***UPDATE!*** This OHV area was dropped from the Mt. Hood OHV Plan, effectively protecting the Wilderness-adjacent area from OHV impacts and ground distrubing activities that would have been required to create the OHV playground. This is a big win for the flora, fauna, watersheds, and quiet recreationists in and around the Mt. Hood Wilderness area! Read on to see what was proposed for this area.
Bear Creek is one of the 6 proposed areas in the Mt. Hood Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Plan. Bear Creek has not traditionally been used by OHVs and it is adjacent to the Mt. Hood Wilderness Area. Bear Creek has historically been used for quiet recreation and meadows in the area are cherished by local communities. Lower Bear Creek also is home to threatened Bull Trout and is a particularly sensitive waterway.
The Forest Service is considering building 40.4 miles of new motorized trails in this area which will cross multiple area streams. In addition to the damage caused by building new trails for motorized access OHV use would intensify soil disturbance and decrease vegetation causing increased erosion hazards in this area.