Restoration: Education and Regulation by Bill Lucey

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Community-Based Watershed Management, March 2012, Juneau Alaska. Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition

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Restoration: Education and Regulation by Bill Lucey

  1. 1. At the crossroads: A journey through the swamp and back againChanging community perspectives over 15 years of ATV management in Yakutat
  2. 2. Perception 1:So What’s the Problem?Vegetation Loss and erosion
  3. 3. Both the environmentalimpacts and the evolutionof the vehicles suggestsroads
  4. 4.  The effected area is often wider than roads engineered for full sized vehicles.
  5. 5. Argo 57 inches wide Polaris Ranger 60 inches wide Kawasaki Prairie 41 inches wide PugKawasaki 56 inches wide Mule60 inches Suzuki Samurai wide 57 inches wide Toyota Truck 67 inches wide
  6. 6. So are salmon
  7. 7. Salmon (Anadromous)Stream
  8. 8. Wetland drainage = diminished flow during critical periods
  9. 9.  Stream is now  Broad  Shallow  Short
  10. 10. So we identified the local user perceptionsPerception 1: What’s the problem?Perception 2: These are just trailsPerception 3: I am guaranteed my hunting access rightsPerception 4: Off road riding is just plain funPeople began warming to the fact that we may have a problemSo . . . . . . .What is the solution?
  11. 11. Solution 1: Map the extent of the problem NPS, ADF&G, USFS & the tribe city and community through public meetings
  12. 12. Solution 2. Engage the community in active salmon management and restoration Wire tagging smolts on Tawah CreekYakutat citizens putin a lot of hard workto enhance andprotect salmonhabitat
  13. 13. Solution 3. Educate the little ones  Sufficient water  Clean, cold water  Correct temperature  Clean gravel
  14. 14. Forest Service and CBY Fisheries staff help the Yakutat Second Grade collect and fertilize eggs for the Salmon in the Classroom project.
  15. 15. Solution 4. educate the big ones  Beach dune habitat is very important to nesting seabirds  Both birds and habitat are especially vulnerable to OHV damage
  16. 16. Yakutat Moose Study  Collect data  Location  Body condition  Reproduction  Look for relationships  Habitat quality  Habitat use  Weather  Vulnerability to predation  Human activityYakutat Salmon Board and CapitolCommunity Broadcasting, Inc. (CCBI), 2005Tracks in Time VideoAired state wide annually distributed over1000 copies including all 13 wildlife refuges
  17. 17. Solution 5. Close old trails and restore wetlands
  18. 18. Solution 6. Build good trails and stream crossings for existing users
  19. 19.  I. Introduction The Forest Service recognizes the magnitude of the problem. In April 2003, Chief Bosworth identified unmanaged recreation, particularly off-road vehicle use, as one of the four greatest threats to National Forests. He described a litany of adverse impacts caused by off-road vehicles, including soil erosion, habitat destruction, damage to cultural and sacred sites, and conflicts with millions of other visitors. He has also highlighted the unchecked proliferation of unauthorized – or renegade -- ATV and dirt bike routes across National Forests and made clear that this problem is only going to get worse. The Chief stressed the urgency of the problem: “This is not an easy issue to tackle, but if we wait a day, a week, or even a year, the impact on the land and the issues surrounding the problem will become even harder to deal with. We need to address this issue now.” In fact, the magnitude of this threat is even greater when one considers the role that dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and other off-road vehicles play in fragmenting wildlife habitat and spreading invasive weeds – two of the other threats the Chief identified. The agency is well aware of the wide range of impacts to the land, air and water quality, wildlife and habitat, and the experiences of millions of Americans who visit National Forests annually for nonmotorized recreation
  20. 20. National ruling requires an OHV Plan. Though the educationis helping, it has not solved the problem
  21. 21. NEPA Law EnforcementWhere do people need to Stop use that is causing go? damage.What is the best method Difficult to prevent and route of getting damage with existing there? regulations.
  22. 22. NEPA EnforcementImplementation Special orders to protect1. Design trails and prevent2. Get funding resource damage3. Construction
  23. 23. Identified so far: Resource damage: soils, wetlands, vegetation and fish habitat Water quality, quantity and flow regime Access: Subsistence resources and public lands Crowding and user conflict Legal: OHV Routes in Roadless and in LUD II Enforcement OTHERS:
  24. 24. Agency perspectives have changed. The first photo was a one pass trailand ticketed in 2004 while the second photo depicts a 2010 trail to a restoration site This causes problems in public perception
  25. 25.  There is more awareness about the damage from ATV’s There needs to be monitoring to determine if the new rulings are increasing or decreasing the effects on habitat Trail building is ongoing, but expensive so additional funding is necessary Questions?

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