Wednesday, January 7, 2009 11:32 PM
Take Action for Tumalo Mountain
As many of you may have heard there is a proposal to build a new snow park for snowmobilers at kapka butte. One of the benefits of this was to relieve congestion and conflict at the Dutchman flats snowpark - which was to be reserved for non-motorized use. However, the snowmobile lobby have managed to get the deal changed - and Dutchman is now slated to remain available for use of snowmobilers. For hikers and skiers - this is an intolerable situation. Both the Dutchman parking lot and Tumalo mountain should be reserved for non-motorized use only. I encourage all of you to please read the attached e-mail and send individual letter or e-mails to the Forest Service.
Please Submit Comments to the Forest Service by February 1:
We need you to write to the Forest Service stating your opposition to the Kapka Butte Sno-Park proposal and your support for the Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone. The deadline for public comment is February 1, 2009.
Dear Backcountry Enthusiast,
You've already shown your support for quiet winter recreation experiences-and we truly appreciate your effort.
But to bring about change, we need your continued involvement.
Here's what's happening:
The Forest Service is proposing the construction of a massive snowmobile sno-park at Kapka Butte. Under pressure from the snowmobile coalition, the long-standing plan to make Dutchman a non-motorized sno-park was suddenly retracted, and the agency currently has yet to develop a management plan to deal with the hundreds of additional snowmobiles that will be injected into the Tumalo area.
We need you to comment on this proposal, voicing your opposition to this new sno-park unless equitable accommodations for non-motorized users can be incorporated.
Comments to the Forest Service must be received before by February 1, 2009.
We understand many of you have signed a petition supporting the development of a non-motorized zone surrounding Tumalo Mountain (the Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone, or BRZ). We truly appreciated your support, but the formal scoping process will only acknowledge individual comments received during the scoping process. If you value quiet winter recreation and view Tumalo Mountain as a valuable resource, the Forest Service needs to hear your voice by February 1, 2009.
How you can help:
Email your comments opposing the Kapka Sno-Park proposal and supporting the BRZ to:
(Please put "Kapka Scoping Comment" in the subject line and cc: [address removed])
Or mail your comments to:
Shane Jeffries, District Ranger
Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District
1230 NE 3rd St., Suite A-262
Bend, OR, 97701
Consider these talking points for your response:
1. The Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone (BRZ), a non-motorized zone surrounding Tumalo Mountain must be implemented in conjunction with any increase in snowmobile usage. The BRZ proposal defines an enforceable non-motorized zone with recognizable boundaries that encompasses Tumalo Mountain and the Dutchman Flat region.
2. The Kapka proposal no longer includes the longstanding plan to close Dutchman Sno-Park to snowmobile off-loading. The non-motorized sno-park at Dutchman should be reinstated.
3. Although the Kapka proposal includes the construction of trails for non-motorized users, few winter recreationists seeking a quiet winter experience will want to spend their time in such close proximity to a massive snowmobile staging area. Enhanced snowshoe opportunities on Tumalo Mountain would better serve these winter travelers. Likewise, the dog-friendly ski trails should be located away from this heavily motorized area.
4. The proposed Kapka snowmobile sno-park is excessively large, especially in lieu of the Forest Service's limited ability to enforce existing Wilderness, Watershed, and Dutchman motorized closures.
5. Any proposal for increased motorized access in the Century Drive corridor must be balanced by equitable accommodations for non-motorized users.
6. The goal of the Tumalo BRZ is to enhance accessible backcountry recreation, increase tourism opportunities, and provide fair and reasonable mitigation for the impacts associated with an increase in snowmobiles in the Deschutes National Forest. The BRZ still allows snowmobile access to the high country beyond Tumalo while providing a quiet, safe zone for non-motorized users near the trailhead. Additionally, accommodations for the Elk Lake Resort winter shuttle can easily be incorporated.
Visit www.bendbc.com for additional information.
Thanks for your continued support!
The Bend Backcountry Alliance Team
P.S.: We have a goal of submitting 300 comments to the Forest Service. It just takes a few minutes to make your voice heard. But we have the numbers to succeed-if we all make an effort.
The Backcountry Film Festival Comes to Bend
January 27, 9 PM, at McMenamin's
Bend Backcountry Alliance is bringing The Backcountry Film Festival to Bend! Enjoy an evening of backcountry skiing films that will invigorate, inform and leave you dreaming about the bliss of winter adventures. Win prizes from outdoor industry sponsors, enjoy great people and support a worthy cause! The festival showcases thought-provoking films from grassroots filmmakers that will inform you about backcountry and environmental issues as well as entertain you with exceptional skiing. The event will take place at McMenamin's St. Francis School on Tuesday, January 27th at 9:00 pm. Doors will open at 8:30 pm.
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Bend Backcountry Alliance | www.bendbc.com | Bend | OR | 97701