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    Winter Solstice 2009. Volume 14 No. 4

    Visit us online:


    story begins on page 3

    A Look Down the Trail, by BethanieWalder. Page 2

    New Beginning at Tellico ORV Area, bySarah Peters and SELC. Pages 3-5

    Biblio Notes: A Review of the Impactsof ORVs on Vegetation, by AdamSwitalski and Allison Jones.Pages 6-8

    New Resources, Page 9

    Legal Notes, by Nada Culver.Pages 10-11

    Get with the Program: Restoration andTransportation Program Updates.Pages 12-13

    DePaving the Way: by Bethanie Walder.Pages 14-15

    Odes to Roads: Fair Chase (and ATVs),by David A. Lien. Pages 16-17

    Field Notes, Wildlands CPR Partners

    with Forest Service to Assess RoadHazards, by Adam Switalski andAdam Rissien. Pages 18-19

    Around the Ofce, Membership Info.Pages 20-21

    New Beginning at Tellico ORV AreaBy Sarah Peters

    Photos from Forest Servicepublication: Upper TellicoOHV System Management:

    Photo Documentation.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 20092

    2009 Wildlands CPR

    Wildlands CPR revives and protects wild places bypromoting watershed restoration that improves

    sh and wildlife habitat, provides clean water, andenhances community economies. We focus on

    reclaiming ecologically damaging, unneeded roadsand stopping off-road vehicle abuse on public lands.

    P.O. Box 7516Missoula, MT 59807



    Bethanie Walder

    Development DirectorTom Petersen

    Science CoordinatorAdam Switalski

    Legal LiaisonSarah Peters

    Montana State ORVCoordinator

    Adam Rissien

    Restoration CampaignCoordinator

    Sue Gunn

    Program AssociateCathrine L. Walters

    Journal EditorDan Funsch

    Interns & VolunteersGreg Peters, Stuart Smith

    Board of DirectorsAmy Atwood, Jim Furnish,

    William Geer, Chris Kassar, Rebecca Lloyd, CrystalMario, Cara Nelson, Brett Paben

    On Friday, October 30, President Obama signed the Department of Interior, Envi-ronment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010. The bill provides fund-ing for public lands management across the country, including the national for-

    ests. While there are many great provisions in this legislation, Wildlands CPR is thrilledthat the Act includes $90 million in funding for the Forest Service Legacy Roads andTrails Remediation Initiative for 2010. This is equivalent to the total amount allocated toLegacy Roads and Trails in 2008 and 2009 combined.

    When the House/Senate conference committee sent out their press release announc-ing the nal bill, the $90 million allocated to Legacy Roads and Trails was the rst ofthree key Forest Service provisions highlighted.

    The Forest Service has used the past two years of Legacy Roads funds to reclaimthousands of miles of roads, in addition to upgrading culverts and restoring sh passageon hundreds of miles of streams. This work protects and restores clean drinking waterfor millions of Americans while simultaneously providing high wage, high skill greenjobs. For example, in 2008 and 2009, the Forest Service allocated Legacy Roads funds to:

    Fix 820 culverts restoring at least 1147 miles of stream habitat; Decommission 2194 miles of system and unauthorized roads; Improve 2215 miles of road; Maintain 3089 miles of road; Fix 166 bridges; Maintain or improve 3170 miles of trail; and Improve a minimum of 126,008 acres of habitat.

    A huge thank you to Congressman Norm Dicks for spearheading the effort to in-crease Legacy Roads funds! If allocated as in the last two years, these funds could helpdecommission another 2000+ miles of roads nationally, while restoring another 1100+miles of stream habitat. The funds should also create or maintain more than 1300 directjobs, plus many additional indirect jobs.

    The appropriations bill also included language requiring the Forest Service to under-take a science-based analysis to identify a minimum road system. The language basicallydirects the agency to right-size their road system to something that is both ecologicallyand scally sustainable, while also ensuring that the system provides needed access forresource management and recreation. Its a tall order, but its long overdue, necessary,and achievable.

    Weve long known that the Forest Service tends to follow the money its just thatthe money often owed towards resource extraction or re. Its fantastic, then, to seethe agency following this money to implement real watershed restoration on the ground restoring and/or protecting clean drinking water for thousands of communities nation-wide, while also reconnecting sh and wildlife habitat. This on-the-ground road remedia-tion and reclamation work helps make our national forests more adaptable and resilientin the context of climate change. In a nutshell, the Legacy Roads and Trails Remedia-tion Initiative is redening the way the Forest Service thinks about their transportationsystem.

    Great Strides inWatershed Restoration Funding!

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 3

    continued on page 4


    he Tellico River ows from its headwaters in CherokeeCounty, North Carolina on into Tennessee. As it does,

    it supports a self-sustaining population of wild nativebrook trout. Valued for their beauty, their delicious taste, andtheir sport-sh qualities, they are also indicators of the broaderhealth of the watersheds where they live.

    Sadly, despite its classication as Wild Trout Waters bythe North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in 1991, theTellico also ows through the Tellico OHV System, an off-roadve-hicle playground. Famous for unprecedented ecological damagecaused by man and machine, the Tellico has been the scene of astruggle to reign in these impacts.

    For many years, Trout Unlimited, Public Employees forEnvironmental Responsibility (PEER), WildSouth, the Southern

    Environmental Law Center (SELC), and other conservationgroups have worked to protect the Tellico watershed and thenative brook trout in the area. Years of heavy use by off-roadvehicles and the resulting erosion have turned the trails in theUpper Tellico Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) area into massive ditches,some more than seven feet deep. In wet conditions, theseditches channel muddy water into nearby streams. Accordingto estimates by the U.S. Forest Service, which manages the area,some 25,000 tons of sediment have washed off the ORV trailsinto streams over the years, a primary factor in the decline ofnative brook trout in the area.

    On October 14, 2009 the Forest Service completed its envi-ronmental analysis of ORV use in the area and came to the only

    conclusion it could. The agency announced that it will close theTellico area in North Carolina to future ORV use to protect waterquality in the watershed, which is one of the last, best strong-holds for native brook trout in the region. The agency will invest

    New Beginning at Tellico ORV AreaBy Sarah Peters, with assistance from Southern Environmental Law Center

    The effects of erosion: sediment makes its way into local streams,harming populations of native trout. Photo by Barry Sulkin.

    Some ruts are over seven feet deep. Photo courtesy of SouthernEnvironmental Law Center.

    Environmental damage in Tellico simply became too severe to ignore.Photo courtesy of Southern Environmental Law Center.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 20094

    continued from page 3

    substantial resources to restore those lands, and convertthe remaining ORV trails to forest roads for public access forother types of recreation. ORV use will no longer be allowedanywhere in the area.

    The Forest Services action will improve water quality in

    the Tellico River, which ows from North Carolina to Tennes-see.

    In the course of its analysis, the agency found that exces-sive authorized and illegal ORV use has caused extensivedamage to water quality throughout the Tellico River water-shed, with muddy water from the trails visibly running intothe Tellico and its tributaries in hundreds of locations. TheForest Services evaluation of the trail system also found thatmany trails cut through unstable soils.

    ORV use in the Tellico area was found to be in violationof Forest Plan standards for soil and water. Best ManagementPractices, including almost 2000 trail drainage features like

    water bars, broad-based dips, grade sags, ditches, cross drainculverts, out sloping, and sediment traps, were not adequateto protect trails from erosion and stream channels from sedi-mentation, and were not sustainable due to severely erodiblesoils and heavy rainfall in the area. Less than half of the traildrainage features are functioning properly.

    The Forest Service also admitted that North Carolinastandards for turbidity were being violated, and that brooktrout reproduction was being negatively affected, particularlyby elevated levels of ne sediment deposits that are adirect result of motorized use.

    The Upper Tellico ORV area was also in violation of for-est plan standards for trail density, which impose a limit of 2miles of ORV trails per square mile. The Tellico system wasover four miles per square mile.

    History Leading up to the NEPA processThe Upper Tellico ORV area, with 40 miles of designated

    ORV trails and an estimated average usage of 2,400 off-roadvehicles per month, had become one of the largest and mostintensively used ORV destinations on public lands in theSoutheast. Much of the use entails driving customized mon-ster trucks and smaller all-terrain vehicles through rugged

    terrain the steeper the trails, the more challenging,and the more damaging to the forest oor and waterquality.

    The miles of Forest Service designated trails in

    Tellico was twice the maximum density of trails al-lowed by the Forest Plan, and this number did notinclude the innumerable illegal trails created byORV users. In violation of state and federal law,approximately six miles of designated trail arelocated within 100 feet of trout streams, impact-ing 16 miles of critical habitat.

    Trout densities in streams affected bythe Upper Tellico ORV area are approximate-ly 50% of those found in streams of simi-lar size, topography and geology acrossthe National Forest. From 1996 through2004, annual sh counts conducted by

    the NC Wildlife Resources Commissiondocumented a declining trend in troutpopulations affected by the Tellico ORVtrail system, including at least one yearin which no young were documented.All of the streams affected by the ORVtrail system are designated as ClassC trout waters by the North Caroli-na Department of Environment andNatural Resources. North Carolinalaw prohibits excessive sedimentin these special waters.













































    Photo from Forest Service publication: Upper Tellico OHVSystem Management: Photo Documentation.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 5

    Steep grades, deep entrenchments with eroding walls, and close proximity to livewater make Trail 9 a source of sediment to nearby streams. Alternatives B, C, and

    D close and rehabilitate Trail 9. Photo from Forest Service publication: UpperTellico OHV System Management: Photo Documentation.

    In 2007, conservation groups inNorth Carolina and Tennessee tooksteps to sue the agency for failingto meet federal law and its ownforest plan standards to protect thewatershed from pollution causedby excessive ORV use. Thesegroups negotiated repeatedly withthe agency to get restoration andlong-term protection of this vitalwatershed, and never formally ledsuit in federal court. Instead, theForest Service agreed to conduct afull-scale environmental assessmentof ORV use in the Tellico area, andto close many of the trails in theinterim while the study was beingcompleted.

    In May 2008, the ORV usergroups sued the Forest Service forclosing trails. The Southern Envi-ronmental Law Center, on behalf oftheir partner groups, led a motion

    to intervene in that lawsuit, whichwas granted in October 2008. Thefour-wheeler groups voluntarilydismissed their lawsuit the follow-ing month, however, making furtherintervention unnecessary.

    On November 30 of this year,the Rescue Tellico coalition, theSouthern Four Wheel Drive Associa-tion, the United Four Wheel DriveAssociations and Blue Ribbon Coalition led an adminis-trative appeal to challenge the Forest Services deci-sion to close Tellicos trails. The appeal alleges that

    the decision violates NEPA and the Clean Water Act.It is hard to imagine, however, that the Forest Servicewill change its course of action given the overwhelm-ingly convincing evidence of damage to the area, andviolations of the Clean Water Act and other laws.

    ConclusionThe decision to close Tellico to recreational

    motor vehicle use reects the Forest Services legalmandate to protect water quality and wildlife habitat.This duty was acknowledged in the Tellico envi-ronmental assessment, which provides a thorough

    description of the effects to the area from motorizedrecreation. It can be found at:

    We look forward to watching as the ForestService implements this decision over the upcomingyear, and look forward to the recovery of the Tellicowatershed after restoration is complete.

    Sarah Peters is Legal Liaison for Wildlands CPR.

    Map courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 20096

    Bibliography Notes summarizes and highlights some of thescientic literature in our 15,000 citation bibliography on the

    physical and ecological effects of roads and off-road vehicles. Weoffer bibliographic searches to help activists access importantbiological research relevant to roads. We keep copies of most

    articles cited in Bibliography Notes in our ofce library.

    A Review of the Impacts of ORVs on VegetationBy Adam Switalski and Allison Jones

    ORVs can trample vegetation and compact soil,espeically in sensitive meadows. Photo by Laurel Hagen.


    rees, shrubs, and grasses hold soil inplace and provide habitats for a broaddiversity of wildlife. Wildlife health is

    intricately connected with the integrity of its as-sociated plant communities. Off-road vehicles(ORV) can greatly impact vegetation throughtrampling and the introduction of invasive spe-cies. Here we review how ORVs impact plantcommunities and propose methods for restoringareas degraded by ORV use.

    Trampling ImpactsRiding a several hundred pound ORV

    off-route or cross-country can crush, break,and ultimately reduce overall vegetative cover(Wilshire 1983, Cole and Bayeld 1993). Vehicu-lar impacts on vegetation range from completedenudation of large staging areas to selectivekill-off of the most sensitive plants. Ultimately,web-like networks of ORV trails can coalesceinto broad areas largely denuded of vegetation.Large shrubs and trees 15-20 feet tall have beenkilled by root exposure caused by adjacentORV trafc, and at one locality 10-foot juniperswere destroyed by direct impact (pers. comm.,Howard Wilshire, USGS-retired). Plants that sur-vive are weakened, limiting their ability to growupwards, and are more susceptible to diseaseand insect predation. One study found thatthere was half as much vegetation in an ORV usearea than in a similar undisturbed site (Misak et

    al. 2002).

    These trampling effects generally result in the simplication (e.g.,decreased diversity) of vegetation communities either through directmortality or by increasing seedling mortality, which can eventually lead

    to changes in species composition. Studies have found that in areas withhigh ORV use and repeated trampling, forb and grass communities gener-ally replace shrub communities (Leininger and Payne 1971, Stout 1992).There is also an increased risk of local extinction of sensitive plant speciesin ORV use areas (Stensvold 2000, Brown and McLachlan 2002).

    The compaction and erosion of soil can greatly impact vegetation.Soil nutrient uptake by plants is decreased in compacted and erodedsoils, root growth is reduced, and plant growth can be severely limited incompacted soils (Blackburn and Davis 1994). Trampling of soils by ORVscan also damage germinating seeds, and even seeds in the soil seed bank(CEQ 1979). Other indirect impacts on young plants include the reduc-tion of water storage and soil inltration rates, and alteration of thermal(temperature) characteristics of soils. These are all ORV related decien-

    cies that can disrupt seed germination and seedling growth (Davidson andFox 1974). Moreover, soils left bare by the damage of ORVs offer excellentgermination beds for aggressive weedy species. Lastly, when ORVs travelthrough exposed soil sites during dry periods, they often create dust,which settles on and can damage nearby plants. The dust can affect theplants ability to photosynthesize, grow, and reproduce (MWLAP and GCC2004).

    Editors Note: This BiblioNote is an excerpt from Wildlands CPR and Wild Utahs ORV BMPspublished last year. To see a list of Best Management Practices for planning and managementof ORV routes or to view the full report visit:

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 7

    Purple Loosestrife. Photo byRobert Mohlenbrock, USDA-

    NRCS PLANTS database.

    Sulphur Cinquefoil. Photo byJennifer Anderson,

    USDA-NRCS PLANTS database.

    Dalmation toadax.Photo courtesy of U.S.

    Forest Service.

    St Johnswort. Photo by JenniferAnderson, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

    Leafy spurge. Photo

    courtesy of U.S. ForestService.

    Several noxious weeds found in theintermountain forest region.

    Non-native Invasive SpeciesIn addition to trampling effects, ORVs are

    a major vector for non-native (exotic) invasiveplant species. When non-native plants invadeareas, they tend to crowd out and outcompetenative vegetation, and as a result, multipleaspects of that ecosystem can be impacted.The impact is so large that Forest Service ChiefBosworth in 2003 named the spread of invasive

    species as one of the four great issues facingthe Forest Service (Bosworth 2003). Weeds arespreading at an estimated 4,600 acres a day onwestern public lands (USDI 2000) and ORVs are akey cause of their spread.

    With knobby tires and large undercarriages,ORVs can unintentionally take invasive non-na-tive species deep into forestlands. For example,one study found that in just one trip on a 10 milecourse, an ORV dispersed 2,000 spotted knap-weed seeds (MSU 1992). In Wisconsin, a surveyof seven invasive plant species along ORV routesfound at least one of these (exotic) plant species

    on 88 percent of segments examined (Rooney2005). ORVs in roadless areas pose a particularrisk of spreading invasive non-native speciesbecause roadless areas are often less weedy.Gelbard and Harrison (2003) found that vehiclesare the chief vector for invasive species infesta-tion in roadless areas, which were shown to bevery important refuges for native plants.

    Plant Community RestorationIn some areas it may be determined that

    there are more routes than are necessary orwanted. This may be due to illegal route cre-ation, route redundancy, or the determination

    that the environmental or social cost is too greatto continue ORV use in that area. In these cases,it is essential that routes are closed and an ap-propriate restoration plan be implemented.

    The objectives of a plant communityrestoration plan should be to stabilize the area,prevent it from further degradation, and returnit to its previous native condition. First theroute must be effectively blocked or obscured toprevent further ORV use. Blocking the entranceof the route could include fencing, placing bar-riers or boulders, laying woody debris, plantingtrees, and/or fully recontouring the entrance of

    the route. In certain situations it even helps ifnot only the entrance is blocked, but the view ofthe actual line of sight is blocked. Once accessis prevented, native seed should be used forrevegetation. Incorporating local plant materi-als, duff, and woody material will help retainmoisture, provide native plant seed, and speedthe revegetation process. Lastly, some sortof educational and enforcement component ishelpful as well revegetation efforts tend to failif there is further damage from ORV use whilethe plants are germinating and growing.

    Adam is Science Coordinator for Wildlands CPR and Allison isConservation Biologist for the Wild Utah Project.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 20098

    Literature Cited

    continued from previous page

    Blackburn, J., and M. Byrd Davis. 1994.Off-Road Vehicles: Fun and/orFolly. Livingston, Kentucky. ASPIPublications. 56 pp.

    Bosworth, D. 2003. Managing theNational Forest System: GreatIssues and Great Diversions.Speech presented to the SanFrancisco Commonwealth Cluband Berkeley University on EarthDay, April 22.

    Brown, A.C., and A. McLachlan.2002. Sandy shore ecosystemsand threats facing them: some

    predictions for the year 2025. Environmental Conservation.29(1): 62-77.

    CEQ (Council on EnvironmentalQuality). 1979. Off-RoadVehicles on Public Land. Councilon Environmental Quality,Washington, DC. PrEX 14.2: V53.

    Cole, D.N., and N.P. Bayeld. 1993.Recreational trampling ofvegetation: Standard experimentalprocedures.BiologicalConservation 63(3): 209-215.

    Davidson, E. and M. Fox. 1974. Effects

    of off-road motorcycle activity onMojave desert vegetation and soil.Madrono 22: 381-412.

    Gelbard, J.L., and S. Harrison. 2003.Roadless habitats as refuges fornative grasslands: interactionswith soil, aspect, and grazing.

    Ecological Applications 13(2): 404-415.

    Leininger W.C., and G.F. Payne.1971. The Effects of Off-RoadVehicle Travel on Rangelandin Southwestern Montana.Research Report 153, AgriculturalExperiment Station, Montana StateUniversity, Bozeman, MT. 47 pp.

    Misak R.F., J.M. Al Awadhi, S.A. Omar,and S.A. Shahid. 2002. Soildegradation in Kabad area,southwestern Kuwait City.Land

    Degradation and Development13(5): 403-415.

    MSU (Montana State University,Extension Service). 1992.Controlling Knapweed on Montana

    Rangeland. Circular 311, February1992.MWLAP and GCC (Ministry of Water,

    Land and Air Protection andGrasslands Conservation Council).2004. Best Management Practicesfor Recreational Activities onGrasslands in the Thompson andOkanagan Basins. Ministry ofWater, Land and Air Protection,Victoria, B.C.

    Rooney, T.P. 2005. Distribution ofecologically-invasive plants alongoff-road vehicle trails in theChequamegon National Forest,Wisconsin. The Michigan Botanist44: 178-182.

    Stensvold, M.C. 2000. Theconservation status ofOphioglossaceae in southernAlaska. Proceedings of Botany2000. August 6-10. Portland, OR.

    Stout, B.M., III. 1992. Impact of Off-Road Vehicle Use on VegetativeCommunities of Northern Canaan

    Valley, West Virginia. FinalReport of The Canaan Valley TaskForce. Wheeling Jesuit College,Department of Biology, Wheeling,WV.

    USDI (U.S. Department of the Interior,Bureau of Land Management).2000. Use of weed-free forage onpublic lands in Nevada. 65 FederalRegister 545444 (September 8,2000).

    Wilshire, H.G. 1983. The impact ofvehicles on desert soil stabilizers.In: Webb RH, Wilshire HG (eds.),Environmental Effects of Off-RoadVehicles, Springer-Verlag, NewYork, NY. pp 31-50.

    Off-road vehicles have severely eroded this hillside. Photo courtesy of BLM.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 9

    Managing the Miles is the culmination of three years of

    research into how the Forest Service manages andadministers its road system. The report includes

    a brief history of how so many miles were built (mostly attaxpayer expense), an in-depth analysis of agency reports,documents and databases, and recommendations on howto improve agency management. Our forests contain morethan 375,000 miles of roads, dont you want to know howtheyre managed?

    This report is the culmination of several months ofresearch and investigation into the Forest Services roadmanagement strategies and protocols. In 2005, Wild-lands CPR sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)request to the Forest Service asking for any and

    all documents relating to the road system and themethods that the agency uses to manage and trackthis system. After nearly two years of negotiation,the information started arriving. Reviewing all ofthe FOIA information together paints a picture of amanagement approach oriented to transportationrather than land and resource management.

    To view the full report, please visit:

    Managing the Miles:A Review of Forest ServiceRoad Policies and Practices

    by Greg Peters

    Wildlands CPR Special Report:



    Cover photo credits: background by Adam Switalski;eroded road by Mark Alan Wilson; stuck truck byWildlands CPR; motorcycles by Dan Schroeder.

    This report is largely based on informationobtained through a Freedom of Information Act

    request. That request and its success wouldnot have been possible without the dedicated

    work of Dave Bahr and the WesternEnvironmental Law Center over a multi-year


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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200910

    BackgroundIn September, a federal judge rejected a Bureau of Land Management

    (BLM) plan for managing millions of acres of public land in the Californiadesert, and invalidated the use of the Decision Tree, a owchart-like toolthat the BLM had adopted to determine where ORV use was appropriate.In the Center for Biological Diversity, et. al. v. U.S. Bureau of Land Manage-ment, et. al., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90016 (September 29, 2009), the courtruled that the West Mojave Management Plan (WEMO) violated the FederalLand Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the National EnvironmentalPolicy Act (NEPA) by favoring off-road vehicle use over protection of sensi-tive desert resources such as endangered species and archeological sites.Additional claims were brought by the Center for Biological Diversityrelated to violations of the Endangered Species Act, but the court foundthat BLM had fullled its obligations and those claims are not discussed inthis article.

    Summary of the DecisionThe court found that the BLM: had not shown that the route designations met the minimization

    criteria set out in the agencys regulations regarding designationof areas and routes for use by off-road vehicles (ORVs) FLPMAviolation;

    permitted development of hundreds of illegal routes despite amanagement plan limiting designations to routes in existence in

    1980 FLPMA violation; did not consider an adequate range of alternatives by failing toconsider a plan that closed additional routes to ORV use NEPAviolation;

    had not established a sufcient baseline/no action to compareto designations NEPA violation; and

    had not conducted sufcient analysis of impacts to sensitiveresources NEPA.


    Minimization Criteria and the DecisionTree (Opinion, pp. 19-30)

    ORV designations in the WEMO were madein two separate categories: redesign areasthat were affected by designation of the des-ert tortoise and Lane Mountain milk-vetch asthreatened and endangered species, and; theremainder of the California Desert ConservationArea (CDCA), which was reviewed to conrmcompliance with BLMs regulations. In theredesign areas, the BLM used a owchart-liketool called the Decision Tree, which asked aseries of questions regarding the various uses ofproposed roads. The Decision Tree did not incor-porate by reference or specically include thelanguage of 43 C.F.R. 8342.1, referred to as theminimization criteria, but the BLM claimed thatit had complied with this regulation nonetheless.The minimization criteria ows from ExecutiveOrders 11644 and 11989, which require all publicland managers to minimize off-road vehicle im-pacts to natural resources, other users, etc.

    The court found that neither the DecisionTree nor the administrative record specicallyincorporated the minimization criteria (see, e.g.,pp. 28-29). The court also elaborated on themeaning of the word minimize in the regula-tion, clarifying that it refers to the effects ofroute designations, so that the BLM is requiredto place routes specically to minimize damageto public resources, harassment and disrup-tion of wildlife and its habitat, and minimizeconicts of uses. Opinion, p. 30. In this context,the court stated, simply reducing mileage of ORVroutes is not sufcient to show minimization ofthe harmful effects of route designations.

    The court reached similar conclusions withregard to the BLMs designation of routes inthe portion of the CDCA that was not evaluatedthrough the Decision Tree model. The courtreiterated that the BLM must show a rationalconnection between the facts considered andthe decisions made, and found that the BLMhad not identied any factual basis to supportits claim that the ORV route designations weremade in compliance with 43 C.F.R. 8342.1.Opinion, p. 31.

    West Mojave Decision Tree Pruned by CourtBy Nada Culver, The Wilderness Society

    Photos courtesy of BLM.

    Legal Notes

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 11

    Adequate Range o Alternatives Must In-clude Additional Closures (Opinion, pp. 37-42)

    All seven alternatives in the WEMO con-sidered ORV access on the same 5,098 miles ofroutes and, while there was variation in the mile-age open and the mileage that was limitedin some way, the BLM did not consider closingadditional routes to ORV use. The court foundthat keeping the same basic network did notcomply with NEPAs requirement to consider areasonable range of alternatives and, further,that by failing to do so, the BLM was essentiallyprivileging ORV use.

    Identiying a Clear No Action Alternative(Opinion, pp. 42-45)

    The court was sympathetic to the difcultyin identifying the baseline ORV network and tothe fact that the BLM had actually designatedroutes in the interim. However, the court foundthat the BLMs analysis was not consistent orclear with regard to whether the no actionalternative against which the environmen-tal impacts of the other alternatives would be

    compared was the 1980 route designation orwhether it would include the additional formaldesignations or the illegal routes. The courtfound that the information presented was soinconsistent as to be misleading and did notcomply with NEPAs requirement to providethe public with sufcient information. The BLMmust dene the basis for its NEPA analysis andcomparison clearly.

    Evaluating Impacts to Specifc Resources(Opinion, pp. 47-54)

    While the court did not require a route-by-route analysis of impacts, the court found

    that general discussions of types of impacts toresources were insufcient. The BLM must in-clude an analysis of the projected impacts of thespecic ORV network being proposed. Specicresources that required more detailed analy-sis were soils, cultural resources, and unusualriparian areas. Where the WEMO Plan statedthat effects were not fully determined becauseinformation needed to assess effect is incom-plete at the present time, the analysis was alsoinadequate.

    Sufciency o Mitigation MeasuresThe court found against the plaintiffs on

    their claims that mitigation measures must bemore specic to comply with NEPA, nding thatthe BLM did not have to prove that mitigationwould be successful. The court also rejectedarguments that the agency must show it wouldhave sufcient funding to complete mitigation.Opinion at p. 46.

    Commenting on BLM Travel PlansThe main points that can be supported with this case in relation to

    travel plans are: BLM must not only use the minimization criteriaset out in

    its ORV regulations (43 C.F.R. 8342.1 - which require ORV areaand route designating to minimize harm to other resources andconict among users), but must also document how it did soin its own records. Otherwise, the designations are invalid. If a

    planning process uses the decision/evaluation tree or a similarowchart that does not expressly set out the criteria from theregulation, and how that criteria is applied, the designations willnot comply with the regulations and are invalid.

    If the designations are not consistent with the governing landuse plan, then the BLM must ormally amend the plan prior tomaking the designations and cannot simply presume that the newdesignations will somehow act as an amendment.

    The BLM must consider alternatives with a range o acreage androutes closed to ORVuse. If the differences among the alterna-tives are generally only in the mileage that is open v. limited, thenthe plan does not comply with NEPA and the BLM must considernew alternatives.

    For analyzing the impacts of ORV designations, the BLM:

    must use a clearly defned baseline o a route system; and cannot rely on a general discussion of the types of impacts

    associated with ORVs. While a route-by-route impact analysisis not required, the BLM must tie impacts to the specifc routenetwork proposed and the area and resources it will affect.

    ConclusionThe NEPA elements of the case apply directly to any NEPA decision-

    making process, and are applicable to any government agency. The NEPAnding on the range of alternatives is strongest, and supports an argumentthat alternatives with a range of acres completely closed to ORVs mustbe analyzed. The resource-specic ndings can provide good guidance onhow to shape arguments in the NEPA/travel planning context.

    While this case and its interpretation of the FLPMA have direct impli-cations for travel planning on BLM lands, it can also be used as persuasivereasoning when dealing with Forest Service travel planning. The BLM ORVregulations repeat the language in the Executive Orders, therefore, theargument can and should be made that the courts rationale bears directlyon how the Forest Service regulations implementing those Executive Or-ders should be applied. If you would like more information about this newdecisions effects on Forest Service lands, please contact Sarah Peters atWildlands CPR.

    Nada Culver is Senior Counsel for The Wilderness Society, and is based inDenver, CO.

    Photo courtesy of BLM.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200912

    Program Updates, Winter 2009-10

    Restoration Program

    The top story in this quartersrestoration news is the alloca-tion of $90 million to the Forest

    Service for the Legacy Roads and TrailsRemediation Initiative for scal year2010. This effectively doubles the al-location to Legacy Roads in FY08 andFY09 combined! As we reported in thefall, our Restoration Campaign Director,Sue Gunn, led the campaign to allocateand increase this watershed restorationfunding.

    And thats not all: The Forest Ser-vice also awarded a national Rise to theFuture award to the Washington Water-

    shed Restoration Initiative (WWRI) forour work to promote public awarenessof Legacy Roads. The WWRI is a coali-tion of more than a dozen conservationand recreation organizations and stateagencies in WA, and its primary focus ispromoting the Legacy Roads programand ensuring that it is run effectively,especially in WA. Wildlands CPR is akey member of the coalition, with Sueserving as their campaign directorand running the campaign to increaseLegacy Roads funding clearly herwork is paying off.

    In addition to being recognizednationally, Sue also was invited to give apresentation to the Forest Services Pa-cic Northwest Regional sheries andwatershed staff about Legacy Roads.Her presentation was extremely well-received by the more than 40 staff inattendance, helping expand their under-standing of the opportunities to restorewatersheds, sheries habitat and waterquality using Legacy Roads funds.

    Wildlands CPR staff also went on several eld trips in WA and MT to learnabout specic Legacy Roads projects on the ground. Sue spent a day on the Olym-pic National Forest, and also attended meetings with staff from the Gifford PinchotNF, while Staff Scientist Adam Switalski attended a two-day eld trip on the Lewisand Clark NF in MT. Its exciting to start seeing the eld results of Legacy Roadsfunding up close and personal. The agency has been able to do some great proj-ects with this funding, resulting in restored habitat, cleaner water and green jobs atthe same time.

    In other Legacy Roads news, Wildlands CPR received a grant from the NationalForest Foundation to begin a new Legacy Roads eld monitoring program dur-ing the summer of 2010 in Montana and Northern Idaho. Adam Switalski will becoordinating this effort. Sue has also been working with grassroots partners in thenorthwest to begin monitoring implementation and effectiveness on three differentnational forests in WA and one in OR.

    Adam S. was also responsible for nalizing our varied summer eld research

    programs. With assistance from Greg Peters, for example, he nalized analysis onve years worth of data from our wildlife monitoring program on the ClearwaterNational Forest (ID), compiling the information into a nal report and working withresearchers at the University of Montana to further analyze data. He also compiledthe eld data from our Lolo National Forest (MT) road inventory cost-share agree-ment. Our eld researchers conducted comprehensive analysis on more than 50miles of roads this summer, documenting hydrologic problems, culvert condition,weed infestations, erosion, user-created route presence and more. Adam S. com-piled all of their data into a nal report that he presented to the Lolo staff in lateOctober. He and MT ORV Coordinator Adam Rissien continue to work with the For-est Service to discuss opportunities to continue and possibly expand this programin 2010 (see pages 18-19 for results).

    The First Three Years:Distribution of Legacy Roads Funds

    Region 2008 2009 2010 (amountsinmillions)

    R1(Northern) $4.7 $5.9 $12.0R2(RockyMountain $3.4 $4.5 $4.0R3(Southwestern) $3.0 $6.3 $7.0R4(Intermountain) $3.8 $4.8 $10.0R5(PacifcSouthwest) $6.7 $8.4 $10.0R6(PacifcNorthwest) $8.4 $9.5 $19.1R8(Southern) $4.8 $6.1 $11.6R9(Eastern) $4.1 $2.2 $10.0R10(Alaska) $0.8 $0.9 $3.0

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 13

    Transportation Program

    Decisions, decisions, decisions The Forest

    Service is completing its fourth year of travelplanning, with more and more travel man-agement decisions being released every day. SarahPeters, our Legal Liaison, continues to work withactivists around the country to help them preparenal analyses of those decisions, determine whetherappeals and/or litigation are appropriate, and followthrough.

    During the past quarter, she worked closelywith groups in ID, CA, UT, MT and OR on litigationrelated to travel planning. In OR, for example,Wildlands CPR joined several other organizationsin ling suit in early December against the Siuslaw

    National Forest for inappropriate off-road vehiclemanagement on the Oregon Dunes National Recre-ation Area. The Ashley NF in UT released its naltravel plan and Sarah took the lead in writing theappeal of that plan, in partnership with severalgrassroots groups in UT. Sarah also worked closelywith Adam Rissien on a lawsuit we led against theBeaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest for theirfailure to analyze snowmobile grooming in the WestPioneers Wilderness Study Area. The result: TheBeaverhead-Deerlodge agreed to stop all snowmobile grooming in the area as partof a legal settlement agreement with Wildlands CPR and our co-plaintiff, Friends ofthe Bitterroot. They will continue to groom some trails in the southern portion ofthe WSA this winter because of previous commitments, but all current and futuregrooming will cease after May 2010. While this doesnt stop all snowmobiles fromentering the WSA, it should dramatically reduce their presence!

    In addition to stopping snowmobile grooming in the West Pioneers, AdamRissien was very busy coordinating the technical comments on the BitterrootNational Forests Draft Environmental Impact Statement for travel planning. As partof this, Adam worked closely with our many allies, including hunters and anglers,non-motorized recreationists, and local conservationists to generate commentson the plan. He assisted with media and outreach efforts that resulted in severalguest editorials in local papers. He also worked with several mapping specialiststo pull together cutting-edge research on the impacts of route designations on bothwolverines and water-quality impaired streams. Adam R. has developed a com-prehensive approach for dealing with travel planning on both the Bitterroot andBeaverhead-Deerlodge NFs, incorporating eld work, outreach, media, mapping andpolicy approaches to secure the most protective travel plans possible.

    On the scientic side of things, our off-road vehicle best management practicesare receiving more notice. Adam S. and his ORV BMP co-author developed a posterabout the BMPs, which Adam presented at the Northern Rockies TransboundaryRegional Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) meeting in Missoula, MT, while hisco-author presented the poster at the North American SCB meeting in Flagstaff, AZ.

    Thanks to a legal settlement agreement, the West Pioneers Wilderness Study Area(Montana) will soon be spared from snowmobile trail grooming. Photo courtesy of

    Bureau of Land Management.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200914

    Western Governors a Catalyst

    for Habitat Protection?By Bethanie Walder

    State Decision Support Systems may make it easier to integrate current data intoForest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps. Map excerpt courtesy of Kootenai NationalForest.

    In early October, I attended a Western Gover-nors Wildlife Council (Council) meeting inHelena, MT where the key discussion topic

    was how to improve wildlife connectivity andlinkage zones across the western states. To besitting at a committee meeting of the WesternGovernors Association (WGA) talking aboutwildlife connectivity is not something I wouldhave predicted a decade ago, but western

    states are now trying to anticipate develop-ment impacts by identifying areas of particularimportance to sh and wildlife. Such forward-thinking, integrated planning is very encourag-ing, although it is a lot like assembling a coher-ent picture using pieces from several differentjigsaw puzzles.

    The Council is a committee formed by WGAto implement a 2007 resolution. Its primarytasks are to identify key wildlife corridors andcrucial wildlife habitats in the West, and con-serve these landsand the vast wildlife speciesthat depend upon themfor future genera-

    tions. The resolution discusses the importanceof wildlife and wildlands, and emerging threatsfacing these public resources, with an emphasison energy development. Its goal is well-summa-rized in policy statement B5:

    The Western Governors believe that theWestern States, working in partnership withthe federal land management agencies, De-partment of Defense, Western and NationalAssociation of Fish and Wildlife Agencies,the energy industry, and conservationgroups, should identify key wildlife migra-tion corridors and crucial wildlife habitatsin the West and make recommendations on

    needed policy options and tools for preserv-ing those landscapes.

    As a result, the resolution has the potentialto signicantly impact transportation infrastruc-ture, along with residential growth (especially inthe wildlife-urban interface) and oil/gas/renew-able energy exploration and development.

    The Council has been meeting for almost two years, and some statesare adopting new tools to integrate historically disjointed sets of data.One example was highlighted at the Helena meeting, where the Councilreviewed the state of Montanas decision support system (DSS), whichmaps the states crucial habitat and wildlife corridors. The Council alsodiscussed potential guidelines that all states might follow when adoptingsuch decision support tools (perhaps by identifying some common param-eters that every state would use), so that states could compare informa-tion across state lines.

    A DSS is not a regulatory tool, but an analysis tool that can be usedduring the pre-planning or planning stage for a project that may affecthabitat and linkages. As a result of the resolution, all western states aresupposed to develop a DSS, and the Council expects them to be useful inlocating energy development, transportation infrastructure, and other landuses (e.g. residential or ex-urban development). DSS tools, if effective andif applied, could revolutionize how development takes place, as developerscould, theoretically, avoid developments in areas that have been identiedas priorities for protection, thereby speeding up development processeswhile also protecting important wildlife habitats.

    Some western states previously developed DSS-type tools for otherwildlife/environmental issues, while other states havent and are now

    developing them as a way to implement the 2007 resolution. So far, it ap-pears that most states are using their State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) asa primary foundation for building a DSS. In 2000, Congress amended thePittman-Robertson Restoration Act of 1937 to require that all states adopta SWAP (also known as a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy)to address not just game species, but all wildlife needs in the state. By2005, all states had completed their SWAPs, though the information andquality of these plans varies greatly from state to state.

    DePaving the Way

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 15

    State Wildlife Action Plans (below) andForest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps(top) may soon be constructed usingcommon data inputs. Graphics courtesy ofUS Forest Service and State of California.

    It does seem that some DSS tools couldend up acting as visual interpretations ofthe SWAPs by displaying mapping layers that outline wildlife priorities, critical habitat,linkage zones, etc. And because the states have jurisdiction over wildlife management(even on federal lands) the SWAPs, and those DSS tools derived from SWAPs, can beincredibly useful for assessing and inuencing federal land management. Indeed, whenMontana Fish, Wildlife and Parks presented their draft DSS at the October meeting(and similar maps from a few other states were displayed), it became clear that a lot ofimportant habitat is on federal lands.

    While activists working on land conservation easements may be paying some at-tention to SWAPs, the same may not be true for those of us working on off-road vehiclesand low-volume road issues. Instead, many conservationists and recreationists havefocused on Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps. The Forest Service began issu-ing such maps in 2005, the same time most states nalized their SWAPs, although itis highly unlikely that SWAP data was incorporated into any Motor Vehicle Use Maps.Now, as states complete their DSS tools, it should be signicantly easier to incorporatethe SWAP data into Vehicle Use Maps, especially since the Forests are supposed toupdate their maps annually. The benets could be substantial, for example, how doesvehicle use overlay with important aquatic and terrestrial habitat identied on DSSmaps? Overlaying these different maps could help forest planners more easily identifyand thus avoid important habitat.

    In addition, according to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Dept. ofInterior, Dept. of Agriculture, and the WGA, the agency should be considering such state

    wildlife information as part of their planning. Unfortunately, a lot of travel plans are inthe nal stages of completion, while some states have not yet even begun to develop aDSS. It is unclear how many forests have considered this data and how many havent.

    On the larger transportation planning side, the Forest Service is under signicantpressure from Congress to identify a scally and ecologically sustainable minimum roadsystem. It would be much easier to do this if they areincorporating data from the SWAPs and DSSs (once avail-able) in each state.

    The planning and management decisions of federalland managers and state wildlife managers often seemdisconnected. Similar disconnects occur between land/wildlife managers and developers. If, however, federal

    and state managers can share information more effec-tively, we/they may be able to truly protect and restoreaquatic and terrestrial core habitat and linkage zonesfrom the impacts of roads. Though we still have a longway to go before the ideas and demonstration toolsdiscussed at the Council meeting start inuencing devel-opment on the ground, the WGA and the Council havemade extraordinary progress in mainstreaming wildlifelinkage and crucial habitat as an important part of theplanning process. In other words, the jigsaw puzzle isbeginning to look like the pretty picture on the box.


    Initial Implementation of U.S. State Wildlife Action Plans;Impacts, Challenges and Enabling Mechanisms;Findings from a Distributed Graduate Seminar;

    Western Governors Association Policy Resolution 07-01; 2-27-07; Washington, D.C.; Protecting WildlifeMigration Corridors and Crucial Wildlife Habitat inthe West.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200916

    Fair chase huntinghunting for food or to manage game populations withcertain ethical standardsis very acceptable to most Americans. Fairchase is fundamental to ethical hunting because it addresses a balance

    between hunters and the prey we pursue, but today this fair chase ethic is underassault, on many fronts.

    Although Native Americans had a hunting credo in which fairness was a majorconsideration, the origin of the term fair chase is generally credited to TheodoreRoosevelt and the founders of the Boone and Crockett Club (in 1887). The Booneand Crockett Club encouraged sportsmanlike methods of hunting, which by 1893had developed into a Credo of Fair Chase. Any trophy submitted to the Booneand Crockett Clubs record book after 1963 had to be accompanied by an afdavitthat the trophy was taken in Fair Chase.1

    Consequently, the phrase fair chase has a very specic meaning in thehunting world. The Boone and Crockett Club denes it as the ethical, sportsman-like, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North Americanbig-game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantageover such animals. This means fair-chase hunters pursue their quarry on foot;hone their skills so they make quick, clean kills; and obey not just the law, but localcustoms as well.

    We all know that hunting is becoming tougher on the common guy (and gal),for many reasonsexpanding urbanization, shrinking access to hunting grounds,degradation of public lands wildlife habitat, etc. In addition, some outdoor writersand many hunting television shows arent doing us any favors by promoting lazy,rich mans hunts. It only gives fuel to the anti-hunting crowd who see it on TV andthink thats how hunting iseasy, comfortable, expensive, and only about trophies.

    The primary thing is, were getting folks looking for immediate gratication,says Mark Johnson, executive director of the 19,000-member Minnesota Deer Hunt-ers Association (MDHA). They think a deer hunt should be like they see on TV inGeorgia, over a bait pile. Theyre not focusing on what the hunt is about. Its thechase and the outdoor experience.2

    For the majority of hunters, though, it is (and hopefully always will be) aboutthe chase and outdoors experience, and we are routinely out there on public landshunting on our own two feet, happily busting our butts in pursuit of free-rangingwild game. Its a challenging and always rewarding fair chase whether or not youbag that elusive big buck or elk, but technology is rapidly changing this fair chaseequation, for the worse.

    1 Laura Andrews (ed.). Biological and Social Issues Related to Connement of Wild Ungulates. TheWildlife Society-Technical Review 02-3: November 2002

    2 Sam Cook. Deer baiting swamps Minnesota DNR. Duluth News Tribune: 11/14/08

    ATVs & Fair ChaseBeing a northern Minnesota na-

    tive and life member of MDHA, I knowthat they support the use of ATVs asa tool that can enhance the individualhunters ability to access deer huntingareas and ease the transport of people

    and goods to those areas. MDHA alsobelieves that all ATV use for huntingmust be done in a way that supportsthe concept of fair chase. This con-cept states that if we are to pursue ani-mals fairly, the ethical choice is clear,we must pursue them on foot.3

    Having lived in Colorado for overa decade now, I also serve as chairmanof the Colorado Backcountry Huntersand Anglers (BHA), and we understand(like most sportsmen and women) thathealthy wildlife habitat, rivers andstreams are the foundation supportingthe American pastimes of hunting andshing. We believe there is a place foroff-highway vehicle routes on publiclands, but that greater controls andbetter enforcement are necessary in theface of growing human population andever-more-powerful machines.

    In order to protect and perpetuatethe hunting and shing traditions wetreasure, we want to protect large areasof public land completely separate fromthe noise, disturbance, and pollutionthat comes with off-highway vehicles.Extensive research over decades hasestablished beyond dispute that ATVsimpact a wide variety of wildlife anddisplace game animals. In addition, theuse of motor vehicles shatters the quietsense of solitude that traditional sports-men and women seek.

    3 Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA).MDHA ATV Position Statement. Whitetales:

    Fall 2006, p.21

    Fair Chase (& ATVs)By David A. Lien

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 17

    The irony is that ATV users spoilhunting opportunity for themselves aswell as for any quiet user within a mileor more of their noise, and we all hearthe often-used excuses: ATVs allow theold and physically limited to hunt oraccess our public lands. Were all forresponsible access, but there are 14.5million acres of Forest Service land inColorado, and most are open for mixeduse, including off-road vehicle recre-ation and energy exploration.

    As a result, today only 8 percent ofthe national forest acreage in Coloradolies beyond one mile of a road (only 4percent for BLM lands), and there areenough Forest Service roads in thestate to go from the Kansas border toUtah and back, 17 times.4 Besides, anygame warden will tell you that 9 outof 10 folks on ATVs are young men intheir 30s, healthy and fully capable ofwalking. They make a conscious choice

    to use ATVscutting corners and doingthings the easy way.

    Studies show that on most publiclands approximately 90 percent of usersare non-motorized. Meanwhile sup-ply or opportunity, in terms of landsavailable, in Minnesota for example, isclose to three times greater for motor-ized than for non-motorized.5 Regulat-ing ATV use on public land has alsobecome a dominant issue for most statewildlife agencies. As ATV registrationshave increased, theres unrelenting

    conict between four-wheeler fans andtraditional hunters, hikers, canoeists,and others who prefer quiet in thewoods.

    Sadly, every time people hunt fromtheir ATVs and use high tech goodiesthat violate fair chase, they give animalrights activists and the non-huntingpublic even more ammo to furtherrestrict hunting. It denitely seemsas if a battle for the soul of hunting inAmerica is now taking place, says BHAmember David Cronenwett, and the

    conict does appear to revolve, in manyways, around technology, particularlymotorized technology.6

    4 Alan Kesselheim. Lewis & Clarks Wild, WildWest. Backpacker: February 2003, p.38

    5 Minnesota state recreation use study: 2000.

    6 David Cronenwett. Re: Article reprint permis-sion. 4/11/08

    The Soul of Hunting

    The term heritage tells us hunting is more than simply a particular form ofoutdoor recreation. You dont hear people, even the most avid participants, talk-ing about our skiing heritage, boating heritage, bird watching heritage, ATV ridingheritage, or any other heritage related to outdoor recreation. In truth and in fact,the reason hunting heritage is separated from all other outdoor endeavors is thathunting requires and imposes ethical standards on its participants, but the increas-ing use of ATVs in hunting is making a mockery of such ethics.

    As told by MDHA executive director Mark Johnson, his Uncle Harvey recruiteda youngster from church to accompany him on opening weekend at the deershack. The youngster got a doe and dragged it about a quarter mile out of thewoods alone. Did I mention, Mark explains, that the youngster was Herb. He is75 years old.7 American Hunter magazine contributor Sven Wigert adds, If youare unable to gure out how to get an elk [or deer] out of the woods without put-

    ting it on a vehicle, then you have no business hunting for one.8

    According to St. Paul Pioneer Press outdoors columnist Chris Niskanen, Thefact is, many Minnesotans are fed up with the drone of machines in our woodsIt seems a certain part of the population appears content to sit on their butts andwatch the outdoors speed by themWhere lies the next challenge? Buying abigger gas tank so they can ride farther? The greatest threat to hunting isntthe animal-rights community, but hunters themselves who embrace comfort andconvenience over a good pair of hiking boots.9

    While I certainly sympathize with aging hunters who arent as spry as theyonce were, and those who are experiencing various health-related problems whichmight cause them to gravitate towards the use of ATVs for hunting, is that a goodenough reason to warrant the collective damage youre inicting on the resource?

    When the day inevitably arrives that I can no longer hunt on foot, Ill hang up myrie. I will gladly sit on the sidelines and watch others experience the hunt as I didrather than selshly contribute to ruining it for them and future generations.

    7 Mark Johnson. The Outlook. Whitetales: Winter 2006, p.3

    8 Sven Wigert. Travel Management Plans. American Hunter: September 2009, p.8

    9 Chris Niskanen. Lets Abolish Hunting Birds From Vehicles. St. Paul Pioneer Press: 2/8/98, p.15C

    David Lien is a life member of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA), a regularcontributor to Whitetales magazine, and co-chair of the Colorado Backcountry Hunters and

    Anglers (CO BHA):

    The author in the eld.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200918

    This past summer Wildlands CPRpartnered with the Lolo NationalForest (LNF) to assess the condi-

    tion of old roads, evaluate past roadremoval work, and document instancesof illegal off-road vehicle use. Ourexpert eld crew carefully evaluated 53miles of abandoned roads while taking

    over 450 photos and recording 310 GPSlocations of noteworthy observations.

    We focused on three areas in west-ern Montana, with the rst just westof Missoula around Rennic and StarkMountains. We then went to the ClearCreek area in the Plains/Thompson FallsRanger District, and to a separate proj-ect area near an antimony mine site.

    By carefully walking each road us-ing GPS devices, as well as traditionaldata collection methods such as string

    boxes and clinometers, our eld crewprovided the LNF with extensive anddetailed assessments. They recordedthe presence and condition of culverts,

    llslope failures, and roadbed erosion and gullying. They documented instances ofweed infestations and wildlife sign. They documented illegal, user-created off-road

    vehicle routes. And they also corrected old Forest Service maps that still showedroads that were no longer on the ground; in some cases they documented old jam-mer roads that were not on the maps.

    Wildlands CPR Staff Scientist Adam Switalski managed theeffort, and worked with Lolo National Forest Engineer RandallGage to coordinate data collection and ensure accurate eldtechniques. Montana ORV Coordinator Adam Rissien helpedarrange the partnership through a Cost Share Agreement, withWildlands CPR funding 20 percent of the total project and theForest Service paying the rest.

    After the eld season, Adam and Adam presented a summa-ry of the data and key ndings to LNF resource specialists and

    program managers. The Forest Service spent signicant time re-viewing the data for each road in order to set restoration priori-ties and determine what is needed to x resource damage. Ourwork also highlighted challenges the agency faces in addressingroad problems. For example, we found several problem culvertson old roads that are now heavily revegetated and provide coverfor wildlife. Properly removing the culverts would require heavyequipment, which necessitates the use of the revegetated roadsfor access. So the conundrum the agency faces is whether or not

    Wildlands CPR Partners with Lolo National

    Forest to Assess Road HazardsBy Adam Rissien and Adam Switalski

    Road Removal near Nine Mile Cr. Lolo NF Photo by Adam Switalski2009

    Field Technician Adam Bender recording data, Photo by HeatherVaughn-McAdams

    Field Notes

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  • 8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4


    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200920

    Winters a little late this year, so were all getting as much work done as

    possible in anticipation of the inevitable (at least we hope) snow. Butorganizationally, we have a lot to give thanks for as we enter the holi-day season read on:

    Thanks and FarewellWed like to extend a huge thank you to outgoing board members Amy Atwood

    and William Geer. Both have served six years on the Wildlands CPR board andhave bumped up against our term limits. We rst started working with Amy whenshe represented us on Big Cypress National Preserve off-road vehicle issues (whileshe worked at the law rm Meyer and Glitzenstein in Washington DC). Though weprevailed in that initial case (with many thanks to Amys excellent legal work), weare still involved in other legal proceedings against Big Cypress over motorized rec-

    reation. Amy is now in Portland, OR, wrapped up in climate change issues for theCenter for Biological Diversity. Amys insightful ideas not only helped us expandand develop our legal strategy, but all of our strategies at Wildlands CPR.

    William Geer joined our board at the same time as Amy, and has also gonethrough several career changes since then, though his passion has always beenhunting advocacy. He spent years working for state land management agencies, andwe rst began working with him while he was at the Outdoor Writers Association ofAmerica. His experience brought us much-appreciated insight for engaging differ-ent public land managers. William now works with the Teddy Roosevelt Conserva-tion Project, promoting roadless protection from a hunting perspective; his workthere has provided us some excellent outreach and grassroots organizing models.We look forward to continuing to work with William on roadless and motorizedrecreation issues, even though he wont be on our board anymore.

    Well miss both Amy and William, and they both leave big holes to ll for newboard members. Well be announcing our new board members after the new year,in the next issue of The RIPorter.

    Change of VenueOur Legal Liaison, Sarah Peters, ismoving to Eugene, OR, where she willcontinue to work for Wildlands CPR.Though she wont be in our Missoulaofce anymore, shell still be workingwith ORV activists around the countryto help them secure the most protectivetravel plans possible.

    Thank YouThanks to everyone who bought a

    rafe ticket for our collectors editionbook rafe this year. Sherry Munther ofMissoula won the collection!

    In addition to the rafe, weve beenin the midst of our annual gifts cam-paign, and wed like to thank every-one who has already donated to thatcampaign. I you havent yet, donthesitate, send in a year-end donationnow!

    And nally, a huge thank you to thefollowing for their generous support

    of our work: 444S Foundation, FiredollFoundation, Lazar Foundation, MakiFoundation, National Forest Founda-tion, New-Land Foundation, and PageFoundation.

    Wildlands CPRle photo.

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    The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 21

    Support Wildlands CPR Today!Weve made supporting Wildlands CPR easier and more effective than ever before.

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    Today, some parts of the United

    States contain more motorizedvehicles than people.

    from: Wilshire, Nielson and Hazlett;

    The American West at Risk; 2008.

    Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Photo by Dan Funsch.