FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2009
DNR to close some ORV trails in Reiter Foothills
Closures will Be near stream crossings
OLYMPIA – This weekend, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin closing some of the off-road vehicle (ORV) trails in Reiter Foothills. The measures are necessary to reduce the loss of fish habitat and to protect downstream health.
ORV riding will still be allowed in many areas, specifically in places that are being considered as potential riding areas under a recreation plan for Reiter due out this summer.
Over the years, ORV riders have created their own trails in the Reiter area without getting permission from DNR and other landowners. Some of these trails pass around and through streams, causing silt to accumulate in stream beds. As a result, many of the streams in the area have experienced significant environmental damage.
“We know these trail closures will be a concern to the ORV community,” said Bill Wallace, Manager of DNR’s Northwest Region. “There aren’t many places for people to ride in this state as it is. However, DNR has an obligation to keep the forests it manages healthy.”
DNR staff are committed to working with the local user groups to transition the Reiter area from an unsanctioned recreational facility to a sanctioned facility that meets environmental standards and provides users with a safe, enjoyable and sustainable recreational experience.
Long-term plan for Reiter due out this summer
The ORV trail closures are part of an ongoing education and awareness campaign. For the last year, DNR and a special citizens’ advisory committee have been working on the plan. The committee consists of representatives from diverse user groups and local community members. These individuals worked collaboratively to come up with recommendations based on the best available science. Later this summer, DNR will have a recreation plan that will guide the management of recreation in Reiter Foothills.
The public will be able to comment on a draft of the report when it goes through the SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) review process.
For more information about Reiter Foothills, contact DNR Northwest Region Office staff: Candace Johnson at 360-854-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages more than 5 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.2 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s general fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.
DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.
DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive experience in a natural setting.
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, Communications and Outreach Specialist, 360-485-3406 (mobile), and email@example.com
# # #