Snowmobile Alliance of Western States Cutting through deceptions & misperceptions to protect YOUR RIGHT to ride!

16Aug/08Off

ALERT: Proposal by the extreme green groups to close Tumalo Mountain

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SAWS Action Alert

 Proposal by the extreme green groups to close 100% of Tumalo Mountain near Bend, Oregon
(Update to previous SAWS Alert - DUTCHMAN SNO-PARK SLATED TO BE CONVERTED TO NON-MOTORIZED)

Proposed Comment Deadline: August 31, 2008

This is a follow up to the SAWS Alert that was sent to Oregon members on July 23rd regarding Dutchman Sno-Park, which was subsequently forwarded to our SAWS members in Washington and Idaho.  The Forest Service will be delaying the release of the Kapka Butte Sno-park Environmental Assessment (EA) until the Spring or Summer of 2009.  Dutchman Sno-Park will remain open to motorized use at this time.  Thank you to everyone that sent emails and letters.

The threat of more winter motorized closures, whether just the closure of Dutchman Sno-Park, or all of Tumalo Mountain, is far from over.  As was mentioned in the earlier Alert, “The environmental people (Wild Wilderness and the Sierra Club just to name two) are working very hard to close down this entire forest to motorized vehicles.”  Winter Wildland Alliance sent out an alert a few months ago requesting that letters be sent the Deschutes National Forest Supervisor to request that all of Tumalo Mountain become non-motorized once the Kapka Sno-park is completed. That is what prompted the Comment Deadline of August 15.  There was not an official Forest Service comment period.  There still isn’t at this time.  

Link to our previous SAWS Alert on this issue:
http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org/Action_Alerts/08/SAWS_Action_Alert_-_Dutchman_Sno-Park_Proposed_Conversion_to_Non-motorized.htm

Legally, the Forest Service should not be able to close the rest of Tumalo, without an official public comment period and an Environment Assessment or most likely an Environmental Impact Statement, but SAWS did not see any reason for us to wait for an official comment period to notify our members of this important issue, when snowmobile access to all of Tumalo Mountain is being threatened. SAWS will issue another alert if/when an official comment period is made available by the Forest Service for Tumalo Mountain.

In the past, these anti-motorized groups have been able to convince the Forest Service to close about 1/3 to 1/2 of Tumalo to snowmobiles.  Now they want the whole mountain to themselves (Refer to the map links below).

The link below opens a map depicting areas currently closed to snowmobiling (shown in light brown):
http://www.fs.fed.us./r6/centraloregon/local-resources/images/recreation/wintermaps/dutchman-2004-color.pdf

Winter Wildlands Alliance proposes that the entire mountain would be closed:
http://www.winterwildlands.org/grassroots/tumalo_map.pdf

Moon Country snomobilers have established a committee solely for the purpose of staying on top of legal issues involving all motorized areas around Mount Bachelor. The chairman for this committee will be looking for people who would be willing to help out with day to day issues and be a part of this information exchange team.  Club and non-club members are welcome.  Please contact Dave Lynn (Dutchman@4Bend.com) if you are interested in being involved.

SAWS reps and local Bend, Oregon area SAWS members will be keeping a close eye on how this plays out, and SAWS will provide additional information as needed, or when a new public comment period is made available by the Forest Service.

It is still essential for all recreational enthusiasts to continue submitting comments to the Forest Service, local, county and state/federal officials, and the tourist industry, supporting the continued "Multi-Use" scenario of this area.  The "Anti-Access" groups will be doing the same so there MUST be an onslaught of support to counter any of their claims for no access.

John P Allen
Forest Supervisor
Deschutes National Forest
1001 SW Emkay Drive
Bend, OR 97702
Email – jpallen@fs.fed.us

Marv Lang
Recreation Forester
US Forest Service
1230 NE 3rd Suite A-262
Bend, OR 97701
Email - melang@fs.fed.us

Senator Wyden's Office
Website - http://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact 

Senator Gordon Smith
Website - http://www.gordonsmith.com 

Congressman Greg Walden
Website - http://walden.house.gov/ 

Representative Chuck Burley District 54 - Deschutes Forest Province Advisory Committee Member
Website - http://www.leg.state.or.us/burley/

Letters sent via this web site go to all the legislators and the house of reps.  It uses your address and zip code to determine who to send your letters to.
Website - http://www.leg.state.or.us/writelegsltr/

REMEMBER WHEN YOU VOTE THIS NOVEMBER........TO CAST YOUR BALLOT FOR PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT OPEN ACCESS TO THE FOREST FOR EVERYONE.   

Susie Rainsberry & Todd White
Idaho State SAWS Reps
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States 

Copyright © 2008 Snowmobile Alliance of Western States. All Rights Reserved.

Permission is granted to distribute this information in whole or in part, as long as Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS) is acknowledged as the source. 

If you are not yet a member of SAWS and you would like receive these alerts, please sign up on our web site at: http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org. SAWS is FREE to join!



Below is the recent alert from the Winter Wildlands Alliance. Do NOT sign their petition!

http://www.winterwildlands.org/grassroots/tumalopetition.php

Show Your Support for the Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone--Sign the Petition Below!

We, the undersigned, support the Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone proposal dated 5-8-08. Recognizing that backcountry skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are adversely affected by snowmobile operation, we consider it essential that the U.S.F.S. provide mitigating action for any increase in snowmobile parking capacity in the Century Drive corridor. The building of the Kapka Butte Snopark cannot be supported without land management plans that will address the past, current, and anticipated problems associated with snowmobile recreation. Additionally, we ask the Deschutes National Forest to recognize, and provide for, accessible opportunities for those that seek the naturalness, solitude, challenge and inspiration that is an integral part of the unaltered and non-motorized landscape. The Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone allows for an increase in snowmobile parking capacity and recreation opportunities, while also providing a much needed improvement in the recreation opportunities for backcountry skiers, snowboarders, and snowshoers. We the undersigned also ask to be notified of the Kapka Butte Snopark EA release, so that we can offer formal comment.

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