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November 2017 eNews

Some members receiving these emails from UFWDA may be getting these for almost the first time. A rebuild of the UFWDA membership database identified quite a few email addresses that had never been included in the mailing database we use for eNews and the UFWDA Voice. Welcome to you all.
Please remember that if you change your email address just let us know and we can do an update.
It is also important that any member lists provided to UFWDA are in a format such as Excel that can be directly loaded to our database. Other lists such as pdf or jpg need to be transcribed with a risk of errors that can prevent an address working.

A reminder again that the UFWDA ‘online’ store is temporarily disabled. The donation function is however still available and your support is most welcome.

Your input of topical material for each eNews is still vital, so please keep UFWDA and our readers informed by emailing to editor@ufwda.org before the 10th of each month. If your organization has a website with interesting stories etc. then send a link to editor@ufwda.org

We need your stories and photos for the next UFWDA Voice by the 20th of December... Who will feature on the front cover?

Peter Vahry; editor
editor@ufwda.org

Travel Management - Rico West Dolores
Roads and Trails Project


Mancos/Dolores Ranger District Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Draft Records of Decision can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44918
National Forest lands on either side of Hwy145 from north of Dolores, Colorado to Lizardhead pass. Includes Lone Cone, Fish Creek, Dunton Road, Bear Creek, Ryman Creek, and Lizardhead areas.


“We Are Running Out of Forests to Save”

October 3, 2017

Comments by Congressman Tom McClintock of California

Mr. Speaker:

I want to thank Chairman Gosar of the Western Caucus for arranging this special order tonight. The wildfire crisis facing our forests across the West comes down to a simple adage. Excess timber comes out of the forest one way or the other. It is either carried out, or it burns out. But it comes out.

When we carried out our excess timber, we had healthy, resilient forests and we had thriving prosperous communities. Excess timber sales from federal lands not only generated revenues for our mountain communities, but created thousands of jobs. But in the 1970’s, we adopted laws like the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act that have resulted in endlessly time consuming and cost-prohibitive restrictions and requirements that have made the scientific management of our forests virtually impossible. Timber sales from the federal lands have dropped 80 percent in the intervening years, with a concomitant increase in forest fires. In California alone, the number of saw mills has dropped from 149 in 1981 to just 27 today.

Timber that once had room to grow healthy and strong now fights for its life against other trees trying to occupy the same ground. Average tree density in the Sierra Nevada is three to four times the density the land can support. In this weakened condition, trees lose their natural defenses to drought, disease, pestilence, and ultimately succumb to catastrophic wildfire.

Three years ago, an estimated 25 million trees in the Sierra fell victim to these stressors. Two years ago, that number doubled to over 50 million trees. Last year, an estimated 100 million dead trees are waiting to burn.

After 45 years of experience with these environmental laws – all passed with the promise they would improve the forest environment – I think we are entitled to ask, “How is the forest environment doing?” All around us, the answer is damning. These laws have not only failed to improve our forest environment – they are literally killing our forests.

The same politicians responsible for these failed laws have recently conjured up two excuses. One is climate change. The other is that we are putting out too many fires.

Putting out too many fires? That invites an important question. Which fires do they propose we let burn? The King Fire that almost wiped out the towns of Georgetown and Foresthill on its way to Lake Tahoe in 2014? Or perhaps the Detwiler fire this year that almost wiped out the town of Mariposa on its way to Yosemite Valley? Or any one of the more than 1,000 small fires in the Sierra that Calfire has put out this year – any one of which could have grown into a mega-fire but for the vigilance and competence of our fire agencies.

True, controlled burns play an important role in clearing out underbrush – but as firefighters bitterly complained to me at the command center at the Detwiler fire, these same laws make it virtually impossible to get permits to do the controlled burns.

The other reason we hear is that old dependable, climate change. Let’s put that to the smell test.

Throughout our vast forests, it is often very easy to visually identify the property lines between well managed private forests and the neglected federal lands – I’ve seen it myself on aerial inspections. The managed forests are green, healthy and thriving. The neglected federal forests are densely overcrowded and often scarred by fire because we can’t even salvage the fire-killed timber while it still has value. How clever of the climate to know exactly what is the boundary between private and government lands!

And if carbon dioxide is the problem, doesn’t it make sense to mill fully grown trees to sequester the carbon and replace them with young, growing trees that absorb much higher amounts of carbon? Again, the same laws prevent this.

This is not complicated. Our forests are catastrophically overgrown. Drought is a catalyst – it is not a cause. In overgrown forests, much snow evaporates in dense canopies and cannot reach the ground. The transpiration volume in an overgrown forest is a problem in normal years – in a drought it becomes lethal.

Pestilence is a catalyst – it is not a cause. Healthy trees can naturally resist bark beetles – stressed trees can’t. A properly managed forest matches the tree density to the ability of the land to support it. But we cannot properly manage our forests because of the laws now in place.

Mr. Westerman’s Resilient Federal Forests Act and other measures will restore proper scientific management of our national forests. But we are running out of time to enact them because we are running out of forests to save.

Shoshone National Forest travel management planning

Only those who provide specific comments are eligible to oppose later

The American Motorcyclist Association believes you may be interested in commenting on the U.S. Forest Service's revised proposed action document for travel management on the Shoshone National Forest. The document was released Nov. 10, starting a 30 day comment period, supplementing the original version with a minimum road system description and comments on the first draft.

The draft proposed action, available for download here, now includes Subpart A of the Travel Management Rule, which addresses the minimum road system required to administer the forest. One result of completion and approval of Subpart A is that any roads deemed unnecessary would be converted to motorized or non-motorized trails or decommissioned. Subpart B is the aspect of travel management planning more familiar to most us, dictating where and when specific types of motor vehicles can operate on a forest.

According to the Forest Service, the new Shoshone scoping document suggests the following actions related to travel management, based in part on public input received during the comment period after the original document's release and Forest Service meetings to explain the inclusion of Subpart A.

1) Add about 17 miles of motorized routes, which would increase motorized loop opportunities by about 77 miles.

2) Increase the allowable width on 35.5 miles of new and or existing motorized trails to 64 inches.

3) Convert about 10 miles of existing roads to motorized trails open to all vehicles. This would increase youth rider opportunities.

4) Add about 241 miles of seasonal restrictions to help with issues, such as protecting road surfaces during the wet spring months.

5) Address resource and enforcement concerns by closing about 25 miles of road.

6) Add about 11 miles of ungroomed snowmobile trails.

7) Limit the size of tracked vehicles on groomed snowmobile trails to provide for user safety.

8) Establish winter use seasons to be more consistent with neighboring national forests.

Anyone who commented on the first proposed action document need not do so again, unless there are new issues or concerns to address.

When: Comments deadline is Sunday, Dec. 10.

How to submit comments: Written comments should be directed to travel_management_comments@fs.fed.us, or Rob Robertson, Washakie District Office, 333 E. Main St., Lander, WY 82520.

FOUR WHEEL DRIVE CLINIC

Submitted by Luana Schneider with photos taken by Richard Wise.

On October 21, the 4 Lakes 4 Wheelers hosted a four wheel drive clinic. One of the club members had access to a local farm with buildings and woods that could be used for workshops and a trail. The narrow trail was cleared with optional easy obstacles to conquer. Being the first time doing this type of thing it was kept to a very limited participation and free of charge.

The participants (two of which were girls age 16) had a choice of three different time segments to participate in. They attended workshops put on by club members that researched and had expertise in the various topics. The workshops consisted of Getting to Know Your Vehicle, Public Perception of the 4WD User Group, Safety and Recovery, Hands on Trailriding Experience and Accessorizing Your Vehicle. As a fund raiser The American Milking Shorthorn Junior Society had food for sale.

It was a beautiful fall day with the highlight for the participants was actually putting their vehicle in four wheel drive and maybe crawl over that log, or rocks and strategically getting through the narrow trail all with guides out there explaining how when needed.

The participants were all given a survey of a 1-5 rating with 5 being the best and plenty of room for comments, suggestions, etc. One participant was so pleased he rated it a 6! The comments & suggestions were very helpful with the hopes this clinic will become an annual affair with more exposure to the public on proper usage, ethics, etc. of four wheel driving.

A big THANK YOU goes out to the landowner, volunteers and participants!!


The Cal4Wheel

October/November 2017 “In Gear”
can be read at:


BRC / OHV Events Calendar page


https://www.facebook.com/groups/1679382308970057/


Check out a range of recent updates on activities.

Utahn picked as deputy director of BLM

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, KSL | Posted Oct 5th, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — Brian Steed, a former university economics professor and prosecutor who most recently served as chief of staff for Congressman Chris Stewart, was tapped Wednesday as the second in command for the Bureau of Land Management.

"Dr. Steed has been a huge part of my success here in Congress. I always say he’s the best chief of staff on the Hill. I consider him a brother and will miss him greatly," said Stewart, R-Utah. "He has a huge opportunity to serve the American people at the Bureau of Land and Management, and I know he’ll have great success.”

Steed is a graduate of the University of Utah and Indiana University, and previously worked as an economics professor at Utah State University's Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. He is also a former deputy county attorney for Iron County.


Steed will oversee programs and policy of the federal agency, which manages 245 million acres of land in the country — more than any other agency.

With his selection, Steed becomes the second Utahn tapped for a high leadership role in agencies with oversight of public land. In June, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke named Greg Sheehan as the deputy director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Sheehan had been director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

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Tri-Power

THE MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION

October 2017 edition

https://www.pnw4wda.org/Tri-Power/2017-(10)-Oct/Oct-2017.pdf

Ford seeks patent on system
for
autonomous off-road
vehicles


[What a great idea??? Ed.]

When a vehicle approaches off-road terrain, such as boulders or a large ditch, the system would use image processing technology to determine whether the vehicle could cross.

Photo credit: Ford patent documents

Ford's future could include a self-driving Bronco or F-150 Raptor. The automaker has applied for a patent on an autonomous system for off-road vehicles that would enable the vehicles to traverse dirt, gravel, mud, sand and other tricky terrain.

Although Ford has announced no plans for a robo rock-climber, the patent sheds light on how the automaker thinks people might use self-driving vehicles.

The patent application said that such a system would include a processor with access to "a memory storing instructions executable by the processor."

Here's how it would work:

When a vehicle approaches off-road terrain, such as boulders or a large ditch, the system would use image processing technology to determine whether the vehicle could cross. If the vehicle could cross, the system would autonomously control active suspension that would enable the vehicle to pass over, or through, the obstacle.

The patent application included a pickup as an example but noted the system could work with "any passenger or commercial automobile such as a car, a truck, a sport utility vehicle, a crossover vehicle, a van, a minivan, a taxi, a bus, etc."

Ford, in a statement, said it submits "patents on innovative ideas as a normal course of business. Patent applications are intended to protect new ideas but aren't necessarily an indication of new business or product plans."

United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc.

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Swartz Creek

MI 48473

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