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  1. BillO

    BillO Limited User

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    The OFTR is a fledgling organization. What it needs to take flight is our confidence, not in it as it is, but in what we believe it might, and needs, to become. That is how these things get started.

    In the good old days, vision seemed to be in better supply. In these later years, the way our society works, how it bows to the here and now, and to the quickest path to the almighty buck, is saddening. I see it all around. We are all becoming myopic accountants. The kind of people we despised 20-30 years ago. I think Freddy Mercury, god rest his soul, put this best when he sang ‘I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!’ He captured today’s ideal quite well, back all those years ago. That, as sadly ironic as it is, was vision.

    Want to see the OFTR succeed? Want your vision fulfilled? Then work to make it happen! Because the OFTR is not ‘those guys, or that guy’, it’s us.
  2. 400 KTM Pilot

    400 KTM Pilot Limited User

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    + 1

    Riders:

    The Northumberland newspaper is doing an online survey whether ATV's should be allowed in Northumberland Forest. Answer is Yes or No.
    One vote per computer. Since we are motorized users of the forest I think we should contribute to the vote. If ATV's are banned, I'm sure we will be grouped in.
    Go to bottom right hand side of page.
    http://www.northumberlandnews.com/

    Paul
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Ok, point taken. I guess I am one of those people that want it now. Bad on my part I agree.

    But I also think that the forest closures are happening now, not in 5-10 years from now. So the OFTR needs success now.

    I am sure most people are pissed with my "whining" about the OFTR. Tough. If I did not care about the future of our sport I would not be 'whining'.

    My 'whining' is not in an effort to destory the OFTR but to hopefully push it further. Of course there is a fine line between pushing to do better and pushing someone off a cliff. Maybe I crossed it. Sorry if that is the case.
  4. 3BeeJay3

    3BeeJay3 ODSC Past President

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    Crash-

    Pm'd ya
  5. dirtbill

    dirtbill Limited User

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    Draft letter to the committee

    Here is a draft letter that I intend to send to the committee, I would appreciate OFTR taking a good hard look at this and getting to work on this on our behalf.

    Futhermore, we need to do less finger pointing and more trying to work with the other users groups to develop ways to make it work. The environmental people are sitting back laughing as once they raise the spectre of closing the forest, all of the users groups start to attack one another, not constructive for any of us.

    Draft letter:



    Further to the public meeting related to potential uses within the Northumberland forest I would like to provide some observations and perhaps some ideas which could allow maximum use of the forest to a wide range of users while limiting conflicts and protecting those areas which truly require our protection.

    Having reviewed the draft report a few things stand out, most of the survey respondents did not object to motorized uses, although it would appear that few if any respondents were motorized users. In addition it would appear that the questionnaire proffered very leading questions by offering the restriction of motorized vehicles, no similar questions were offered for the restriction or prohibition of other users.

    Little direct evidence of the negative effects of off road motorcycles is presented to support widespread restrictions, particularly when compared to other “soft users”. Off road motorcycles are frequently lumped in with other motorized users when there is significant evidence available that would provide for their inclusion with more soft type uses.


    Based on my experience in the Ganaraska Forest all users have an impact, however the actual area of the trails take up minute amount of the forests land mass and the small amount of damage that results from use have no serious long term consequences to the overall health of the forest. The exception being those area which are extremely sensitive like marshes, creeks and sharp faced sand hills. These areas which should be relatively easy to identify should be avoided by all users.

    In my opinion large users such as 4X4’s, ATV’s and horses disturb the soil the most and result in the maximum soil compaction and/ or soil erosion. These are the uses that should be limited to existing large wide trails to avoid more damage. Single track trails should be available to off road motorcycles, bicycles, and hikers. You will notice that the Ganny has recently limited the use of many single track trails to no atv’s, this has been a great help to avoid the narrow trails growing wider attracting more traffic and suffering from more soil erosion.

    Within the Northumberland forest, much like the Ganaraska, many of the single track trails have been built by the off road motorcycle users who continue to maintain the trails, clear brush, remove fallen logs, provide and maintain signage and the like. Few if any other user groups regularly put effort into trail maintenance. Hikers who were surveyed did not belong to organized groups and are therefore not likely mount organized efforts at trail building or maintenance, the likely result of prohibition of motorcycles would result in the forest reclaiming those trails in a few years. Hikers and environmentalist would then naturally migrate to the motorcycle trails and demand the removal of the motorized use resulting in the loss of enjoyment of more and more trails for everyone.

    Local Resident impact can be avoided by limiting the access and parking to designated areas which avoid traffic on local streets, parking on side roads and users spilling out onto private property.

    Require permitting, in particular motorized vehicles should be required to be licensed and insured and to be appropriately equipped for offroad (ie. Quiet spark arrested mufflers). Organizations wishing to hold events should be required to obtain a permit and pay a fee toward the upkeep of the forest. Permits or memberships could be sold through the mail, at the local municipal and conservation authority offices and at local business who wish to participate. Event permit should be sold at the local municipal office and be pre-authorized by council to give staff authority to allow one or two day permits which could have certain limitations. Permits could be tracked on the internet describing the event, start location and areas to be used, this would assist in avoiding conflicts.

    The F.A.C. should welcome organized user groups (who have a minimum membership who are forest permit holders) to participate in trail maintenance, event planning, activity enforcement and permit sales.

    Although these sources of revenue may not provide enough income to support a full time staffer initially, after a few years I expect that additional sources of revenue could be persued.
  6. Yamahammer

    Yamahammer Limited User

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    Excellent letter! The content is perfect. Not sure if you wanted comments on the grammar, there were a couple, I noticed a missing "to" in there somewhere for example. I would change the "require permitting" part because it's confusing. Change to something like "require users to purchase permits".

    I particularly like that you raise the point that without motorcycle users maintaining the single track, it will quickly be "reclaimed" and then the hikers won't have anywhere to go.

    Because it's an excellent point. I'm a hiker, and I don't like hiking on "logging roads". Single track is nice for a hike, but I know that it will not last with the existing hiking traffic that forest sees (not much!).

    Now as for the meeting:

    So you guys are saying the "experts" doing the report did not have a negative bias against us? That's fantastic to hear. So, what's the deal, did the author of the report misrepresent the draft report?!
  7. SteveP

    SteveP Ride Organizer

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    VERY good letter. I would send the letter and CC Ken H at the oftr so that they are aware of the correspondence.

    In addition to the prior posters grammatical correction, I would make one small change. Mid way through, you use a shortform for the "Ganny", I would use the Ganaraska Forest.....

    So, my understanding is you were in attendance.....were there any environmentalists present, or any other user groups present??
  8. dirtbill

    dirtbill Limited User

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    There were primarily users there, few in groups, dog sledder put on a good talk, scouts made a few good presentations, OFAH rep was there, a local horse club and a number of NIMBY's who had a variety of issues, some with ATV and bikes. There was a guy who I think is a lawyer who wrote the original letter that threatened to take council to court, he wants everyone who doesn't where flowers in their hair out of the forest. There were some hikers who also want all motorized vehicles out.

    My impression is that we are not going to be thrown out of the forest, they definately want to restrict where and when we can ride. The issue that I see is that if we are satisfied and allow the process to go on without significant input, modest restrictions leave the door open for reduced access in the future.

    We need to inject ourselves in the process, be the leaders not satisfied with the scraps left on the table as it so often seems in the Ganny. Our right to be there is not contingent on no one else screaming to have us removed. we pay taxes, observe the rules and do most of the trail building and maintenance, we should be the first people they come talk to not the last.
  9. Gary Graham

    Gary Graham Ride Organizer

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    Will they lump motorcycles under ATVs though? I've seen this before where it is yes to ATVs and no to off road motorcycles. Mind you, yes to ATVs in this vote is a step in the right direction.
  10. shawn DRZ400s

    shawn DRZ400s ODSC-OFTR Member

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    DirtBill, excellent letter! Thank you for your support. I really like the fact that you perseive us as 'soft users' and not 'larger users'. It is true and we only really need as much trail width as hikers or mountain bikers.
    I'm personally not thrilled on the idea of yet another trail permit, how many permits can I fit in my wallet to go for a long day ride? Perhaps this is where the OFTR has proven awnsers about. If our user group must pay then all users must pay. We have the right to equality.
    I know many people had the idea/dream of the Ganaraska Trail Pass expanding to other areas such as this forest and the currently closed Blackstock area. This would greatly increase sales of the Ganaraska Pass forsure.
  11. BinzerBob

    BinzerBob Limited User

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    How do we get Dirtbill to become a member of the OFTR/ODSC? Nice letter. (I am only getting my info from the information provided under his user name).

    Note ... this post really doesn’t need a response and is not intended to stir the pot. I just would like to see dirtbill and other likely minded non members join :) .
  12. BillO

    BillO Limited User

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    Good letter Bill.
  13. dirtbill

    dirtbill Limited User

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    Bob:

    I'm already a member of the CMA, OCMC, sometimes LDR, OFSC, PEO, Masonic Lodge and so on. I'm memebered out, the sum total of my memberships exceeds my insurance on three bikes and two snowmobiles.

    The fight is our fight no matter what club we belong to, I'm happy that ODSC offers this forum where we can all talk.

    As for the letter, I hope everyone borrows whatever part they feel appropriate to add to their own letters to the FAC in Northumberland, maybe this can be our beachhead to make advancements elsewhere.