Forest Service Denies WWA’s Petition for Management of OSVs

Yesterday the Winter Wildlands Alliance’s petition asking for management of over snow vehicles (OSV) on national forest land was denied.  The petition was signed by the Spokane Mountaineers and 89 other organizations, representing 1.3 million members.  Details can be read on the NewWest Blog Here.

Quoting from the NewWest story, “…the Forest Service did agree to develop guidelines or factors for local officials to consider if they choose to implement winter travel planning, but gave no timeline for when those directives might be announced.”

Mark Menlove, WWA’s director was quoted as saying “We appreciate the offer to establish better guidelines, but guidelines are of little use without a directive to actually follow them.”

The Stevens Peak Backcountry Coalition will continue to work toward creation of a winter non-motorized recreation area for the Stevens Peak Backcountry.

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5 Responses to Forest Service Denies WWA’s Petition for Management of OSVs

  1. mark says:

    great news!! the backcountry is still open to EVERYONE TO ENJOY, EVERYONE!!

  2. Brian says:

    Victory for the normal people!

  3. Eric Ryan-SPBCC Member, SM BC Ski Chair says:

    Mark and Brian,

    Your comments are appreciated, but please try to provide more constructive responses. These types of off the cuff comments targeted at touting one side of an issue over the other only serve to widen the divide between us. These types of discussion forums seem to always illicit an emotional response. We can easily head off on an anonymous attack of the issue, or individual people in the discussion. As an example, when I first read your comments I felt like telling you to go jump off a cliff. However, I quickly realized it would be much better to start an intelligent conversation on the issue and maybe see if we can work together to help our varying user groups gain a better understanding of one another.

    I also would remind my fellow human-powered winter recreationist that we also must be mindful of our responses. We need to treat every individual on these discussions with the same respect we would want shown to ourselves.

    Regarding the WWA proposal to the Forest Service for regulating OSVs (over snow vehicles, e.g. snowmobiles). The proposal is not to ban snowmobiles from all public lands. It is not an attack on the rights of the individual. We sometimes get so caught up in our “rights” to do what ever we darn well want, but never seem to realize that with rights also come responsibilities. The WWA proposal is really more about responsibly managing our public lands and that goes for both motorized and non-motorized uses. The proposal is trying to identify the need for the Forest Service travel management to catch up with the huge jump in snowmobile technology. The end goal being eliminating user conflicts and insuring the sustainable use of our public lands.

    I would encourage everyone to look at the WWA proposal more closely and try to have a more open mind about what it is requesting. Perhaps suggesting alternative approaches would be more constructive. It seems with issues like this we all have a choice. We can blindly take our side, completely reject the opposing view, and refuse to even consider compromise. Our current political system is a wonderful example of how well this works. The alternative is to try to truly collaborate with one another and try to find some common ground. Like most things in life, it will not be easy and will take some hard work. Are we up for this challenge?

  4. mark says:

    this site is purely one sided…to keep motor vehicles out of the stevens peak area…how is that supporting both sides of the issue…

    i was happy that everyone who has the ability to access the backcountry either by motor or foot has the same oppuritunity…sorry, if my view doesn’t jive with yours…

  5. This site promotes quiet human powered winter recreation. It does not oppose motorized recreation. There is a place for this type of recreation too. The backcountry of the Stevens Peak area has historically been used by skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers. This opportunity for quiet non-motorized winter recreation is being lost in the area due the rapidly increasing number of snowmobile and other OSV riders who use the area.

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