8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
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.
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
DePaving the Way: by Bethanie Walder.Pages 14-15
Odes to Roads: Fair Chase (and ATVs),by David A. Lien. Pages
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
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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
Development DirectorTom Petersen
Science CoordinatorAdam Switalski
Legal LiaisonSarah Peters
Montana State ORVCoordinator
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
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
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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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
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
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
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
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 Forest Services action will improve water quality in
the Tellico River, which ows from North Carolina to
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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
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
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
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: www.wildlandscpr.org/ORV-BMPs.
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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.
St Johnswort. Photo by JenniferAnderson, USDA-NRCS PLANTS
Leafy spurge. Photo
courtesy of U.S. ForestService.
Several noxious weeds found in theintermountain forest
Non-native Invasive SpeciesIn addition to trampling effects,
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
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
there are more routes than are necessary orwanted. This may be
due to illegal route cre-ation, route redundancy, or the
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
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,
Brown, A.C., and A. McLachlan.2002. Sandy shore ecosystemsand
threats facing them: some
predictions for the year 2025. Environmental Conservation.29(1):
CEQ (Council on EnvironmentalQuality). 1979. Off-RoadVehicles on
Public Land. Councilon Environmental Quality,Washington, DC. PrEX
Cole, D.N., and N.P. Bayeld. 1993.Recreational trampling
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
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
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.
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,
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
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
To view the full report, please visit:
Managing the Miles:A Review of Forest ServiceRoad Policies and
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
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
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The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200910
BackgroundIn September, a federal judge rejected a Bureau of
(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)
permitted development of hundreds of illegal routes despite
amanagement plan limiting designations to routes in existence
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
Minimization Criteria and the DecisionTree (Opinion, pp.
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
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
Photos courtesy of BLM.
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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
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
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
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
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
Nada Culver is Senior Counsel for The Wilderness Society, and is
based inDenver, CO.
Photo courtesy of BLM.
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 200912
Program Updates, Winter 2009-10
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
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
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.
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
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
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,
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
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
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
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
Some western states previously developed DSS-type tools for
otherwildlife/environmental issues, while other states havent and
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
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
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
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
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
Western Governors Association Policy Resolution 07-01; 2-27-07;
Washington, D.C.; Protecting WildlifeMigration Corridors and
Crucial Wildlife Habitat inthe West.
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
conict does appear to revolve, in manyways, around technology,
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.
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
ting it on a vehicle, then you have no business hunting for
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): www.coloradobackcountryhunters.org
The author in the eld.
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
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
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
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
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
Wildlands CPR Partners with Lolo National
Forest to Assess Road HazardsBy Adam Rissien and Adam
Road Removal near Nine Mile Cr. Lolo NF Photo by Adam
Field Technician Adam Bender recording data, Photo by
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
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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
And nally, a huge thank you to thefollowing for their generous
of our work: 444S Foundation, FiredollFoundation, Lazar
Foundation, MakiFoundation, National Forest Founda-tion, New-Land
Foundation, and PageFoundation.
Wildlands CPRle photo.
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
The Road-RIPorter, Winter Solstice 2009 21
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Consider the advantages of our Monthly Giving Program Reducing
Monthly giving puts your contributiondirectly into action and
administrative costs. The savings go torestoring wildlands and
building a more
Making Your Gift Easier
Say goodbye to renewal letters! Yourcredit card or bank
statement will con-
tain a record of each gift; we will alsosend a year-end tax
receipt for your
Our Promise To You
You maintain complete control overyour donation. To change or
your gift at any time, just write or giveus a call.
Organization/Business Name (if applicable)
Type of Membership: OrganizationIndividual/Family Business
Thank you for your support!
Payment Option #2:
Credit Card Pledge
$10/Month (minimum) $20/Month other
Charge my: ___ Visa ___ MasterCard ___ American Express
Credit Card Number: _________________________________
CSC Number: ________________ *(see below)
Expiration date: _____________________________
* The Card Security Code (CSC) is usually a 3 - or 4 - digit
number, which isnot part of the credit card number. The CSC is
typically printed on the back ofa credit card (usually in the
Please send this form and your payment option to:
Wildlands CPR P.O. Box 7516 Missoula, Montana 59807
Payment Option #1:
Electronic Funds Transfer
from Checking Account
I/we authorize Wildlands CPR to deduct the amount indicated
from my checking account once per month.
$5/Month $10/Month $20/Month other
Please include a voided check. All information will be kept
tial. Transfers will be processed on the rst Friday of each
month, orthe following business day should that Friday be a bank
NOTE: If you would prefer to make an annual donation,
please visit our website (www.wildlandscpr.org) or send your
check to the address below.
8/14/2019 RIPorter 14.4
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.