Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
your not a mtber not even close.
In this case the FS agents are Save our canyon members and avid hikers but dont MTB at all. In fact they are Sierra Club member aka wilderness mongers. any member of the sierra club is someone I could not be friends with.
First let me state i have ridden this said trail at least 20 times, the trail IMO was always more packed down than say The wasatch crest or Mill D. Also if your going to tell me that a singletrack trail does more damage to a watershed than say snowbird digging a frikkin tunnel though the mountain your as hypocritical as the FS itself.
FYI if you dont think i havent read about an anarachist enviromentalist you dont know me to well. But the MTB community is already taking huge hits out west. montana and the wilderness proposals are closing 1000 of miles of trails off to bikes for no other reason than some Sierra Club hippies think it should just be for them.
at this point the freeride guys(which I am not one of those guys) are going to be so fed up that its does the FS and the people who use other trails bad.
Let me start by saying that I grew up in Salt Lake City, and when I lived there the only kind of cycling I did was mountain biking. It was in the early days, when the legality of using any trail was murky, at best. I remember losing a lot of trails above the Avenues and Park City to development, and I remember being part of the early movements to garner good feelings with USFS, Salt Lake and Summit county governments, etc., to try and keep trails open. Sure, I don't ride off-road a lot these days, but I'm keenly aware of the problems that MTB riders face in Utah and elsewhere.
And why does it matter than the USFS district rangers happen to be members of SOC? A lot - and I mean a lot - of northern Utah skiers (alpine and nordic, inbounds and backcountry) are members of SOC and applaud the work they do to protect the fragile watershed of the Wasatch Front. And there are also a lot of MTB riders who are members of SOC, Sierra Club and other environmental defense organizations - probably more than you realize.
And bringing the Snowbird tunnel into this argument makes absolutely no sense: it's apples and oranges. Firstly, said tunnel was built partly on USFS land, partly on private holdings of Snowbird. Secondly, the environmental impact study behind its construction was long and had numerous revisions to help protect the watershed and the surrounding land. It was not built (or, in the case of the trail this thread discusses, "enhanced") without any guidance or clearance from relevant governing bodies. And the roads that are there were also vetted by USFS.
(Note: many of the roads at Alta pre-date USFS regulation, as they were cut during the heyday of mining in LCC. And as much of Alta is not on USFS land, they continue to exist, and are maintained where they cross USFS land due to access rights of private homeowners.)
And I still stand behind my above statement regarding old growth forests, invasive species, etc. Your arguments about "cutting down trees" doesn't hold water unless you know the health, age, native/invasive status and other details about the area being cut and maintained by USFS. In all likelihood, this closure and tree cutting isn't arbitrary, as you seem to argue.
One thing to realize is that USFS property is entirely managed by the USFS. That means that any and all construction, be it MTB trails, rest areas, dirt or paved roads, houses, retail shops, ski areas, outhouses or signposts, must be vetted by USFS rangers and environmental scientists. Want to build a trail, or maintain a current trail, or enhance an older trail that may pre-date USFS stewardship? Then you need to ask before you put shovel to dirt, hammer to nail, etc. This step wasn't taken by those who built up the freeride trail, and now they're paying the price.
As I said before: honey beats vinegar. Want an example where good advocacy won access for MTB riders? Look at the new, MTB-oriented trail that parallels the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. Much of this trail is on USFS land, and the local MTB riders worked through proper channels to build the trail. It took time, but the time spent working with USFS and local land owners paid off in the long run.
Yes, I'm disturbed by movements to close off trail access to MTB riders - it riles me, even though I'm not a die-hard MTB rider. But I see very little constructive dialog and argument coming from MTB riders in the advocacy realm - at least compared to the long-standing and well-trained efforts of the Sierra Club, Save Our Canyons, the Appalachian Mountain Club and others. IMBA tries to keep up, but its efforts are still rather new compared to the long-established organizations who have more developed relations with federal, state and local authorities.
IMBA needs help from passionate riders, Josh. You have a passion for MTB that is close to the passion you show for skiing - it might be worth inquiry.
Just my $0.02 - YMMV.