Recreation, Aesthetics, and Public Use

In accordance with Board of Forestry and Fire Protection policy, recreational facilities will generally be maintained to provide a rustic and informal experience. Existing recreational opportunities and associated management measures (i.e. infrastructure maintenance and improvement) will continue (as described in Chapter 2), and new opportunities will be created. Implementation of the following objectives will facilitate attainment of the Recreation Goals listed in Chapter 1.

Recreation Input and Planning

Form a User-Group Recreation Task Force

JDSF will develop new relationships with the full range of groups who are interested in joint stewardship to enhance the recreational opportunities on the Forest. Staff will solicit representatives from different place-based groups, interest-based groups, recreationalists and schools for participation in a Forest Recreation Task Force or other organized capacity. The intent of the task force will be to share in stewardship, development of policy recommendations, and carry out other responsibilities regarding recreation on Jackson Demonstration State Forest. Meetings will occur at least annually. Participants may include, but not be limited to: JDSF neighbors, cyclists, equestrians, target shooters, teachers, hunters, hikers, campers, bird watchers, nature photographers, trail guide writers and event organizers.

JDSF will contact leaders of local recreation interest groups to meet as a whole, one or more times during the calendar year, with the following goals:

ƒ Recreation user groups will review recreation policies and plans, and develop survey concepts specific to their interest area. Surveys will provide feedback to JDSF staff on facilities and trails, changes needed to policies and plans, and recreation impacts from planned timber harvest and demonstration projects. Users will provide input on changes needed to address recreation user conflicts, such as conflicts between hunters/shooters and hikers; bicyclists and equestrians; campers and equestrians, etc.

ƒ Recreation user groups will help define a JDSF recreation corridor, particularly around the campgrounds and heavily-used trails, where recreation impacts will be given strong consideration with respect to state forest management activities. User groups will help define recreation attributes that should be protected within the corridor, and make recommendations accordingly, such as

  1. o Measures to minimize aesthetic visual and noise impacts; and/or
  2. o Designing timber management activities to improve and/or demonstrate recreation opportunities, principles, or practices.

ƒ User groups will address how to mitigate land adjacency conflicts, such as recreational shooting, off-road vehicle use, and mushroom collecting. User groups will be asked to provide input on how to reduce resource damage from illegal dumping and off-road vehicle use. User groups will be invited to participate in developing and maintaining trails and associated infrastructure such as benches, natural bridges, and erosion control structures.

ƒ Recreation user groups will help develop a recreation calendar for annual planned events. Staff will work with groups interested in docent activities, conducting tours, creating better public awareness, and a developing a recreation-based website.

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Recreation Users Survey

As described above, the Recreation Task Force will be used to help develop recreation user survey concepts. JDSF will contract with a professional to develop and administer the surveys and to prepare a report of the results and recommendations for how JDSF might respond to the findings. The professional hired will be asked to confer with the Recreation Task Force during this process.

Develop a Recreation Plan

Using the guidance of the Recreation Task Force, the results of the recreation users survey, and the advice of the new JDSF advisory group, develop a recreation plan for the Forest that identifies short-term and long-term priorities for enhancement of recreation opportunities, including those related to the development of new recreation facilities (e.g., trails, campgrounds, interpretive sites) and the operation of existing facilities.

Improve JDSF Recreation Facilities and Information 7

JDSF will inventory trails and schedule repairs and signage needs, update and reprint supplies of trail brochures, maintaining availability at trailheads. Staff will work with recreation user groups to identify need for new trail links, new trail maps specific to user types, and new trail development as needed.

JDSF will update and develop new posters for displays roadside and onsite, which address historic and pre-historic use (Native Americans, etc.) of the Forest, and provide educational and interpretive posters and pictures. In addition, road signage will be improved.

JDSF will update and develop new maps, handouts and brochures for the office foyer, including state forest brochures. All new brochures will include a statement about how to protect cultural and natural resources on the forest. Brochures will include (but not be limited to) interpretive trail brochures/maps, handouts on tree ID/ growth characteristics and silviculture information, and handouts on JDSF wildlife, flowers, mushrooms, the Caspar Watershed Study, history of the State Forest, and user-specific recreation maps.

Where businesses express interest, information on recreational opportunities on the Forest will be made available at local and regional sporting goods stores and other places that the interested public might frequent.

The Little Red Schoolhouse, an historic site, will be restored and opened to the public (located at Camp 20). Hours of operation will be determined based on the public’s interest and availability of volunteers to assist in staffing the building. 7 May require increased recreation budget allotments for operating and personnel expenses associated with identified tasks.

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