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  1. #1
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    Firecracker 50 owner in hot water with Forest Service

    FYI...bummer. Hope it works out ok.

    Article from Summit Daily summitdaily.com:

    Jeff Westcott, owner and promoter of last weekend's Firecracker 50 mountain bike race in Breckenridge, could lose his special events permit as a result of taking motorized equipment onto a designated non-motorized Forest Service trail to clear snow in preparation for the Independence Day race.

    Westcott holds a recreation/special event permit for the Firecracker 50 and other events on Forest Service lands, Forest Service spokesman Pat Thrasher said. That permit has terms and conditions that must be met according to the Code of Federal Regulations.

    “There was heavy snowfall this year, so as the event was approaching, part of the route was under snow,” he said. Without prior approval from Forest Service officials, Westcott mechanically removed snow from Little French Trail off French Gulch Road in the week leading up to the race.

    Thrasher said Westcott is facing administrative action that could go so far as revoking his permit, though exact action is to be determined. He faces two tickets for violations of the provisions of the code.

    “The Forest Service recognizes that events like the Firecracker 50 do support the local economy ... these events are appropriate uses of national forest lands,” Thrasher said, adding that Westcott has been a permit holder for years.

    “But, we have a responsibility to protect public safety and protect resources we're managing,” he added. He said anyone who uses the forest should do so responsibly.

    Westcott didn't comment on the possibility of losing his permit, though he did say he would accept the ramifications of making the call to remove snow that was “5 feet deep in places for several hundred linear feet” along the trail.

    “It would have required (about) 160 person hours to shovel it,” he said, “which was not accomplishable by race day — or not enough to allow for sufficient drying — which we were able to accomplish. I made the call to put a machine on it. I'm prepared for whatever legal ramifications the Forest Service comes back to me with.”

    Ken Waugh, Dillon Ranger District recreation staff officer, said Westcott is also permitted for the six races in the Summit Mountain Challenge, the Breck Crest Mountain Marathon and the Fall Classic. Breckenridge Open Space and Trails planner Scott Reid said if there's a blight on Westcott's record with the Forest Service, it could affect permitting through the town, as the two cooperate together with the county for permitting many events. A permit isn't valid if the other two permits don't exist, Reid said.

    “I feel badly about the potential for a damaged relationship, but I think my 11-year track record with the Forest Service means hopefully the relationship will continue,” Westcott said.

  2. #2
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    Seriously!!!Seriously!!! Did anyone see tracks or damage to the trail from equipment used to move snow??? I saw all kinds of damage to trails caused from water and gravity! Give me a break, its not about "motorized vehicles". I really hope the town of Breck realizes the ECONOMIC benefits from events like this and does something the help this guy out! My god, in this day and age this is the feed back someone gets after all the energy and effort put forth to put on this race??? Get your head out of your a$$ Breckenridge forest service!
    Flame this post: sell your bike and and get the hell off the forum!

  3. #3
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    No one is above the idiocy of the Forest Circus.

    Respect for manning up and taking all the blame.

  4. #4
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    he should have used draft horses



    the bottom line is that he broke the rules

    now he must face the music

    maybe next year if the snow is deep, the racerbois can "train" by doing some manual snow removal for their event

  5. #5
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    he should have used draft horses



    the bottom line is that he broke the rules

    now he must face the music

    maybe next year if the snow is deep, the racerbois can "train" by doing some manual snow removal for their event
    It only took TWO posts!!! Koolaid drinking b***h, walk! No wonder why this kind of crap is so prevalent! I give up!

  6. #6
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    Don't blame Breckenridge. And this is not that serious and will quickly blow over. Examples must be set so other 'motorized' morons do not follow suit...
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahfool View Post
    It only took TWO posts!!! Koolaid drinking b***h, walk! No wonder why this kind of crap is so prevalent! I give up!
    does this mean you and your kind won't be volunteering for any trail work?

    you are entitled to whine and stamp your feet, however

    how much energy does that take, or is it just another part of your training?

  8. #8
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    suprised it took this long for this to show up

    the bottom line is the area in question is a non-motorized area

    why is it ok for someone to think they are above the rules and do what they want

    meanwhile motorized off road users are losing miles of trails and roads in the same general area the town county and forest service are shutting them down left and right yet
    everyone can look the other way because its the cash cow firecracker 50?

    So if he can drive heavy equipment up there I can start riding my snowmobile up there this winter right?

    the best punishment would be reopening up miles of closed trails and roads to motorized use

    That part of town used to be void of anyone, thanks to the race the summer time use is through the roof and the winter time ski traffic has gotten even stupider.

  9. #9
    zrm
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    My background with the Firecracker: I designed the course and have worked with Jeff over the years on the event.

    Ripper: Little French and Humbug Hill area has long been popular with Mtn bikers. The Fall Classic first used the Little French Flume in 1987 (I helped cut out a lot of the blowdown trees). There are literally hundreds of miles of trails and Jeep roads open to motorized use in the greater Golden Horseshoe/Swan river area. The trails that I assume you are talking about were simply burned through the woods more than a few through wetlands and fens with throttle and tire with little or no consideration to impacts or sustainability. The Moto folks are getting shut down due to their own irresponsible habits and lack of common sense restraint. Some folks in the motorized community are trying their best to turn that around and bring stewardship to the vernacular of the motorized community and doing what they can but they are not the majority.

    RE Wescott: He did what he thought he needed to do to provide a good experience for the racers. There are not a lot of good alternatives to Little French without totally redoing the entire course which would have been tough to do. Jeff knew what the rules for the area are and is now taking his lumps. To his credit, he has not tried to shirk his responsibility and is talking the consequences like a man.
    Little French is mostly rock and we knew that wetness would not be an issue there. There are places on the course that are a lot more susceptible to damage and Jeff did put a bunch of work into draining them as best as possible. The modification to the course was to avoid an area that was a sustained total mud pit. (An area that BTW has been totally torn to pieces by motor vehicles) Jeff does take stewardship seriously and has the resume to show it.

    The snow was cleared with a Bobcat, hardly a piece of heavy equipment and as anticipated, the impact from the machine is negligible. Little French is mostly rock with very little organic soil. That said, the use prescription for Little French allows only non motorized recreation, that's clear. However, I believe the prescription can allow motorized use to private property under the terms of a use permit or other authorized use related management. What the FS would have said if Westy had gone to them six weeks ago and said, "here's the situation, what do you think?" is hard to say. In hindsight, that was probably the thing to do but it's water under the bridge now.

    Bottom Line: The paper is making it sound very serious, but I know for a fact that Jeff has a very good relationship with the Ranger District and while the FS is obligated to enforce the rules, especially when it's a high profile and let's not sugar coat it - blatant disregard of the rules, they'll most likely cite him, he'll pay the fine, and they'll put him on "probation" and call it good. Westy would expect no less and not take it personally. The folks at the Ranger District are actually very reasonable and do their best to do their job in a very difficult environment of complex rules and politics from all sides. I don't think anyone at the Dillon Ranger District is after Westy's head. The SDN like all papers, is just looking for a story, which is OK, that's what papers do.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    The Moto folks are getting shut down due to their own irresponsible habits and lack of common sense restraint.
    irony

  11. #11
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    Wait - Little French Gulch Trail is designated non-motorized? Was I hallucinating or did I pass several dirt bikes descending that trail DURING the race on my second lap?

  12. #12
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    irony
    Irony? I assume you mean to compare Jeffs lack of retraint with the moto folks lack of restraint. OK, let's compare.

    With the motos you have a group of people since the mid to late 90s systematically creating new trails using tire and horsepower on a combination of public and private property without permission. As soon as one new route is burned in, another tends to branch off of it, it seems the folks using the area up there can't even stay on their own trails.
    Most of these trails are steep and on the fall line so they become deeply rutted and eroded at which point parallel routes are created. Some areas have three routes next to one another as one becomes too nasty even for the motos to use. In addition, at least two of these trails go directly through extensive wetlands, one of which is a fairly rare fen with numerous braids as one mud hole becomes too deep and mucky to navigate, another is created.
    When called on this behavior, most (not all, as mentioned before, some folks in the moto community are trying to help) of the moto guys try to justify it, poo poo the impacts, and paint themselves as victims.

    With Jeff you have a person who used a bobcat to clear snow from a rocky established former jeep road that is going back to single track that is in a non motorized prescription. He knew that while in violation of the law, little damage to the area would occur and it didn't. In an area where there was a lot of organic soil, snow, and mud, he dug it out by hand and spend several days on drainage.
    Lack of restraint? I suppose you can look at that way. He did have alternatives such as trying to get 20+ volunteers to shovel all day long for a day or two or completely redesign the course but neither seemed attractive or feasible at the time.
    When called on his behavior, Jeff admitted his guilt, apologized, is going to work on fixing an areas impacted by the race (Little French is not one of those areas, no damage occured) on his own dime, and will without complaint, pay the fine.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but personally, I don't see a great deal of irony.

  13. #13
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by perrygeo View Post
    Wait - Little French Gulch Trail is designated non-motorized? Was I hallucinating or did I pass several dirt bikes descending that trail DURING the race on my second lap?

    It's my understanding that Search and rescue was up there for an evac during the race. That might have been them although SCRG generally uses an ATV for that so it might have been illegal moto use.

  14. #14
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    shoulda met my bestest mexican friends manual and labor

    they woulda cleared that snow, all you needed was a whip, alittle spanish, and some burritos

    now have my right to ride my snowmobile up there this winter, can't wait!!!! sure beats that long slog on the skis

  15. #15
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripper roo View Post
    shoulda met my bestest mexican friends manual and labor

    they woulda cleared that snow, all you needed was a whip, alittle spanish, and some burritos

    now have my right to ride my snowmobile up there this winter, can't wait!!!! sure beats that long slog on the skis
    Always appreciate informed, insightful and intelligent commentary.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    I give up!
    Really?
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  17. #17
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    Why not just have the racers deal with the snow? Maybe hop off the bike and slip and slide through it. That could make for an interesting section.
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  18. #18
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    The real IRONY is the damage done by the bobcat is insignificant to the trail damage due to bad etiquette by the racers(skidding, passing, etc.). Rode up there the other day and it is worked. They should've just rerouted around little french and all the other sloppy areas. i still can't believe they had the race on the super muddy sections from the tank to nitemare

    After most of these summit races it looks like a stampede of bulls went down the trail....GOOD JOB!

    Flame away...talk some sh+t....but you're lying to yourself if you think it's not true.

    end rant/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Irony? I assume you mean to compare Jeffs lack of retraint with the moto folks lack of restraint. OK, let's compare.
    Hate to draw the parallel here, but Jeff's mentality is really no different from the illegal motos. Jeff doesn't hold these events for the "public good", he holds them for profit. He saw the potential loss of personal profit in either canceling or rerouting the race and figured the most economical route was to just pay the eventual fine. No different than the moto guys that figure their own justifications (all our trails are being taken away, etc) outweigh the potential risk of the fine and knowingly do what they please in violation with the usage rules. You can't point fingers at the motos and defend Jeff in the same breath.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CO_freeride View Post
    The real IRONY is the damage done by the bobcat is insignificant to the trail damage due to bad etiquette by the racers(skidding, passing, etc.). Rode up there the other day and it is worked. They should've just rerouted around little french and all the other sloppy areas. i still can't believe they had the race on the super muddy sections from the tank to nitemare

    After most of these summit races it looks like a stampede of bulls went down the trail....GOOD JOB!

    Flame away...talk some sh+t....but you're lying to yourself if you think it's not true.

    end rant/
    I had just the opposite thought when I rode sections of the trails after the Firecracker 50. I was amazed at what good shape the trails were in after 750 riders had just been through there the day before.

    Quite honestly I couldn't tell there had been a race on Nightmare on Baldy, Moonstone, Trail of Tears, etc when I rode it on Tuesday. The 4WD road just before Nightmare looked a little beat up but not much more than usual.

    I also didn't notice much in the way of litter or debris, not counting the pork and bean cans from 100 years ago.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Irony? I assume you mean to compare Jeffs lack of retraint with the moto folks lack of restraint. OK, let's compare.

    With the motos you have a group of people since the mid to late 90s systematically creating new trails using tire and horsepower on a combination of public and private property without permission. As soon as one new route is burned in, another tends to branch off of it, it seems the folks using the area up there can't even stay on their own trails.
    minus the horsepower, look at the mtb poachers and tell us all how they are different

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    When called on this behavior, most (not all, as mentioned before, some folks in the moto community are trying to help) of the moto guys try to justify it, poo poo the impacts, and paint themselves as victims.
    see above response^

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Lack of restraint? I suppose you can look at that way. He did have alternatives such as trying to get 20+ volunteers to shovel all day long for a day or two or completely redesign the course but neither seemed attractive or feasible at the time.
    i don't stutter-type, attractive, feasible, or not, he had no right to go the route he did...let's just call it selfish...oh yeah, you're trying to paint him as the victim here

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but personally, I don't see a great deal of irony.
    abe los ojos

  22. #22
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    Why did the snow need to be removed in the first place? I get it if this were "Ride the Rockies" and you had a bunch of elderly people on hybrids, but isn't the Firecracker 50 an actual mountain bike race?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    Why did the snow need to be removed in the first place? I get it if this were "Ride the Rockies" and you had a bunch of elderly people on hybrids, but isn't the Firecracker 50 an actual mountain bike race?
    outstanding

    knowing just how seriousszzz amateur racerbois can be, the backlash would have killed the promoter's opportunity to make money next year

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    outstanding

    knowing just how seriousszzz amateur racerbois can be, the backlash would have killed the promoter's opportunity to make money next year
    I think I'll promote the Fireroad 500 and make MILLIONS!!!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    he should have used draft horses



    the bottom line is that he broke the rules

    now he must face the music

    maybe next year if the snow is deep, the racerbois can "train" by doing some manual snow removal for their event

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