Help! Walker Valley ORV-WA to CLOSE!!

This is SERIOUS! I was at the DNR users meeting on Tuesday and there was a whopping 20 people total at the meeting. It is not good to see so few people stand up to fight a closure. SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!

I've written my congressman and the DNR, but so far their policy is that they will close Walker Valley ORV park from October - March seasonally starting this year. (They allege that the water quality is being damaged by riders; It's a load of crap, nothing short of it). I was there and saw the "evidence" and there is nothing that some good trail maintenance won't prevent.

Riders need to unite around this as it is the only sanctioned ORV park north of Seattle (that I'm aware of). WE CAN'T AFFORD TO LET THEM SHUT US DOWN. These are the DNR people that we need to write. PLEASE WRITE FOR THE SAKE OF ALL RIDERS IN THIS AREA!!!!

Bill Wallace

Department of Natural Resources

919 North Township St.

Sedro-Woolley, Wa 98284

Christ Thomsen

Department of Natural Resources

919 North Township St.

Sedro-Woolley, Wa 98284

Tom Murley

Department of Natural Resources

919 North Township St.

Sedro-Woolley, Wa 98284

Doug Sutherland

Commissioner of Public Lands

Department of Natural Resources

PO Box 47007

Olympia, Wa 98504-7001

Also, add any other political individuals that you think may be of benefit to our cause. Thanks.

Here's an exerpt from the Skagit Motorcycle Club email letter, "The DNR stated that there will be seasonal closures of the entire Walker Valley trail system starting this winter. This is their reaction to negative water quality test results presented by the Department of Ecology from streams adjacent to trails at W.V. The DOE says that the DNR cannot condone further silting of water, so the DNR responded that they could cure that via winter-time trail closures. THIS IS BULL****! I requested that Christ Thomsen publish the findings of his trail assessment including a prioritized list of problem areas. Once we have that list in hand, then we must make our best effort to fix the problem areas. I asked that the users be allowed to make a reasonable attempt to repair or, where/when absolutely necessary, close those individual trails that are the biggest contributors to declining water quality. After we have done so, then there should be further testing. I do not think that across the board closure of the entire trail system is the right solution to the water quality issues that have been raised. Furthermore, I am wondering if water testing was done on several dates during varying weather conditions or if this decision is based on a single day of testing. There are a number of unanswered questions that we need to get answered. Your assistance is greatly needed on this one. I am asking that you do two things (1) write a polite letter to the DNR asking that they consider alternate options to seasonal closures of Walker Valley and (2) commit to doing volunteer trail work at upcoming scheduled work parties and/or at your convenience independently. See the attached documents for a letter outline and DNR contact names & addresses. This is serious business. You need to get involved in turning this around or find a new sport."

Outline for writing a letter to a land manager or politician

 Applicable to typed letters or e-mail 

Introduce the topic you wish to discuss.

Short background of your ORV activities. This builds the basis for your concern and shows your dedication to the sport. Examples:

- I ride with my family/kids/friends

- Number of years riding experience

- History of use of specific lands/riding areas

- Any volunteer trail work or ORV legislation you participate in

- Membership in clubs, regional (NMA) or national (AMA) organizations

State what specifically it is that you support or object to.

Offer suggestions for improvement or alternative solutions (if applicable). This demonstrates that you aren’t just looking for an outlet to complain, but are willing to contribute to developing solutions.

Thank them for their time, interest and commitment to your issues(s).

Formal closing, including your full home address.

A few points to remember:

- Remain polite and respectful

- Don’t make demands, instead ask for cooperation or simply that they consider the needs of responsible ORV users

- Don’t be vague, clearly state your opinion

- If you expect a response, then request one

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