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Federal Areas Issues Archive

This section contains projects that are completed, inactive, cancelled, or were changed or stopped through our involvement. Information on these projects is retained to facilitate continued monitoring of the impact of the projects over time, or to provide a reference when new projects are proposed in the same vicinity.

Currently active or planned projects that we are monitoring can be found under the Take Action section on the Federal Areas Issues page. This page also contains links to a page for the BLM and each National Forest in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Page Contents

Deschutes / Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland Travel Management Plan

Update: This Travel Management Plan was issued August 2011. The final plan and the Record of Decision can be read at Travel Management - FEIS.

Joint comments from seven conservation organizations were submitted to the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forest/Crooked River National Grasslands Supervisors on December 8, 2009. These comments were the collaborative effort of American Hiking Society, Cascadia Wildlands, League of Wilderness Defenders - Blue Mountain Biodiversity Project, Oregon Chapter Sierra Club, Oregon Natural Desert Association, Oregon Wild, and The Wilderness Society. A summary of these comments can be read on the Deschutes NF page. The comments in full can be read at DNF-ONF TMP DEIS Comments. The collaborative reviewers determined that the numerous issues which were not adequately addressed require that the Forest Service issue a Supplemental EIS that addresses these issues and other issues identified through other public comments, and submit the Supplemental EIS for public review and comment prior to issuing a Record of Decision.

The final environmental impact statement is now being prepared, however, the Forest Service web site states than an estimated publication date is not available at this time. The current Forest Service status on this plan can be found at Planning and Environmental Analysis- Travel Management Project. (3-10-11)

All Forests - Travel Management Plans and Off Road Vehicles

Annes Butte OHV Damage Surveying Annes Butte OHV Damage
Photo by Asante Riverwind

There are ongoing efforts with volunteers and agency staff to address OHV issues in the region, including efforts to monitor and enforcing the recent OHV closure of Anne's Butte near Sunriver and the McKay Creek area in the Ochoco, as well as continuing community efforts in Deschutes River Woods, and Crescent District areas (Three Trails OHV system). The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests are developing a Deschutes-Ochoco Travel Management Plan intended to address OHV use by closing the forests to cross-country OHV use. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forests has also issued a Travel Management Plan, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Draft Environmental Impact Statement for comment.

However, these TMP's actually expand OHV trails and play areas far beyond the agency's capability to responsibly enforce regulations and protect forest wildlands from severe OHV abuse. In the Deschutes NF, the Lava Rock (Newberry Monument area), Three Trails (Crescent District), Meadow Lakes (Sisters District), and Wake Butte (Bend District) are proposed for widespread OHV trail systems with numerous play loops and staging areas. In the Ochoco NF, the Big Summit Prairie area is proposed for extensive OHV trails and staging areas. In the Wallowa-Whitman NF, if the Forest Service gets it wrong, ATVs will continue to have carte-blanche access to more than 9,000 miles of roads—the third most-roaded forest in the nation with more roads than ODOT maintains in the entire state—and ATVs will continue to drive off-road legally.

Volunteers are needed to help protect our federal lands from intrusive motorized OHV noise, and widespread harm to soils, plants, waterways and wildlife. Together we can help ensure our forest wildlands provide the quality natural recreation and serenity treasured by most visitors to our national forests. (3-10-11)