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Thread: McGrew trail endanger of being closed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Springfield, Oregon

    Default McGrew trail endanger of being closed!

    I got this of a 4x4 site. So for you that do alot of wheeling as well as Ghost towning pass this on to others. As a disabled person if they close this trail, I will never get to see it without being in a motorized vehicle. This isn't fair the the eco groups have so many forests and deserts set aside for them, yet they don't set aside trails for disable Americans that can't hike into these beautiful areas. We need these trails, they are part of our enjoyment of life. Are we second class citizens so we don't get the right to drive these trails? Well any way here it is.

    I'm sending this out to all the off-road clubs and organizations I can think of. Just in case you haven't heard, one of the premiere off-road trails in Oregon is being targeted by the enviro-nazis. I'm trying to make sure that we don't let them blind-side us and get this trail shut down without input from our side. To learn about the McGrew trail, check these sites: If you want to barf, read the tripe from this site: Here it is: McGrew Trail Petition Summary

    The Siskiyou Project and others are petitioning the
    Forest Supervisors of the Siskiyou and Six Rivers
    National Forest to close the McGrew Trail (FS Roads
    4402-019 and 4402-450) to motorized vehicle traffic.
    The McGrew Trail traverses the inventoried South
    Kalmiopsis Roadless Area, which is proposed for
    Wilderness designation by over 100 organizations
    throughout Oregon. This closure action is needed
    immediately because motorized vehicle use on this route
    and off-route is causing unacceptable and significant
    damage to (1) National Forest lands and resources, (2)
    habitat of Arabis macdonaldiana, an endangered plant
    listed under the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"), and
    other rare and endemic plant species (3) important
    recreation and scenic values, and (4) has a high risk of
    introducing the non-native pathogen, Phytophthora
    lateralis, also known as Port Orford cedar root rot

    Currently, most motorized vehicle use on or in the
    vicinity of the McGrew Trail is unregulated. The McGrew
    Trail is increasingly being used, both on and off route,
    by four-wheel drive, off-highway and off-road vehicles
    ("ORVs" or generally "vehicles"). Both regulated and
    unregulated use is causing unacceptable and significant
    damage or may cause irreversible impacts through the
    introduction of P. lateralis into an area or watershed
    containing Port Orford cedar. Introduction of the
    pathogen has many ecological consequences such as
    adverse impacts to stream, riparian, and rare plant
    habitat and to biological diversity. Many vehicles are
    being driven off the designated route and onto sensitive
    ultramafic rock outcrops, serpentine barrens, fragile
    serpentine soils, and sensitive forest and rare plant
    habitat. Accordingly, we hereby petition you to
    immediately close the McGrew Trail to motorized vehicle

    Motorized use of the McGrew Trail is increasing
    significantly. The Forest Service ("USFS"), in
    partnership with 4-wheel drive organizations, has
    increasingly promoted the motorized use of the McGrew
    Trail. However, until this year no plant surveys had
    been conducted on the Trail. The USFS has also failed to
    heed concerns expressed by their own scientists about
    the risk of high risk of introducing P. lateralis. The
    USFS has not done an adequate job protecting the Forest
    against inappropriate motorized vehicle use. As a
    result, motorized vehicle use has caused and continues
    to cause unacceptable and significant damage to National
    Forest lands and resources. Motorized vehicle use is
    also destroying the natural resource values along and
    adjacent to the McGrew Trail. The attached photographs
    document some of the damage that has occurred.

    Increasing Off-Highway/Off-Road/4x4 Vehicle Use

    Increasing use of off-highway, off-road and 4x4 vehicle
    use off roads and in sensitive areas represents one of
    the fastest growing threats to the natural integrity of
    our National Forest lands. The increased popularity of
    ORVs/OHV and 4-wheel drive vehicles has coincided with
    technological advances that have enabled these machines
    to travel cross-country and on rugged trails at an
    alarming rate. While the use grows and the range of
    vehicles increases, the Forest Service has largely
    ignored resulting resource damage and user conflicts.

    The McGrew Trail is no exception. The trail is listed
    and/or described on more than 20 ORV websites. (Some
    excerpts from a few of the websites are attached to this
    petition as Appendix B.) Many of these sites show photos
    of vehicles climbing rock outcrops and huge boulders
    along and adjacent to the road. The narrative on these
    websites provides documentation of user-created routes
    and the widening of routes to get around certain
    "hazards". In addition to documentation from the
    Internet, hikers on the trail report encountering as
    many as twelve vehicles in a group. Hikers have also
    noted areas where vehicles have left the main track.
    USFS records document that groups of 100 or more
    vehicles use the McGrew Trail annually.

    The Oregon Creek Trail is an example of high volume use
    that has occurred for many years. Currently, at least
    100 high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles travel the
    route in an annual event, testing their driving skills
    as they crawl over huge boulders and other "obstacles".
    However, it was not until 2002 that the Forest Service
    undertook surveys for sensitive and endangered plants
    along the route or documented impacts to these plants
    from motorized use. This organized event is but one
    example of the ongoing and increasing use of the McGrew
    Trail by motorized vehicles. Although some mitigation
    measures were put into place for the Oregon Creek Trail
    in 2002 (like driver education and staking around
    sensitive plants), there is no mitigation for the
    hundreds of other motorized vehicles that travel on and
    off the route each year. Additional organized events
    are planned in 2002, including a Labor Day event for 50
    vehicles, and the number of vehicles traveling the route
    is likely to increase in the future.

    Habitat for the endangered Arabis mcdonaldiana and
    Sensitive and Endemic Plants

    The McGrew Trail traverses rocky peridotite/serpentine
    soils, much of it habitat for rare and endemic plant
    species that are unique to the Siskiyou/Klamath range.
    Such serpentine environments are globally rare. Their
    distinctiveness and the high concentration of rare flora
    warrant special management considerations.

    A recent botanical survey of the trail by a Siskiyou
    National Forest botanist conclusively determined that
    several sensitive and/or endemic plant species occur
    within the McGrew Trail road prism or within site
    distance from the roadside. These plants include:
    Bolander's Onion (Allium bolanderi), Waldo Rock Cress
    (Arabis aculeolata), Oregon Bleeding Heart ( Dicentra
    formosa ssp. oregana), Opposite-leaved Lewisia (Lewisia
    oppositiolia), Howell's Microseris (Microseris
    howellii), Howell's Streptanthus (Streptanthus
    howellii), and Siskiyou Mountain Pennycress ( Thlaspi
    montanum var. siskiyouense). Of these, Opposite-leaved
    Lewisia, Howell's Microseris, Howell's Streptanthus, and
    Siskiyou Mountain Pennycress were found along areas of
    the trail that have been impacted by motorized vehicle
    use or in the roadbed itself.

    McDonald's Rock Cress (Arabis macdonaldiana) was listed
    as endangered under the ESA on September 28, 1978 for
    its entire range. This plant prefers serpentine soils
    and rocky habitat, but it is also found in dry, open
    forests. During the 2002 botanical survey,
    approximately 40 plants were found in crevices on a
    serpentine rock outcrop and along the road edge.

    Rare, sensitive and endangered plants have been or will
    likely be adversely impacted as motorized vehicle use
    continues and increases on the McGrew Trail and as
    technological advances allow more motorized vehicles to
    travel off the trail. The 2002 Botanical Biological
    Evaluation notes that without consistent management, we
    may lose sensitive species like Streptanthus howellii,
    as well as members of Arabis macdonaldiana, however, the
    Forest Service has yet to prevent off road vehicle
    damage even in designated Botanical Areas with road
    access. In fact, damage to rare plant habitat in
    Botanical Areas such as Eight Dollar Mountain and Days
    Gulch by vehicles off roads is increasing.

    Risks to Port Orford Cedar

    Port-Orford-Cedar, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (POC), is an
    important component of forest ecosystems in Southwest
    Oregon, Northwest California, with inland populations in
    the Sacramento and Trinity River basins of California.
    POC is a coniferous tree species that is endemic to
    these areas. It is found along the McGrew Trail and the
    watersheds below the trail including the National Wild
    and Scenic North Fork Smith River and its tributaries,
    Baldface and Diamond Creeks, and Rough & Ready Creek, a
    candidate Wild and Scenic River, along with Baldface
    Continued next post.
    Coodinator Oregon Chapter of
    Member of
    If you don't like logging then try using plastic toilet
    Exploring Oregon in a Jeep
    Tread Lightly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Springfield, Oregon

    Default McGrew continued

    POC is extremely susceptible to a fatal, non-native
    pathogenic root rot fungus, Phytophthora lateralis, a
    disease that has spread through much of the northern and
    western extent of the POC range. P. lateralis is a water
    mold that infects POC by dispersing through water and
    contacting root hairs. P. lateralis quickly kills POC
    trees of all sizes. Seedlings often die within a few
    weeks of infection, while saplings die within a few
    months, and larger trees in one or more years. No known
    genetic resistance or chemical control has been
    identified once a tree has become infected with this

    A recent study, conducted in 1998-1999, in the Page
    Mountain area of the Siskiyou National Forest, found
    infection along 46% of the 63 km of creeks with POC.
    72% of the infections began directly at locations where
    roads cross creeks. Even Non-Road infections (those in
    creeks without road crossings) were in creeks that had a
    road uphill, above the creek. Only creeks above the
    entire road system remained uninfected.

    The consequence of the introduction of P. lateralis is
    ecological disruption in sensitive habitats, including
    riparian areas, wetlands and other rare plant habitat,
    and loss of biological diversity. On ultramafic soils,
    POC may be the only riparian tree species. Its loss may
    have an immediate and drastic effect on stream ecology.
    Once introduced, there is no practical means to
    eradicate P. lateralis, and there are fewer and few
    large, disease-free watersheds. The Baldface Creek and
    Rough & Ready Creek Watersheds are two such large
    watersheds, which are almost entirely free of roads
    except for old mining tracks or travel routes such as
    the McGrew, Biscuit Hill and Chetco Divide Trails and
    road 4402-112.

    The McGrew Trail provides access to uninfected POC
    stands through infected areas. The North Fork Smith
    Watershed ****ysis lists the McGrew Trail (section
    4402-450) as one of four roads in the area that present
    a potentially high risk of disease spread for the North
    Fork Smith Watershed. The Watershed ****ysis also notes
    that POC is abundant in the Baldface Creek Watershed and
    that the risk of root disease introduction is increased
    by the high percentage of four-wheel drive vehicles and
    motorcycles using the area. In addition, the West Fork
    Illinois River Watershed ****ysis places particular
    importance on preventing the introduction of P.
    lateralis into the Rough & Ready Creek Watershed noting
    that most low elevation drainages are already infected.
    The McGrew Trail also drains into uninfected tributaries
    of Diamond Creek and Whiskey Creek.

    Most experts agree that permanent road/motorized trail
    closures are the best way to prevent the introduction of
    Port Orford cedar root disease. A 1993 inter-agency
    report prepared by experts from the BLM, the Forest
    Service, and other federal natural resource agencies,
    found that restricting further road construction and
    closing roads in watersheds that contain uninfected
    stands is critical for the conservation of POC as a
    species. Therefore, the McGrew Trail should be closed
    to motorized vehicle use in order to protect POC along
    the route and throughout the watersheds that are
    traversed by the trail.

    Photo Documentation

    Attached as an appendix to the petition are 25 photos
    and a narrative is included in the body of the petition.
    These photos show impacts to rare and sensitive plants,
    user-created spurs along the trail, off-route
    "playgrounds," and other types of damage on the McGrew
    trail in California and Oregon.

    Legal Authority for a Closure

    The Forest Service has the legal authority and the
    responsibility to issue an immediate closure of the
    McGrew Trail. This authority, as well as the
    responsibility, is provided by the National Forest
    Management Act, Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning
    Act, the Siskiyou and Six Rivers Land and Resource
    Management Plans, two Executive Orders, 36 CFR 295,
    Forest Service Manual 2355, the Endangered Species Act,
    the Organic Act, the National Environmental Policy Act,
    and a number of court decisions. Therefore, the Forest
    Service should fulfill its responsibility and use its
    authority to protect National Forest lands and public
    resources from damage caused by motorized vehicles by
    closing the McGrew Trail to such use.

    Coodinator Oregon Chapter of
    Member of
    If you don't like logging then try using plastic toilet
    Exploring Oregon in a Jeep
    Tread Lightly

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