WHEREAS National Forests created in America are a treasured resource, the value of which is inestimable to the people of Western Colorado; and
WHEREAS a wide variety of opportunities for public use including skiing, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, logging, grazing, off-road vehicle adventures, and other uses are provided on these Forests; and
WHEREAS such uses have dramatically increased in recent years, especially uses with off-road vehicles, presenting new problems and opportunities in the management of our National Forests; and
WHEREAS the United States Forest Service (USFS) periodically proposes changes to the Travel Management Plans for National Forest System lands under their management, which are designed to avoid a disproportionate adverse impact by motorized use, while still guaranteeing opportunities for such users by maintaining off-road trails, and such plans would not result in closing any historically-important roads; and
WHEREAS such proposals have met with strongly-divided public reactions, primarily regarding the closure of existing roads, though there is general support for restrictions which require users to remain on designated routes,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports restricting off-road vehicles to designated routes on National Forests, provided:
- Existing roads which have been used historically must remain open. Earlier maps are the best source for information on which roads have been acknowledged and approved by the USFS and historically used by the public; and
- Seasonal road and trail closures, especially during mud seasons, can be a useful management tool for maintaining roads and trails. CLUB 20 does not oppose such seasonal closures, nor the closing of trails recently created without USFS approval; and
- The final, approved Travel Management Plans result in the publication of new maps, providing the most current information on approved travel routes to the public; and.
- The USFS works with off-road vehicle groups to improve signing and marking of approved, designated roads and trails.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 strongly encourages the USFS to work with all affected Counties to solicit their input whenever making changes to a Travel Management Plan.
(Formerly PL 93 1)