5/4/05 Draft VI
other civic and conservation organizations can be valued partners. The DNR will need to design a common reporting framework available through the DNR website that can receive electronic communication providing location (preferably GPS coordinates) and pictures if possible. This list can supplement that provided by the DNR through its more thorough Operations Inventory.
Further, in response to a request to FMFM district recreation specialists in the NLP, FMFM personnel and conservation officers submitted photos of ORV damage from many counties with specific site locations. This is disconcerting, as relatively few restoration grants requests have been requested by the DNR, even though there is clear documentation of ORV damage to public lands.
The current forest certification review, with a strong focus on implementing best management practices, is likely to mandate more effective and thorough assessment of forest lands. As a result of their site visit, evaluators specifically noted unrestored ORV damage was a major problem.
Fiscal implications are substantial. Initially, significant effort may be needed to document the locations of all known damage and set priorities for restoration. In addition, broadening operations inventory in an on- going time frame will require a more thorough approach. This is likely to disclose additional sites of ORV damage to public lands. However, this approach will more successfully meet the DNR’s mandate to protect the resources of the state.
The DNR needs to lead efforts to more efficiently and effectively restore damage on public lands once damage is identified. This may involve for profit or non-profit contractors with technical knowledge and certification and the use of proven models/techniques from agricultural erosion control and wildlife habitat restoration. These efforts should be led at the district level by DNR FMFM recreation specialists including the responsibility to administer, implement and monitor restoration grant activity.
Rationale is that there is strong support for a healthy environment among organized ORV users, the general public, the DNR and many specific interest groups focused on natural resources. There is also strong support for the DNR’s ORV damage restoration priorities: 1. reduce or eliminate erosion into any body of water; 2. restore damage in designated roadless area, state natural river corridor or federal wild and scenic river corridor;
restore damage to aesthetically sensitive areas. The forest certification process will also mandate the implementation of best management practices including restoration of erosion sites impacting surface waters.
However, universally, active non-profit and governmental ORV damage restoration cooperators spoke negatively of what they considered excessive “red tape” in engineering, bidding and implementing restoration projects. Conversely, DNR field managers provided alternative cases of bypassing restoration grants in favor of using other more effective and efficient