On March 19 a press release was put out by the US Forest Service on “Focus turns to Forest Plan Revision public engagement as Travel Management [Subpart B] paused in the Blue Mountains” – News Release Focus on Public Engagement As Travel Mgmt Paused in the Blues1.
We see this press release as nothing new, and bordering on an open attempt to confuse and give a false set of hope to the public on Travel Management.
1) Travel Management has been on the “back burner” of both the Wallowa-Whitman & Malheur National Forest Since 2012, this article states nothing new, and is a disservice to pretend they have done something new.
2) This release gives the false impression that the supervisors and regional forester are giving some sort of relief to the people of Eastern Oregon, when no such relief is been given.
3) Sub part A of Travel Management on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is still being developed and the article fails to state that or how Sub A will be used as a spring board to Sub part B and the closure of the mountains.
Most importantly – This is not the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision. Restricting motorized use fully in the forest plan revision through the designation of routes, and you are still fully looking at a closure of our mountains if it goes through as written with designation of routes.
The message is the same, No designation of routes, No obliteration of roads, and No reduction of road densities in The Blues, period, end of discussion.
We can not stress enough, this is a non-story and worse it may give people the false impression this is some sort of victory, IT IS NOT!!! Your access is still in jeopardy and your vigilance is needed and required to keep your mountains open. Do not get sucked into the hype, because it’s all smoke and mirrors.