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The Forest Service = a bunch of hypocrites. LCC trail closure though environmental destruction - Page 2

post #31 of 47


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

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...

 

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.....


A USFS ranger being a SOC member shows at very least that they have a certain skewed perspective, one at odds with the majority of the local community.  SOC members also have a history of actively ratting out riding venues...a behavior that seems curious at best. 

 

There's a bundle of beliefs that go with the SOC package, ranging from not wanting permanent climbing anchors on public land (even if if they're invisible) to viewing hiking as a morally superior form of access and anything with 6" or more of suspension in the summertime as downright redneck. 

 

As for the Sierra Club, given what it's done to try to restrict mountain biking and related activities, it's clear where it's coming from.  It's basically a "I'm a lefty, and I want to confiscate all your public land for my favored uses...but trust me" organization.

post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

Quote:

 

... members of SOC and applaud the work they do to protect the fragile watershed of the Wasatch Front. ...


The "fragile watershed" argument also needs to be recognized as basically a rhetorical convenience to used to justify limiting something you don't like. 

 

When you look at the multiple uses the land in question supports, many of which are exponentially more impactful than a freeride trail, it's clear that "watershed" concerns were not truly an issue here.  Likewise, the decision to cut down lots of adult, healthy trees, while impressive in terms of allowing the USFS to display raw power, will cause exponentially more erosion than leaving a freeride trail in place.  Ultimately, when they realize that cutting down all those adult healthy trees for no good reason, while super fun, isn't helping the PR department, they'll drag them out and likely use them for "slope stabilization" somewhere, or something similar.  In dragging them out, they'll again cause significant impacts. 

 

To be fair to the USFS on this, even after the impacts that their own actions will cause, the robust, healthy watershed will be fine -- it's not near as fragile as they like to make it out to be when convenient for them. 

 

post #33 of 47

The way to handle the forest service is through the Freedom of information Act.  File a request for their studies documenting erosion on that trail.

 

They recently made a large portion of our trails "dog on leash", claiming there were many complaints about dogs.  A FOI request revealed they had no dog complaints, but were looking for any excuse to cut down on use of some busy trails.

post #34 of 47

Newfy, that's great! I always suspected that there might something other than complaints behind the dog on leash rules for the Indian Peaks area.  Given that it is the most heavily visited wilderness area in the US, I wouldn't be surprised if a similar objective was the real reason behind the restriction.

 

Mike

post #35 of 47

Here's a link: 

 

http://www.tsweekly.com/outside/outdoor-recreation/free-the-dogsone-poochs-thoughts-on-off-leash-laws-in-national-forests.html

 

 

Quote:
Members of DogPAC, the local non-profit dedicated to keeping Central Oregon dog-friendly, recently invoked the Freedom of Information Act to access Deschutes National Forest records since 1970. Guess what they discovered?
 
In the past 40 years the Deschutes National Forest has received a total of 188 complaints from all types of users. Of those, not a single one cited an attack, injury or safety issue involving a dog and only seven commented about dogs off-leash in restricted areas. In fact, they actually received more complaints (10) from users who said the leash laws reduced their enjoyment of the forest.

 

The trails are not yet open, but the forest service now knows they can't just make up shit and do as they please.  I'd love to be a fly on the wall at some of their meetings.

 

The dog in the article lives right across the river from us.

post #36 of 47


Nice work.  This is a much better way of addressing the issues than BWPA's rebel attitude. There are ways to bring about change.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

The way to handle the forest service is through the Freedom of information Act.  File a request for their studies documenting erosion on that trail.

 

They recently made a large portion of our trails "dog on leash", claiming there were many complaints about dogs.  A FOI request revealed they had no dog complaints, but were looking for any excuse to cut down on use of some busy trails.

post #37 of 47

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2936546&postcount=271

 

"As Maxwell rode away, looking for another way to get to the trail, he wasn't convinced cut trees were going to stop anything. Howell and his organization don't want riders picking up chainsaws and cutting more illegal trail, but acknowledge it is already happening."

 

This is a text book case of not doing it the right way.

post #38 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2936546&postcount=271

 

"As Maxwell rode away, looking for another way to get to the trail, he wasn't convinced cut trees were going to stop anything. Howell and his organization don't want riders picking up chainsaws and cutting more illegal trail, but acknowledge it is already happening."

 

This is a text book case of not doing it the right way.

 

maxwell is a tool as you can see in the interview.

 

Doing it the right way isnt really the only way. there is a quite well know trail builder over on TGR who works for the forest service and is a IMBA member. he has also got a couple hundred miles of trail approved in Idaho buy building first and asking for forgiveness later.

 

The deal is the FS unwillingless to work with WAFTA on this trail means that yes more illegal trails will be cut, and this time they will be better hidden. Even proposing to the FS a freeride trail now would mean that the forest service would probably go looking for the a trail where your proposing. 

 

The deal is the LCC trail was VERY unique and was more sustainable than lots of legal trails in the wasatch despite being illegal. 

post #39 of 47


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post



...

 there is a quite well know trail builder over on TGR who works for the forest service and is a IMBA member. he has also got a couple hundred miles of trail approved in Idaho buy building first and asking for forgiveness later.

 

The deal is the FS unwillingless to work with WAFTA on this trail means that yes more illegal trails will be cut...


For perspective, there are several very well-known trail areas at destination ski resorts that started with a little judicious thinning here and there, frequently by patrollers themselves in the off-season.  It's not something that someone who's not a local with the requisite background should do, but it's also not inappropriate.

 

What's inappropriate in the Wasatch is that the USFS ranger lists a radical environmental action group, Save Our Canyons, as an affiliation of hers on her own facebook page, and has undertaken direct, destructive action, including  cutting down lots of healthy adult trees, to stop use of a longstanding trail there without dialogue.  The reality is that Salt Lake City is a major metropolitan area without much in the way of mountain biking, in large part because of obstructionism from people like her.  While I go to the SLC area a lot in the winter, and use it in the summer for fishing and some types of climbing, it's not really a place you'd drive to for mountain biking.  Part of the unstated goal on the part of antibike groups there is to at least keep the area relatively bike-unfriendly for another generation, if not forever. 

 

With that backdrop, locals there have some tough choices to make.  For instance, while local business leaders may be responsive to the argument that they're losing business when people vacation in, say, Jackson, instead of Salt Lake, due to the riding opportunities in Jackson, getting people to vacation in Jackson instead may be exactly what the local forest service wants, at least if the people they drive off ride bikes rather than hike.  The USFS has in fact worked well with bikes in other areas.  The fact that they can't and won't in the Wasatch isn't because of some unique characteristics of the Wasatch, it's because the local USFS doesn't want to work well with bikes.  Until that radicalized bureaucracy gets replaced -- which is VERY unlikely under the current administration -- not much positive is likely to happen on an official level.

post #40 of 47
Thread Starter 

Hey the best MTBing in SLC is American Fork Canyon and Park City which ironically American fork is USFS land so I dont how they can have those trails and one trail in LCC get people panties in a wad.

post #41 of 47

American Fork Canyon's a good distance from SLC proper.  The reason people want to restrict usage in LCC is because it's LCC -- easily accessible from a major metro area. 

post #42 of 47



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post



Doing it the right way isnt really the only way. there is a quite well know trail builder over on TGR who works for the forest service and is a IMBA member. he has also got a couple hundred miles of trail approved in Idaho buy building first and asking for forgiveness later.

 

Most of our trail system was "cut first, ask forgiveness later".  The forest service was pissed as they went in, but later adopted the system.  The economic value of our trail system now exceeds the entire value of the trees they wind through.

 

Now that the forest service is on board it would be a bad idea, but that is how they started.

post #43 of 47

Same here. Build first ask permission later worked. Now we have permission and it takes forever to get anything done. Our trails have also been successful to the point that we now have hikers demanding we build new trails so that we won't get in their way when they hike the trails we built.

post #44 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Same here. Build first ask permission later worked. Now we have permission and it takes forever to get anything done. Our trails have also been successful to the point that we now have hikers demanding we build new trails so that we won't get in their way when they hike the trails we built.

 

the hiker cant build trail eh?

 

 

 

post #45 of 47

Well, mountain bikes "scare" them, so they need someplace to hike and of course that makes it our problem. It's not like there's a Green Mountain Club out there making and maintaining hundreds of miles of hiking trails or anything. 

post #46 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Well, mountain bikes "scare" them, so they need someplace to hike and of course that makes it our problem. It's not like there's a Green Mountain Club out there making and maintaining hundreds of miles of hiking trails or anything. 


Id say any new trail you make, make it single use then. Plus isnt there hiking trails on Mansifield? 

 

We actually have single use MTB only trails in the Burgh. Best way to get hikers to not complain is not let them on what they didnt build. 

post #47 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


Id say any new trail you make, make it single use then. Plus isnt there hiking trails on Mansifield? 

 

Lots of them. Probably hundreds of miles of them in this county alone. But they like how we build our trails. Lucky us. Anyway, I don't thunk anyone is taking them too seriously.
 

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