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Recreation Committee

On May 3, 2006, the NEWFC Board agreed to: 1) ask a member of motorized recreation community to join the board and 2) to form a Recreation Committee chaired by John Eminger, owner of 49 Degrees North Ski Area to bring together diverse motorized and non-motorized recreation interests to discuss possible solutions to wilderness and recreation related challenges and new trails.  Participants included ATV, dirt bike, 4x4, equestrian, mountain biking, hiking, snowmobiling, backcountry skiing, and conservation interests.  Several meetings were held in 2006 through the fall of 2007, including several meetings of the motorized projects sub-committee, which led to the creation of a set of criteria for how motorized recreation could be improved and managed with limited conflict with non-motorized and conservation interests—this set of criteria was agreed to by local conservation and motorized recreation leader participants and is on our web site.

Shortly after this collaborative set of criteria was agreed on, the collaborative climate around motorized recreation issues began to deteriorate, as various stakeholders began pursuing their own interests outside of any collaborative process.  The  NEWFC recreation committee meetings ended at this point; however, the Coalition has continued to reach out and try to incorporate motorized and non-motorized projects in our collaborative process, and a trail proposal form we created is linked here.  In July of 2007, for instance, the Coalition proposed adding new trail development to the Malo-Eastlake project, which was rejected by the Forest Service.  In 2009 and 2010, motorized recreation stakeholders again were involved in Roundtable meetings organized by staff from Senator Cantwell and Representative McMorris Rodgers office.  Conversations amongst stakeholders continues today, and the Coalition is supportive of ongoing collaboration with recreation groups to increase recreation, trails, and access on our Colville National Forest.