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Forest Service unfair to four-wheel drive group     

Letter to editor, Herald and News by Larry East Jr., Klamath Falls, 8/27/09

For the past three years, the Klamath Fourrunners 4WD Club and other groups have been meeting with the Forest Service travel management group in an effort to help plan motorized recreation in the Fremont-Winema Forests.

   During this time we have had numerous meetings and have submitted at least 30 or more trails we use on a regular basis.

   Each time the Forest Service representatives stated they would take our recommendations seriously and appreciated the input.

   Recently, Phase 1 of the plan was released and not one trail submitted was included. In fact, the Forest Service admittedly has lost the documentation. Officials claim to have misplaced it.

   They stated in the Herald and News to have alleviated many of the concerns of the public. Believe me, they are the only ones who believe this.  

   Property access and firewood cutting are not considered recreation and an 80-acre parcel for less than 50-inch vehicles does not include Class II four-wheel drive vehicles.

   There are no provisions for disabled hunters to retrieve game and no former trails that were mapped and submitted to the Forest Service.

   In other words, the forest is closed unless you have a wood permit in a specified area or are a property owner and have a right-of-way. That looks a lot more closed than open to the rest of us.

   Claiming the roads now marked closed were already closed is false. The open forest policy did not allow for any road closure. Making this claim is another falsehood in a long line of deceit by this group. The so-called public input was smoke and mirrors. These decisions were made long ago.

   We feel the next step is to send letters to our senators and representatives who represent us in Washington, D.C.


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