Plan to close some dunes in Oregon to vehicles progresses

CORVALLIS, Ore. — An environmental review of a plan to close some unauthorized off-road vehicle trails in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area has been released for public comment.

Opinions on the 150-page draft review are due to the Siuslaw National Forest by Dec. 10, the Gazette-Times reported.

The recreation area covers 29,000 acres from Florence to North Bend along the Oregon Coast. It’s a popular playground for riders of dirt bikes, dune buggies and four-wheelers.

Some 5,930 acres of open sand have been set aside for off-road vehicles. There are another 4,455 acres of vegetated areas where riding is allowed on 34 miles of designated trails.

Over the years, however, riders have carved out a 135-mile web of trails through the vegetated sections. Now the Forest Service is cracking down on riding in unauthorized areas.

The plan aims for something of a compromise that likely would include a modest expansion of the authorized trail network and the open riding areas while enforcing rules for unauthorized areas.

None of the alternatives being considered would shrink the official on- or off-trail areas now open to riders.

“Those 34 miles (of trails) currently designated, nothing is happening to those,” said Angie Morris, a recreation planner with the Siuslaw National Forest. “There’s no negative impact to open riding; there’s only additions. We’re not going backwards.”

The areas proposed for reallocation to open riding already tend to be popular with users of off-highway vehicles and vegetated with invasive species, Morris said. Route additions proposed connect open riding areas either to each other or to the beach.

More in Local News

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

They chose the longshot candidate to fill a vacant seat

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick will serve as representative for the 39th legislative district.

Definitely not Christmas in July for parched young trees

“I live in Washington. I should not have to water a Christmas tree,” says one grower. But they did.

Marysville babysitter faces jail time in infant’s death

Medical experts differed over whether it was head trauma or illness that caused the baby to die.

Whether cheers or jeers, DeVos appearance will rouse spirits

Trump’s secretary of education is coming to Bellevue to raise money for a pro-business think tank.

Superior Court judge admits DUI on freeway

Prosecutors recommend a “standard” penalty for Marybeth Dingledy, who “is terribly sorry.”

Self-defense or murder? Trial begins in shooting death

Explanations as to why a man was shot in the back on a Bothell cul-de-sac are starkly different.

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Alliance plans meeting to discuss future of the Everett Station

Key themes are economic development, parking, green space, safety, and transportation connections

Front Porch

EVENTS Chicken dinner time Seniors serve up a family-style chicken dinner from… Continue reading

Most Read