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OHV Use in Okanogan National Forest

April 05, 2014 10:33 AM | Paul Yelk
E-mail from Region 6, USFS in Portland concerning opening roads in the Okanogan NF (they are incorrectly referring to SB1632; it should be HB1632):

I think this clears up the fact that the Okanogan-Wenatchee NFs have not opened their roads to OHV use under HB1632.

Paul Yelk

-------- Original Message --------
From: Fitzpatrick, Jen -FS
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 7:22 AM
To: Balboni, Mike -FS; Hanson, Maureen R -FS
Cc: Roundy, Jeffrey V -FS; WAH, MARCUS - OGC; Way, Frederick L -FS; Tippie, Mike -FS; Collins, Rick -FS; Heath, Becki L -FS; Hyzer, Maureen -FS; Harrison, Rebecca - OGC; Lavendel, Claire -FS; Newman, Craig -FS; West, Laura Jo -FS; Eberlien, Jennifer -FS; Fitzpatrick, Jen -FS; Kuennen, Steve -FS; Clayton, Janine -FS; Smelser, Garth -FS; Martin, Kevin D -FS; Laford, Reta -FS Linares, Jose -FS; Darden, Christy A -FS; Pilip-Florea, Shoshona M -FS; Levy, Sarah A -FS

Subject: SB 1632 & ATV Use on Okanogan Wenatchee

I would like to thank everyone for their participation and discussion around this issue this week. After dialogue amongst LEI, OGC, RO Engineering, RO Recreation, and the Forest to understand intent and gain clarity on the nuances of Washington State’s new ATV law (SB 1632) and agency policy & direction, we provide the following summary and guidance from the RO/OGC/LEI to the Forest.

Issue: The Okanogan-Wenatchee’s proposed stance states that SB 1632 applies to roads on their forest since they do not have an MVUM, and that properly equipped ATVs as per SB 1632 can operate on their roads unless this use is restricted with an order.

This interpretation:
x Is incorrect because SB 1632 does not apply to non-highway roads, which as defined by the State, include NFS roads.
x Creates inconsistencies and complexities for the region and other
Washington Forests in trying to explain to the public how/why SB 1632 could apply to the Okanogan-Wenatchee, but not on other WA state Forests
x Would require motorized mixed use analyses on all roads that allowed ATVs because ATVs are not highway legal vehicles as defined by the agency

Option 1 – Until Okanogan-Wenatchee MVUM is published, the Forest makes no change from current management of motor vehicle use on Forest roads. Steps the Forest needs to take are:
x Create and communicate talking points indicating that SB1632 did not affect current management of motor vehicle use on Forest roads including ATV use – it is business as usual.

Option 2 – Until their MVUM is published, the Forest provides the public with something (list or map) that indicates where these ATVs as newly defined in SB 1632 will be allowed on Forest roads. Steps the Forest needs to take are:

x Develop list or map delineating these authorized roads including any requirements (eg – "WA state properly licensed and equipped ATV’s as per SB 1632 are authorized to operate on all open, unpaved roads on the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest")

x Complete motorized mixed use analyses for those roads where motorized mixed use would now be occurring. ATVs are not highway legal vehicles as defined by the agency.
 
If you have follow-up questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Jen Fitzpatrick
Assistant Director, R6 Recreation, Lands, & Minerals
(503) 808-2438 Office
(503) 807-8800 Cell
(503) 808-2429 Fax
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