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Letter to the Editor: Off roaders fund trails for all

By CHRIS HORGAN
Lake Isabella, Calif.

Editor,

Most people give little thought to the time and money it takes to maintain forest trails. It can be time consuming and money is hard to come by with shrinking forest service budgets. Fortunately off-roaders contributed almost $8 million in 2005 for forest service trails in California, which was 33 percent more than the combined contributions from all non-motorized groups. Yet while OHV users provide the lions share of trail funding, only one-fifth of the trails allow motorized recreation.

Off-road groups volunteer considerable time on national forest multiple use trails to keep the trails in good condition and protect the environment.

It is hard work clearing downed trees, repairing washed out trails and trimming back overgrown brush, but worthwhile to keep the land healthy and make the trails more enjoyable for everyone.

We are very fortunate to have world class multiple use motorized trail systems on national forest lands. The forest service is currently revising their motorized trail plan and it is very important for motorized users to be involved to ensure existing historical motorized trails are kept open.

Apparently the forest service is considering closing a number of trails to motorized use, eliminating off-roader volunteerism and funding on those trails. Where will the forest service find the money to maintain those trails closed to motorized use? Why do they need to be closed?

If you have questions or comments regarding the future of trails in your area the forest service would like to hear from you. Contact your local forest service office and get involved to keep your trails open to multiple use.





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