Nova Fuel Use Study Results are In!
Herbert Research has released the draft of the NOVA Fuel Use Study.( for the full text you can visit the www.iac.wa.gov website) The results show that:
· 21% of NOVA revenues come from motorized use,
including dirt bikes, snowmobiles, ATV’s and 4X4s.
· 30% come from non-motorized trail related activities,
including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding
and cross country skiing
· 49% come from other recreational activities such as
camping, sightseeing, hunting berry-picking and fishing
The final results of the study will be adopted by the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation at their January 23 meeting.
Historical Note: The NOVA plan sets policies to guide expenditures under Washington State Non-Hiway and Off Road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) Program. The NOVA plan provides funding to various local, state and federal agencies. Funds are used to plan, acquire and build and maintain facilities, and manage off road vehicles (ORV) and non-Hiway road recreational opportunities. The results of this new study will likely change the way the IAC distributes funds.
Elum Additions to the Alpine Lakes Area
has a 60 day public comment period!
There are nearly 16,000 acres in the additions. The Forest Service has released the Draft Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) recommending that these wild forests be protected as
Wilderness. Areas in the proposed
Olympic National Park (ONP) begins work on new management plan. 922,561 acres encompass miles of designated Wilderness, about 95% of the Park. The Park received nearly 3.5 million visits in 2000. To help deal with impacts of use, National Parks across the country have developed General Management Plans, much like National Forest Plans, to balance conservation and recreation within Parks. Unlike National Forests, National Parks do not have timber and mineral production missions. The tensions in GMP’s come to light in discussions of recreation impacts on wildlife habitat and ecosystems.
Olympic National Park will release alternatives for Park management later this winter. Typically when an agency like the National Park Service releases alternatives they range in focus, emphasizing particular goals. One may focus on recreation, others on conservation, or somewhere in-between. Public input can influence the agency to change or abandon an alternative in favor of another. ONP will not identify a preferred alternative this round, they will release a draft EIS first. Over the next year, equestrians will have an opportunity to make their voice heard to keep trails open to stock. We’ll keep you up to date on public meetings and opportunities for public comment.
Court Ruling Gives Vehicle Access another day in court. In a victory for US Forest Service and off
road vehicle advocates, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower
court decision involving OHV’s (off Hiway Vehicle) access to Montana National
Forests. The suit involved the US Forest Service Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) created
in 1977. Originally filed in 1996, by Montana
Wilderness Association and other organizations the suit claimed the agency was
failing to take action to restrict OHV access and had illegally allowed OHV
friendly trail improvements. The Montana
District Court decided the case in favor of the Wilderness Association. The FS and access advocacy groups led by Blue
Ribbon Coalition appealed the court decision. The Ninth Circuit decision now
reverses the district court’s decision and remands the case for trial to
determine whether the Forest Service has managed Montana Wilderness Study Areas
so as to “maintain their wilderness character and potential for inclusion in
the Wilderness System as required by the 1977 Act. The Wilderness Associations
argued that continued OHV access to the areas and trail projects violated the
standard, while OHV interests and the FS countered the Areas retain their
character with ongoing OHV use and active management steps have left these
areas in better shape today than 1977.