A land surveyor takes a stand for off-road vehicle use in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
National forest officials say they don’t expect to increase trails set aside for vehicles
Saturday, December 6 | 6:43 a.m.
BY ERIK ROBINSON COLUMBIAN STAFF WRITER
Dozens of off-road enthusiasts from Oregon and Southwest Washington rallied in Vancouver Friday to press for more motorized access to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
However, forest officials said they don’t expect to significantly increase the 268 miles of designated motorized trails on the 1.37 million-acre forest. Instead, they plan to formally adopt the existing motorized trail system to meet a nationwide deadline.
“I know that doesn’t sit well with a lot of folks,” Ron Freeman, the forest’s public services staff officer, told the gathering of about 100.
Indeed, it did not.
Gary Johnson, a land surveyor from Yelm who chairs the Gifford Pinchot Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance, contends that the forest has plenty of low-priority roads in desperate need of repair and maintenance. Plenty of motorcycle and ATV clubs are ready and willing to get those roads ready for trail riding, he said.