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Meadow damage slows restoration project on Colville National Forest

| July 8, 2020 1:00 AM

Colville National Forest staff is seeing increased damage of Delaney and Calispell meadows due to motor vehicles operating off designated roads, officials said recently.

The meadows are located within Pend Oreille County, about 22 miles northwest of Newport, and in Stevens County, about 20 miles northeast of Chewelah, Wash.

The Tri-County Motorized Recreation Association, Colville National Forest OHV Ambassadors, and the Northeast Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington teamed up with Colville National Forest Damage Response Team and OHV Field Rangers to mitigate some of the recent damage caused by motor vehicles traveling off established roads damaging vegetation and impacting soils in the meadows.

The South-End restoration project began in 2014 and has led to vast improvements in upland, meadow, and riparian conditions, while also, enhancing motorized and non-motorized recreation opportunities in the area. This recent damage slows the progress of the project forcing limited resources to be refocused on previously rehabilitated areas.

“OHV Ambassadors have been providing educational outreach to motorized recreation users in the Colville National Forest for several years and has noticed this year there has been dramatic increase in off-road damage from large 4WD pickup trucks. Volunteer efforts to repair the damaged areas have been greatly assisted by USFS Law Enforcement and Rangers ticketing off-road drivers who willfully damage our forest resources,” OHV Ambassadors Merrill and Anne Ott stated. “We are expanding our outreach to inform and educate forest visitors about staying on approved roads to hopefully prevent future problems.”

The Colville National Forest and our partners ask for your help in protecting these fragile resources. We encourage visitors to practice the TREAD Lightly principles by traveling on designated roads. If you see someone damaging the meadows, please report it to any Colville National Forest office.

Download and use the free digital MVUM, Motor Vehicle Use Maps, provided by Avenza to more effectively track your position while traveling along one of our more than 800 miles of roads. For any additional questions please feel free to contact the Colville National Forest online, or over the phone at 509-684-7000.