OREGON – Ochoco National Forest Seeks Input on Draft OHV plan

FB-OR-Ochoco-NF-Draft-OHV-plan-03.01.16

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The Ochoco National Forest is seeking public input on the draft plan for a proposed 130-mile Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail system, known as the Ochoco Summit Trail System Project.

The trail system is intended to provide OHV users a well-designed, sustainable place to ride in the Ochocos in order to prevent unregulated, and sometimes damaging, off-road use from occurring in other parts of the forest.

A 45-day public comment period began on February 19, 2016 — with publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register — and will end April 4, 2016. During the public comment period the public is encouraged to submit specific feedback to forest planners about the proposal to assist them as they finalize the document.

The Ochoco Summit Trail System project was initiated in 2009 in order to designate suitable driving routes for OHV users following the 2005 Travel Management Rule, which resulted in reduced OHV recreation opportunities.

Over the past 7 years, planners have worked with a subgroup of the Deschutes Provincial Advisory Committee and other partners to identify a suitable off-road driving system. A draft decision for the project was released in 2014, but it was rescinded following the Bailey Butte fire, which burned through parts of the project area.

The current proposal calls for 130 miles of OHV trails to be constructed using mostly existing trails and road segments, with a four-month season of use. The system is designed to provide OHV users a summer riding opportunity that dovetails with other riding opportunities across Central Oregon.

Current plans call for the system to be built in phases over multiple years using partner groups to help with trail construction, maintenance and enforcement.

The Supplemental Draft EIS (SDEIS) and other planning documents can be found HERE.

Send written comments to Ochoco Summit Trail System ID Team, 3160 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR 97754 or via email to comments-pacificnorthwest-ochoco@fs.fed.us.

For media inquiries, contact Public Affairs Officer Patrick Lair at (541) 416-6647 or plair@fs.fed.us.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2