  

As the news article states below, it is my hope that the access community can find a way to support an alternative that embraces the tone, direction, and spirit of the earlier stakeholder process.  For better or worse, the “TMR genie” has left the bottle a long time ago and it is time to settle on a base network of routes.  Once that foundation is codified, I believe it will allow the agency and users to ID some post subpart B projects that enhance the OHV experience.

Triplicate Article (short overview of TMR history on the unit)

Over the Memorial Holiday, HQ will ground truth the preferred Alternative with local interests to see if it is something that OHV can work with either as presented or in a modified version.  To the agencies credit, it does appear they have listened to some of our concerns by proposing the designation of the 305.125 4WD trail that at one time been slated for closure.

2007 Tour of the Smith River NRA

2007 Video of Jeep Tour of the 305.125 Road

On the other hand, the preferred alternative closes the only single-track motorcycle entrance-to-exit trail on the unit.  Strangely, the closure of that trail had never been proposed in any of the earlier discussions.

2003 Post-Biscuit Fire Motorcycle Tour of Smith River NRA

It is my goal to also stop by and visit with my access contacts in Humboldt County to get an update on TMR on the southern end of the Forest and to see what new OHV opportunities might exist on private or county lands. Hope to see some of you on the tour.  Thanks to all of you who make these efforts possible!

1 comment:

  1. I believe this commentary clearly identifies the complexity and time management of a very difficult process to KEEP and OPEN OHV opportunities. The effort here is shown just what it takes to get trails open. Time, energy, expense, patience and dedication to sport is VERY evident.
    CLOSURE IS NOT AN OPTION. It must be dealt with using experience, and pressure upon the agencies that manage our lands. the comment of Land Use Agency and the County is troublesome.
    These agencies work for us, not the environmental community that pours resources to keep the public out or lands they paid for, and own.
    It is up to the responsible OHV community to engage, and that means letting your elected officials know your thoughts on this issue, and to reach into your OWN wallet and help fight back on YOUR behalf. That takes financial resources to assist those that are fighting the good fight. This just ONE battle that is going on.
    PLEASE help those that are boots on the ground, and contact Quiet Warrior for more information if you can assist. A hundred OHV folks donating just $5.00 bucks a month can create a war chest of $6,000 a year. Those valuable funds cover expenses like fuel and hotels costs to attend, and FIGHT for your rights.
    If you love OHV, and want your children and grandchildren to have OHV opportunity in the future, GET INVOLVED.
    Thanks for listening.
    Dave Pickett
    District 36 Legislative Action Office Director.
    Past President 2004-2013
    AMA Off Road Congressman 1999-Current