Letters and comments for April 4, 2012

By Observer Upload April 04, 2012 01:22 pm
Letters and comments for April 4, 2012

Close forest roads 


To the Editor:

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is home to an amazing diversity of wildlife, including eight species of big game — elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, moose,
antelope, mountain goat, black bear and mountain lion. 

All of these big game species are negatively impacted by motorized vehicles and as the number and capability of off-highway vehicles has increased dramatically in the past few decades, the negative impacts have also greatly increased.

It’s well verified elk are being pushed off national forest lands by motorized vehicles and, as they find relative quiet on private lands, damage to croplands has increased and created many new problems not only for the landowners but for hunters and state game officials as well.

If we are really serious about protecting the wildlife and wildlands on our national forest, at the minimum, all of the Level 1 roads --- the roads in the most rough and often overgrown condition --- should be permanently closed, as the original proposed action would have done. 

While it will provide some relief, the decision does not go far enough.

More roads should be closed in key areas such as critical elk habitat, wildlife corridors, riparian areas, old growth stands, etc.

We need to protect the resources on our national forest and regulating motorized use is a long overdue step.

Janet Cremin

La Grande