Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release:
July 6, 2007
Senator Kenneth Corn
Corn Files Legislation Encouraging Reconsideration of New Forest
Saying he was alarmed by the recently adopted travel management
plan for the Ouachita National Forest, Oklahoma district, Sen. Kenneth
Corn has filed a resolution requesting Congress to intervene and
delay implementation of the new plan for the district until public
input has been considered.
The new travel management plan would limit ATV use to 40 miles
of designated trails in the Ouachita National Forest in LeFlore
County. Corn said the policy is too restrictive and would present
problems for hunters and the disabled.
“The process needs to be opened to the public and accept
the input of the taxpayers who provide the funding that allows the
forest to be maintained,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “The
citizens who use the forest and the communities who depend on the
National Forest for their tourism industry shouldn’t be ignored.
The current proposal is too restrictive and could have a negative
impact on hunting and recreation in the Ouachita Forest.”
Critics of the policy have noted that the Forest Service did not
sufficiently utilize public input in the drafting of the new travel
management plan. Corn said the Forest Service only allowed public
input into the proposed regulations for a 60-day period, on the
agency’s website. Forest Service officials then held public
meetings not to encourage the public’s input, but to inform
citizens of what had already been adopted.
“Many people in my district don’t have access to the
internet, and those who do are not likely regular visitors to the
Forest Service’s website,” Corn said. “The travel
management plan should be suited to the needs of the people. The
licensed hunters, disabled and veterans who hunt in the Ouachita
National Forest should be given an opportunity to voice their opinion.”
Corn noted the restrictions could prevent hunters who use an ATV
from taking their vehicle off designated trails to retrieve a kill.
Additionally, older or disabled hunters might be forced to walk
long distances to their hunting location, Corn said.
Rep. Neil Brannon, co-author of the resolution, said the proposed
regulations are currently scheduled to take effect in September
“Sen. Corn and I are encouraging our Congressional delegation
to step forward and help ensure the public has a voice in this matter,”
said Brannon, D-Arkoma.
For more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office - (405) 521-5576