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PUBLIC COMMENT NEEDED on DNR draft trail policy!

PUBLIC COMMENT NEEDED on DNR draft trail policy!

_NEWS_POSTEDBYANDON

On March 28, 2014, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2151, requested and
supported by OHV user activists, was signed into law. The main component of
this bill directs DNR to develop a recreational trail policy in partnership
with user groups and the public, and to adopt the policy by October 31,
2015.



The DNR started the public review and comment period for their draft policy
today, 9-14-15 and it will go through September 28, 2015,



Part of the House Bill 2151 mentioned above required the DNR to form a committee of citizens involved in the various forms of recreation throughout the state for the purpose of drafting up the new DNR Trails Policy. I applied to be on the committee and was selected, and as such I feel it is my duty to provide my point of view concerning how the process went.



In my opinion the committee itself was a great group of recreational leaders from around the state. Both motorized and non-motorized interests were fairly well represented as well as a variety of recreational interests. The group got along great and there was very little bickering and in most cases it was easy for the committee to form a consensus on most issues. It was clear to me from very early on in the process that the entire committee knew that change was needed as far as the way the DNR had been doing business and most committee members appeared to be open to making progress toward imparting some change.



I have two main concerns with the final draft of the policy that you now have opportunity to view and comment upon:



First, it was clear to me that there were many subjects that the DNR simply was not willing to include in the new policy that the committee thought should be included. The DNR made it clear early in the process that the results of the committee where merely recommendations to the management of the DNR and that the DNR may or may not choose to accept them. I found this to be disappointing.



Second, I feel that the final draft policy simply lacks the teeth required to produce changes necessary in the DNR. Some regions may respond positively, but some may simply ignore it.



I have been hearing a lot of good things coming from some people in the DNR over the last year. New ideas, more positive outlooks toward recreation, and I can see that some in the DNR are making efforts to bring recreation into a more positive light for the agency. I can only hope that this new policy ends up bringing on the changes that I feel are necessary to make recreation on DNR lands a more positive and fulfilling experience for the citizens of Washington state.



Now it is your turn to provide your feedback on the new policy. You can click the link below and go to the DNR's website where you will be able to watch a short video, read the new policy draft, and submit comments to the DNR.



DNR Trail Policy Website Link



The next link below will bring you to the Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2151 so you can judge for yourself whether this policy is inline with the intent of the bill.



House Bill 2151



This final link will take you to a website that will help you find the legislator for your district. You are encouraged to send a copy of your comments to him/her using the link below. It is very important that your legislator knows whether the intent of House Bill 2151 is being met by this new policy.



http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/



 Please DO check the box sending your comments to ALL of your personal
legislators.



Thank you for your time,



Mike Ames

President Jones Creek Trail Riders Association

www.jctra.org