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AZBillyBoy

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Everything posted by AZBillyBoy

  1. No, you can always pay to stay in a FS approved campsite next to Bart Simpson's extended family complete with barking dogs, crying babies, 100 db loud Waylon Jennings and all the things you fled Phoenix for!
  2. Swansea is SO cool. The air is so clean there. Kind of like Phoenix was about forty years ago! Bouse is kind of an odd place. Do they have a gas station there now? They used to, then it went away. There is some little town south of there called Hope. When you leave town, there was a sign that said "You are now Beyond Hope." The fun way into Swansea is at a little wide spot called, I think, Midway. There is a kiosk there. The old railroad from Bouse to Swansea made an abrupt turn there. You can follow the old rail route in to town the "back" way (which was the "main" way). The Swansea pumping plant is too cool, and somewhere nearby there is a massive old mine - copper, I think - with some really neat shafts filled with Malachite (sp?) ore. Hopefully the BLM is still arresting decay. When I was there they were working on the old RR depot and I heard the miners quarters has new roofing. The old ones were eaten to pieces by a massive termite supercolony.
  3. Having just been on the phone today with the Prescott regarding their policy for repairing roads damaged by the Gladiator Fire, and having fought with these same troglodytes over road and trail closures for years, it makes me beet red. Can you see the steam blowing out of my ears? But I can say that I see NOTHING in that video that is NOT 100% ACCURATE!
  4. Okay here it is. This video says it all and should viral for anyone who spends 1 minute of their life offroad!
  5. I hear your anger but am at a loss about how to combat it. The decision to close roads and limit access comes from the top down which explains why it is found in all forests. Also, a lot of old-timers have retired, leaving a new crop of "youngsters" in charge. No disrespect but this new crop of forest administrators has a completely different attitude about the public's use of OUR lands. You are correct about the manpower to enforce road closures. The Tonto and Prescott each have one LEO. Hardly adequate to cover the massive areas covered by each forest. What are they going to do? Rely on rangers whose enforcement powers are limited or civilian law enforcement? I don't even know if the latter has proper jurisdiction on federal lands. Someone posted an excellent you tube video on this site about the rush by the FS to close down access. I wish I could find it to report; will look if I have the time. I don't think the FS road closures would stand up in court but pursuing that venue would be a massive undertaking. That leaves civil disobedience and trying to reason with bureaucrats as the only options. Good luck there. The biggest problem is that the offroad community has no unified representation. By comparison, the NRA only has about 3 million members yet every time they pass gas people sit up and listen. Where is OUR version of the NRA? It's only going to get worse as time goes on. The FS claims roads have to be closed because the overuse of public lands is causing irreparable harm to the environment. That is true in some locations but hardly a justification for blanket closures or eliminations of routes because of redundancy. I can think of many remote places where few visit and the environment has not been damaged yet roads have been closed. The FS long ago turned its back on maintaining any roads in its network. What nature is taking too long to do the FS hopes to accomplish by decree. Maybe if the FS didn't have to spend half of its budget on fire "management" (not "fire fighting"), again due to poor FS management, then they would have more $$ to commit to road and trail upkeep. By the way, in FS language a ROAD is open to ALL motorized vehicles. TRAILS are different animals, being limited to a max of 50" wide (quads) or lesser designations for dirt bikes and then another classification for non-motorized (equestrian, pedestrian) traffic only.
  6. Here's another sleight of hand trick. The PNF LOVES this one. I have their official maps going back to the 1980s and with every new publication, more and more roads disappeared. Now it's a given they don't maintain signage and they don't even know where half the stuff in the Forest is SO: Did these roads just "go away" OR Were they closed through the proper procedure which I thought entailed soliciting public input prior to closure. I **thought** (there goes my headache again) the proper way for that was to print a notice in the newspaper. Which of course, could be ANY newspaper in the range of the Forest. Like maybe "The Bumblebee News Tribune." Which means no one would read it. Which means "Okay to close!" I was told by a FS person that whenever a road gets blown out by rain/storm/fire damage, "We can't afford to go out and fix it!" He then when on to chortle with glee that the area would then become roadless and "green." Hey I am "green" too but not that green! What good are public lands with no roads. I have hiked my 38.5 pound body all over the Bradshaws but it sure is nice to settle into my vehicle and make the trip that way!!! I'll give anyone a free six pack of the beverage of their choice if they ever spot the Prescott's "Road Division" with their one grader or one dozer venturing more than three miles from Prescott.
  7. I'll never get off the soap box about these MVUMs. The Preskitt National Forest took a 1990's map and said "this is it!." Even before the MVUM reared its ugly head, Mike King (then the Manager of the Prescott) told me that any road or trail NOT signed was considered closed. That is a complete switch from the way it used to be: Any road or trail was considered open unless marked closed. The Prescott is notorious about NOT marking their roads and trails. They should take a cue from the BLM; out on the Agua Fria Monument and over by Wickenburg they have EVERYTHING signed!!! What a difference! Even little washes have route numbers on them! The key would be getting a map to show where they all go. I was wayyy out on Perry Mesa (not the attorney!) last summer and in the middle of nowhere the BLM has all their roads marked! Also, the Prescott MVUM is very inaccurate. They have trails designated for quads (50" or less) that are totally impassable by rigs that large! Also, the Prescott doesn't mark any trails at all! Plus even though the MVUM says 50" or less for quads, they DO NOT consider side-by-sides as quads but rather full size vehicles!!! Go figure that one out! The Tonto is more user friendly at present. I'm glad I am volunteering there instead of the PNF. The PNF was always hostile anything to do with roads. The Tonto has ben very positive to my work. What I would really like to know is HOW they actually decide to close a road??? The Conconino just closed a bunch based on route redundancy! What a joke! So it's not allowable to have more than road going to the same place????? And I'll bet my gold plated cuspidor that ALL of the NFs completely ignore the implications of RS 2477 on closing roads that predate the establishment of the National Forest Network!
  8. 10-4 on that. We already covered that I think. I was just giving the info I heard on FR 18.
  9. I know some people who ran FR 18 on 10/13 and it must have changed quite a bit. Not for stock now. Too bad because I was thinking about wandering over there some time in the near future.
  10. You went right through part of it between Crown King and the Poland tunnel (site). That area was all ripped out at least twice. Plus didn't you see the burned hills all to the West? Also you went by the 89 terminus which no longer exists. I'll have to see if I still have the photo from the Senator and the link to the Prescott newspaper.
  11. I was up at the DeSoto on July 4th. It was before the really big rains hit. Got there around 6:00AM and while waiting for my second truck to arrive, I was poking around the place. Hadn't been there in about 15 years. Well I kept hearing all these helicopters plus on the Crown King Road I passed 2 eighteen wheelers headed towards CK. They were double trailer vehicles - imagine that on the CKR!!! Found out later on from my old rancher buddy what exactly was going on. They took the trucks as far as they could and then air dropped the hay and seed to the selected locations. I later heard on both KKLD (Prescott) and KMGN (Flagstaff) that the FS was doing exactly that::: WINDOW DRESSING !!!! If all the other fires in the Prescott are any example, nature will do the rehabilitating (including obscuring the remains of any roads and trails). About a month ago the PNF called me and said 89 was open. Then four days later another double-header of big storms hit and totally destroyed a good part of the road at the Swastika & Peck Mines. I need to write or call Betty Matthews (PNF Supervisor) and see what exactly (probably nothing!) the FS is going to do about rehabilitating the roads and trails.
  12. You might want to take a look at the Senator Highway where I have a picture of a washout that must be 7' deep. The road is totally closed. Also the Prescott Courier had a front page article about Forest Road 89 where it meets the Crown King (main) Road. It (89) is totally gone. A boulder field now. No more road. No more access to the Peck and Swastika Mines. Grass isn't going to do anything to stop erosion. A couple of more years of heavy rainfall and all the back roads and trails will be gone. I don't know where you took those pictures but they are NOT from the burn area. I have been inside the burn area and posted pics here. There isn't anything green there. !!!! The FS seeded a little bit (175 acres) where visitors to CK might see their efforts. The other 15,825 acres are a total burn out.
  13. Oh I just read the report on FR 18. When I read and saw the part about the airstrip it clicked. I was told that the Tonto was going to close that. I hope not it sure looks really beautiful.
  14. There is also FR 16 that goes N to the Verde River I don't think it is wise to cross there. There are a lot of side roads off of 16 in the area
  15. I know of that road but have not explored it yet - the only thing I have heard is it is a difficult one. It is to the East of my current area. All of the Forests have Volunteer programs. Most are more common to things like picking up litter, cleaning camp sites, etc. They do have extended Volunteer Services plans for things like building fences and then there is trail and road work. In the Prescott I did both trails and roads. I have found that each Forest varies in their attitude towards the project of road and trail maintenance and restoration. The Prescott was NOT receptive to the program and fought with me for 11 years. I think they are happy as clams to see FSR 89, the Bullroad, and all the others now pretty much totaled out by the fire and monsoons. The Tonto was much different. At first the ranger didn't know what I had in mind. Mainly because they haven't had many people sign up for this.... We took a field trip out to FSR 481 and I showed him exactly what I had planned. He changed my agreement from a Volunteer Services Agreement to an Adopt A Road. That covers brush trimming and if so desired, arresting road erosion and restoring washed out sections. Obviously that is a broad umbrella. I am unfamiliar with the history of the roads in my new area. I know that the Cave Creek fire burned through there and the subsequent erosion has had some bad effects on some of the roads. I plan on restoring 481 to two levels. The first section to the Rosalie Mine will be pretty well reworked with cuts filled in, drainage berms erected, etc. The second section from the Rosalie will be left "native" for the most part. Some off camber, ruts, etc. A nice 4x4 road. I just reworked a washed out section that had closed down the road way short of the switchbacks. It was open to quad width only. I now have it to 110" x 60" vehicular width. Most brush was left close to the road but not in the roadbed itself. It was also left completely native at the Rosalie Junction. The Ranger and I agreed that would deter larger vehicles from trying to travel down that section (since they can't go very far because of the choke point at the reroute). This project is different from my one in the Prescott because I have a lot of different roads over a wide area. You can Volunteer for any piece of road you want. It can be a mile or twenty miles. It can be debrushing, restoration, litter removal, whatever. Or you can sign up for any of the other needs they have (each Forest has a list of options).
  16. It's really easy to overlook the area. I first went there in '79 (1979; not 1879!) and didn't go back until this summer. At first I was under-impressed but it has a subtle beauty that grows on you. Plus getting off 269 and going down some of the side roads lets the place really shine. There are some roads off of 677 that go to wilderness areas. I have not explored them yet. I should have added a fourth "P.S." that if you are on the plateau passing through the AF Monument between the Tonto and I-17, and it happens to rain a lot, beware of that section of 269/9269. It turns into a sticky, muddy morass. The same is true of FSR 14/AF9014. That road seems to be the boundary line between sticky mud (when it rains) and unsticky roads.
  17. The old coot living out there only one one front tooth which I guess is great for opening cans but I don't know how he'd be able to eat corn on the cob!
  18. I went to the bridge twice in June (I know - I know not the best time of year) and it was sweet!!! There weren't many other people out there except for one old coot living at the bridge in his pop-up camper. !!!! The Tonto had just bladed the last ten miles (FSR 269) from Tangle Creek down to the bridge itself. But since it was only dozed and not graded you had to go very slow and there was that unique experience of riding on the dozer tracks and pitching up and down for 10 miles. A long 10 miles because it took me over an hour to go that distance in. Coming back was easier (uphill instead of down) and shorter. From the FSR 24/269 jct it was about an hour or so to the Tonto/AF boundary and then another 45 mins or so to I-17. IF you go that way there are some really nice side trips. There is "the big hill" which I call the "Tangle Creek switchbacks" which has an awesome view at the top. First up after that is FSR 44, a nice loop road off the North side of FSR 269. It is supposed to be a fun 4x4 road. It's on my list to maintain but I haven't gotten that far yet. Oh yeah, after the disaster of the Gladiator I have transferred my volunteer services to the Tonto and the Bloody Basin area is my new "home." There are 3 old cabins in the area, one of which is on the National Historic Register. Another NEAT (not hard) road is FSR 677 a dual-forest road that starts in the Tonto and ends up on the Verde Hill Road in the PNF. I call it the back way to Dugas. You end up (going North) dropping into a totally pristine riparian area. And Dugas looks like something from the 1880's. Still inhabited to be kind! It's an easy out to I-17 from there. Then there is my current assignment, FSR 481 and the Brooklyn Peak Switchbacks. FSR 481 runs open to vehicles -LESS than 110" WB and 60" TRACK (wheel to wheel) - to the base of the switchbacks. You need to google earth the switchbacks as they are something else! Unfortunately there is a minor GAPING washout at the base which precludes vehicles from further travel. I have a plan to repair that washout but it's way down on my list after I get all the other trails on my assignment done. FSR 481 hosts the old stone cabin and mine ruins as well. Then there is FSR 14 which goes to the Brooklyn Mine. I haven't seen it yet but the pictures on the internets are AWESOME! Note: the AF Monument assigns a "9" or a "9" + "0" to Tonto Roads. Hence Tonto Road 269 is 9269 on the AF, and Tonto Road 14 is 9014 on the AF. Speaking of, FSR 481 floats right by some awesome Native ruins. FSR 14 (AF 9014) also runs up on Perry Mesa (Not Perry Mason!) where there are more remains. There are also some in the area of the Brooklyn Mine. The AF is loaded with exhibits but the BLM is real cagey about not telling anyone exactly where they area. Except Pueblo La Plata, which is the "sacrificial lamb" and easily found on the www. There are about a brazillion petroglyphs on the AF but I haven't had time to situate them yet. (I've only been on this assignment since July!). None of these roads are really hard 4x4s except for maybe FSR 44. However there is a lot to see and the neat thing is hardly anyone goes there. Of course now that I have made this post I am sure to find a Wendys and a Motel 6 out there next week. For obvious reasons I will not give directions to any of these sites on the web..... The native ruins are easy prey to looting. The cabins are remarkably well preserved and seem to be falling off of publication on newer FS maps. In most other locales, they would have been totally trashed by now! See ya later...... P.S. The are does have more ants and wasps per square mile than I have ever seen in my life. Double P.S. Beware the unbridged Agua Fria crossing. In heavy rains in can become impassable. Triple P.S. All road conditions to the Sheep Bridge were "as is" before our extremely robust monsoon season!
  19. Don't say that. I work in Public Education and despite Governor Sewer and her cronies in the State Legislature's efforts to completely destroy it, public school students still outperform private and charter schools which have 0 ZERO 0 academic standards and enforcement. It all goes back to the way schools are funded, which is from partially, property taxes. Higher income neighborhoods have better schools than lower income neighborhoods. We recently toured a District here in Phoenix that looked like a school from the 1970s. No internet access in classrooms - WOW was pathetic! All our schools are wired. I couldn't believe the difference a 15 minute ride made. Schools need to be equally funded or we're always going to have the "haves" and the "have nots." NCLB and all the other Bush "reforms" need to be swept out because all they do is indoctrinate kids to learn to pass a test and not how to think. And pay teachers a decent wage. At least as much as a man dressed in tights playing with a pigskin. Ya think.... Maybe????
  20. Well you better get used to the "control" thing because it is the new wave of the corporations controlling everything. That is the text book definition of fascism: the merger of corporations, government & religion. You are confusing your socialisms, opting for the popular but incorrect definition favored by the barkers on the right. I would gladly live under a Democratic socialism as personified in Sen Bernie Sanders, who is one of the few in Washington not bought off by anyone. I sure don't see any problem with this: "Democratic socialism generally refers to any political movement that seeks to establish an economy based on economic democracy by and for the working class." Especially given the fact that uncontrolled, unegulated capitalism can not be sustained. Nor is it equitable or fair. California? Was a perfect state economy-wise until Prop. 13 passed in the 1970's. By a vanguard teabagger, no less. A series of loser governors, culminating with Steroid Man (in an election that was completely unnecessary) has left the state almost bankrupt. Not surprising given the state is one of the fastest growing. Don't kid yourself, AZ is headed the same way. A failing infrastructure, critical underfunding of education, severe pollution of the environment. Jeez. Sounds like Mexico City to me.... Serial numbers on ammo? More like an urban myth. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/01/ammunition-accountability-act/ I'd be more worried about your kids being RFID chipped at school!!
  21. Coming from the socialist state of Arizona (which ranks last in everything while taking more money from Washington than it pays in taxes to the general fund): Close the loopholes for the wealthy and the issue solves itself. Tax the corporations at Eisenhower levels instead of the silly tea bagger proposals of 15% or less and the problem solves itself. I don't know why some people think there should be tax "equity" between someone making $30,000 a year and some making a million dollars a year. Lower taxes = lower wages and a lower standard of living. Higher taxes = higher wages and increased standard of living. Do the research and don't buy Heritage Foundation talking points. that being said, this proposal will go no where. It is an election year
  22. It means: 1. The FS doesn't do squat about thinning or managing growth 2. They don't fight fires unless they endanger residential or commercial sites. Instead they "let them burn." The FS actually has approved an aerosol based napalm like substance to cause faster burns to remove all vegetation. 3. Restoration means close it down and good luck ever seeing it reopen in our lifetime. By the time they reopen it, there won't be anything left to see. So we can all go camp in their designated sites. Next to Mom and Pops with the 14 screaming kids, the six barking dogs, Waylon Jennings on the CD player in their Winnebago.... Boy that's roughing it! 4. I have heard things about the way the Gladiator and Lane fires were handled in the first 24-36 hours that make my blood boil...... These pictures were at the DeSoto, the very EDGE of the burn (before the storms - who knows what it looks like now!). Look at the total destruction. Can you imagine what it must be like further in? (The FS won't let anyone look at that part of the "crime scene.").
  23. That's the MAIN road too. Can you imagine what the Senator, FSR 89 (my old home) and the Desoto Mine Road look like? A friend of mine and myself tried to go in through the DeSoto on July 4th and ran smack into the burn area there. I climbed around on some of the charred hills. There was NOTHING left save a little wisp of green here and there trying to come back. What I noticed most was the depth of the ashes/dirt that I slogged through. All I could think was how all that ground cover was just waiting to wash off the hills. We surveyed the Goat Ranch from the top of the big hill on the DeSoto It looked so serene and untouched yet the burn area was all around it. All the hiking/quad/cycle trails are gone. Well, they aren't gone, but since there is ZERO vegetation left in so many areas, there's no reason to go there. The DeSoto Mine Road is closed, FSR 89 and 89A are also closed (and I bet they are probably GONE if these photos are any indication. The Swastika cabin is gone. The Peck Mine is isolated. The old oak trees along the War Eagle Trail are gone. The old growth pine and fir in Bear Creek (with trunks measuring 30" or wider) are gone. I am seething over this loss. Don't forget the Lane Fire wiped out another massive section of forest just four years ago.
  24. I'm not going to rant about chronic mismanagement of the forests, about "managing" fires instead of fighting them, or about the "let it burn" policy which is a standard FS policy. I think the pictures say it all. This is the MAIN road to Crown King. Right now!
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