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5/4/05 Draft VI

methods to block access by illegal users and restore vegetation to eroded sites. These methods included the timber sale process.

  • c.

    Approximately $2.4 has been allocated for ORV damage site restoration in the past 14 years (1991-2004). There is no firm figure on the acreage restored. However, based on damage photographs submitted by DNR employees during this planning process and by the recent forest certification visit noting the prevalence and visibility of ORV damage sites on state forest lands, there is still considerable work to be done regarding ORV damage restoration at priority sites (e.g. those sites adjacent to surface waters).

  • d.

    The three greatest challenges cited by cooperators and DNR field personnel in ORV damage restoration were the level of engineering required to accomplish basic erosion control, the complexity of soil and sedimentation control training (and accompanying permit requirements and engineering requirements) and state contracting requirements mandating multiple bidders to compete for minor contracts. In summary, the result is that the work isn’t getting done and interest in competing for and accomplishing restorations through the ORV grant process appears to be declining. The environment suffers and legal ORV riders get a bad name even though they have paid to have the damage of illegal riders restored. Other approaches as discussed above are available and need to be investigated.

  • e.

    Fiscal implications are that a shift to a more partner and field oriented approach and examination and adoption where feasible of other DNR utilized environmental restoration partnerships (e.g. those for wildlife habitat) may save considerable money and better safeguard the environment, resulting in best management practices being implemented on more state forest acres.

Law Enforcement

  • 1.

    Strengthen ORV enforcement through greater participation by conservation officers, county sheriffs, Forest Service officers, state park officers and forest officers. Specific suggestions to do this are bolded in a-e.

    • a.

      ORV enforcement should be viewed as a regular part of conservation enforcement and the ORV program should be charged straight time. Conservation officers provide exceptionally well trained, dedicated and professional law enforcement officers. They have a myriad of duties ranging from enforcing fish and game laws, enforcing state land use laws and rules, enforcing environmental laws, enforcing state recreation laws, cooperating with local law enforcement and more recently involvement in homeland security. With less than 200 officers in the field, devoting significant time to ORV enforcement has been challenging and has often been done on an overtime basis, resulting in significant expense per ORV enforcement hour. A number of approaches are possible considering the limited officer hours available. For example, a few conservation officers may work solely on motorized trail enforcement (ORV and snowmobile

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