PAST NEWSLETTERS

 

"Desire is the key to motivation, but itís determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.Ē

Mario Andretti

 

 

 

 

BARBERS BLURB†††† August 2017†††††††††

 

Union County Fair Parade

††††††††††††† As usual we will be riding in the Union County Fair Parade, which will be on Friday August 4 this year. We generally line up near 8th and O. It is starting at 6 PM this year so get there between 5 and 5:30 if you can. If anyone has kids that can participate, please bring them. The more bodies we can round up the better we look as an organization.

 

Blue Mtns. Forest Plan Revision

 

Current Status

ē      We are still working on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which contains the Alternatives and analysis for the three Proposed Revised Forest Plans. 

ē      We are also working on the Biological Assessment required for formal consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  This fall of 2017, we plan to finalize the Biological Assessment and begin formal ESA consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. 

Next Steps

ē      Upon receipt of a complete Biological Assessment and request to initiate formal consultation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service will have 135 days (unless extended) to complete a Biological Opinion.  Based on the formal consultation process, there may be changes that would be reflected in the Proposed Revised Forest Plans.

ē      After we conclude the ESA consultation process, the Pacific-Northwest Regional Forester will select an Alternative from the FEIS.  The Regional Foresterís selected Alternative will constitute the Revised Forest Plans for the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests.

ē      We would then publish the FEIS along with the three Revised Forest Plans and three Draft Records of Decision.  We are currently expecting to publish these documents in early 2018, at which point they would be available for the objection period. 

ē      The objection period (60 days), and the process to resolve objections (minimum of 90 days), would be overseen by the Washington, DC Office of the Forest Service.  Based on objections, there may be additional changes that would be reflected in the Revised Forest Plans.

ē      At the conclusion of the objection and resolution process, the Regional Forester would sign the Final Records of Decision for the Blue Mountains Forest Plans, and Final Forest Plans would be published.

So now you know as much as I do about the Forest Plan time line.

 

MERA

††††††††††††† Things are coming to a halt on trail work due to fire regulations. We have been able to get a little more single track cut open, but are waiting on some help from the Kubota, which probably wonít happen till the weather changes. ODF fire restrictions limit us to roads clear of vegetation on MERA, this includes motorcycles and ATVís. Letís hope we get some cooler and wetter weather and donít have any fires.

 

Y.S.E.P.

††††††††††††† We held our first YSEP evaluation on July 15. We only had 4 kids show, but 2 of them did both the motorcycle and ATV evaluations. We will try to hold at least one more class this summer, I just havenít settled on a date yet. These are evaluations, so the kids need to have experience riding. They need to have taken the online course at http://www.rideatvoregon.org/ and have their card. To sign up for the evaluations and for more information on what is needed and what to expect, go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/.

 

Breshears

†††††††††† I havenít been back up to Breshears. As far as I know, everything is cleared out and in good shape. The only concern is the fire danger. Depending on how you interpret it, I think we are only allowed on roads or trails clear of vegetation.†

 

Dues

††††††††††††† It is membership dues time again. Look on your address label. If the EXP date is 17 or older your dues are due. If 18 or higher, you are paid up.

 

 

 

 

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BARBERS BLURB††† October 2017

 

 

Breshears Fall Clean-up

††††††††††††† We will have our annual Breshears fall clean up on Saturday October 14 . Where we usually meet, next to C&M is off limits now. So, lets meet around the corner in front of the County building across from the old Bronsonís building at 9am. We can drive up to our normal location on Little Indian Cr. and ride from there. We havenít had a very good turnout the last few years. It would be nice to see that change. If we get enough people we can be done early enough to go for a ride afterwards. This is also a good time to check out the bridge and see if it looks like it will survive next springs runoff.

 

MERA

††††††††††††† The weather has finally cooled off enough that we can get back to work on MERA. I think Dick is going to see if he can get the Kubota through some single track we have flagged. If he does, we will be able to ride Dead Bull and come out on 208 a ways below the junction with 206. One section at a time we are getting trail around the property. We have ideas for some interior trails as well as connecting gaps in the trail. Sean also has the prison work crew back for a while and they will be doing some work on both the motorized and non-motorized trails. I know Sean has plans to ad more ATV and 4X4 trail, but Iím not sure where or when that will be.

 

Y.S.E.P.

††††††††††† We are done with our YSEP evaluations for this year. We only held 2 evaluations and cancelled another because no one pre-registered. The plan is to hold the next one in the spring, possibly May, depending on the weather and snow level. I would like to have one as early as possible, but late enough so that the kids will have had a chance to ride a couple of times before taking the evaluation. It would be nice if we could get some sort of waiting list set up so we knew how many kids were out there waiting for a class. These are evaluations, so the kids need to have experience riding. They need to have taken the online course at http://www.rideatvoregon.org/ and have their card. To sign up for the evaluations and for more information on what is needed and what to expect, go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/.

 

Meetings

††††††††††† Unless something important comes up later this month, like the Travel Management Plan or the Forest Plan Revision, this will be our last meeting this year. Hope to see some of you at the meeting as well as on the 14th for the work day.

BARBERS BLURB†††† May 2018

 

 

WEíRE BACK!

††††††††††††† It looks like winter is mostly over, spring is here and itís time to get back out on the trails. Letís hope for a year filled with fun adventures.

 

MERA

††††††††††††† We have started doing work on the MERA singletrack trails. The lower elevation trails are open and in good shape. There are places that are still soft due to all of the rain we have been getting, but they should dry out soon. I have seen quite a few people on ATVís riding, but donít have any reports on trail conditions. I know there is still quite a bit of snow on the north end of the property, so be aware of that.

††††††††††††† We have plans to finish up a few pieces of trail we started last year as well as develop more singletrack trail again this year. How much we accomplish will depend on how much help we can get. We also have a young man from Imbler that is going to build some trail as his Senior Project for high school. As usual Iím sure Sean has plans for ATV/UTV trail improvement/development too.

††††††††††††† MERA also has a new stand alone website. It is meetmera.org. Check it out if you havenít already.

 

WORK DAY

††††††††††††† We are having our MERA motorized trail work day again this year. It will be on June 2. We havenít made specific plans for what we will be doing, but there is always work to be done. We will meet at the Fox Hill parking lot and head out at 8AM. Everyone is welcome to come along and help out. We are† thinking about going for a ride after we are done working and showing people around that may not be familiar with where all of the trails are.†

 

Y.S.E.P.

††††††††††† We are going to have our first Y.S.E.P. evaluation on May 19. It will be at MERA starting at 9:30 AM. We are doing both motorcycles and ATVís again this year. These are evaluations, so the kids need to have experience riding. They need to have taken the online course at http://www.rideatvoregon.org/ and have their card. To sign up for the evaluations and for more information on what is needed and what to expect, go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/. If these links say motorcycle only, but you need an ATV evaluation, go ahead and follow the link and it should still let you register for a Class I evaluation. You must designate the correct Class, I or III to be properly certified. If they are going to ride ATVís and motorcycles they need to have a card for each.

 

Breshears

††††††††††††† It looks like it will be a while before we can get to the trails due to snow. Maybe the first part of June we can get close. If you have been up there the last couple of years you probably noticed one of the bridges is having a little problem. Our plan is to get in there as soon as possible, with the F.S., and evaluate the situation and come up with a plan to repair, replace or relocate the bridge. Iím hoping we can make this happen with little to no down time as far as closing the trail.

 

Forest Plan

††††††††††††† The latest information I have is that the Forest Plan is due out in May. When it comes out we will have,†† I think, 90 days to read, evaluate and comment on it. I will relay more information as I get it.

 

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† BARBERS BLURB†††† June 2018

 

 

MERA

††††††††††††† We had our annual MERA motorized trail work day on June 2, with the usual lack of turnout. Rob, Brian, Chris and I cut open a new section of singletrack trail on the north side of 208. This is an extension of what we worked on late last summer. We did very little actual work on the ground and are going to see how well it gets ridden in over the next couple of weeks to evaluate what else needs done.

††††††††††††† Sean took Colton and Jamie (from NEO 4wheelers in Hermiston), Lonni, Kelley and Ray to the Spine Trail (222) and started extending it to the north and looping back to the south. It looks like it will be a nice addition with some rocky technical options.

††††††††††††† We have flagged more trail to extend Dead Bull (308) towards the North Knob trail and eventually connect them. There is grant funding to build this section of trail, so it will give Rob and I a break there.

††††††††††††† Blake Frost is building a section of trail as his Senior Project for High School. It will extend Dead Bull from 206 over to 208. The layout of the trail looks like it will be fun to ride and will have some great views.

††††††††††††† MERA has a new stand alone website. It is meetmera.org. Check it out if you havenít already.

 

Y.S.E.P.

††††††††††† We had our first Y.S.E.P. evaluation on May 19 and had 22 kids there.† That is the largest group we have had so far. The next evaluation will be June 28, 7 pm at the MERA Training Area. We are doing both motorcycles and ATVís again this year. These are evaluations, so the kids need to have experience riding. They need to have taken the online course at http://www.rideatvoregon.org/ and have their card. To sign up for the evaluations and for more information on what is needed and what to expect, go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/. If these links say motorcycle only, but you need an ATV evaluation, go ahead and follow the link and it should still let you register for a Class I evaluation. You must designate the correct Class, I or III to be properly certified. If they are going to ride ATVís and motorcycles they need to have a card for each. Spread the word to anyone you know that needs this.

 

Breshears

††††††††††††† By the time you get this I should have made it up to Breshears to see what things look like and start opening things up. I havenít heard if anyone has been up there or where the snow level is, but I should have more info at the meeting. I am hoping we can get to the bridges and see what we can do to resolve that situation before we lose the upper one. If anyone makes it up there please let me know what you find and how far you get.

 

Forest Plan

††††††††††††† The latest information I had was that the Forest Plan was due out in May. It is now June and I still havenít seen anything. I guess we will just wait and see what happens. When it comes out we will have, I think, 90 days to read, evaluate and comment on it. I will relay more information as I get it.

 

Dues

††††††††††††† Dues are once again due this month, for the year. Your expiration date should be on the mailing label of the newsletter. If the ďExpĒ number is smaller than 19 your membership will expire soon. Renewal sooner than later makes things easier for me. Thank you.

 

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BARBERS BLURB†††† July 2017 †††††††††

 

MERA

††††††††††††† There hasnít been a lot going on up at MERA lately. The prison crew came in and did a little work on the new single track Snag trail. They cleaned up some of the side hill sections. I rode it recently, for the first time, and I think it is one of the better sections of trail we have up there. It still needs a little work, but that will have to wait till there is some moisture back in the ground.

††††††††††††† Rob and I did some more brush work. There is more that needs done, but we are trying to keep up with the worst of it. We have a short section near the Spine Trail that we want to build to tie two sections of trail together so we donít need to hop on and off the road. We also still need to cut out the next section of the Snag trail. After spending at least one day a week working up there, from the first of April till the middle of June, we have backed off a little. We will get back up there as life and weather permits.

††††††††††††† There has been some work going on at the motocross track. The parking area and access road have been improved. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done on the track itself, but as usual I think it is a matter of finding the bodies to volunteer to do the work.

Y.S.E.P.

††††††††††††† There has been a change to the Y.S.E.P. program this year and we are going to start evaluating ATVís also. This should add to the number of kids attending as well as make the club a little more money. These are evaluations, so the kids need to have experience riding. They need to have taken the online course at http://www.rideatvoregon.org/ and have their card. To sign up for the evaluations and for more information on what is needed and what to expect, go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/. Our next evaluation will be July 15, 9:30 am at the MERA training area.

Breshears

†††††††††† Finally made it up to Breshears a few weeks ago. The trails were in good shape as far as I went. The bridge on Bell Cr. Trail is hanging in there, but is in trouble. The work that was done to shore up the bank has helped, but the water has worked its way behind things again and is eroding the bank further under the east end of the bridge. Iím not sure what the plan is going to be to save it.

††††††††††††† Since I was up there, I know there has been more work done. The motorcycle only trail is open and the trail to that junction is OK. Upper Breshears was still snowed in at the south end, but there didnít appear to be anything down across the trail. Havenít had any reports on if anyone made it all of the way through Bell Cr. Trail yet. Things may be cut open, but there is still a lot of brush and limbs that need cut back.

Union County Fair Parade

††††††††††††† As usual we will be riding in the Union County Fair Parade, which I believe will be on August 4. There wonít be another newsletter before then, so check the date to make sure. We generally line up near 8th and O. Get there between 6 and 6:30. If anyone has kids that can participate, please bring them.

Dues/Elections

††††††††††††† It is membership dues time again. Look on your address label. If the EXP date is 17 or older your dues are due. If 18 or higher, you are paid up.

††††††††††††† It is also time to nominate people for next months election. We need to elect new or re-elect a Vice President and 2 board members. If you are interested let me know. Preferably at the meeting.