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Oregon Speaks Of Returning to 'Closed Unless Designated Open Policy' On Forest Service Lands

A "closed unless open" policy would shut down many trails in Oregon (25% of Oregon is National Forests).

One OBH individual provides their point of view.

- There are 155 national forests and 21 grassland areas and each has it's
own unique policy for management. The U.S.F.S. does need a an overall
management policy that governs all of these. Their job is to manage the
land and they must do this.

- Having a "closed unless open" policy would limit individual use of the
forest too much. It is too radical of a change. The default action is to
close everything up and then the USFS would have to use it's limited
resources to figure out what areas should be open. That is a difficult
prospect. Instead, the USFS should keep the forests open for the public.
They should focus their efforts on those areas that need their attention.
These areas are easier to identify; it will take less USFS effort. This is
basic business risk management.
- The definition of a "road", "trail" and "area" is ambiguous. Is an old
railroad grade used for logging a road? a trail? an area? Would it be
open or closed? Because I fear the USFS will take the easy way out, vast
parts of the forest will be declared areas and by definition, areas will be
closed. This will deny the public from some of the best OHV trails.

- The USFS definition of OHV is very narrow. This is incorrect. The
average Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) is an OHV by today's standards. The
sevenfold rise in visitors is partially due to the large increase in SUVs
being sold. The closes unless open policy affects everyone - not just those
listed in your draft policy.

- I'm pleased to see that the USFS is trying to engage motorized sports
enthusiasts. We definition way to contribute. Many of us support groups
like The Blue Ribbon Coalition and Tread Lightly! and we ask that you
strongly listen to their discussions on these topics.

- The USFS admits that most of the users of the land are responsible.
Instead of closing all the lands for these users, the USFS should focus
their efforts on the bad apples and more education. In Oregon, the State
Forestry Department has done an excellent job working side-by-side with OHV
users in the Tillamook State Forest. A system of trails, annual trail
maintenance and clean-up activities and vehicle licensing are all required.
It's a system that meets the balance required.

Feel free to add to my list.
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