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Thread: Does anyone have information about road closures?

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    LauraA's Avatar
    LauraA is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Default Does anyone have information about road closures?

    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.

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    LauraA's Avatar
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    oops, s'cuz me, I just bumped into a spammer

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    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 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

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    LauraA's Avatar
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    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.
    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.

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    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.

  6. #6
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    Sometime roads are closed due to excessive BUMPS.

  7. #7
    dvsww2 Guest

    Default BLM and Forest Service Roads

    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

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    LauraA's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    dvsww2 Guest

    Default Roads

    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

  10. #10
    LauraA's Avatar
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    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" 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.

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