Collusion is bad for rural economies

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Collusion hurts local economies.

Collusion/Collaboration – It’s easier than you’d think.

You simply have to sale the quality of life down the river for the “little people” of your county, in order to carve out the financial and political desires of those not directly impacted by poor decision manufactured in these group think assemblages.…/burns-collaborations-help…/

These “collaborative groups” are nothing more than environmentalist group think session meant to cut local residents, and to short cut “Coordination” that the forest Service is required to partake in.

Collusion – secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others (which these groups do on a daily basis with our motorized access)


Blue Mountains Resiliency Project – Comments needed

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It is important that you and every person you know comments on this. To do so please enter your name, email address and your comments at the bottom of this article and then click submit and it will be automatically emailed to the restorations project email address.

We wanted to give notice of the current comment period for the Blue Mountains Resiliency Project. This proposal will impact the Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla and Ochoco National Forest.

Link to scoping letter – Blue Mountains Resiliency Scoping Letter

The project proposes to complete massive vegetative treatments within all three administrative units in response to the poor conditions our public lands due to the mismanagement of the Forest Service Supervisors Offices Baker, Pendleton and Prineville. FAFA stands in support of such treatments to reduce fuel loads on the landscape, we are very aware though as to how such projects are used to manipulate public support to things that are harmful to the communities in the area.

Items to comment on –

  1. There is no delineation of which roads are currently identified as “closed” for public to comment in the scoping period. Roads Identified as “currently closed” should be mapped, and displayed for public comment during scoping period so that an accurate assessment of current road uses by the public are identified as to not cause undo hardship on planners or local residents.
  2. Define “improve existing road networks” does that mean fixing roads to minimize impacts, or decommissioning roads to meet ESA standards that negatively impact the local residents.
  3. There is no definition is found for each of these “connected actions” of system road reconstruction, road maintenance, or re-closure of roads opened to implement treatments (this goes back to item 1. Roads stated as “currently closed” need to be presented to the public in scoping to allow them to comment on the current status of the roads.
  4. No list of potential best management practices and design criteria are presented in the scoping letter for the public to be able to comment on potential treatments.
  5. I support the statement on Page 9 of the scoping letter of “maintaining current road densities” but the scoping letter does not adequately delineate what roads are currently identified as closed or open on each forest so I can not given an adequate comments to the scoping letter as presented.

Email comments to –

Mail comments to – Blue Mountains Restoration Strategy Team Lead, 72510 Coyote Rd., Pendleton, OR 97801


Elk Retrieval by Mountain Bike & Tripling your Firewood Storage

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Those two things, along with other delightful management techniques will be the standard operating procedure in the Blue Mountains if supervisors offices like the Wallowa-Whitman have their way of “managing access” to our mountains.

Ever thought about hauling out an elk using a bicycle? The Wallowa-Whitman has, and thinks is completely appropriate for you to do (Second paragraph under “how will this concern be addressed”) – .

Are you ready to triple your firewood storage to meet need to season your firewood for 2 years prior to burning it. When the forest go to a “cut green firewood” model, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do (under “are there exceptions or options”, second bullet) – .

We want you to take note, these were draft documents from 2012, being developed as educational pieces to get the public on board with restricting motorized access. They were never given to the public as the Wallowa Whitman National Forest did not want to hold the meetings because they did not want to hear what the public had to say.

The same leadership that led the effort on travel management are developing the Forest Plan Revision and these kind of values are being reflected in that document. 600 plus of you took the time to comment on the plan, which means 600 plus of you will have standing to object to the plan and anyone that didn’t comment, will be able to object to changes/edits made to the plan.

We will keep you abreast as to timelines and actions needed, but we wanted to keep fresh in your minds what we are dealing with and that these desired outcomes have not changed even after 4 years of relative silence.



FAFA requests withdrawal of Subpart A Travel Analysis Report for Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

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One month ago today Region 6 of the US Forest Service released the Travel Analysis report for the Wallowa-Whitman & Malheur National Forests, along with many others. The report is incomplete and based on incorrect assumptions as no public meetings were held to specifically discuss future needs for management and access in those forest. This plan will be used as a spring board for further motorized access restrictions being planned by the Supervisors offices in Baker and John Day over the next several years.

FAFA had requested access to the draft report in April of 2015 so that we could give input and be part of developing recommendations that would work for the long-term residents of the region. Regional Forester Pena, along with Forest Supervisor Montoya denied us access to the draft report. Worse off, is they ignored request from the Baker County Commissioners to participate in development of the report.

Since the US Forest Service has chosen to ignore our needs and desires in their recommendations, and the report will be used against our communities, we are asking for its withdrawal until such time as true public input can be given instead of biased, agenda driven report that does exactly what the Forest Service set out to do in 2012, lock up as much area as possible to the general public of Eastern Oregon.

Letter to Secretary Vilsack requesting withdrawal of the report – Request to direct Region 6 office to withdraw the Travel Analysis Reports 12_29_2015

We appreciate your support, and if you feel so inclined please write Washington DC and let them know you expect the same.


Contact information and talking points for Washignton DC

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Please take the time to contact Secretary Vilsack and Undersecretary Bonnie to make sure they know the US Forest Service is not doing their jobs to serve the people of Eastern Oregon.

Below is an example letter to send to Washington DC so that the leadership knows their staff is delinquent in their jobs.

You can send your email to:
Secretary Tom Vilsack – or
Undersecretary Robert Bonnie – or

Dear Secretary Vilsack & Mr. Bonnie,


It has come to  my attention that your staff has completed and submitted a report detailing the future road system for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. I am writing to you today to let you know that this is an incomplete document, and the recommendations within it will no meet my future needs of the forest.


1) The report was not developed with full disclosure by the residents of the region. While your staff has written it was, I was not made aware of any specific meetings held, or input taken on which roads were needed and which roads were not needed for future management or access to our public lands.


2) Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya ignored direct requests from the Baker and Wallowa Commissioners coordination on the reports, disallowing a completed analysis to be finalized and recommendations that do not truly reflect the needs of the local communities.


I therefore request that you direct Region 6 of the US Forest Service to withdraw their Travel Analysis Report for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest until such time as the forest can coordinate with the Baker and Wallowa counties, and meet the needs of the local residents.


Jim Pine
1234 Juniper Ln.
Baker City, Oregon


FAFA – 2015 – The Year in Review

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What a year.

We wanted to say thank you to all that participate in Forest Access for All and support the organization both through their service and financial contributions.

A short review of 2015 along with pictures of those that supported us, and the activities.

2015 started out much like every year, with our monthly business meeting in January. You can find the monthly FAFA the first Saturday of each month with the meeting at the Sun Ridge Inn in Baker (Best Western). They have been great to our organization by giving us a room to meet in, and helping us for the last two years with our banquet that has become an annual hit.

We would be remiss if we didn’t again point out the generous donations to our annual banquet. The list of those that donated grew substantially this year and we seen support from nearly every Eastern Oregon County. Please take the time to thank these business for their support to help keep open motorized access to our mountains and support these business that support your right to openly access our mountains, see list below. We have a great auctioneer in Meb Daily, and always a great time for all. This year our key note speaker was Fred Kelly Grant of Nampa Idaho, with our friends from Citizens for Balanced Use (Kerry & Patti White and Ben Erickson) attending, county commissioners, and a large group of locals from around the region. The banquet was held May 16th and was a great time for everyone in attendance.

FAFA completed another summer of outreach thru attending our local parades and discussing motorized access restriction thru both the Forest Plan Revision and Travel Management Planning process. We joined our friends of Citizens for Public Access in Grant County for their first parade run during ’62 days, then hit the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Parade, Haines Stampede, Miners Jubilee, and Grant County Fair. We picked up help from Jerry and Sherry Johnson of Union to help transport and pull our wagon thru the parades and we are appreciative of their support and time to do so.

To close the Summer out the Forest Service started the “re-engagement” process for the rejected forest plan revision. Our key issue with this plan is that it calls for the designation of routes, ie closure of cross country travel, which criminalizes motorized big game retrieval, mining exploration, firewood cutting, and accessing traditional/cultural areas outside of designated route areas via motorized means and calls for increased road decommissioning throughout all of Eastern Oregon on lands administered by the US Forest Service.  These meetings have been contentious, and have taken on a very hostile tone from members of the environmental community who have taken the tract that screaming, berating, and talking down to our members and the general public is more effective than common sense answer to issue, and the meeting in La grande showed that all to well.

All told FAFA members volunteered 1000’s  hours to organizing events, reviewing document, attending meetings and preparing responses to forest service issues.

We could not name every person that has helped in 2015, but we would like to make sure to again recognize those that donated to our Banquet, to Meb Daily for being our auctioneer, and to our executive board, President – Tork Ballard, Vice president – Marty Stroy, Secretary – Wanda Ballard, Treasure Bobbie Danser, and Public Relations Officer – Carrie Matthews, that give us the foundation to make decisions and keep us moving forward. And finally, John & Ramona Creighton for their work on the donations for the banquet and John’s work on keeping engaged with the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision Team.

Currently the Forest Plan Revision continues thru is development by the Forest Service, outside the view of the local residents and we continue to keep you informed and engaged in that process. Also, on the 16th of December the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest announced the recommendation to destroy 1,261 miles of road in Union, Baker, Wallowa, and Northern Grant Counties after the public had told them numerous time “no more road closures.”

We look forward to serving the people of Eastern Oregon throughout 2016 and keeping you informed and how to deal with the issues that come forward throughout the year. We simply ask that if you can, please take the time to engage in these issues and speak out.

To look at any individual picture simply click on it and then follow the link.

OutreachMonthly_meetingsBanquet_DonorsBanquet1Banquet4Banquet3 Banquet6Banquet2Banquet5BanquetOutreach2D_Day_Ride_77_RoadD_Day_Ride_77_Road1Parade_John_DayParade_John_Day2ParadesParade_UnionParade_Union1Parades1Miners_Jubileeparade_generationsOutreach1Reengagment_meeting_BakerReengagement_Wallowa_County Reengagement_meeting_Pendleton Reengagement_meeting_Lagrande Reengagement_meeting_John Reengagement_John_Day_1 Reengagement_John_DayThank-you_FAFA



Recommended Roads for Decommissioning/Destruction

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You were asked – Got the maps were right?

You were NOT ASKED – Do you still use these roads? What do you use these roads for? Do you plan on using these roads into the future?

A group of people that make 60 to 100 K a year sitting behind a desk made these decisions for you, without taking your input, or that of our County Commissioners that have requested numerous times to be a part of this process.

Every road in these maps marked in red are now slated for destruction. Wallowa County, the residents of Sumpter and Unity, as well as users in the Eagle Creek area are probably the hardest hit, but all areas are going to see their access points destroyed in the name of ecological protection of social well being.

Nineteen maps showing the roads the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has recommended for decommissioning, we have listed each map by a geographic point in the area that can help guide you to the correct map for you.

South Fork Burnt River

Map_19_South Fork Burnt River_Eldorado Campground

Dooley Mountain

Map_18_Baker_Dooley Mountain

Phillips Res & Black Mountain

Map_17_Sumpter_Phillips Res_Black MTN_Unity Res

North Fork Burnt River

Map_16_Sumpter_North Fork Burnt River





Eagle Creek


Medical Springs & Cathrine Creek Summit



Map_13_Medical Springs_Catherine Creek Summit

Anthony Lake & Granite


Map_12_Anthony Lakes_Granite

Upper Imnaha

Map_11_Upper Imnaha

Salt Creek Summit

Map_10_Salt Creek Summit

Lostine, Enterprise, Joseph


Union & Cove


La Grande & Imbler




Hat Point

Map_5_Hat Point

Thomason Meadow

Map_4_Thomason Meadow

Buckhorn Lookout

Map_3_Buckhorn Lookout

Chesnim & Sled Springs

Map 2 Chesnim_sled_springs




Wallowa-Whitman National forest calls for 1,261 miles of roads to be destroyed.

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Today the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest released its analysis of the roads not needed for forest management or access to our mountains. The report calls for the destruction of 1,261 miles of roads, which equates to 2,656 segments within the boundaries or the forest. These are roads to access wildfires, manage overgrown vegetation, gather firewood from, and provided areas of solitude for our veterans, elderly and families.

By releasing such a report the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has turned a deaf ear to our residents, our culture, and our ways of life to sustain our families from the mountains and continues to ignore their mission to serve the public in Eastern Oregon.

Link to analysis report –

Very disappointing to see this, and to know that no one at the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest had the integrity to work with even the county commissioners on this issue.