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Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Archive

This page 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 and planned projects can be found in the Take Action section on the Wallowa-Whitman NF page.

Travel Management Plan

Spring Creek OHV Damage Spring Creek OHV Damage, photo by David Mildrexler OHV Ruts OHV Ruts Up Close, photo by David Mildrexler Illegal OHV Trial Illegal OHV Trail, photo by David Mildrexler

Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor Issues Travel Management Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Public Comment

This plan will impact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for decades to come, as well as establish a precedent for travel management plans that must be issued for every National Forest District in Oregon and throughout the Northwest. The comment period expired (September 17th), so thank all of you who commented to the Forest Service. You can read the joint comments of the Hells Canyon Preservation Council, The Wilderness Society, American Hiking Society, The Lands Council, Oregon Wild, Wildlands CPR, Oregon Chapter Sierra Club, Oregon Natural Desert Association, and Gifford Pinchot Task Force at the link Wallowa-Whitman Travel Management Plan DEIS Comments, September 17, 2009. We'll keep you posted when we learn the Forest Service response to the comments submitted.

The Situation

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (WWNF) is about to adopt its first-ever Travel Management Plan (TMP) to regulate the motorized exploitation of 2.3 million acres in the Wallowa, Blue, and Elkhorn mountains of northeast Oregon. Next to removing dams blocking salmon passage on the lower Snake River, or vastly expanding protected wilderness, the TMP is among the most important issues this summer season on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

The stakes are high. The Forest Service is considering six alternatives ranging from great to horrendous. 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. As ATVs increase in number, more habitat will be fragmented, more wildlife disrupted, and more invasive species introduced. ATV-ers and the region’s county commissioners have flooded the Forest Supervisor’s Office in a concerted campaign to continue maximum motorized access. If the Forest Service gets it right, 4,400 miles of roads will be closed and off-road travel prohibited. This would be an enormous step forward for the historic and traditional means of travel in this keystone landscape.

The moccasin, the boot, and the horse’s hoof have trod the region for centuries. Motor vehicles are harmful invaders with no historical or cultural precedent. The Forest Service will begin moving in an ecologically proactive management direction if it chooses Alternative Six, the so-called Conservation Organization Alternative. Regional Sierra Club members, and conservation allies Hells Canyon Preservation Council and the American Hiking Society, support this alternative as the only viable conservation choice.

You can also read the entire Travel Management Plan, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Forest Service web site. (10-03-09)