Key Issues and Concerns:

Recreation Travel Strategy

8/13/03 and 8/28/03

 

  1. No clear understanding or communication of current regulations and policies: don’t know where it’s legal to ride, don’t know when others are breaking the rules, get different message from the agency, rules seem to change in mid-stream.

Positive

  1. Requires a high degree of involvement by the user to learn/know how to get and understand rules and regulations. Not a casual process.
  2. Open unless closed.
  3. We (USFS) have some of this already (signs indicating what is allowed on trail).
  4. Rangers seem to know their areas pretty well.
  5. "Nothing"
  6. This travel plan at least attempts to address this [issue].
  7. Knowledge of regulations, etc. is necessary—regulations are probably much better than the general public knows.
  8. Forest Service people wish to do a good job.

Negative

  1. Frequently front desk Forest Service persons are not well versed in the answers.
  2. Would like to know why a particular road is closed, some way that one could tell at the sign.
  3. Possible overuse of easy-to-access trails.
  4. Have gotten different replies to the same question on the same day regarding seasonal (specifically, fire danger) closures.
  5. What communication? Where do we obtain maps?
  6. Why can’t we ride on gravel roads legally? Do we damage these roads?
  7. Office personnel don’t seem entirely clear about their areas.
  8. Ability to communicate to user groups what is legal or illegal; creates chaos, misunderstanding.
  9. If all roads/trails are shared fully, non-motorized lose out.
  10. When policy is unclear, motorists should assume it’s not legal to ride, rather than assuming that it is legal.
  11. That’s right, the Forest Service enforcement officers don’t know either
  12. Not enough signs, maps not clear.
  13. [Regulations] are hard to find out.
  14. Rules are not clear, so they are hard to explain to public.
  15. I feel it should be legal [to ride on] all county primitive roads.
  16. Why are old roads/trails that were open for ever are now closed because it was recently logged.

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Need more signs to indicate open/closed to particular use.
  2. Need better indication of forest boundaries.
  3. Need clarification—need work for public to know.
  4. Need agency/public to come together.
  5. Bigger signs, better marking of trail maps and trail heads.
  6. Need better marked trails; more clear about seasonal closures.
  7. Better signing.
  8. Need to post signs at trails indicating what is allowed on trail. Motorized? What kinds of vehicles.
  9. More maps marked for each use (motorized and non-motorized).
  10. We need signage or a definitive ORV policy posted at entrances.
  11. Maps need special areas designated with boundary.
  12. We need a clear policy of where it is legal to ride.
  13. Need motorcycle rules like having helmets and speed limits—25 to 30 mph.
  1. Need to be assured of access for all users and interest groups. Need to provide for a particular activity or sport.

Positive

  1. Like West Fork Calispell OHV trail.
  2. Upgraded use of all use trails.
  3. Colville National Forest—multi-user group (hiking trails, lakes, motorcycle trails, camping sites, snowmobiles and cross country).
  4. Carefully consider all decisions so they are not biased.
  5. Existing trailheads are well-maintained.
  6. Have a lot of walking trails now.
  7. Motorized users get 48 miles.
  8. Good single track trail system.
  9. I can hike up to 115 miles on non-motorized trails.
  10. Batey Bould has great, challenging, single track trails.
  11. Snow parks and trail heads are generally clearly marked.
  12. With the lack of enforcement and monitoring rampant access is being allowed *good?*
  13. Access—not necessarily shared.
  14. We all have the same access. It is only the means of access that is, in some cases, restricted.
  15. Everyone has a place to recreate.
  16. There is plenty of room to accomplish parking.
  17. I feel that this forest is already, except for 4-wheelers, pretty well broken up for all users’ welfare—hiking trails, cross country trails, snowmobile trails, camping spots that are pretty much used only for those purposes. Also horse trails are provided. Anyone who has used this forest pretty well much shares them. You will always find one bad apple but you should not let him ruin it for the majority.

Negative

  1. Most trailheads are too small (or non-existent) for truck and horse trailers to turn around and park.
  2. Trying to segregate all users will not work.
  3. Dividing up areas based on use.
  4. Not enough publication of meetings that will give this type of information. (Ex: Where and why are areas being closed to motorized ORVs.)
  5. Dwindling access to trailheads.
  6. Motorized users should get at least as much as non-motorized users (115 miles).
  7. Quads have no legal place to ride, so they wedge them down our single track trails.
  8. Enviros want to make everything roadless, lack of respect for diverse interests. It is not ethical to make everyone participate in the same activity. Lack of access leads to overuse.
  9. No ATV trails.
  10. Limited number of areas served by sno-parks and trailheads.
  11. With the lack of enforcement and monitoring rampant access is being allowed—no system approach.
  12. All transportation types to all areas is unnecessary.
  13. Most existing trails do not have adequate parking—no trailhead.
  14. Need old access areas now gated opened back up. This country is so vast—nobody in their right mind would hunt and harvest an animal and expect to carry it out to civilization.
  15. More access for all others than quads.
  16. Why waste time and money eliminating a benefit?

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Need true 4x4 (Jeep) trails.
  2. Need better indication of forest boundaries.
  3. Need maintenance of trails.
  4. Need camping sites for user groups and motorized vehicles (now is difficult to access trails from camping areas).
  5. Need to continue to have available to public (trails, etc).
  6. Need 4x4 trails and OHVs
  7. Need areas clearly marked on maps
  8. Keep single track, provide a separate trail system for ATV users. Provide areas for 4x4 (Jeep) users, to help keep them out of restricted areas.
  9. Provide ORV with areas they can go as fast as they like (within reason) without upsetting horses, hikers, etc. and vice-versa. Some mixed use is ok.
  10. We need to provide access from one trail to another—some cops will let us ride roads for 1 ½ miles, others say no to ¼ mile.
  11. Build roads to gain access. These roads can provide access to fires if kept open.
  1. Need for information and education.

Positive

  1. The process is underway.
  2. Free maps available.
  3. There are some maps available.
  4. There is a travel map.
  5. Clubs are good for education.

Negative

  1. The process never ends.
  2. Maps are outdated by many years.
  3. Maps are outdated and incomplete.
  4. Not enough contact with many user groups.
  5. Not enough info from agency about user group impacts to natural resources (wildlife, soil, water, etc.)
  6. Travel map is out of date, confusing, and it’s not available at many places, including the Colville sup’s office.
  7. Some roads are numbered, but numbers not on map.
  8. Please do not blank out roads and trails on new access maps.
  9. Unaffiliated users are more likely to have problems.
  10. What information that is available is outdated and does not say the same thing.
  11. What good would info be if changes are made without any community input?

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Need brochures available when/where users can get them
  2. Increase use of information stations.
  3. Need better marked maps.
  4. Post more signs for non-motorized areas and motorized areas.
  5. Could use informative info in the form of forest uses’ TV spots, flyers at fairs, home shows.
  6. We need more maps.
  7. Need info at parking lots.
  8. Need more info at trailhead.
  9. Need more maps available with current road numbers and closures and use information.
  10. There are maps, but they need to be distributed throughout.
  11. Need more signs in field.
  12. Locations of trails and roads need to be signed and mapped way better than now.
  1. Need for user ethics: sharing of users, conflicts with user groups, conflicts with other user groups.

Positive

  1. Most people are courteous to others.
  2. Most education agencies try to do this with publications, brochures, etc.
  3. Motorized users almost always yield right-of–way without conflict.
  4. Well put.
  5. Most users are considerate of horses.
  6. I have never experienced user conflict at Batey Bould.
  7. Understanding that there are many users.
  8. In many areas there are no conflicts.
  9. Most people want to do ethical/proper action.
  10. No problems with other groups.
  11. Most all groups of users can share same areas.
  12. I do not believe there is a problem here because we have a very low use factor on this forest. Someone should calculate square footage of forest per person use.

Negative

  1. It is a continual need that never ends, must be repeated over and over.
  2. Misunderstanding that most "groups" are multi-users and not one specific group.
  3. Divide areas based on use
  4. Hikers often act less than happy to see motorized use to the point of rudeness.
  5. Some users are inconsiderate of everybody.
  6. Agency not able to manage conflicts; disrespect among groups, lack of understanding of user groups’ impacts on wildlife, water, soil and natural resources.
  7. Non-motorized vehicles being displaced.
  8. What is sharing? Sharing the dust generated by an ORV, or the ORV not kicking up dust so others can breathe/see. Frustration for the ORV rider??
  9. In many areas there are no conflicts; in many cases that is because non-motorized users have given up on using the area.
  10. There is not enforcement.
  11. Most all groups of users can share same areas, except for backpackers and environmentalists. These people in their lifetime couldn’t explore 1/10 of the area now. Why do they need more?

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Educate users of others, help understanding of differences.
  2. Multi-use areas need to be policed by both sides.
  3. Would like some separation; not 100% either way, no land or money to separate completely.
  4. Need for understanding of shared use.
  5. Shared roads would help—cars, Jeeps, motorcycles, ATV, snowmobiles using USFS roads.

5. Ability of the Forest Service to manage recreation: not enough money, doesn’t fix facilities, doesn’t address safety concerns, doesn’t fix resource damage, doesn’t enforce regulations and rules that exist.

Positive

  1. USFS persons on the ground try hard.
  2. Active management, enforcing policies.
  3. Facilities are nice to have (bathrooms, loading docks, etc.).
  4. Much of the work is done by volunteers at no charge.
  5. These meetings we are having improve this recreation area.
  6. Management is required by law.
  7. Lots of motivated, well-trained Forest Service employees.
  8. Probably for as much money available doing as well as they can.
  9. There is management—the best the USFS can do.
  10. Recreation management is on USFS radar screen.

Negative

  1. Super aggressive enforcement officer, no control over him.
  2. Helmet law is not federal law, it’s a state law.
  3. Lack of funding.
  4. It seems that springtime trail cleaning is far under-budget.
  5. Forest Service campgrounds are disappearing.
  6. Trails are wore out, need repair.
  7. Map does not designate quad (from single track motorized).
  8. Lack of enforcement when quads wedge down single track.
  9. Need for grants.
  10. Not enforcing regulations and rules and E.O. so this adds to confusion, misunderstanding.
  11. Management money is not being appropriated. We shouldn’t expand or increase system until backlog of maintenance is addressed and enforcement is increased.
  12. Not enough resources.
  13. USFS is not managing well for recreation.
  14. What happened to the old past—all roads, trails, etc were maintained by Forest Service people with 1/3 of the staff they have now. Now it’s contracted out even though the Forest Service staff is tripled in size. What do they do?
  15. Not enough money.
  16. USFS does not enforce regulations and rules that exist, especially pioneer trails.
  17. USFS should disallow informal or user-constructed trails. Informal trails are resource damage because they cannot be controlled and will eventually cross streams or use steep slopes.
  18. Don’t understand budget process.
  19. Blaming riders for lack of management.
  20. Don’t understand intricacies of use.
  21. Use policy to ignore existing situation of legal user-created routes.
  22. Why keep locking up more land?
  23. Doubt the ability of the USFS to fairly balance the recreational interests of all groups: motorized winter recreation in the Sullivan Lake District and other areas.
  24. Having USFS offices closed on weekends is not helpful.
  25. Makeup rules as USFS needs them without NEPA process or informing public.
  26. Don’t want volunteers, "can’t find them."

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Need to take advantage of grant programs (IAC, NRTP)
  2. USFS budget process at top level need to put more funds on the ground. Too heavy!
  3. Grants available? How much does it const for maintenance, how can volunteers be utilized?
  4. Possible trail use pass? Motorized vehicle pass?
  5. OHV tax and gas tax should be going to forest trail systems.
  6. Hiker permit or tax for trails, or parking tax.
  7. Volunteer groups, single-track users help maintain their trails. Hikers help maintain their trails, and so on.
  8. Make the projects known for user-group volunteers. We do want the trails bad enough!!!
  9. User fees. Camped in Lake Wenatchee Forest recently. Lots of people at the fee camps, few at the no-fee. But we still had clean sites and toilet paper provided.
  10. Try IAC—ORV trail systems qualify for maintenance grants and grants for new trails, bridges, culverts, etc.
  11. Maybe USFS should hire a grant writer that just writes grants to acquire money for trails and T.H.
  12. Should be able to get money from quad’s day use and license, same as snowmobiles.
  13. What grants are available? How do you fund them? Do you have people to do that through the USFS?
  14. Volunteer service—is there help to organize this to draw more people into volunteer?
  15. Apply for grants for maintenance.
  16. Advertise for volunteers.
  17. Education of regulations should be emphasized.
  18. Preparation of materials on regulations should be conducted.
  19. USFS to outreach frequently to users.
  20. Be creative in communication—email, news articles, events, (like the Colville nature hikes but focused somewhat on education of users). Take advantage of user groups and do joint activities.
  21. When education fails, do strict enforcement. Do press releases on citations to your user list and especially user groups. Ask user groups to assist with enforcement.
  22. Close illegal and inappropriate used roads and trails—fast.
  23. Ask for volunteers.
  24. Forest Service needs to be allowed to manage forests for the most…of all citizen’s and also to manage…forest health and continued resource use. Forest needs tree farm profit managing.
  1. Concerns about the economy and tourism, with or without any particular user group.

Positive

  1. As natural resources industries (mining, logging, etc.) decline, local population need other sources of income. Motorized users of national forest lands provide positive economic effect. Tourism is not only by non-motorized vehicles.
  2. All groups spend money in areas of recreation.
  3. Sleds and motorcycles and quads and bicycles generate revenue from sales, parts maintenance, and travel to different areas. ex: restaurants, motels, quick stops, etc.
  4. Recreation is adding to the money flow into rural communities.
  5. Money concerns are not the sole factor driving designation.
  6. Motorized users are freer with money, ATV, motorcycle, snowmobilers spend more, we spend more just to get to the riding area.
  7. Most all enjoy in one way or many the forest assets.
  8. Recreation big money—after 9/11 everybody staying at home.
  9. Economy could rise with more access.
  10. We are drawing more tourists mainly from snowmobile groomed trails and events like poker runs and now are river crossing event in Ione.
  11. Supports the tourism and brings in money to the area.
  12. USFS has supplied money for Int. Selkirk Loop, for economic diversity, nature tourism.
  13. Outstanding opportunities to benefit small community with motor recreation.
  14. Motorized user group contribute a fair amount of money to area for fuel, lodging, parts, and sales tax for purchase of motorized equipment parts (normally in the 6-10K figure) and ORV money contributes to economy by: fuel purchase, lodging and food, ORV fees, sales tax from sales of motorized units and parts.
  15. A wide range of recreation opportunities is a benefit.

Negative

  1. What money is gathered, how is it spent?
  2. Possible closures have a negative effect; many small businesses close, less people on the trails.
  3. Unregulated will add chaos, miscommunication, resource damage: no value to environmental resources.
  4. Money concerns are often given priority over resource protection.
  5. Attitude that forests belong more to local residents.
  6. Forest Service being controlled by groups of people that are constantly suing.
  7. Excessive use and dependence can run amok.
  8. May not be considered.
  9. One district ranger that feels that way.

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Stevens/Pend Oreille economies are dead. Make hay while the sun shinges and help provide jobs for citizens. We care a lot about others (Beaver Lodge, Paul’s Yamaha, grocery stores, gas stations).
  2. More designated wildlife habitat protection will lead to wildlife viewers coming—much larger population than trail users (that are motorized or not) going more than a mile.
  1. Need for compromise: need for better communication, need for multi-use trails that are only non-motorized, need for non-motorized users to accept motorized use.

Positive

  1. Motorized users need to accept that there should be places they are not allowed, and non-motorized users need to accept that there should be places motorized use is allowed.
  2. [There will be] more use.
  3. Well put.
  4. Hikers have millions of square miles to walk on.
  5. Batey Bould: designated ORV use area or county roads for groomed trails.
  6. Continual need by motorheads for more and more access and don’t understand that motorized recreation has big impacts on non-motorized users 1 mile, ½ mile, 200 feet away etc.
  7. There is an attempt to protect some areas from the influence of OHVs.
  8. Effective communication and knowledge about rules and regulations lead to less conflict.
  9. Sharing multi-use trails is very possible with all user groups respecting each other’s needs.
  10. There are plenty now.
  11. I believe multi-use trails are here especially with hunters and 4-wheelers.
  12. Good spirit of cooperation here.
  13. Respect for one another, understand other side of issues, have a balance.
  14. USFS: available to have meetings.
  15. We do need designated areas for various uses so values don’t get trampled.
  16. Non-motorized trails out-number motorized 2-1.
  17. Everyone should have a reasonable expectation for use of areas.
  18. Excluding motorized use from many areas is necessary to provide an experience appropriate for non-motorized use.
  19. We need some segregation—not all trails should be open to everyone.
  20. First, respect for one another, second, communication, third, compromise.

Negative

  1. Person/person conflicts.
  2. Possible overuse on some popular arena.
  3. Hikers often seem to think that motorcycle riders are intruding on their private trails, treating riders as interlopers. Since they have their own non-motorized trails, it seems only fair that they respect our presence on multi-use trails.
  4. Access is limited.
  5. Non-motorized users yielding to motorized.
  6. Motorized users not respecting non-motorized.
  7. Motorized opportunities are out numbered by non-motorized. That is ok, but we need to preserve current facilities.
  8. Non-motorized users have to realize that hiking in motorized use areas, they will hear motors.
  9. Hikers in wilderness areas hearing motorized use in the wilderness should be reported and demand enforcement.
  10. There is non-motorized areas, wilderness areas. There is old areas. Each group needs to use the correct area.
  11. Not nearly enough consideration is given to the "noise factor" of OHVs.
  12. Shared right of way—why shouldn’t we be able to use Forest Service roads for multiple use?
  13. Can’t think of anything bad about compromise except compromise coerced is not acceptable.
  14. Forest Service not using resources that motorized users provide: ATV users growing which will provide large amounts of money.
  15. The idea of segregation is bad. In practice, total integration does not take into account the recreational needs of the smaller, lower energy user groups.
  16. This strategy is becoming too localized. The strategy needs to be kept open to look at landscape level (Colville). This is public land that belongs to all U.S. citizens so there should not be resource degradation at the expense of public lands.
  17. Info not available to let people find places where they can meet needs.
  18. The protection of ecosystems and wildlife habitat don’t have recreational user voices speaking up in the process—this affects hunters, fishes, photographers, wildlife, and bird viewers.

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Clearly post designation of all trails—provides USFS more teeth to enforce designation.
  2. Need more education on how to cooperate with each user group.
  3. More information and direction.
  4. Hikers can use these roads but need to be advised that a pick-up, logging truck, or a 4-wheeler may come along as this is what motorized roads are used by.
  1. Concerns about all use and how it affects the environment.

Positive

  1. Requires good management?
  2. Help preserve from erosion.
  3. Pavers in…and streams help keep trails from eroding/washing away.
  4. Most users do not rip up the countryside.
  5. I believe the USFS hires qualified scientists who do a good job.
  6. If trails are built to code and users are provided with ample opportunities less erosion takes place than what is brought to attention.
  7. There are designated areas closed for motorized access for environmental reasons (wildlife, NRA, grizzly, roadless, etc.).
  8. Some closures for T&E species.
  9. Almost everyone believes protecting the environment is worth their time and money.
  10. I do not believe there is any major bad effects to the environment by motorized again because of low use.
  11. Resources are available.
  12. Sentiments of those present to conserve environment and efforts by clubs to educate.
  13. Management for what we have now, continue to manage. Balance of use: continue what is there now.
  14. Continue forward with education to minimize damage.
  15. Here is an opportunity to learn, such as tonight with a lynx presentation. Need more of such presentations that identify potential or past resource damage.
  16. Basic purpose of FS lands is to protect watersheds and wildlife.
  17. Limited problems with multi-user created routes which were authorized by forest allowing cross-country travel.
  18. Motorized use has little to no effect on the environment.
  19. Motorized users can do a lot of damage quickly. Only a few users operating outside acceptable areas and procedures will cause irreparable damage.
  20. No process to repair damage by any type of user [As a hiker advocate, I acknowledge hikers cause damage. Advocating within my user group for good stewardship is effective. The knowledge gained through education can be reinforced by enforcement.] The user groups that cause the damage are probably willing to help fix the problem.
  21. Through education, we can all learn to minimize damage. LNT and tread lightly.
  22. A few users disregard environment but need education to teach responsible use.

Negative

  1. Requires good management?
  2. Still need more info on this.
  3. Wildlife, erosion.
  4. Possible closures, nowhere to go.
  5. Concerned that more areas will be closed to ORVs
  6. Erosion, runoff?
  7. Pavers get dug/washed out, need to be repaired/replaced.
  8. Some users do rip up the countryside, a few can destroy the areas for the masses.
  9. Bad people that tear up trails, wetland.
  10. Forest fires cause more pollution than any and all motorized use. Roadless areas burn also and are harder to extinguish due to lack or access for the fire crews.
  11. Lack of enforcement, monitoring, education to keep motorized users away and info to public user groups about impacts to soils, water, wildlife, etc.
  12. Is concern about the animals/environment genuinely for their good, or is it promoting wildlife so one can shoot it later?
  13. Not enough consideration is given to non-T&E species.
  14. Many don’t understand the cumulative impacts on ecosystem of our use and impact on economy.
  15. Not enough people concerned about what they are doing.
  16. Logging/pickups do more harm to erosion than equipment/any ORV vehicle, horse, or snowmobile.
  17. Not enough education, need to police.
  18. Those who are not affiliated with groups and don’t receive education on appropriate conduct.
  19. All uses can potentially hurt the environment. Be responsible—yourself or your group and don’t blame others.
  20. Motorized users don’t seem to understand the effects on the environment (i.e. lynx, caribou, water, etc.).
  21. FS not enforcing laws, regulations to protect resources from damage.
  22. Motorized use inevitability degrades these resources, especially if there is no enforcement.
  23. No enforcement, allow excuse.
  24. Monitoring, if done, is info not shared.
  25. Some users deny or excuse the damage their group cause. Their ignorance perpetuates a continuation of the legacy of damage. Because of the groups that don’t practice stewardship, many deny any impact.
  26. Motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles are sold as FAST—shown running through mud and bogs.
  27. Everybody causes damage to some extent.

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Education should address this area.
  2. Do you have a challenge cost share agreement in this ranger district?
  3. Tom mentioned destruction in fields, trails, streams, etc. We have single track areas. We have hiking areas. There are snowmobile areas and cross country. There is a lack of quad trails, lack of 4x4 trails. For the uneducated user they will go into areas where they are not supposed to be. I believe we need to increase these areas for these users and that will limit some of the major damage that we see. Even for the uneducated user.
  4. FS needs to work to disperse use rather than shrink areas.