The Ochoco National Forest provides habitat for many species, including elk and redband trout. It also provides for recreational activities like hunting, fishing, photographing, hiking and many more outdoor activities that visitors and residents enjoy in this beautiful area.
The Forest Service has proposed to build more than one hundred miles of motorized trails, covering approximately 165,000 acres in the Ochoco National Forest at a cost of $1.2 million. These trails would be open for use by motorized vehicles including ATVs, jeeps, small trucks and buggies, and motorcycles.
OHVs cause noise disturbance and erosion, spread invasive species, damage riparian areas, and cause other negative impacts to wildlife habitats. There is already damaging illegal OHV use in this area, with little enforcement.
Central Oregon LandWatch and other groups have opposed this horrendous project since 2013 because of how it will impact elk, deer and redband trout. If implemented, it will have long-term impacts on fish and wildlife for decades to come.
Submit your version of the sample letter from Oregon Wild below to by April 6th, 2016: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Forest Supervisor Forson,
I am writing with serious concerns regarding the Ochoco Summit Trails System. This project would turn parts of the proposed Ochoco Mountains National Recreation Area into a playground for OHV enthusiasts.
The roads and noise pollution that accompany OHV use are detrimental to wildlife. This proposal crosses through several important tributaries of the North Fork of the Crooked River and would cause soil compaction and stream degradation that are harmful to native fish and riparian areas. It is critical that we protect and conserve the most important places in the forest, and an OHV trail system in the Ochoco Mountains would be counterproductive.
As you move forward with this project, I strongly encourage you to select the No Action alternative or develop an alternative that limits OHV's to existing open roads within the proposed Ochoco Mountain National Recreation Area.
The Ochoco Mountains serve as a wildlife corridor from the Blue Mountains to the Cascades. It is a natural treasure that deserves permanent protection, not OHV use and the associated harmful ecological impacts.