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  1. #1
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    Bear Creek Trout - Motos to sue USFS

    FYI

    Protection of fish leads dirt bikers to sue Forest Service - OutThereColorado.com

    "The suit asks for all trails in the watershed to be closed to all users immediately and for “expeditious completion” of a watershed assessment being carried out by the Forest Service.

    “I want to see them closed until they can be re-routed completely out of the Bear Creek drainage,” said Colorado Springs dirt bike enthusiast Don Riggle of the Trails Preservation Alliance."

    "In its preliminary watershed assessment, the agency proposes to close, not re-route, 3.5 miles of trail along Bear Creek and in Jones Park, including portions of trails 666, 667, 668, 701, 720.A and 622.A. Hiking off-trail also would be prohibited."


    No reroute?
    Will this affect Pipeline?
    Will this affect lower Bear Creek Trail, Upper Captain Jacks, 7 bridges?

    So many unanswered questions.

  2. #2
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    Saw it here as well: Protection of fish leads dirt bikers to sue Forest Service | trails, dirt, service - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

    Sounds like the motos don't trust that the temporary solution won't end up becoming permanent, and this will force the USFS to actually get the reroutes done. Can't say I like this, but I can't fault their logic either.

  3. #3
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    It'll be a tough argument for them that hikers and bikes impact the trail in a similar manner to dirt bikes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    It'll be a tough argument for them that hikers and bikes impact the trail in a similar manner to dirt bikes...
    Trying to ignore the horses?

  5. #5
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    Sadly it is the right move for them. I dont want to see the trails shut down, but unless EVERYBODY is pissed off then nothing will happen. With waldo canyon and williams canyon getting burnt up last year there is a huge influx of people hiking the canyon area this year. I have had many times of hikers coming up jacks which is not a sight that people on bikes are used to seeing. This pretty much forces the hand of UFS to fix the problem for all not just target one or two groups to make the envowacos happy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    Trying to ignore the horses?
    I saw no mention of equestrians in the article... are they allowed on those trails?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    I saw no mention of equestrians in the article... are they allowed on those trails?
    Yes. And between hooves and poo they cause more damage and contamination than all others combined.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    Yes. And between hooves and poo they cause more damage and contamination than all others combined.
    You'll get no argument from me. F***ing horses.

  9. #9
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    Wow, the moto's just went on my **** list. It's only a temp time period before we are all out of the watershed. The USFS was following the suit from the CBD which was against the motorized vehicles. So do the moto's want to loose all access to the area by PO the USFS? Now we have more user group squabbling. The USFS was re-acting to the suit, nothing more.

    They are still proposing a re-route down to the end of 666 from Buckhorn, and a moto continuous of Gapt Jacks around Kelso to Pipeline area. Of course not any funds to perform the activity, let alone the erosion mitigation to fix the proposed Jones Park trail closure area.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    Wow, the moto's just went on my **** list. It's only a temp time period before we are all out of the watershed. The USFS was following the suit from the CBD which was against the motorized vehicles. So do the moto's want to loose all access to the area by PO the USFS? Now we have more user group squabbling. The USFS was re-acting to the suit, nothing more.
    I'd be curious to know the backroom discussions. USFS politics is a strange thing. The local USFS folks could have their hands tied by legal/Washington and maybe it's understood by everyone that the only way they'll get the NEPA funds to actually complete the reroutes is put pressure on the situation with a countersuit. Regardless of the press hype, this may have been expected or a strategic move by those involved.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    They are still proposing a re-route down to the end of 666 from Buckhorn, and a moto continuous of Gapt Jacks around Kelso to Pipeline area. Of course not any funds to perform the activity, let alone the erosion mitigation to fix the proposed Jones Park trail closure area.
    The article says the USFS proposal canned the reroute... and I don't see any on the proposed action map. I'm guessing they are reacting to this map. Map

    The USFS is pretty particular about their maps. If the reroute is not on the map, it's not going to happen. Everything else is lip service.

    Comments are open until 4/30. You can get more info here.

    IMHO the genetics needs to be studied further, duplicated and peer reviewed. There are many assumptions made in the study about what specimen came from where, and even uncertainty in the final conclusions. Too much uncertainty IMHO to warrant calling this the only living specimen of the South Platte Greenback.

    "We believe the descendants of fish that were stocked
    into Bear Creek are the last remaining representatives
    of O. c. stomias, the greenback cutthroat trout currently
    recognized as a threatened under the Endangered
    Species Act."

    A belief ^^^ that something is true does not make it fact.
    "the evidence proves"... that's a fact.


    These fish are inbred and the author even admits it.
    "The population harbours little genetic variation for loci that are typically variable in cutthroat trout populations"

    Everyone is aware of the issues inbreeding causes right? Recessive and dominate genes are exposed. It could be that by simply inbreeding any greenback, the genes exposing this line or lineage of fish has been brought out. It could be...

    Now we are going to repopulate a fish that has been inbred as the only living lineage of an endangered species? WTH?


    Just too many assumptions, and too much bad science. That's what needs to be looked at.

  12. #12
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    The article says the USFS proposal canned the reroute... and I don't see any on the proposed action map. I'm guessing they are reacting to this map. Map

    The USFS is pretty particular about their maps. If the reroute is not on the map, it's not going to happen. Everything else is lip service.

    Canned the reroute!!?? I hope the motos are not the only ones going to sue. Sounds like par for the course,some serious BS!

  13. #13
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    Actual language here: Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance - Formal Notice of Intent to Sue - Bear Creek Watershed

    Seems like the paper choose a headline over actually reporting the substance - to force the USFS to actually complete the reroute.

    CONCLUSION

    The Forest Service is violating ESA Sections 7 and 9 as described in this Notice. Petitioners respectfully request the Forest Service take the following immediate actions to address the concerns raised in this Notice: (a) immediate closure to all but administrative use of all trail(s) within the immediate Bear Creek water influence zone; and (b) expeditious completion of the Bear Creek Watershed Assessment process, including recommended trail construction and re-route and associated trail removal/obliteration.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    Actual language here: Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance - Formal Notice of Intent to Sue - Bear Creek Watershed

    Seems like the paper choose a headline over actually reporting the substance - to force the USFS to actually complete the reroute.
    Yes, I have read their suit, and they want it closed to all users, so they have now made it an us vs them mentality. They're now on the bandwagon of closing 666 entirely, which will remove one of our re-routes. Initially, we stood as one united user group looking at the watershed being eventually closed to all users, though the motorized users were closed first per the CBD lawsuit, and now we are separated out into a moto vs non moto grouping with this new CTPA suit. The most costly and immediate thing for the USFS is to mitigate the current erosion on the old existing trail, and they have their job cut out for them to remove the old trails, do erosion control, etc. I would assume that after that is taken care of they'll broach the subject of re-routes? The CTPA suit is now forcing a loss of the non-moto 666 re-route and perhaps High Drive (another issue in itself), leaving only the Kelso re-route. Although I understand where the CTPA is coming from, they have certainly alienated the mtb user group, which was previously more of an alliance relationship.

    In the long run, the watershed will be closed to all users fairly soon, and the CTPA suit is just adding irritation to an already messy situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    The article says the USFS proposal canned the reroute...
    The article states 'In its preliminary watershed assessment, the agency proposes to close, not re-route, 3.5 miles of trail along Bear Creek and in Jones Park'

    The reroute around Kineo is still on the map. The closure is the same one that has been on the table through out the process.
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  16. #16
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    From what I can tell, the moto guys feel like they were backed into a corner. They tried to work with everyone and have been willing to compromise the whole time. I don't think I've ever seen them come in and say "F you, we're getting the lawyers and we'll fight you to a bitter end." They had tried to go with gentleman's agreements and they got crapped on.

    I don't know what happened in the back rooms, but they are kind of getting the shaft now. I'm sure had the enviros come out and said "hey, what can we do to keep you guys happy and keep the fish safe" that there probably would have been people more than happy to try to work out a solution. Instead, the enviros came out with lawyers and lawsuits from the start. I don't blame the motos for lawyering up. They tried to play politics and are getting screwed.

    Now it's time for us to figure out which side we go with. Do we help the motos? They've put in tons of man hours up there for trail maintenance and such. You can talk all you want about them damaging the trails and all, but ultimately, they're a lot more willing and able, because of the ground they can cover and they gear they can carry, to do maintenance than we are.

    *Disclaimer, I ride moto too. I hike, I bike, I moto. I don't do horses.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32x18 View Post
    The reroute around Kineo is still on the map. The closure is the same one that has been on the table through out the process.
    It sounds like they are referring to 667.
    Initially there was a reroute proposed. That was what the CBD lawsuit was about. The 667 reroute is off the table.

    State Trails Grant Application
    It proposes to reroute 6 miles of the 8 miles of 667.
    It also says the USFS was going to fight the lawsuit...
    Last edited by UncleTrail; 04-25-2013 at 09:15 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    Initially, we stood as one united user group looking at the watershed being eventually closed to all users, though the motorized users were closed first per the CBD lawsuit, and now we are separated out into a moto vs non moto grouping with this new CTPA suit.
    Initially the mountainbikers did what? Oh, that's right, zero. They stood off to the side and said, "hey guys, sucks for you".

    Unfortunately, as much as I love my mtbs, we are the most ineffectual of all the user groups when it comes to politics. IMBA is a legal wet noodle and the local club approaches mostly go down the line of "hey, can't we all just get along" and "we're building relationships!" while ultimately bending over to every level of government on every issue. Having mtbs "for" or "against" your cause isn't worth much more than a few dozen public comments with a short attention span.

    The moto guys have put tens of thousands of hard cash into those trails to the benefit of all users and are now faced with getting either a permanent or "temporary" (read temp-to-perm) ban for them. Good on them for self-funding a legal defense with teeth. It's only these types of clubs that will actually keep folks like the CBD and Sierra from shutting down every trail they can to all users.

  19. #19
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    I'm with the motos. They agreed to do what the CBD asked for, a reroute of 667, and then the CBD pulled the rug out from underneath them once they complied.
    The State Trails Grant application kind of says it all for me. I would like to know why the USFS changed their minds on the 667 reroute and fighting the lawsuit?

    As it stands now with the closure, without people traveling that trail, I fear it won't take long for the pot growers to move in and pollute the water/kill the fish anyway...
    or worse, start another fire like Waldo. Need I remind everyone that a 22 acre pot farm was found in the Waldo burn area. The enviro's should be careful of what they wish for. We (2 wheelers) are not the Greenback's enemy, we're probably their best friend.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32x18 View Post
    The article states 'In its preliminary watershed assessment, the agency proposes to close, not re-route, 3.5 miles of trail along Bear Creek and in Jones Park'

    The reroute around Kineo is still on the map. The closure is the same one that has been on the table through out the process.
    The 3.5 miles is the 667 and 666 until it goes just past the upper creek crossing. The maps haven't changed as far as I know. We still have the Kineo and Buckhorn/666 re-routes.

    "In order to keep sediment from being carried into the creek, the agency proposes to close to all users 3.5 miles of trail along Bear Creek and in Jones Park, including portions of trails 666, 667, 668, 701, 720.A and 622.A. Hiking off-trail also would be prohibited."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    The 3.5 miles is the 667 and 666 until it goes just past the upper creek crossing. The maps haven't changed as far as I know. We still have the Kineo and Buckhorn/666 re-routes.
    Correct. I believe you and I are saying the same thing.
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  22. #22
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    Just thought this was interesting.

    In this video it's admitted that:
    1. The GCT was introduced into a non-native environment.
    2. The GCT is being bred successfully in captivity.

    If we want Bear Creek Trail to re-open we need to lobby Congress to delist this species from the Endangered Species List in the coming years.

    CRS Report: 98-32 - Endangered Species List Revisions: A Summary of Delisting and Downlisting - NLE

    50 CFR § 424.11 Factors for listing, delisting, or reclassifying species.

    (d) The factors considered in delisting a species are those in paragraph (c) of this section as they relate to the definitions of endangered or threatened species. Such removal must be supported by the best scientific arid commercial data available to the Secretary after conducting a review of the status of the species. A species may be delisted onlv if such data substantiate that it is neither endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons:

    (1) Extinction. Unless all individuals of the listed species had been previouslv identified and located, and were later found to be extirpated from their previous range, a sufficient period of time must be allowed before delisting to indicate clearly that the species is extinct.

    (2) Recovery. The principal goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service is to return listed species to a point at which protection under the Act is no longer required. A species may be delisted on the basis of recovery only if the best scientific and com'mercial data available indicate that it is no longer endangered or threatened.

    (3) Original data for classification in error. Subsequent investigations may show that the best scientific and commercial data available when the species was listed, or the interpretation of such data, were in error.

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