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Offline Oilleaker1

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Trail Closures
« on: October 01, 2019, 07:09:35 AM »
Here in the Black Hills of SD, we are getting a ever increasing number of old established popular trails closed by the Forest Service-------permanently. There have been many who have tried to approach them with large groups of protesters represented by Sheriffs, state representatives, 4 wheel drive associations, and even Judges. All to no avail. Businesses that were catering to these groups of recreationists are closing. A well done video on You Tube entitled "Access Denied" Forest Service Trail Closures is posted. You all should go watch it. I'd love to hear your comments. The Forest Service seems to be unapproachable. The term they used to operate was multiple use planning. It seems that term is now extinct. Permanent closure is the new management . No road maintenance here since the 1972 flood in June has helped close roads and trails which were nice to have. It forced us to drive around to get to lakes and trails. So, no more multiple use. Mining permits that completely destroy beautiful areas seems to be OK with them. You jump through the right hoops and you get a permit. No descrimination there. But-------our Jeeps are terrible. ???????????????? What do you think? Oilly

Offline BillT

Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 09:45:38 AM »
John you are 100% correct. In the southeast area where I grew up, north Georgia, and do my jeeping about all the old logging roads have berms pushed up on them with road closure signs or gates have been installed. Unfortunately one or two of the road closures I can understand because of four wheeler activity where they would get off the roads and tear up the forest floors and banks, but the Forest Service does have law enforcement officers, they should get out of their trucks and do their jobs.
I watched the video of Mikes Fall Color Tour and the scenery was great, loved all the old flat fenders..... and their jeeps. lol
You boys have some great jeeping country out there, I have watched some of jpets videos also. Maybe one day I can get my '3a out there for a few weeks of riding.
I have no idea what can be done to keep OUR old roads open. Like all government agency's they take care of their own and to * with the rest of us.
'52 CJ3A, early M38A1, '70 Commando
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Offline 64CJ5

Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 08:52:32 PM »
John I am right there with you.  It just dose not seem right that we must fight to keep what we have always had.  Trouble is that the fight is one sided and the FS is not required to listen us. 
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 09:54:20 PM by 64CJ5 »
The sun never sets on the mighty Jeep.

Offline Oilleaker1

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Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 03:35:09 PM »
Update: if you want to be in on the planning of these closures, and want to participate with comments, you have to contact the FS District the road/trail is on. Get on a mailing list or stay in contact every 3 months. They will open up for comments from you, but once they finalize it, it's a closed issue. It would take a act of congress to re-open the trail. Maybe if you are a land owner/cabin owner you can get a key unless there is another access or private road. They will not maintain it for sure. I think large groups represented by high officials have had very little luck. The public is not in control of federal lands. The federal agency is. And you thought the people of the United states owned it?  :o aaaaaAhhhh NOOOOOO!

Offline aboyandhisdog

Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2019, 10:47:30 AM »
I think a lot of trails get closed because of "bad apples" who can't behave or follow instructions - those guys ruin it for everybody.  There are also trails that get closed because of poor design where water can't properly drain and huge muddy ruts form or the topsoil washes out from the trail leaving it nearly impassible.  The resulting erosion then fouls the streams and creeks and rivers down stream, affecting fisheries and overall water quality.  A lot of water crossings I've seen can also become mud bogs (from the traffic) that also foul the water. 

I'm guessing the USFS may be more agreeable if the local jeep clubs step up to offer their volunteer labor to make needed trail repairs and improvements.  They can't possibly keep up with the necessary maintenance with shrinking budgets and increased costs of fighting wildfire and whatnot.  I know that at least down here in Colorado, the USFS is very happy to have volunteer groups step up to share this load.  We have a hiking trail here that is opening this month after being closed for 5 years from a fire followed by floods.  The trail was destroyed and only is opening because of several local volunteer groups who rebuilt it.
Tom


Offline duffer

Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2019, 10:07:50 PM »
I think a lot of trails get closed because of "bad apples" who can't behave or follow instructions - those guys ruin it for everybody.  There are also trails that get closed because of poor design where water can't properly drain and huge muddy ruts form or the topsoil washes out from the trail leaving it nearly impassible.  The resulting erosion then fouls the streams and creeks and rivers down stream, affecting fisheries and overall water quality.  A lot of water crossings I've seen can also become mud bogs (from the traffic) that also foul the water. 

I'm guessing the USFS may be more agreeable if the local jeep clubs step up to offer their volunteer labor to make needed trail repairs and improvements.  They can't possibly keep up with the necessary maintenance with shrinking budgets and increased costs of fighting wildfire and whatnot.  I know that at least down here in Colorado, the USFS is very happy to have volunteer groups step up to share this load.  We have a hiking trail here that is opening this month after being closed for 5 years from a fire followed by floods.  The trail was destroyed and only is opening because of several local volunteer groups who rebuilt it.

That pretty much sums up the situation all across the west.  With the cost of fighting fires draining all their maintenance, enforcement, and virtually everything other budget, they no longer can maintain trails or even the signage.  And as in the quote, we are most definitely our worst enemy.  Most mountain trails we frequent are boulder fields (rock gardens).  They were not that way when built but are now that way because one to several feet of fine material has been eroded from them.  And as above, a large percentage of that ends up in streams.  And then there is the trash.  Why do motorized users think leaving trash everywhere is ok?  Does it cost too much in gas consumption to pack out empty what you brought in full?  I always end up with a trash bag full of trash some clueless idiot left behind.

There are all sorts of places around here I can no longer access with a motorized vehicle that I used to Jeep to.  Comparing those sites now closed for nearly 50 years to those that remain open is a rather eye opening experience.  I've been backpacking since I was 12, 62 years ago and counting.  I learned to drive in a CJ2A a couple of years before then and have been piloting at least one ever since.  In my opinion, and sorry if you don't agree, motorized backcountry use is the most destructive of any forest use other than large scale mining.  That said, I still enjoy those trails.

Especially so if driving the Willys.
48 2A, 49 3A, 51 Wagon, 55 3B, 57 FC 150, 57 Wagon, 60 FC 170, 68 CJ 5, 2012 JKUR

John, Bozeman, MT

Offline JeffH

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Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 08:55:48 AM »
We went through the same thing here in Georgia/North Carolina area. We used to go 4wheeling at on public land in an area called Tellico, some of the trails crossed mountain streams and even with signage the people would travel the streams and muddy up the rivers, I suspect that big money from TU got the enviro groups against the masses that used the area and the area was closed to public usage off road. Granted lots of rock bouncers, and hot rod trial buggies did they're part to muddy the waters that TU wanted protected for the native trout and I can't blame them, cause the groups using the area never heard of "tread lightly" in this region of the country. So us trail riders were forced out.  :(
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Offline Oilleaker1

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Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 09:03:08 AM »
I have a degree in Forest Resource Management from U of M Missoula. I'm in the middle on this . I see the damage from too much water flow, and ATV's. I also see not much in the way of maintenance. I've worked campground maintenance and Timber Inventory for the Forest Service and got to see their methods from the inside. The way the agencies work, politics, Gov't waste, environmentalists, etc. A tough push/pull situation. Multiple use is no longer their method like it used to be because of rising population and new policies coming down out of Washington DC and the Dept. of Agriculture. Same thing with the Dept. of the Interior/BLM. Well organized special interest groups that have unlimited lobbying funds are influencing policy.

After watching the you Tube video on "Access Denied", it seems there is very little we can do to change things. Even with volunteers doing trail maintenance, it's just too large a area. I'm afraid there isn't a way to fix things except closure.  Rising sales of ATV's and the fad of flying through the woods is only hastening more closures. Enjoy what you can, and respect the natural resources.

Offline duffer

Re: Trail Closures
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2019, 12:11:52 PM »
Even with volunteers doing trail maintenance, it's just too large a area. I'm afraid there isn't a way to fix things except closure.  Rising sales of ATV's and the fad of flying through the woods is only hastening more closures. Enjoy what you can, and respect the natural resources.

I completely agree.  Unfortunately it is apparent that a large portion of the ATV crowd can not read either signs or travel plans (or maybe anything else?) nor have they the common sense to stay out of wetlands.  The other problem I see developing around here is the more extreme 4x4's with 40"+ tires and both ends locked.  Pretty amazing how big of boulders they can dislodge with those machines.
48 2A, 49 3A, 51 Wagon, 55 3B, 57 FC 150, 57 Wagon, 60 FC 170, 68 CJ 5, 2012 JKUR

John, Bozeman, MT