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LauraA
08-10-2006, 05:41 AM
Has anyone been keeping up with what's going on with back road and trail closures by the Forestry Service, BLM, Parks, etc? Last winter,at the last local meeting we attended held by the forest service, they told us about implementing closures on "redundant" roads, (different roads that both go to the same area). Since then, we haven't heard anything, nor have we seen any closures implemented YET, as a matter of fact, the forest service has been busy putting out new FR numbered signs. It was my understanding that this sweep of closures will be a nationwide move. They told us at the meeting, that although the recommendations would be made by the individual agencies, the ultimate decisions would be made in Washington. I've been to the various agency web sites, but after checking them out, I'm more confused than before. :confused:

LauraA
08-10-2006, 01:05 PM
oops, s'cuz me, I just bumped into a spammer :mad:

GaryB
08-10-2006, 07:26 PM
I know we are fighting road closures here, but none I know of are redundant roads. Seems the Forestry Service doesn't learn that closed roads = plant growth which leads to wild fire fuel.

Some one recently told me of an area in either here (NV) or CA that they decided after a wild fire wiped out all they had fought to close and preserve would be re-opened since back roads help give fire access to the firefighters. DUH :rolleyes: I guess the roads over grew and the BLM made new roads and fire breaks that wouldn't have been necessary had the tree huggers left everything alone.

Good thing man came along to help mother nature out :mad:

LauraA
08-10-2006, 07:41 PM
The only thing we've seen here even remotely related to a closure since the fire ban was lifted was a short road that leads to the lake that was temporarily closed because the Babbleberry Blue Crested Whoopie Warbler or some such feathered creature chose to nest in the middle of the road. :rolleyes:
They do seasonally close off some areas near the lake when Eagles are nesting, usually even that doesn't help, cause some moronic yahoo will come along and shoot one anyway. :mad:

LauraA
08-11-2006, 07:34 PM
Update; My husband was talking to a local ranger up at the convenience store. The ranger said that the last thing he heard was that there were some "minor" closures scheduled to begin in February. From what he told my husband, we probably won't miss the roads, that these closures were designed to keep people on existing roads/trails instead of making new roads by driving through riparian areas. I hope that's all it'll be. From what I've been reading, it sounds much more extensive than that.

brian10x
08-12-2006, 04:17 AM
Sometime roads are closed due to excessive BUMPS.

dvsww2
08-15-2006, 10:33 PM
From what I hear each District whether FS or BLM is supposed to have public meetings in each area over roads. If they aren't on the offical maps, then they could be facing closure. I'm glad Laura went, and gave her imput, but what the agency might do with it is another question. You can bet your bottom dollar the environmental groups were in their giving their two cents. One thing to remember and important is that many roads to old mines and towns are probably RS2477 right of ways that were established under the 1866 Mining Act. These roadways are grandfathered when the Act was discontinued in 1976, but they have to be recognized by the county or state to be valid. Google RS2477 Roads and a number of resources should come up. I'm not up to linking stuff at nearly midnight. What it probably means that many of the wilderness areas were probably illegally created and roads shut off. I think a lot of you have heard about the South Canyon Rd at Jarbridge NV and the Jarbridge Shovel Brigade and one of my friends from Southern ID was the unfortuante one who was ticketed for illegally going off road, however it was an Old RS2477 Elko County Road that had suffered a big slide and the Forest Service said the county could not repair their road because it would endanger the bull trout in the stream. The whole mess ended up in court and I believe the court case the USFS vs Elko County is still pending. Anyway my friend was charged on the insistance of Rabid Environmentalist Katie Fite of the Western Water Sheds group and she ended up to be the USFS's star witness in the case. at the trail head in the Canyon there was a concrete outhouse that could not be serviced due to the washed out road. My friend collects and rebuilds vintage Dodge Power Wagons and he was able to cross the washed out area, but he did have to winch a dead tree out of the way. There was another case in southern Utah where the county there was sued for grading their roads, and it had been back in forth . The final decision was in favor of the county that indeed they were maintaing a RS2477 road. Right after this the Forest Service had a contractor go in an build a new road(Remember the Road the County Couldn't fix) and removed the outhouse. After all this the judge throw out and dismissed the charges against my friend and basically told the Forest Service to leave my friend alone. The told the enviromentalist to shut up or she was going to get thrown out of the courthouse. I've heard many say that this current action might be a ploy to close RS2477 roads. Those in the particular area will have to watch this. I would certainly reccomend membersip in the BlueRibbon Coalition (sharetrails.org)as they are the one organization working to keep or trails open. Sorry for the long post, but very important. Thanks Howard

LauraA
08-16-2006, 01:20 AM
Howard, Thanks so much for the information. You're right, I did a search for "RS2477" and there was pages and pages of reading on the subject. Unfortunately (depending on which side of the coin you're on) the Greenies seemed to have the majority with their bleeding-heart rhetoric posted on some very polished sites, I can only imagine who funds their extremely strong lobby. Those of us who fall into the "other" category need to take a proactive approach if we hope to keep access to these areas opened. It is my understanding that when you attend any of the public meetings, it's good to voice opinions on the matter, but if you really want your voice heard, it's got to be put in writing.
At our local FS meetings, there aren't usually any Greenies present, because of the rural, ranching,off-roading population here they don't attend these meetings, so unfortunately, it's given me a false sense of security in thinking that we're safe from their actions....how wrong I was.
Our local FS rangers have said both privately and publicly that they are opposed to these closures for some of the very reasons GaryB mentioned in his post. The local FS rangers can only make recommendations, but as I said before, their official orders come from Washington. (some guy in a suit looking at a map who has never seen any of these areas and makes his decisions based on which ever group has the biggest lobby)
It sounds like we're going have to stay on top of the situation even more closely than I first thought if we want to keep our access open to the places we want to go.
In my opinion, it's worthwhile to take your suggestion and do a search for "RS2477" and begin reading and weeding through what comes up, there are too many links to post here, but there's some good information available on the topic from both sides.
Thanks again for your informative post, if you hear anything further, please share your information.

dvsww2
08-16-2006, 10:41 AM
Laura, i'm guessing the Greenies haven't shown up locally as they are affriad what will happen. There have been instnaces that some of the meetings have ended up in a near riot. In one case the BLM guys had to be given escort to the county line to protect them in Southeastern Oregon as a friend of mine was the deputy who escorted them. The were told that he'd rather that they not come back. In Owyhee County the BLM was told by the sheriff that they were not welcome, even the enforcement rangers and they might be arrested. Things have gotten pretty hot in the past. I side with the ranchers and despite what has been said here I have never had very much trouble with them. After they are assured that you will close the gates, won't steal their stuff or cut their fences they are a pretty reasonable bunch of people.In fact, some have been very helpful in findinf things and I;ve been given access to places on closed land. They just want to know who's on their land

LauraA
08-16-2006, 01:24 PM
Yep, you're right. People who have attended these meetings a lot longer than we have, have mentioned that when the public meetings first began, there were always Sierra Club and Wilderness for America (now defunct) representatives present. Rumor has it that they were "persuaded" :rolleyes: that it might be an unhealthy environment for them to hang around in. Actually, I don't think it really matters whether these groups attend public meetings or not, especially here, cause they're not going to win anyone over to their side by pleading the case of the Whoopie Warbler or some such bird. When the local ranchers have cattle to move, lands to graze they aren't about to be moved aside by a bunch of bleeding heart birders. Our place backs up to one of the oldest ranches in these parts. The family has roots here back to the mid 1800s. They're good, hardworking folks and are always first to step up to the plate to lend a hand to anyone in the community who needs help.
Anyway, my roundabout point is, the darned Greenies have big $$ backing them. HUGE contingencies of lobbyists in Washington and a popular cause (you know...the poor little homeless bird syndrome) Hopefully, when push comes to shove, we'll still have reasonable access to the lands we want to travel.

GaryB
08-16-2006, 01:37 PM
Biggest problem is most of the greenies think camping should be limited to your back yard. Drop them off in the Jarbidge or any Alaskan Wilderness and see how fast hey call for a dozer to come free them and their stranded Volvo.

ticked off
03-02-2007, 07:56 AM
the blm and forest service school trust and others can not close off roads even if they are not on an official map.
any road or trail used by the public for 10 years becomes a public road and can only be abandoned by the public according to the law in each state. by public meetings and votes ect.
blm and forest are not public contrary to popular belief. once a road has been used no matter how long ago for ten years it remains public until abandon leagally blm ect can not just close the roads even if redundant. these roads need not be used everyday only once in a while even one time in ten years. i have learned this through meetings with the state of utah lawyers that have said blm puts up signs pull them down and go through. the states lawyers have notified the blm ect of this in the same meeting and that the state would defend anyone that removed blockage including in wilderness areas.
also i have spent the last 7 years fighting to close a road across my land that the public claims from use. the land owner and family i purchased my land from closed the road every seven years for about a 100 years by standing in the road for 24 hours with signs on blockade. judges ruled that this was not enough the public used it when ever necessary and convinent. the utah apellet court has ruled that locked gates and fences also signs on gate post dont count if the public used the road one time during the ten years without being stoped. and one creditable witness is enough.

High Desert Drifter
03-02-2007, 07:49 PM
Biggest problem is most of the greenies think camping should be limited to your back yard. Drop them off in the Jarbidge or any Alaskan Wilderness and see how fast hey call for a dozer to come free them and their stranded Volvo.

I always thought those people drove Suburu Foresters and Rav-4's?...

Flatiron
03-03-2007, 02:23 AM
Not only do we have the greenies coming in by the thousands monthly, but we also have the urban cowboys. Just yesterday I saw an older gentleman driving a Rav-4 with a spare tire cover that boldly said "Arizona Cowboy". This clown had armor-alled tires, jet black Elvis hair, complimentary moustache, and straw hat to boot. He had to come from Ca. or possibly Vegas. Heh heh....:D

LauraA
03-05-2007, 05:46 AM
We've learned a few things since this thread was begun.:rolleyes:
In our area of the Tonto National Forest the Forest Service regularly schedules meetings for interested parties to attend. We can give our input, make comments and suggestions and help correct Forest Service maps. Once we're on their mailing list, they keep us informed of the status of different roads in the area, what's closed, what's being reopened etc. Some of the closures are temporary because there are nesting critters at the time, but they'll reopen them once the critters are gone. We don't have a problem with them closing "redundant" roads because there's always another route to take that'll pretty much take us to the same area as the road that's been closed.
If a road is closed to motorized vehicles and we want to go, we don't take down signs, instead we'll put on hiking boots and backpacks and go on foot.
We've got meetings scheduled this week and next to discuss changes that'll be made in the Tonto Ranger District, along with the meeting notice, they've sent maps of proposed changes so folks will have the opportunity to look over the proposed changes and make suggestions at the upcoming meetings...seems fair enough to me.

Footnote:
Recently there has been a rash cattle shootings in our area. This sort of behavior only reinforces what the greenies are saying about closing off access to certain areas.
Here's a link containing pictures of a couple of the dead steers, I won't post them here, too gruesome.

Jeeping FR1070 & FR225. The good, the bad and the dead. (http://journals.aol.com/lpleas3333/AdensAdventures/entries/2007/02/10/jeeping-fr1070--fr225.-the-good-the-bad-and-the-dead./522)

After a busy weekend, the backroads become littered with beer bottles, cans and general trash,(even McDonalds wrappers, the nearest McDonalds is 30 miles away) leaving it to locals to clean up the mess left by
irresponsible visitors. :mad:

LauraA
03-10-2007, 06:45 AM
We just received a meeting notice from the local (Tonto Basin) ranger district to discuss opening new roads and reopening several roads which were previously closed. They're also planning on reopening several areas which were closed to all entry.
The notice says;
"The purpose is to improve management of the road network in the Roosevelt area, by ensuring that National Forest land, soil, vegetation, and wildlife is conserved and used wisely, while allowing reasonable access to the National Forest, Roosevelt Lake, the Salt River and three major tracts of private land."
In my opinion, this is a positive result of meetings with the Forest Service and is proof that someone is listening to us. I'm going to remain optimistic that something positive can come out of these meetings with the eventual result of an overall plan that all factions can live with.

GaryB
03-10-2007, 09:16 AM
Hopefully the NFS and BLM learned some things from the past summer's fires. A lot of places in California alone had been closed off, allowing access roads to become grown over. When the fires started, they had to bulldoze new roads so the fire crews could get in to try and control the fires. So the end result was terrain scarred by hastily graded roads that would likely have not been needed if the access would have not been shut down; and millions of acres burnt that might have been saved had time time not been wasted creating access so that the crews could get in. I've heard numerous reports of areas completely destroyed by fire being planned on becoming reopened just to keep the access roads in traveling shape for future fires. A little late :rolleyes: The highest record # of fires and acreage burnt on record since they started keeping track. Hundreds of wild game animals euthanized do to the lack of feed. Etc, etc.


Someday man will become smart enough to realize the Earth can take pretty good care of itself without his help.

LauraA
03-16-2007, 05:01 AM
We attended a local meeting last night with the Tonto Nat'l Forest Service to discuss future openings and closings of roads in our immediate area, mostly around Roosevelt Lake. The meeting went well, I got the impression they were at least listening to what we had to say. I realize that whatever they finally come up with isn't going to please everyone, but it's good to at least feel involved in the process.
I was unlucky enough to be seated next to a foul-smelling, unkempt, "Greenie" who had driven all the way up from Phoenix to make his opinions known. This jerk wants to close all roads that go through riparian areas, all dry-washes and ban all OHV use in National Forests. He didn't identify which group he was affiliated with, but judging by the maps he had with him, it looked to be a well organized movement. His maps were color coded, identifying the habitat areas of different animal species living in this area and he wanted immediate closure of all these areas, even to foot traffic. :mad: He wasn't warmly accepted by the locals, most of whom were trying to get more roads opened not more areas closed. The thing I'm concerned about with morons like this one attending meetings, is how much impact they'll have in the final outcome?
I brought up the fact that some of the proposed road closures would keep people from accessing some areas of historical interest, Indian ruins, mining camps, abandoned ranches and even the former town of Livingston. We'll see how it goes, it's not over just yet, they've got future meetings planned before road openings/closures are implemented. The proverbial fat lady hasn't sung YET. :rolleyes:

ghost_town_huntress
03-17-2007, 10:31 PM
Now why are these a$$hole "greenies" out to ruin everyone else's fun? And why do officials even listen to them? It's not like there's a whole lot of them, they should be listening to the majority vote. And I know most people do wnat to keep these roads open.

Rachel in Utah ghost_town_huntress@yahoo.com

LauraA
03-18-2007, 06:35 AM
Some of these "greenie" groups such as the Sierra Club, WWF, Nature Conservancy, Friends of Earth and Project Earth, have gazillion dollars backing them, and in turn have huge powerful lobbies in Washington. Politicians are afraid to go against these groups because it's highly unpopular to be viewed as "a person who goes against Mother Nature and wants to do harm to earth and its critter inhabitants." (That's in their words, not mine.) Opposing lobbies are mostly led by vehicle manufacturers, the NRA and of course the big oil companies. It boils down to which side politicians are willing to associate themselves with, someone who wants to save the yellow-bellied-poop wren, or a group that wants to run them over, poison them, or serve them up for dinner. :rolleyes:


It's not politically popular to be viewed as someone who doesn't like Pandas. :cool:
776

ghost_town_huntress
03-18-2007, 11:30 PM
Well then I guess I'm not politically popular because I don't like pandas! But then I think we already knew that.

Rachel in Utah ghost_town_huntress@yahoo.com

LauraA
03-19-2007, 06:25 AM
Rachel, I don't like 'em either. Maybe a new slogan is called for, "Ban The Panda" or "We Prefer The Teddy (Roosevelt) Bear" :D

Here's a link I've posted before. It's a good place to vent...It can't hurt to write to some of these Washington yahoos ... errr... elected officials and let them know how we feel about what they're doing, supposedly on our behalf.:rolleyes:


Complete E-Mail Addresses for Congress, Senate, Governors & State Legislators (http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm)

LauraA
04-03-2007, 02:59 PM
Does anyone have any information regarding prospective road closures by the governing bodies in your own areas? Has anyone heard of BLM holding public meetings to get input from interested parties? I've heard that BLM is planning or currently doing that, but I can't imagine it happening. :rolleyes:
I'd like to hear what BLM is up to, most of what we know about is our local area which is either State Land or National Forest.

Check this link out if you want to read a load of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo :mad:


Format Document (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=%2Flegtext%2F48leg%2F1r%2 Fproposed%2Fh%2E2443jw%2Edoc%2Ehtm)

LauraA
04-09-2007, 08:16 PM
I don't know if anyone's interested in this topic or not, but here's a link I came across today. If these folks have their way, access would be extremely limited on trails in the Tonto National Forest. :mad:




http://www.azwild.org/resources/Tontoalert.php

LauraA
04-14-2007, 05:34 AM
I'm going to keep posting to this thread until somebody tells me "enough already!" I think it's an important topic because they're talking about limiting some MAJOR access to the areas we're all going. :mad:

Ultimate tree hugger's site.
ORV Reform Campaign (http://www.endangeredearth.org/orv/)

This one is going to prohibit any new mining claims in some large portions of the Tonto National Forest to help protect the Hedgehog Cactus (we've got zillions of these here, they grow like weeds):rolleyes: Once this one is passed, it'll open the door for futher road closures.
FR Doc E7-510 (http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/E7-510.htm)

bad bob
04-14-2007, 09:29 AM
I'm going to keep posting to this thread until somebody tells me "enough already!" I think it's an important topic because they're talking about limiting some MAJOR access to the areas we're all going. :mad:

Ultimate tree hugger's site.
ORV Reform Campaign (http://www.endangeredearth.org/orv/)

This one is going to prohibit any new mining claims in some large portions of the Tonto National Forest to help protect the Hedgehog Cactus (we've got zillions of these here, they grow like weeds):rolleyes: Once this one is passed, it'll open the door for futher road closures.
FR Doc E7-510 (http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/E7-510.htm)


You think petitions may be of any help? Forum members willing to circulate, may be able to generate enough signatures. Also key locations such as road rallies, and RV parks have many folks prob willing to sign petitions. There's a gt rally coming up in Idaho. Off-roaders have an axe to grind. Folks like GaryB have the 4wd rallies. No telling how far the list goes.

LauraA
04-14-2007, 01:33 PM
You think petitions may be of any help? Forum members willing to circulate, may be able to generate enough signatures. Also key locations such as road rallies, and RV parks have many folks prob willing to sign petitions. There's a gt rally coming up in Idaho. Off-roaders have an axe to grind. Folks like GaryB have the 4wd rallies. No telling how far the list goes.

At this point, I don't think it would hurt.
However, in my opinion individual letters are more effective because each person has a different point of view when it comes to OHV travel. Also, petitions would need to be sent to the specific agency overseeing whichever section the person signing would be interested in making a statement about, be it BLM, Forest Service, State Lands, etc.
A blanket statement, "Don't close our access roads" unfortunately isn't enough. It's too late for that. Agencies want more specifics, meaning, they want to know why we want our roads kept open and for what purpose.

Rockcrusher
04-15-2007, 11:17 AM
At this point, I don't think it would hurt.
However, in my opinion individual letters are more effective because each person has a different point of view when it comes to OHV travel. Also, petitions would need to be sent to the specific agency overseeing whichever section the person signing would be interested in making a statement about, be it BLM, Forest Service, State Lands, etc.
A blanket statement, "Don't close our access roads" unfortunately isn't enough. It's too late for that. Agencies want more specifics, meaning, they want to know why we want our roads kept open and for what purpose.


Unfortunately, once the feds decide to close an area, even the most comprehensive petitions and letters are relegated to the round file. In a large number cases local resource managers effect what they call "emergency closures" on input from the environmental industry without regard to the facts.

Example: The USFS closed a road in northern California that had been in use since the 1860's. USFS posted the obligatory legal notice in a newspaper 500 miles away and when no one responded, the road was closed.

Example: The BLM closed a nearby area that has been in use by dirt bikers for as long as I can remember to prevent damage to fossil resources. The local, and publically anti OHV, BLM manager was asked for a copy of the impact statement. That manager quickly declared the impact statement to be a classified document and refused to release it. Case closed . . . We lose again.

Example: A prominent mover and shaker within the environmental industry bought property that abutted a national forest. This person didn't like motorcycles, 4×4's or even horses. A quick meeting with the local USFS officials and the area was forever closed to everyone but hikers. Again, no public recourse.

Example: A lame-duck senator who was in the environmental industry's pocket wanted a wilderness area created in Northern Nevada. Said senator snuck a rider on a defense appropriation bill at the last minute and presto . . . a million or so acres of wilderness created overnight. Never mind the fact that the area didn't qualify as a wilderness under the law.

The bottom line is money. The seven most powerful players in the U.S. environmental industry have a combined annual budget of over a billion dollars. I seriously doubt that us evil users of mechanized transportation can muster even a paltry $750k a year. Who do you think will win the war?

Unless us evil off-roaders come together to fight the environmental industry we will continue to be pushed off of public lands. No amount of letters and/or petitions will sway the vote of our elected officials.

Remember, money talks and bull***** walks

LauraA
04-15-2007, 03:07 PM
Unless us evil off-roaders come together to fight the environmental industry we will continue to be pushed off of public lands. No amount of letters and/or petitions will sway the vote of our elected officials.

Remember, money talks and bull***** walks

I couldn't agree with you more. However, this is the only chance we're going to have to have any objections heard. The Forest Service, BLM and other Federal agencies have a little under three years to draw up a new management plan. The last one was done in the 1980s. The difference this time is they are mandated by Congress to include public input in their final plan. After the different agencies have held public meetings, received and reviewed public input, they then draw up a plan and submit it to Washington for final approval.
Taken directly from information given to us at one of the Tonto National Forest meetings;
"Key Features of the New Planning Process
*Strategic document
*Public Collaboration
*Forest Supervisor is the decision maker
*Social, economic, and ecological sustainability"
If we aren't proactive, we lose. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an organized National movement of us "Evil off-roaders":D but each group, ATVers, Jeepers, Dirt Bikers, etc AND each individual can make their opinions known. I'd rather be vocal now when there's a possibility of having an impact, rather than wait three years after final plans are implemented and complain about it then.

This is the basic outline chart they're working with showing the opportunities for public input.


817

speedy
04-16-2007, 05:55 AM
It's a shame what they are trying to do with our public lands. I thought "public land" was for us "publics". I hope the land will be open fprever, but I doubt it. By the way.......I always hated those charts. I was never a good bureaucrat, probably why I retired early.....Speedy

LauraA
04-16-2007, 08:00 AM
Speedy, When you remind the agencies involved that WE ARE THE PUBLIC, they all seem to have the same response, "The land access will remain open but closed to all motorized vehicles." I wonder how they'd respond if challenged by The Americans With Disabilities Act, granting access to those with disabilities access to all public places? Wonder if insatiable curiosity combined with ghost towning could be considered a disability? :D ;)

speedy
04-17-2007, 12:46 PM
Welllll guess that makes me disabled. You might just have a point there. I don't think they could fight the disabilities act....Speedy

LauraA
04-18-2007, 08:55 AM
We just got this in the morning mail.
I guess the good news is that the forest service won't be doing anything real soon. The bad news is it's just procrastinating the inevitable.:rolleyes:
The part that gets me queasy is the "whether forest planning meetings resume or not." Typical
bureaucratic red tape, three steps forward, five steps back.:confused:


818