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Think Out Loud

Closing Forest Roads

Pete Springer/OPB

Update Apr. 18, 2012: Forest Supervisor Monica Schwalbach decided to withdraw the travel plan after significant public outcry.

A new forest management plan would restrict access to approximately 4,000 miles of roads and trails in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. This plan would cut down on motorized vehicle access to the forest.

These restrictions are part of a national Travel Management Rule for National Forests, and they seem to be drawing criticism from all sides. While environmentalists say the Wallowa-Whitman plan doesn’t close enough roads, a diverse group of ATV enthusiasts, hikers, hunters, firewood cutters and others say the restrictions go too far. Commissioners in both Wallowa and nearby Umatilla counties have said they will appeal the plan.

Do you camp, hike, pick berries or ride an ATV or a dirt bike in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest? How would this plan affect you?


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OPB | Broadcast: April 4, 2012