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Discussion Starter #1
Tom Martin asked me to post this on MB. Please write!

Tubby & Tom – I had tried to post this on the River Runners for Wilderness site with no luck and Tubby I am not a member of Utah Rafters. The Bishop Land Initiative in Uintah County is nearing a critical point and letters to the folks below, AND the Congressional delegation of people’s residence are critically important in doing something more than lip service to protect small portions of these rivers. Would you please post this and drum up some letters?

Herm

Around 60 years ago the modern conservation movement began just east of Uintah County over a proposal to build a dam within Dinosaur National Monument at Echo Park. Now we need another similar uprising from people who care about the long term protection of the Green and White Rivers. Congressman Rob Bishop, who serves on the U.S. House Rules Committee and the Natural Resources Committee (CHAIRMAN) has proposed a Public Lands initiative. This initiative is very LOCALLY DRIVEN, and threatens to undo tens of thousands of acres currently protected as Proposed Wilderness.

WE NEED YOUR HELP - PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO READ THIS AND THEN........ WRITE LETTERS!

At present about 200,000 acres of Uintah County’s 2,000,000 acres receive protection because federal agencies must manage proposed Wilderness as de-facto Wilderness until their fate is determined. The current proposal would reduce the protected lands to around 15,000! In addition many of those acres would receive significantly less protection than they currently receive through National Conservation Area or other status. If you want to see how much land is currently drilled go to Google Earth and have a look!

While the Lands initiative concerns de-listing pristine proposed wilderness in the Uintah Mountains and Book Cliffs, I am concentrating on those lands adjacent to the Green and White Rivers. HERE’S WHY:

● There is only one place in the United States where a person can take an extended (over 20 days) river trip - The Grand Canyon; Here one can launch with permits at Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River and run all the way to Hite on Lake Powell or launch and take out at intermediate points; Likewise one can launch in Rangely, Colorado and do a similar trip.

● There are few places where people can learn to run rivers without excessive regulation and without permits; Commercial use of other areas is at capacity; From Ouray to Sand Wash on the Green and from Rangely to the confluence with the Green River these opportunities still exist (presently 4-5 commercial outfitters have permits for these river segments).

● While the 100 or so miles from Split Mountain to Ouray is developed, mostly agriculture, gravel and oil and gas, the other river segments are still pristine with dramatic scenery, significant wildlife habitat, archeological, Native Peoples and early settlement sites, silence, dark night skies, wonderful river camps and few intrusions. Both the White and Green Rivers are significant to endangered plants and to endangered fishes. Although much of the White River has significant O&G development and visual intrusions it, perhaps has as many if not more pre-dam era qualities than the Yampa River.

● The potential for visual intrusions on the access road to Island Park and the river camps along that segment of river are presently a certainty, having a dramatic effect on a quality river experience.

● Outdoor recreation, and specifically has a significant economic impact upon Uinta County, especially during the “Bust” times like we are currently experiencing. Oil and Gas companies owe their loyalties to their corporate headquarters, stockholders and in some cases foreign governments. When the oil economy sours they can pull up stakes and move away. River outfitters and private river runners cannot do that - there are only a limited number of rivers to run. River runners buy gas, groceries, eat at restaurants and stay at motels, buy souvenirs and make other expenditures that support the county’s economy.

● River running is low impact, river runners come here, spend money and go home to where they live. It does not produce or use harmful chemicals, foul the air and water.

Currently (see maps attached) the County Commissioners are proposing:

★ ISLAND PARK - No wilderness, even though there is much land worthy of that designation there, instead they are proposing a Conservation Area and they plan to modify the vegetation for sage grouse (soon to be listed - endangered?), open roads for “hunters” and permit other incompatible activities. The purpose of the County’s “concession” on this site is to show they are protecting sage grouse and to allow drilling on all other grouse lands. While much of the viewshed from the river and camps will be protected (see maps & Google) the road into Island Park to the Monument boundary will have no scenic protection, AND drill rigs (this is a prime geological area to drill) on the mountain will be visible. Trading out SITLA lands.

★ WHITE RIVER - Almost no protection on the White River and reduced acreage protection (White River Wilderness) of the Goblin City area (discovered by Powell’s men in 1872).

★ UPPER DESOLATION CANYON - A very much reduced Upper Desolation Canyon Wilderness around Sand Wash and up-river, a ½ mile river protective zone from near Pariette Wash to Sand Wash and Recreational River status. Closing the road from Sand Wash North to state school section and trading out SITLA lands.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE PRESERVED: (* Belknap Guide mileage; **A Boating Guide to the White River mileage)



❏ Island Park - Preserve the entire Wilderness as proposed by the BLM and Red Rocks Wilderness Proposal in and around Island Park. Trade out SITLA sections. Protect the viewshed along the Island Park access road outside the Monument Boundary. Protect the entire viewshed from the river to the Diamond Mountain road, except for private property, and permit current grazing rights and access. Prohibit drilling on these dedicated lands, but directional drilling from outside the protected areas to access rights should be permitted. Inclusion of the Green River within Dinosaur National Monument as a Wild segment of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act; Inclusion of the Green River from its exit of Dinosaur National Monument (mp 198.5*) to Placer Point (mp 196*) as a Scenic River; and from Placer point to the Monument entrance road (mp 187*) as a segment of Scenic or Recreational River; These dedications will not affect water rights or the current rights of adjacent landowners. The Commissioners (supported by the Wilderness Society and NP&CA) are proposing to support Wilderness status of proposed lands WITHIN the boundaries of Dinosaur N.M. but this is a non-starter as those lands are already manages as de-facto Wilderness. This is an example of trading nothing to show support of conservationist’s proposals.

❏ White River - The White River has potential to be a win-win situation for the Oil and Gas Industry, River Runners and outdoor recreationists and government entities by developing a long-term reclamation plan. Here are my recommendations (and I am surprised the Uintah Commissioners have not jumped on this!) Approve, in its entirety, the White River Wilderness proposed by in conservation community’s “Red Rock Wilderness Area” plan. In a 1-2 mile wide zone (depending on visual and sound intrusions) to protect intrusions on the White River from (The Colorado border) mp 22** to mp 68** in a manner similar to the McInnis National Conservation Area near Loma, Colorado. Current drilling, undrilled leases and access would continue. New leases would be required to control (baffle) sound, lighting and directional drill from out of the protected area. When wells are no longer economical the sites and access to them will be reclaimed in a natural condition. Water truck and other access would be reduced. Grazing and stock water sites would continue. Within the wetland/flood plain only closed loop drilling systems would be allowed. Overhead power lines and power poles would eventually be removed and any necessary power lines would eventually be placed underground. (Price, UT. has two entire fields with underground electricity.) Nearby road construction should be mitigated for habitat fragmentation and unnecessary roads should be reclaimed. All pumping within the corridor would be to centralized tank batteries out of the viewshed to also reduce noise and to reduce truck trips in field. Compressors should be located five miles from the river corridor and mitigated to baffle sound. Roads should be gate and locked where possible to reduce traffic disturbance. Out of river intrusion bike and/or ATV trails can be developed.



❏ Upper Desolation Canyon - Desolation Canyon begins well above the current launch site at Sand Wash, and that area is beautiful. Protecting the river corridor and side canyons from visual, sound, light and other intrusions is critical to successful making this river segment to users. To understand the protections that are required to foster this growth we need to protect more than a token strip of land adjacent to the river. The river corridor, including side canyons need to be off-limits to the visual and other (sound, lights, etc.) intrusions. The Uintah Commissioners proposal for protection of a narrow corridor along the Green River is hardly a concession as the BLM is already managing this area as a Wild and Scenic River segment. There is a pipeline, and utility corridor that crosses the river around mp 107.5, the proposal does not affect access and development of this corridor, except to require “naturalization. Therefore I strongly support the inclusion of the Green River From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Boat Ramp (mp 142*) to Wild Horse Bench (mp 118*) as a Recreational Segment and from mp 118* to the Uintah County Line (approximately mp 91*) as a Wild segment of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Intrusions presently in place, and drilling leases should remain, but be removed and reclaimed as their production becomes uneconomical or they become unused. Wild and Scenic River designation will continue to permit the continued use of motor boats by commercial outfitters, hunters and those who fish the river. The Upper Desolation Canyon Wilderness proposed by conservation organizations Red Rocks Wilderness Proposal should be approved in its entirety. Road access below Wild Horse bench should be closed.

❏ All state lands (SITLA) within all of the above recommendations should be exchanged with BLM lands elsewhere to consolidate energy development.

❏ BLM in Uintah County has over 3,500 uncapped, un-reclaimed wells. Abandoned and non-producing uncapped and un-reclaimed wells contribute to air and groundwater pollution. In all above cases abandoned or non-producing wells should be reclaimed, especially as BLM should have imposed a bond to do so upon lease.

❏ Uintah County already has a preponderance of land available for extractive use, now it is time to set aside some land for our grandchildren to determine the use of in the future. The mineral resources in than land will not be any less valuable in the future.... and indeed in times of National crisis even the National parks have been opened to non-compliant use (Yosemite - grazing in WWI and Smokey Mountains for timber harvest in WWII for example)

A small group of us have been working hard, spending many hours, in meetings with the Uintah Commissioners and state and federal representatives. We have made some progress, BUT several well-funded, very vocal groups (see attachments) have stymied our efforts. I mean WE HAVE STRUGGLED!

OK NOW THAT YOU HAVE STRUGGLED THROUGH THE ABOVE - YOU NEED TO WRITE LETTERS.

▸ Use your own words, include personal experiences

▸ Do not threaten, or be vulgar or insulting - be positive & polite

▸ DO SHARE HOW MUCH TIME (How many times a year and for how many years) AND MONEY YOU SPEND OR IN THE CASE OF CONCESSIONAIRES EARN HERE

▸ Explain what you want and why

▸ send copies to YOUR US CONGRESSMAN; remember regarding Echo Park, when Congressmen from other states began receiving letters the shit began hitting the proverbial fan!

▸ It is probably more important to send letters to the governor’s office and congressional aids below than Uintah Commissioners if you have limited postal $

▸ PLEASE, PLEASE.... write, don’t Email. I know your time is limited and precious... but so are these river segments. If we do not create a ground swell of support these river segments time will be limited too. PASS THIS ON TO OTHER RIVER SUPPORTERS.

Mike McKee and Bill Stringer, Uintah County Commissioners

152 E 100 N

Vernal, Utah 84078

Utah Office of Economic Development

Outdoor Recreation Director - Brad Petersen

60E. S Temple, 3rd Floor

Salt Lake City UT 84111

Cody Stewart Utah Governor Herbert’s Staff

305 N. State Street

Utah State Capitol. Suite 230

Salt Lake City, UT 84114

U. S. Congressman Rob Bishop - Casey Snider

1017 Federal Building

324 25th St

Ogden, UT 84401

U. S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz - Fred Ferguson

2464 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington D.C. 20515
 

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Hi

Total BS !

I ride dual sport and dirt bikes.

This has that community up in arms !

They want to shut down significant parts of moab area

here is the link

Note from Clif Koontz about Moab trail access and closures. Help Needed - ADVrider

This is a bad idea ! !

IT DOES NOT HAVE LOCAL SUPPORT

It could eventually shut down acess roads as well.

This is a BAD project for all us....DO NOT SUPPORT THIS !


scott
 

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Tom,

I'll write letters, but I already know Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop are incapable of opening their minds. Bishop only sees the mighty dollar right now and all Chaffetz cares about is hot button issues, so he can grandstand as a drama queen. A son-in-law of a good friend, worked for Chaffetz and didn't have much good to say.

I'll write everyone in hopes that someone with a greater voice will see the need and try to intervene.

Good luck!
 

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Actually, this does have local support in Grand County. Here in Moab, we overhauled our local government in last year's election with progressives who were willing to find a balance between conservation and multi-use recreation. Our county council has worked hard to make sure all interested parties have an opportunity to have their voices heard, and they have worked diligently to keep jeep safari trails and OHV roads open in conjunction with expanding protection of our local watershed and wilderness areas.

All three recommended proposals put forward by Rep. Bishop drastically decrease protected wilderness and conservation areas while increasing access for oil and gas. It's a mess. This isn't about shutting down all off-road access for dirt bikers, mountain bikers, jeeps, etc or closing existing roads. We are asking our representatives to protect specific areas against additional development for their wilderness and ecological value.

Please write your representatives and ask for more protection of our rivers!
 

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Our legislators are an interesting breed. Rumor is our local democratic committee is going to encourage those registered with the party to declare themselves republican and vote in their primaries for moderates. After years of catastrophic losses in our district a new strategy is needed. Wasn't as needed before they gerrymandered our state voting districts.

Phillip
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, if it wasn't for the beauty of this state, we'd probably go live somewhere else. It's a waste of time to vote here, unless you're a teabagger. Bishop And Chaffetz are morons when it comes to public lands. I agree a letter is probably tilting at windmills, but I'm going to write one anyway.

Nothing against jeepers or MC riders. I raced MX and track for a few years when I was younger. Actually trained and worked as a MC mechanic till I got into woodworking. There's enough out there for everyone if they don't sell the state to the extraction industry.
 

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Nothing against jeepers or MC riders..........There's enough out there for everyone if they don't sell the state to the extraction industry.
Um....how would you feel if 90% of the rivers you enjoyed were closed to your use.

In summit county, golden horsehoe area 90% of our single track trails were closed .

By the way, ...where the hell do you think your gear came from ? .....yep all that wood, plastic, rubber, metal, carbon...100% from extraction industries ! :rolleyes: None of us get to boat with out the help of extraction industries !

YA... there is enough land to go around if it were all open....but a lot of it is closed, regulated and permitted, and the permints and regulation, only get more restricted ! ... I bet in the next 5-7 years, browns will be permitted!

The current regulations and closings have been harsh on the ohv community.

OHV use and numbers have grown substantially, at the same time there has been a significant reduction in trails sysytems.....There are no longer is enough trail systems to support the number of users, many of the remaning trail system suffer from over use...From this users group perspectives, there is a shortage of land...it is no longer plentiful.

I feel you're postion as I understand it, is hypocrisy at it's finest .

But, regardless of differing political views....I wish you a fun filled river season !

Paddle on

Scott
 

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Scott, I don't know the precise details in Uintah County, but in Grand County 97.6% of all trails and dirt roads would stay open under the proposed recommendations to Rep. Bishop, including 100% of jeep safari trails. By comparison, less than 60% of proposed wilderness would be protected. To suggest that this initiative is designed to benefit conservationists over OHV riders is hyperbolic at best and fear mongering at worse.

There really is more than enough land to go around, but that doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and let our river corridors and wilderness areas go to hell so anyone can ride anything anywhere at any time. Our family loves to enjoy the serenity of the river from our raft, and go dirtbiking and jeeping to places that cars just can't get us. If we all started acting like adults instead of ignorant jerks, we probably could find a balance that works for everyone.

Edit: Also, non-motorized recreation is the largest economic driver in Grand County, much more than motorized recreation and far, far greater than oil and gas. It's in our best interest to protect our wilderness areas in order to stay viable. Instead of preaching from across the divide, maybe you should direct some of your research to what is really happening over here.
 

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Scott, I don't know the precise details in Uintah County, but in Grand County 97.6% of all trails and dirt roads would stay open under the proposed recommendations to Rep. Bishop, including 100% of jeep safari trails. By comparison, less than 60% of proposed wilderness would be protected. To suggest that this initiative is designed to benefit conservationists over OHV riders is hyperbolic at best and fear mongering at worse.

There really is more than enough land to go around, but that doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and let our river corridors and wilderness areas go to hell so anyone can ride anything anywhere at any time. Our family loves to enjoy the serenity of the river from our raft, and go dirtbiking and jeeping to places that cars just can't get us. If we all started acting like adults instead of ignorant jerks, we probably could find a balance that works for everyone.

Edit: Also, non-motorized recreation is the largest economic driver in Grand County, much more than motorized recreation and far, far greater than oil and gas. It's in our best interest to protect our wilderness areas in order to stay viable. Instead of preaching from across the divide, maybe you should direct some of your research to what is really happening over here.
I'm with Scott on this one. We go to Moab and Green River several times each year for dirt biking. We respect the land and other people's outdoor experiences, and never ride like "jerks". We always avoid jeep and mtn bike weeks and contribute plenty to the local business community. There's really not much left for legal motorized singletrack, mostly roached out jeep roads and sand washes. Meanwhile the BLM and town continue to build and promote new mtn bike singletrack everywhere. It's ironic when you consider most of the Moab trails were pioneered by dirt bikers and jeeps, including the Slickrock Trail, which Velo News so recently infamously declared non-motorized. Now when you ride it, all you get from mtn bikers is an attitude, clearly completely unaware of it's history.

The stuff that is left is worth the trip, especially to get away from winter weather and enjoy the beauty of Moab. Several of the proposed closures include some of this remaining singletrack. The seasonal closure of Dead Cow and Hey Joe will stop the very rare traffic on a short 5 -6 mile stretch where it runs along the Green River. I really doubt that will dramatically change the "wilderness experience" of that stretch (if one were to be so "unfortunate" as to actually be in the same area when dirt bikes come through - a very rare occurence other than maybe jeep week) , with over 80 additional miles of "serenity" available. If you've ever been there you know what I mean - it's WAY out there and takes local knowledge to even find it and skill to ride it. I doubt it sees more than one or two groups most weeks - and probably most frequently in the spring and fall before the major rafting season. Plus even those serene sections are frequently touched by man, be it ranches or access points such as Mineral Bottom.

These proposed closures are not fear mongering, but fact. And it's important to put it in the dirt biking context, where we've lost huge amounts of access throughout the West. I can't recall a significant victory in the land access issues in the past 10 years.

I'm a mtn biker too, and first rode Moab on a prototype bike by G. Fisher after seeing his stuff in Marin in 1981. Most folks then didn't even know what it was. Lots has changed since then but I'm still willing to share. I'm also a 30+ year kayaker and now a rafter, and fully understand the value of rivers and of wilderness (and very strongly support some of those areas), but am also able to admit that just maybe we've tied up enough land elsewhere with wilderness and roadless designations, and just maybe we should all consider sharing a little more of what's left of what is, after all, everyones' land. It's not yours and it's not mine. It's ours.
- Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Emmielou.

Scott, don't get your knickers in a knot. Your have completely misread my post. I've got nothing against OHV, with the exception of when they ignore basic courtesies to other trail users. Don't tell me it never happens. It's like ramp hogs, there's jerks among all outdoor recreationists. We have a Xterra Off-Road and occasionally drive the trails around Moab. With two Xterras and a 3/4 ton diesel pick-up, we're not exactly poster children for reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

Since you don't live in Utah, you're probably not aware of the state law suit against the US gov't to take over control of the millions of US managed acreage. Basically, they (IMO) want to sell all of the incredible wilderness in this state to, yes,....the extraction industries. Maybe you agree with this proposition. If so, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

If you're on this site, I assume you love the tranquility of wilderness rivers. I'm not totally familiar with what might be proposed around Moab, but if a few miles of OHV trails are restricted to give river runners that tranquility, is it really going F-up your life? I assume this is what you're objecting to. Not the many thousand of acres Bishop and Chaffetz want to lease to extraction industries.

Peace, out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jon,
Thanks for your thoughtful reply to Emmielou, You made some very good points. We're probably close in age and I am aware of the history of Slickrock, thought it was the mid 90s before I MTB'd it for the first time. Being a bit of a motorhead, I appreciate OR riding. Hopefully, more of the trails you love aren't restricted, but I just can't agree with opening up sensitive area to many of the ohv users we too often see on the trails. Just my opinion there.
 

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Part of the problem for me is Chaffetz and Bishop don't come to the table in good faith negotiations. They present symbolic legislation to rally their base and earn votes (happens across the aisle as well but they are relevant in this case). There are plenty of multi-sport users in Utah who want to find an compromise that respects the various stakeholders but these two legislators are not the right people to increase buy-in to the process.

I am curious about single track....is that an issue with closure or competition from fellow motorized users like Jeeps? In all seriousness it doesn't seem like there is a major problem with motorized access in places like Grand County but more of a specific desire for certain experiences, i.e. single track. Why not work within the existing travel plan to close off 4-wheel traffic to buffer the single track experience?

Per the conflict issue....as a former forest service employee it is difficult to find appropriate balance when the #s for trail closures often include a large percentage that were not legal according to decades old travel plans. The number of rouge trails, in Utah at least, is astounding. I ran into a ton doing biological surveys and locals had no problem including those when claiming agencies were radically closing them out of access. I have yet to hear any major organization that represents motor use honestly account for that reality (as I said I am more familiar with Utah, including several years living in Moab).

I would like to point out its not just OHV travel being regulated more heavily through Utah. GSENM travel plan was noticeable restrictive across the board; any motor access through the monument is less than it was in the past and car camping is completely different out there than a decade ago (no fires, etc); backpacking has become more restrictive with year-round fire bans, elimination of bringing dogs into the backcountry in many places, group size limitations, etc. Its the ultimate reality when our resources are well known, advertised to death and visitation increases every year. Just look at the Paria region's extremely restrictive permit system; Zion National Park's canyoneering permit system; and the obvious river permit hoops we all jump through every year. More people = more restriction.

Hopefully we can see a more collaborative, consensus-based approach then the Utah legislature often promotes.

Phillip
 

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Thanks Emmielou.

Scott, don't get your knickers in a knot. ...

you're probably not aware of the state law suit against the US gov't to take over control of the millions of US managed acreage. If so, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

, but if a few miles of OHV trails are restricted to give river runners that tranquility, is it really going F-up your life?

Peace, out.
To my fellow buzzards

Peace and enjoyable paddle time to all :cool:

I wish to only engage in respectful, non hostile, exchange of differing views with my fellow buzzards.

I am not sure I was understood, and I have questions regarding my fellow buzards post.

So first my views and facts on this subject.

1) Fact .....significant amount of western lands and trails have been closed to OHV use, while at the same time there has been a large growth in the number and types of OHV users.

2) View .......as a result I and many other OHV users feel many of the remaning trails are being subject to over use. We do not feel that there is currently enough land to go around...from our prospective there is a SHORTAGE OF LAND. We feel more than enough land has been set aside as wilderness, or other wise protected...more is not needed or required.

3) Fact.......The vast majority of OHV users are being operated in a responsible manner.....source Colorado State Parks annual reports.

4) View......myself and many OHV users feel persecuted and maligned by groups like the serria club...they portray us uncaring, spoilers, enemies of the environment.....That is not what the vast majority of us are about......This environmental extremists view of OHV use + the lost of significant riding areas, has the community feeling on the defense and hostile.

OK now some questions.


" but if a few miles of OHV trails are restricted to give river runners that tranquility, is it really going F-up your life"

Umm....no ......it would not......but.... would giving up a few miles of river side to OHV use F-up your life ? ....River runners have hundreds if not thousands of miles of fully protected river...

Why is your claim to fun on this land more vaild than mine ?

I see more and more river miles being protected...and more and more land shut down for OHV use.

Quote ' you're probably not aware of the state law suit against the US gov't to take over control of the millions of US managed acreage. If so, we'll just have to agree to disagree.*"

Response....Yes, I am aware of the law suit....I belive it is important to maintain a healthy extraction industry. ...they are not pretty for sure....but they are a nessasary evil of modern life. ..we can not paddle with out them....yes......they need to be regulated, and monitor to insure the environmental impact is mitigated.....but...our lands should not be whole sale closed to them...I feel that there are sufficient set asides already for wilderness, and other areas...we need a healthy extraction industry, that operates in an environmentaly responsible manner.....It can be and is done that way in many not all locations.

Quote " Scott, don't get your knickers in a knot. ."

Response. ...Feeling a little attack here by some not all of the posts here...and defensive on this subject due to reason outlined above.

Again to ALL my fellow buzzards. .....thank you for the opportunity to express my views.

I hope some of you may have gained insite into plight of the OHV user groups...We feel hatred, and keep getting forced onto smaller and smaller chunks of the land.....hum ..does that remind any of you what has happened to any other grou ?...I am told it was done for that groups benfit.....although that group most certainly does not share that view.

Paddle on

Scott






Why
 

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I am curious about single track....is that an issue with closure or competition from fellow motorized users like Jeeps? In all seriousness it doesn't seem like there is a major problem with motorized access in places like Grand County but more of a specific desire for certain experiences, i.e. single track. Why not work within the existing travel plan to close off 4-wheel traffic to buffer the single track experience?


Phillip
Hi phillp

Thaks for the thoughtful post.

Single track trail ....is a trail that is basically a hiking trail that is open to mtn bikes and sometimes now dirt bikes.....Jeeps do not, nor have they ever used this type of trail.

Trails being closed is the problem 5 years ago there was close 200 miles of single track in the golden horseshoe area near breckenridge. ...now there is less than 20 miles !

Lose of single tract has been devistating to trail riders...they are now forced onto what we call 2 track system, jeep and atv roads ....hence 2 track vs 1 track ...

My views and your views on the subject are different, but I did want you understand what single tract was, and how much has been lost to its users.....keep in mind much of it, like the slickrock trail, was created and maintained by the group, that it has become closed to.

Paddle on

Scott,
 

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I think there is undoubtedly an inaccurate and hyperbolic portrayal of "all" motorized users, especially from specific and vocal segments of the "environmental" lobby. I would argue a more accurate number of legal versus illegal numbers for the state of Utah, the issue of concern from the OP, would come from the USFS and BLM as that is the land of concern here. I would also argue that despite intent OHV traffic has been shown to be a major detriment to riparian ecosystems in the west. Our riparian systems are in short supply in the region because of historical abuse and degradation. Both of the aforementioned agencies have mandates for conservation and preservation that often trump recreational use. The previously mentioned Hey Joe trail (i have hiked extensively in that region) in Labryinth spends significant time beside and within those ecosystems and that it was of the issues of contention. I believe one of the problems with working with the OHV community is the inability or unwillingness of many stakeholders groups to functionally compromise

You state some fair questions regarding the compromise associated with a "few miles" of river versus trail. Its not black and white and often comes down to competing values instead of objective standards. Both groups have lost considerable access in the last few decades. I also think it fair to call out your own hyperbolic statement regarding the amount and condition of many western rivers. There are relatively few rivers, not "hundreds to thousands of fully protected", emphasis on your own choice of words. How many rivers ban motors? Few and far between. How many rivers have functioning, "natural" hydrological regimes not affected by dams? Few, in fact i think its largely limited to the Salmon and Yampa. Its actually relatively difficult to get on a "fully protected" river, hence lotteries and complaints on this very forum. I would expect someone who themselves is experiencing a discrepancy in demand compared to availability to be honest in scale for other user groups.

I would also argue that you highlighted one of the fundamental problems situated firmly in the user group you are a member of, i.e. growth and popularity. We can't expect our sports to grow in popularity and not experience crowding and conflict. Motorized sports are hardly alone in this regard. Rafting is one. As a vocal member of the canyoneering community we all so all it coming in Utah but it didn't stop an increase in websites, magazine ads, etc. All too often we create the very problems we blame on others. It happens in human powered and motorized sports and the outcome is often the same: increased oversight, regulation and even closure when the resource is degraded too much.

Another caveat, the legislation of concern isn't an expansion of wilderness but the reduction of land preserved decades ago by FLPMA. These two legislators are removing the existing protections of Wilderness Study Areas that have sat in their relatively stagnant state due to politiking on both sides of the aisle. But it is inaccurate to claim this is about "more" wilderness, as they have been held in trust that way for decades.

Extraction in Utah has highlighted very clearly a problematic ethic. Its not about clean, sustainable energy but maximizing profit during boom/bust cycles. The Uranium Mill in Moab is a prime example. They did what was best for their money not impact and local benefit. They sat on a major source of pollution and did what was minimally required until the government stepped in and took control. The oil industry has no problem doing the same. A company sat on years of spillage in Escalante and never reported it until hunters notified authorities. Oil spills have been common across Utah the last decade. The entire plateau west of the Green River shows that the restraint on extraction on public lands is an exaggeration. Coal mines have shown a observable lack of interest in employee health and safety, hence many closures. Few lands in Utah have been "whole sale closed" as you state, its actually a relatively friendly state to extraction hence the fact it, just oil and gas, contributed roughly $500 million in wages in 2013. A state that ranks 10th-11th in US natural gas and oil production is anything but "whole sale closed" by land agencies. So lets use fair language there as well.

It should be obvious from my previous posts that I am a moderate who cares as much about the "how" in legislation/designation as I do outcomes. There is noticeable stakeholder tension in Utah and there is not an easy solution to it. It is possible for groups to reach across the aisle but the two legislators mentioned and their proposals are not a good faith offer. I would expect those within the motorized community to recognize that reality as much as I call-out those in the conservation group. If we can't push our own communities to inventory our biases, exaggerations, and intent than how can we expect those we politically "oppose" to do the same? This extreme us-versus-them mentality, which you yourself highlight, is a cancer to the very process we need to seek healthy compromise.

Phillip
 

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Hi phillp

Thaks for the thoughtful post.

Single track trail ....is a trail that is basically a hiking trail that is open to mtn bikes and sometimes now dirt bikes.....Jeeps do not, nor have they ever used this type of trail.

Trails being closed is the problem 5 years ago there was close 200 miles of single track in the golden horseshoe area near breckenridge. ...now there is less than 20 miles !

Lose of single tract has been devistating to trail riders...they are now forced onto what we call 2 track system, jeep and atv roads ....hence 2 track vs 1 track ...

My views and your views on the subject are different, but I did want you understand what single tract was, and how much has been lost to its users.....keep in mind much of it, like the slickrock trail, was created and maintained by the group, that it has become closed to.

Paddle on

Scott,
I understand the difference between two track versus single track. My thought is that generally "motorized use" in places like Grand County is rather extensive. Since that is the case, hence its national appeal to users, why has the motorized community not worked within itself to find a better balance between users within its own community? Why haven't motorized users intentionally reclaimed two track trails and turned them into single track trails principally for motorbikes?

I am fully aware of the history of Moab trail systems and its economic history. Moab was not originally a human powered recreational town. It was a mining boom town until the late seventies (roughly, ???). I spent plenty of mornings eating at the greasy spoon we called the "Golden Mistake" getting to know old miners and self-proclaimed motor heads, more so than I ever did at the more mountain biking centered Moab Cafe. Grand County is an interesting study in changing (rarely linear) user groups. As a human-powered adventurer I had no qualms lining up to watch the Jeep Safari parades/line-ups as they dispersed to their various routes each morning. I had no problem watching people Jeep around the trails near the Slickrock region. All this while I worked for an organization that took Leave No Trace to an extreme and yet was kicked out of historical guiding locations over the last five years. The motor community is not the only user group losing noticeable access in places like Moab as their popularity outgrows capacity. Every outdoor community I am part of in Utah, though I don't mountain bike, has lost noticeable access in the last decade.

Phillip
 

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Scott,
I don't believe the park service "The vast majority of OHV users are being operated in a responsible manner"…..source Colorado State Parks annual reports. Also would giving up a few miles of river side to OHV use F-up your life ? No but seeing more drilling done in an irresponsible manner would. Cheers
 

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I am with Shredderscott on this one, at least on the losses to the OHV community. I worry about the crowding on trails, which will then cause more damage and give others a reason to point to on why to close even more. I would like to see a more balanced use. They have opened up a lot of singletrack Moab trails, Captain Ahab and Mag 7 for example, but no pushes for motorized singletrack. I understand the wanting of quiet floating in Labyrinth, but (and I may be mistaken here) aren't motor rigs allowed? I agree that more protections to help the rivers thrive are good, but I think this proposal is too broad sweeping to accommodate all of the various user groups. I also think Moab has lost some it's mtn biking pull that it had, with Fruita trails becoming more popular and the popularity of side by sides. I think the motorized community spends a lot more there than people realize, but I don't know how much of a real study has been done. There are more jeep rental, repair, motorcycle shops, etc if you count them together than the 3 bike shops. Nothing is perfect, but I feel it would hard to get behind these closures for the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
[Quote " Scott, don't get your knickers in a knot. ."

Response. ...Feeling a little attack here by some not all of the posts here...and defensive on this subject due to reason outlined above.]

Sorry, I felt the same about your two statements below. I'm a moderate on these subject, but perhaps due to my writing skills, I don't come across that way.

By the way, ...where the hell do you think your gear came from ? .....yep all that wood, plastic, rubber, metal, carbon...100% from extraction industries ! :rolleyes: None of us get to boat with out the help of extraction industries !

I feel you're postion as I understand it, is hypocrisy at it's finest .

Scott
I think Phillip has addressed everything you've said in a far better response than I ever could.
 

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Scott,
I don't believe the park service "The vast majority OHV users are being operated in a responsible manner"…..source Colorado State Parks annual reports. Also would giving up a few miles of river side to OHV use F-up your life ? No but seeing more drilling done in an irresponsible manner would. Cheers
Hi swimteam.

I am unclear, do you not belive me, when I say it is in the report....easy to check for yourself. ...look for it in the enforcement section of the report.

If you do not agree with how they got there data to support this statement. ...that is your privilege. I would only ask why do you not belive it ?

Again, I must ask would, sharing a few miles river bank with OHV users F-up your day ?

Why does the way you want to play outside, automatically usurp the way I want to play ?

Paddle on

Scott
 
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