Forest Service can’t hide its road closure plans
The Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision may be under fire, it could also be said, “plan under water.” Fire or water, the so-called proposal needs to be aborted. Baker County Commission Chair Fred Warner, referred to the 1,300-page document as a “tomb of paper.” Countless people will concur.
Is it a misconception that the forest plan closes roads and trails? “Desired Conditions” is the core component in the plan. The forest plan is not a simple four-volume document. It may not say “road closures,” but the desired conditions can only be met by closures. The USFS know that… but they continue to sing their song of denial.
Eleven county governments in Eastern Oregon, supported by numerous city governments, organizations, and countless individuals have voiced strong opposition to the forest plan. Glancing at an Oregon map, 11 counties make up a solid quarter of the state. The word “substantive” aptly applies to the amount of opposition.
Rhetoric coming from the Forest Service in regards to the BMFPR, is reminiscent of the Travel Management, debate of two years ago. Same attack against public resources under a new term.
Two days after the BMFRP comments deadline, TMP launched the “existing condition road maps.” Once again we are being told, “This request is not about whether a road or motorized trail should be open or closed.” This is simply the USFS playing more of their bait-and-switch wordgames. I don’t believe it. How can anyone that has been engaged with this process during the past 15 years believe this? The USFS seems to think that the more they repeat this rhetoric, they can make us believe it. Where is this all going? I see designated routes and trails and entire seasonal closures where we once had free access. I feel much like a white mouse in a laboratory being picked up by the tail and dropped in a maze.
Fined for taking a picture?
Last week, It was discovered that a temporary rule requiring a permit to take pictures in National Wilderness Areas for commercial uses had expired the the USFS is pursuing a new administrative rule that would be permanent. Media and various Congressional Senators and Representatives are being very vocal about the rule. It is widely debated that the vague wording could allow the USFS to require permits for ALL photo and video usage in Wilderness Areas.
The proposed rule and be viewed: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-21093
omment period ends November 11th, 2014