Forest Access For All: May Newsletter

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Forest Access For All: May Newsletter

Postby Tawmass » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:22 am

Forest Access For All
PO Box 48
Baker City, OR 97814

1st Annual Banquet

Forest Access for All (FAFA) held their first banquet/fundraiser on May 17, 2014 at the Sunridge Inn, in Baker. The evening included a great meal, several raffles, and a rousing fun-filled auction. Meb Dailey, auctioneer, kept the crowd engaged with bantering and action-filled bidding. There were several miners interspersed throughout the crowd and helping with the event. We greatly appreciate their humor and support. Those noticeably in attendance were Guy Michaels, Ken Anderson, and Ed Hardt. Ed gave us a hand at the admissions table.

FAFA’s newly-elected Executive Director, John George, introduced Sheriff Glen Palmer from Grant Co. Sheriff Palmer’s background, as many of us from Eastern Oregon, was spent on public land and understands the value and heritage of our forests. He held the crowd’s attention with his views on county jurisdiction in relation to federal overreach and stressed the County Commissioner’s power if they could be persuaded to align with Eastern Oregon residents. The crowd awarded him with a hearty standing ovation.

John George gave a brief overview of the clubs past activities and a glance of what is looming in the immediate couple of months. FAFA is working up a schedule of outreach meetings in communities that will be effected by the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision. The goal is to educate, encourage and assist people in writing their responses to the Plan. He is busy drafting a “white paper” to help formulate comments.

FAFA received a $14,000 grant which is to be applied in educating the public regarding access issues. John has become a road warrior for the cause in supporting this effort. Presently, we are arranging meetings in twelve communities and will make every effort to accommodate requests for travel/assistance.

By Wanda Ballard FAFA Secretary

Designated Routes = Closed Forest
The US Forest Service is currently taking comments on the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision (BMFPR). This plan will serve as the “zoning ordinance” for the three National Forest found within the Blue Mountains. One particular phrase should be of grave concern for any member of the public that enjoys motorize access into “The Blues”, as most locals lovingly refer to them, that phrase is Designated Routes.

Designated Routes sounds like a harmless enough phrase that you simply designate uses of current roads and move on with life, unfortunately it’s not that harmless. Designated Routes are the corner stone of how the US Forest Service has successfully closed 100’s of thousands of acre’s of public lands throughout the west, and it has also been successfully stopped in regions where the public has actively engaged in the process and acted against it.

To understand Designated Routes one need look no further than their home. In vision your home as it is now, with the freedom to move through it as needed, accessing every resource you need to have a complete home.

Now let’s “designate routes” through your home and see how that works. Lay a piece of tape down the middle of all your floors, you are only allowed to be 3 feet from the tape at any time. You may not touch any items outside that 3 foot buffer.

You now have “designated routes”, fun isn’t it?

Your yard has been deemed needed as a “wildlife corridor” area and now is off limits to any big wheel, tricycle or lawnmower activity. You may walk into your yard, however, you may not utilize any motorized tools.

Does this make the picture clearer as to what the BMFPR really is? It’s Travel Management (Road Closures) with a different spin on it.

The USFS will tell you it’s not about road closures, and that is a true statement. This document is even more sinister, as it sets the foundation for the USFS to close roads as it states it is YOUR DESIRED CONDITION to see Routes Designated.

Do you really want your access “designated” away? If no, you had better get to commenting on the BMFPR.

By John George FAFA Executive Director

What is Currently Going On
June 7th FAFA meeting will actually be on June 6th and in Union at noon. We will meet at the parade staging area. All are welcome to attend. With the workshop meetings going on and the 4th of July holiday, the July meeting is canceled.

Forest Access For All now has a phone # to contact officers.
844-523-2323 and each officer has an extension that will connect you to them.

Work Shop meetings are currently being planned for 12 towns in Eastern Oregon. We have 3 towns left to finalize locations for and then we will be releasing the complete schedule.

At our May 3rd meeting, the votes were tallied and the Executive Officers were elected.

Executive Director
John George
Tork Ballard
Vice President
Marty Stroy
Bobby Danser
Wanda Ballard
Government Affairs Officer
Don George
Public Affairs Officer
Open Position

You don't stop riding because you grow old, you grow old because you stop riding.

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