CBU comment: This is a great victory for Forest Access for All and Multiple Use on public lands. Kerry White from CBU went down to Wallowa-Whitman forest in Oregon back some years ago and helped the folks down there with how to comment on the forest travel plan. Kerry was down for a week the beginning of April assisting FAFA in writing appeals in over a dozen meetings and presentations. CBU applauds the hard work and commitment of the newly formed group Forest Access For All and all the forest users who stepped up and fought these overbearing closures. This is a great example to others across the nation how multiple forest users can get together and make their voices heard. Continue to keep up the hard work!! “The price of freedom is constant vigilance” Thomas Jefferson
|Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor Monica Schwalbach announced today that she is withdrawing her decision on the controversial travel management plan that would ban motor vehicles from about 3,600 miles of roads and trails on 1.3 million acres of the forest.
Schwalbach’s announcement means the April 30 deadline to appeal the plan is no longer in effect.
In a letter announcing her decision, Schwalbach did not set a timeline for announcing a revised version of the plan.
“I believe that by taking the time now to allow for further dialogue and consideration regarding the concerns that have been raised; we will develop a better outcome in the long run,” Schwalbach wrote. “I encourage anyone who has additional suggestions to share them with me or one of our local district rangers. The Wallowa-Whitman national forest is treasured by all, so let’s be sure we develop a plan that is reasonable, responsible, and makes sense now and for the future.”
Schwalbach’s announcement of the travel plan on March 15 angered many local residents, who contend the ban on motor vehicles will greatly diminish their chances to use the Wallowa-Whitman for firewood cutting, berry picking, sightseeing and other recreation.
On Monday Rep. Greg Walden, who represents Eastern Oregon in Congress, wrote a letter to the Forest Service’s regional forester in Portland urging the agency to “start over” on the travel plan for the Wallowa-Whitman.
Check Wednesday’s Baker City Herald for full coverage of Schwalbach’s announcement as well as reaction to Walden’s efforts.