Thread: Deschutes-Ochoco Roads Closed, Unless Marked Open

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Deschutes-Ochoco Roads Closed, Unless Marked Open

    "Mostly the forest was open unless it was posted closed -- and now it's closed unless it's shown as open on the map" - makes perfect sense, right? There's a maximum $5k fine for driving on a road that is not physically posted anywhere except on one of 13 maps that you'd need to reference while on the move.

    Anyone wanna get their petition on?

    Here's one article outlining the issue:
    Here's a petition:

    Quote Originally Posted by petition letter

    I just signed the following petition addressed to: United States Forest Service.

    Repeal the Travel Management Plan and keep our public lands open.

    The US Forest Service has closed all roads in the Deschutes National Forest, Ochoco National Forest, and Crooked River National Grassland unles they are posted OPEN on one of 13 confusing government maps. Maximum fine for traveling on a closed road is $5000. Our public lands are being taken away from their owners by a government that is out of touch. Lets show them that we the people and not going to roll over and blindly accept these useless new closures. As a user of our public lands and lover of the outdoors I urge you to pull the plan and open the closed roads. This will have an economic impact on the Central Oregon region that will not be fully realized until it is too late. Why are we closing our forests? Why should it be so difficult to navigate out public lands with maps that do not jive with other paper maps or GPS maps? Why are the signages being abandoned and the blanket "it's closed unless marked open on the maps" being used. This is detrimental to America and our local economy. The environmental impact being touted as the reason for the closures has not been demonstrated and is a lie. We encourage you to re-address this issue. We the people ask for more from our government than protecting us from our public lands.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Desert Hills/Peeples Valley AZ.
    Hey corax.. WOW that sucks!! I had the chance to travel your Beautiful state in 08. started at the Riverfront Blues Fest.. then to the columbia, over to Crater Lake, cherries in the shadow of Mt. Hood..MMM.. Headed down to see the Redwoods but the fires foiled that plan! Then up the coast. My passion is fishing, assaulted many of your lakes,rivers and streams. Amazing where a rented motorhome can go. haha. Always planned to go back and explore what we missed. 16 days wasn't near enough time! I just wanted to thank you for posting this, may change my thinking a little. Sad!!! but i agree We the people need to loose a shoe in some civil servants ***** and take back whats ours.. I will be checking gov. sites tomorrow to see what they've got up their sleeves for Arizona.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Quote Originally Posted by corax View Post
    "Mostly the forest was open unless it was posted closed -- and now it's closed unless it's shown as open on the map" - makes perfect sense, right?
    I think it makes perfect sense, which I'm guessing is a minority opinion. Back in the good ol days, the FS could post a closure sign to inform the public that an area was off limits. Unfortunately, a small percentage of forest users are vandals, finding great joy in destroying signs and trails for their personal enjoyment. Faced with this reality, is there a better solution to the problem? At least this policy gives the FS LEOs something else they can use to charge the bad guys with. I have worked with and been investigated by FS LEOs before. In my experience, they are very decent people with a very difficult/underfuned job to do. Recently, I was in a seasonally closed area by mistake due to bad intel provided by a ranger station. When I explained myself to the investigating officer, I was not fined and given the guy's personal number if I ever had any questions in the future. He actually called me today when I was in route to recover my motorcycle and provided good information about the roads and trails I would be traveling.

    As a forest user, we benefit from the improved maps. I used these new maps extensively on my Arizona traverse ride. I found them easy to use while riding my motorcycle solo...unlike this guy quoted in the article you linked. I printed them, cut them to the size of my tank bag, and highlighted my intended route. No problemo, even for a new rider like myself.

    "I have a highway legal motorcycle and it's impossible to look at those maps while you're on a motorcycle or even to put them on the bike for that matter," Justin Beach said Wednesday.
    In my opinion, if you can't read a map while out in the forest, you either need to slow down or get some skills. In an ideal world, people would respect closure signs and the forest service would have a budget for maintaining access to all the features within their charge. This new policy seems to have the teeth to manage roads and trails a little better than in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by upndown
    I will be checking gov. sites tomorrow to see what they've got up their sleeves for Arizona.
    pretty much every national forest now has the new maps published and available online for free. Search for threads started by crawler#976 if you are not able to find the maps. Mark did a nice job posting these over the last several months. The management maps are simple line drawings indicating open roads and open camping areas...very useful IMHO. When paired with a gazateer or GPS, you will have more information than ever. You can even scan them into Ozi explorer if you need some moving map functionality with these new maps.

  4. #4
    Folks. Please be alert to what the government is taking away from us. These travel management plans have a process to them and the time to provide input is limited and most likely already past for you. The USFS was counting on people being distracted with daily lives and not getting involved in the EIR process for the road closures. If they have issued a ruling then the only hope is a lawsuit. I no longer have motorized access to my mining claim in the Tahoe National Forest despite my involvement in the process. Repeal Petitions are worthless and will not be recognized. My advice is to get behind an existing legal challenge like the one Public Lands for the People has.

    Stay Tuned.. Public Lands for the People ( just had their case heard on appeal at the 9th Cir Court for the Travel Management Plans in the Eldorado National Forest. If you can goto their website and donate what you can . 1 HR of their lawyers time is about $250.00 so I try to donate at least a hour per month. If they do not win it will be a big loss for everyone. It is time to "pay to play"

    Mark Weiss Ham Radio Call Sign K7VQU
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