ACTION ALERT – Comment on the DNR Sustainable Recreation Work Group’s Preliminary Recommendations
Deadline – October 12
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Sustainable Recreation Work Group (SRWG) has completed their Preliminary Recommendations for funding and access for recreation on DNR lands.
The report was released on September, 28, 2009.
The initial press release said the report would be available on SRWG’s webpage on September 28, 2009 with a comment deadline of October 1. = 3 days!
Contacted about this unreasonable comment period, DNR blaimed a typo and quickly issued a second press release listing a two week comment deadline of October 12, 2009.
Public comments on the recommendations can also be made in the form of an online survey The deadline for completing this survey is also Monday, October 12th.
The trend on federal lands has been to decrease ORV trails and to establish policies in which ORVs are not allowed on trails unless specifically posted. DNR is taking the opposite approach: ORVs are allowed anywhere unless posted as prohibited. The problem with this of course is that the signs are used for target practice and/or torn down almost immediately after posted.
A particularly alarming aspect of the Sustainable Recreation Work Group’s preliminary recommendations is that they seem to signal that DNR is seriously considering allowing illegal trails to become incorporated into the designated DNR trail/road network. This sets a precedent that will encourage and reward new illegal trail creation (often forged in areas least suitable for motorized use) resulting in serious detrimental environmental impact.
All citizens of the state have a vested interest in the management of our state trust lands yet most people never even hear about these meetings, comment periods and surveys. Thus the relatively small number of ORV recreationists are continually over-represented.
Please take the time to fill out this online survey and help represent to DNR the many who enjoy non-motorized recreation and are concerned about environmental degradation on our public lands.