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Jklee, May 19, 2012 in Land Use & Environmental Concerns
I found this on VJC
Wow, good video. Here I was defending the forestry for their work on travel management plans - I was fed some story about the elimination of redundant trails and webs of trails. I didn't know how messed up the entire project had become. Thanks for posting this over here...
I think there needs to be a balance. I believe in access. I am in agreement with most, in that I believe many useful trails were closed without complete review of the impact(It also appears some may have been just picked off a map, to be open or closed, without getting "eyes on" the actual trail.) But I also find myself mad when I see jack-asses that tear off across land, without regard, and cause considerable damage to our public lands, as well as when I see fellow shooters take trash out to shoot it up and leave it behind.
I have been to several land-use meetings. Although I have not been to one in about 1 1/2 years, those that I remember had less and less turnouts everytime. People need to be more active and take responsible control of our public lands instead of leaving it up to politicians.
Interesting stuff. It's like watching two angry gangs getting ready for war. I fully believe both parties can be happy using common sense, good judgement, education and enlightenment. But that's a lot harder to do than going off in your own corner to find a way to defeat your enemy instead of working with him on a solution that will work for all.
Oh wow this topic is custom made for me!
First let me tell you of massive closures coming in the Prescott: FSR 89 from the Crown King Road to Battle Flat, FSR 9268R from FSR 89 to FSR 259B (That means the DeSoto Mine Road) will all be closed for years due to he Gladiator Fire,
I don't even want to get started on the Gladiator and how it should have been knocked down in a day but the FS showed up and "managed" it and look what we got....
When I started my Adopt A Road work back in 2001, I went round and round with the Prescott over keeping FSR 89 open. They tried every trick in the book to close it. I won that battle but now it's lost due to this fire.
Let's see. The video talked about fires and fuel reduction. The only way that is practiced in the Prescott is through fire. Fire is the FS best friend because it lets them close vast areas and herd everyone into their pay for use campgrounds.
That comment about roads not being open unless the are signed is true. Former PNF Supervisor Mike King told me that back in 2003! Of couse the FS never actively signs any roads. I had to do my own signage on FSR 89. They also don't do any maintenance work on any roads.
When using "Forest Speak," be sure you know the difference. A road is for vehicles - Jeeps, Toyotas - whatever as long as its licensed. TRAILS are subdivided into 50" or less - quads/ATVS but NOT side by sides - those fall into use on ROADS only - then there is another sub category under trails for 24" Dirtbikes.......
Anyway.... Up until the 1970s, the FS used to maintain at least some of their roads. They also had crews that did what I used to do (BTW now that the Gladiator had screwed me royally, I am out of the road/trail maintenance business) - they traveled the back country and kept trails like the Bullroad and Tuscumbia signed and open.
Those days are LONG gone! The only time you will see the FS using heavy equipment on a road or trail is to CLOSE IT.
BTW, the Prescott has ONE dozer and ONE grader for their 1800 mile road network. Only 300 miles of that network receive any regular maintenance and guess where those 300 miles are? Close to the FS approved campgrounds around Prescott.
Now this may p.o. some of the avid hard core wheelers, but FS roads NEED maintenance. Failure to do so will eventually result in a road that is so bad the FS will close it for soil preservation or safety reasons. Those nice rutted trails that hard core wheelers like are always the first ones in the FS radar for closure.
About that MVUM - Motor Vehicle Use Map. The Coconino just closed half their roads because they are "redundant." Well shut my face. I guess we should do the same for any redundant roads going into say, Kanas City or Chicago or even Wickenburg. After all, how many roads do we NEED???
The Coconino isn't going to sign any of the roads. You're just supposed to know where you are and if the road is "open" or "closed!"
My contact at the Prescott told me he had no idea where my Adopt A Road was, (or the related trails), or what type of terrain it crossed. They only found that out when it had to be used for access to fight the Gladiator.
Strange, I told Mike King back in 2003 that FSR 89 could be a key road in fire fighting because it connected the Senator and the Crown King Road. I urged him to upgrade (maintain) it. Never happened.
Don't get me wrong - I don't want all the FS roads to be Dodge Neon accessible, but anyone who has done the DeSoto or the back way from Lake Pleasant knows that there have been times when those roads were pretty bad.
Disappearing roads? HELL YES! I have a 1980's PNF map and several subsequent reprints through the 1990s. EVERY single time they reprinted, they took more roads OFF the map. That was step one in road reduction.
A lot of those roads that were removed from the map and closed were RS 2477 roads. The act of closing them was (is) illegal.......
Then came the MVUM map. It is a gigantic (and I mean that literally!) waste of paper. It was based on a 1990 or so PNF map. The roads have no orientation or bearing. Many are wrongly classified for type of use. They have no relationship to non forest roads. Some of the MVUM roads don't even exist! The FS was supposed to evaluate all their roads before closing them - NOT take a map (which already had selectively pruned down the number of FS roads) and say "This is our MVUM!"
When the fire fighters were trying to deal with the Gladiator fire, guess what their first complaint was? No roads Oh there were roads there; they had just been decommisioned or allowed to decay to the point of obscurity.
This is the end of my little rant for now. The bottom line is that the FS is not your friend. They want to turn the whole forest into a roadless region and limit access to a few pay-for-use places. This isn't the work of the Sierra Club or any other "green" group (I am a "greenie"). It is a governmental bureaucracy that is totally unresponsive and out of control.
Unfortunately it sounds like trying to win an argument with brick wall.
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