I'm an alpine climber, backpacker, hiker, mountain biker and avid backcountry/xc skier. I'm also a decade+ monthly financial contributor to Oregon Wild. Incongruously to some, I also own 3 motorcycles one of which is a dirt bike. Do dirt bikes cause damage to the ecosystem and do they create noise pollution? Yes. So does logging, ranching, downhill ski resorts and lots of other things that take place in our National Forests. OHV access clearly needs to be controlled and I grudgingly support the MHNF rule change. My more general objection - one that I think will eventually cause me to cease contributing to organisations such as Oregon Wild - is what I perceive as the secret desire to eliminate all OHV usage on public land. OHV users pay taxes to the federal government and they should be able to recreate - in selected areas - in their National Forests *even* a if it causes some level of damage. I was never aware that the old MHNF policy allowed OHV access anywhere unless posted so I only ever rode at official OHV areas such as McCubbins Gulch. So to me, the expansion of OHV areas as part of this "compromise" is really rather paltry. A win for Oregon Wild and Bark? For sure. As for more enforcement. I would be happy to have the OHV fee raised significantly to pay for more enforcement and also be subject to more "education". The problem is that, in an economic downturn, or perhaps in general, the government cannot be trusted to not redirect such funds into other uses, case in point the recent reallocation of WA NOVA funds.
posted 2 years, 8 months ago
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