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October 2011 TWIG Meeting Highlights

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October 2011 TWIG Meeting Highlights
By Clay Graham / Eastern Washington Adventures

Naches, Washington - On October 4th, 2011 the Naches Ranger District had their first fall TWIG meeting of 2011. A few different people spoke on behalf of the Forest Service.

At this TWIG Meeting, Naches District Ranger Irene Davidson was kinder than she had been at the past to the volunteers. Irene Davidson talked as volunteers had a say so on the Naches Forest Service District's decisions. I was wondering why? Just this last spring at a TWIG Meeting, Irene Davidson told the group, "This meeting is not for discussion, it's for your information". Talking to Forest Service Volunteers after the meeting, most agreed Irene Davidson was putting on a show since a Representative for Congressman Doc Hastings was sitting among us. Only time will tell if Irene Davidson follows through with working with the volunteers.

District Trails and Wilderness Coordinator Jeff Leisy told us about all the trail work that had been done over the summer on the Motorized Trails and Backcountry Trails. Jeff Leisy told the volunteers how much they mean to him. Then Jeff Leisy went onto telling the group how much it cost to keep trails up to standards which the District does have the funding. Jeff Leisy says from a business point of view they need to close some of the trails.

Irene Davidson said the volunteer are important to help maintain the trails and agreed with Jeff Leisy they can not afford to keep the trails up to standards. Irene Davidson told the TWIG group the Forest Service budget is getting cut so closures will happen. Irene Davidson says in the future she wants to talk with the TWIG group to see what trails they think the funds should go to. In other words Irene Davidson wants the TWIG Group to tell her what trails should be closed.

Already at the meeting trail uses are looking at other User Groups trails to be on the cutting block. It did not help that Irene Davidson put on screen a letter written by an anti-motorized person showing damage just off a main road at Rimrock in an area that gets hit hard during the wet season by the general public, not from normal trail users.

The next TWIG Meeting is 7 PM on Tuesday November 1st, 2011 at the Naches Ranger Station. Use the back door.