Petition Against Oregon Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument
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Thread: Petition Against Oregon Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument

  1. #1
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Petition Against Oregon Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument

    With the permission of the Moderator's I'm posting this in both floors of the Forum, the General and Off-Topic.

    For those of us who have been riding for many years in public off-road trails and public lands, we have continually seen and experienced many closures
    of these previously available riding areas. We in the western states have seen this increasing in recent years. Environmentalists are now targeting Owyhee
    River Canyonlands of Eastern Oregon bordering Southwest Idaho for designation as a National Monument. In my experience, when an area has been designated a National Monument, most of the riding trails and roads become closed to motorized vehicles. I say most, as some trails and roads do remain open. While I personally think there are good compromises which could be worked out with all the different groups participating, typically this is not the case and proposals like this are initiated and decided without the actual users having a say in the matter (sportsmen, off-road enthusiasts, ranchers, various other recreationalists, and yes even some conservation groups).

    With this said, I'm offering the information below for your consideration to oppose a National Monument designation. For those of you who know me, I have
    camped & ridden a lot in this area and there is a strong possibility it could become off-limits in the future if the area was designated a National Monument Status.
    I have signed the petition opposing this area a National Monument.



    The Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition (OBSC) is officially organizing support opposing a proposed National Monument the Owyhee Canyonlands a National Monument, primarily in Malheur County Oregon. Environmental groups hope to persuade President Barack Obama to declare 2.5 million acres of federal land as the Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument before he leaves office in 2017. This proposal, introduced by special interest groups and extreme environmentalists, would lock up 2.5 million acres of land and do the following (see links below) to our local communities, region, and the Canyonlands themselves.


    Our Land. Our Voice. | Sign the Petition


    Here are a couple of articles for more background information.


    http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2015/10/owyhee_canyonlands_focus_of_fu.html


    https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-ron-wyden-jeff-merkley-oppose-the-misguided-owyhee-canyonlands-monument-proposal
    Last edited by admiral; 05-06-2016 at 07:21 AM.


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    Senior Member ejfranz's Avatar
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    I would sign, but Canadians have no say in the issue.

    Nice write up, Chris.
    We need areas to be protected, but for those regions that are being used responsibly, there is no reason to close them off.
    It is also up to us to promote responsible off road use.
    I belong to 4WheelBC even though I don't 4 wheel as they are working to keep the BC back country open to all.
    I am a Fraser Valley mnt. Bike member and a BCORMA member as they are also working to keep trails open.
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    Senior Member 66roadkill66's Avatar
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    I sighed, in my area they like to shut down logging roads and we get no say
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Last year near Stanley Idaho a compromise solution to a proposed National Monument agreed to. Compromise being the main word here. For years one of our state Politian's had been working with many groups to designate the Boulder-White Cloud area a "Wilderness" protected area. I had been against any designation at all as much of it was already protected as a National Recreation Area. This Wilderness proposal had been stalled for about 10 years. Then came the National Monument proposal. In my opinion, this proposal brought back to life the Wilderness Bill. The National Monument proposal was mainly initiated to make sure the area was developed (housing and mining) and to slowly choke off the area to ranching and grazing. A by-product was the area would become non-motorized. Initially this included even bicycles but the mountain biking groups lobbied for some trails to remain open.

    Without listing all of the details, the Wilderness Bill was actually better for the motorized crowd allowing some of the previous single track trails to remain open to motorcycles. So last year the Wilderness Bill was signed into law by the President, thus allowing some motorcycle use versus the complete closure as proposed by the National Monument Status. It was interesting and probably directed as the mountain bike groups, but the trails that were to remain open to bicycles under the National Monument Status are now closed to bicycle use under the Wilderness Bill. It's complicated, but under the different status's (Wilderness or National Monument and others), they all may allow motorized use, it just has to be approved. Again complicated.

    In another situation from several years ago, a state Politian gained Wilderness protection for area's in southwest Idaho. I was against this too, but most of this area remained open to existing roads to motorcycles, ATV's, or 4 wheel drives so the off-road impact was minimal. Much of the off-limits area you wouldn't want to ride cross country anyway. I'm actually for riding on existing roads and trails and not cross country travel anyway.

    In the Oregon proposal to "Protect" the area is mainly directed at ranching & grazing in my opinion. The area is so remote already and so little travelled motorized use is not much of a factor in reality. Like anywhere there are irresponsible motorized users which ruin it for the rest of us, but here there is so very little of that. There is little to no mining in the area either.

    I think the general consensus is "what's the point" of designating the area a National Monument and protect it from what? There again trying to choke out the ranchers I'm guessing.
    Last edited by admiral; 05-06-2016 at 08:47 AM.
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    Senior Member mhomadness's Avatar
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    Signed. m.
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Signed, me too.

    I have great memories of back-packing in the White Clouds when knees were younger. Lots of bighorn sheep, stunning craggy mountains, and trout laden lakes that could feed a guy and his dog for days after the freeze dried provisions were long gone.
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    Senior Member Byron's Avatar
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    Signed, and hope it actually does some good. We've been hit with several "monuments" down here in Southern Oregon, basically amounting to keeping us, the public off the land.
    How much is enough ?
    Thanks for posting this.
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    Member Gsmith2030's Avatar
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    Signed. Michigan now has highly-specific delineations between ATV, Snowmobile, and Motorcycle trails in addition to a separate permits for ORV's to be on non-designated trails on public land. I'm for openness and responsible behavior. Wish it were that simple.


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  10. #9
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Update 17 March 2017: Former President Obama did not sign any Owyhee Canyonlands legislation/executive order designating this area as a National Monument. I won't call this a win but more of a postponement until another National Monument designation is launched in the future, which no doubt will happen again. So for now, the area remains as it has been, open for all recreationists (hikers, mountain bikers, motorcycle/UTV/ATV, horseback riders, rafters etc.) and the ranchers whose livelihood is dependant on grazing. Many areas in the Owyhee Canyonlands still have protections under the Wilderness Study Area (WSA).

    Thanks to those who took the time to sign the petition against this National Monument effort. For those of you who actually support such designations, I encourage you to seek out groups to join which conduct collaborative efforts in land management with all stakeholders in mind. Agreements which are reached through meaningful cooperative efforts are so much better than having to react in a defensive way to a plan or designation born out of a onesided effort.

    Thanks again,
    Admiral
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    I think new administration's proposed budget will have little funding for additional withdrawals, monuments nor new wilderness designations.
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