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  1. #1
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    PQ Tunnels: Tree removal by equestrians

    At least 3 large, old growth trees were removed in the canyon bottom on the section of trail connecting the western tunnel to the eastern tunnels in Deer Canyon. Fresh horse crap and lots of horse hoof tracks around the area. It looks like it was done today. I only passed through a short section of canyon bottom, so I don't know if other trees may have been removed.

    My guess is that a group of equestrians intends to remove more trees in order to gain access to the trails. This will of course drastically change the character of the trail and reduce it's appeal and novelty.

    Is there anything we can do about it? Is it possible they have permission? Maybe this is destined to become a horse trail? What is the current status of the trails?

    Does anyone have suggestions on how we can protect the trails from further tree removal (damage)?
    Last edited by Missing in Action; 05-28-2008 at 10:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Horses in the tunnels? Do they not have enogh places to ride? How do they fit? I'll have no problem stopping and asking them what's the point of horses being down there.

  3. #3
    Eric at ITSA Bike Shop
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    aren't those trees part of the trail? I really hope that they didn't remove it cause that's pretty uncool :S

  4. #4
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    afaik, those trees are endangered or at least protected.

    are you a member of the multi use trails yahoo group? they should be alerted...

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MultiUseTrails/

  5. #5
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Go back up there and get photographs, ASAP. Skip work, take the rest of the day for riding and print this note for your boss to read.

    Seriously, photos ASAP. Click the link in my sig, upload photos there or post here...either is fine. I need good directions for where you're talking about, and a GoogleEarth aerial with some color scribbles (or GPS/TOPO) would be great. MTC and SDMBA volunteers will chase this down, and I will be on the phone with Rangers this morning. On second thought, clear directions posting is not a good idea on here...how did I morph into elitist scum?... but yeah: click the linky. SDMBA are members of MTC, too.

  6. #6
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    I usually ride there during lunch on Fridays. If someone gives me an idea where to go, I could get some pics.

  7. #7
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    Update

    I went back this morning to get photos and better assess the damage. I'll post photos later or send them to Eric Basel or the appropriate party. I have pictures of the stumps, 2 of which measure >6" in diameter at 5' from the ground where they were cut. Also, pictures of the downed trees, the resultant large gaps in the canopy, horse turds and many horse tracks. Many smaller branches were pulled down or were cut in this area.

    This brought back an observation from last week. There were a bunch of clippings in the general vicinity. There is an entrance in from the brush, and it was along this connector. My first thought was how odd this was because there really were no low branches for a cyclist or hiker. Later, I noticed fresh horse turds and tracks as I exited out into the brush, but did not put two and two together at the time. Now it is rather obvious that some equestrian or group of equestrians is making an effort to increase the height of the trails, even at the expense of the canopy. They have made two trail cutting efforts in less than one week, and they have moved from clipping smaller branches to the outright removal of large trees. Making this an equestrian trail could require the removal of hundreds of large trees...

    My camera and photos are safe at home and I am now at work. Maybe I'll post them at lunch.

  8. #8
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    I'll be in that area around 11:30am. If someone hasn't taken pictures yet, PM me with specific directions. I'm leaving my house at 9:30am, I need to know before I leave in order to pack gear and bike.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  9. #9
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    Both/all of you, please take photos.

    It's probably a good idea to post them for folks here to see, but please also either upload them to the MTC site or mail full-res to me, along with a description of where they're taken, when and your real name/contact information. If you've got one of those antiquated cameras that inserts a date/time, activate that feature, please.

    Of course, if you encounter anyone doing any cutting or etc... take their photo, too.

  10. #10
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    I have about 1-1/2 hours between appointments. Anyone care to let me know where I can enter and get to this area quickly? Thanks.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  11. #11
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    Boulder Pilot,

    I PM'ed my phone number to you.

  12. #12
    MTP
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    One thing will always be true: At least mountain bikers don't cut down trees!

  13. #13
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    Idea!

    Good work, you two. Seriously.

    Hey in the meantime for the rest of us: Don't Get Too Inflamed! It's good to be upset at vandalization of habitat, and it's appropriate to react with an inquiry about how you can help, whom you can call and what you can do. But, it's not going to do any of us any good to burn up all that energy with online rage. Be inflamed, but channel that energy into action to protect this amazing trails network and habitat from destruction.

  14. #14
    ocd
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    So if the hrose folks cut down the trees

    and Maybe the trails are legal and maybe they are not. Maybe the trees are endangered and no one should be riding through them. What would the final outcome be?

    "all horses are banned but bikes are allowed"

    or

    "fence off the area, post it and protect the endanged trees"

    Tread lightly my friends.

    To catch a fish you need to think like a fish.

  15. #15
    Ya, right.
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    I rode through Deer Canyon/Tunnels yesterday. I noticed many spots where large branches were downed and blocking the trail. The way they were laying and the way theywere placed on "blind" curves, it looked like it was intentional. I thought it was very strange. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera.
    I hope you have a big trunk... 'cuz I'm puttin' my bike in it.

  16. #16
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    If you take photos, please double up: close up of the cut/broken area, then a wider shot for context, in each location where trimming or major cutting have taken place.

  17. #17
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    Bryan (Missing in Action) and I rode down to the area in question this afternoon. We took pictures that we will upload to the file that EBasil mentioned above.

    We found numerous sawn cut branches (Bryan measured one at 5" dia.) with sawdust still on the ground. Even worse for some of the trees, we found many freshly ripped off branches, at a height over 6' from the ground. We have pictures of hoof prints, and a huge pile of steaming horseshlt.

    We still don't know who is doing this illegal trail building. We don't know who is damaging this pristine natural environment. So let's not lower ourselves to the level of certain other trail user groups that don't hesitate to accuse us mountain bikers of doing all the damage whenever damage is discovered.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  18. #18
    Geritol Power
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot
    We still don't know who is doing this illegal trail building. So let's not lower ourselves to the level of certain other trail user groups that don't hesitate to accuse us mountain bikers of doing all the damage whenever damage is discovered.
    It's really TALL mountain bikers cutting those branches.

  19. #19
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    Do the equestrian people not have enough "open" trails that they have to invade some of the best trails in the area, we already have to steer around they're crap, and yield to them at a moments notice. Can't we all just get along?

  20. #20
    Master of the Face Plant
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    When is the next CAC meeting? Does anyone have contact info for the Ranger? I will be up there today for a ride. Can we post some signs or something asking people not to cut or build? I am truly fed up with this crap. With gas prices being so high I can't afford to drive somewhere to find a nice trail. PQ, hodges, sycamore and Mission are just about all I have. Cutting the canopy on that trail will cause it to dry out and erode and make it just another singletrack. Maybe if we can just explain that to these idiots.

  21. #21
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    To the best of my knowledge the trail is on private property so the ranger's wouldn't be able to enforce. I would be a shame to see all that hard work go to waste because of erosion. Informing seems to be the best tact.

  22. #22
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    Has SDMBA been advised here?
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  23. #23
    ocd
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    Drama Llama reporting for duty.

    I spent about 1.5 down there this morning, saw one guy pop out, or at least he was at the top of the trail. First time in a couple of months (I dont seem to find it as maximumawesome as others I guess).

    Personally, I don't own a horse and I'm not sticking up for the horsey folks but if it were near and dear to my heart, I would keep quiet and anything going on there.

    A couple of piles of dung were spotted, a few hoof prints, a few cut branches. However the amount of "fresh" trails cut in the surrounding area, the high amount of "teeth marks" in low lying branches and the "non native" installs points to plenty of guilt on both sides of the fence (literally both sides of the fence that is "posted")

    I say drop it, remove this post, do whatever but any attention will be negative attention on both "sides" of the fight.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocd
    I spent about 1.5 down there this morning, saw one guy pop out, or at least he was at the top of the trail. First time in a couple of months (I dont seem to find it as maximumawesome as others I guess).

    Personally, I don't own a horse and I'm not sticking up for the horsey folks but if it were near and dear to my heart, I would keep quiet and anything going on there.

    A couple of piles of dung were spotted, a few hoof prints, a few cut branches. However the amount of "fresh" trails cut in the surrounding area, the high amount of "teeth marks" in low lying branches and the "non native" installs points to plenty of guilt on both sides of the fence (literally both sides of the fence that is "posted")

    I say drop it, remove this post, do whatever but any attention will be negative attention on both "sides" of the fight.
    it's no mtrp...

    i see where you're coming from, but point is though they have to be stopped. eventually, this area will be up for grabs -- it already has the attention, and those horsey folks might cut off access for us by sabotage.

    there shouldn't be any non native installs anymore -- are you talking about structures?

  25. #25
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmangts
    When is the next CAC meeting? Does anyone have contact info for the Ranger? I will be up there today for a ride. Can we post some signs or something asking people not to cut or build? I am truly fed up with this crap. With gas prices being so high I can't afford to drive somewhere to find a nice trail. PQ, hodges, sycamore and Mission are just about all I have. Cutting the canopy on that trail will cause it to dry out and erode and make it just another singletrack. Maybe if we can just explain that to these idiots.
    The next CAC meeting is July 17th, at 7pm. The LPCP CAC site is here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LPCPCAC Deer Canyon is not yet within the LPCP, but the CAC is stocked with representatives of the equestrian community that have professed a duty to relay information regarding trails to their user groups and interested parties.

    Deer Canyon and these trails are on private property, and the Ranger staff will NOT be enforcing anything, notwithstanding that the actual landowner may be liable for removal/cutting of coastal scrub oak from his land.

    Your observations regarding the effect of canopy removal (not to mention iron-shod hooves) on the trails there are well-taken.

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