Monday, November 2, 2015

Include Trail Specialists in Agency Planning Efforts

Tillamook State Forest Trail Project

Tillamook State Forest OHV program managers highlight the important role that trail specialists have in recreation, resource, and vegetation project planning, development, and implementation.  These holistic concepts were presented by State Forest staff at the 2015 NOHVCC Annual Conference held in Folsom, California.

The Tillamook State Forest is over 350,000 acres and is located about 30 miles west of Portland, Oregon. It contains the Browns Camp, Jordan Creek and Diamond Mill OHV Areas with approximately 250 miles of routes for dirt-bike, ATV, SxS, and 4WD recreationists.

Logging Operation on Forest Service Land

This is an actively managed unit with ongoing logging operations, forest health/fuel reduction projects, and road/trail maintenance.

Shaded Fuel Break Forest Health Project

The OHV recreation staff leads are also engaged with local user groups and clubs since private sector volunteerism is critical to the success of the area.  Volunteers help clear trails of downed trees and provide a work force to assist agency staff with important trail maintenance projects.  Volunteers provide comments on recreation/forest health projects and also show up to county government meetings to show political support for the area.

Half Culvert on FS System Trail

QWR believes that federal and state agencies should include their trail specialists in any planning effort that might impact recreation facilities such as designated system trails, campgrounds, and staging areas.

Today’s system trail network is comprised of routes with engineered soil/water control structures such as rolling dips, half culverts, and sediment catch basins.  These system trails often represent a significant construction or reconstruction investment of taxpayer or user generated funds that can range from $10 to $40 thousand dollars per mile.

Rolling Dip on BLM 4WD Route

Without substantive input from trail specialists, QWR believes these recreation facilities could be impacted by resource activities related to initial wildfire attack, post-wildfire restoration, fuel reduction, timber projects, and vegetation treatments.   Trail management staff should also be part of any programmatic planning efforts related to Forest Plans or Resource Management Plans.

Rock Catch Basin on Rubicon Trail

 With all agency disciplines working together in a collaborative manner, both the protection of our recreation assets and resource values will be ensured.


  1. Appreciate the hard work you do Don. If you're doing any kind of work in our area let me know, I'll be glad to go out with you.