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  1. #1
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    Beetle impact on Steamboat area trails

    I don't live in the area but I often take trips to Steamboat and Clark. I've heard about the beetle problem for years, but the recent headlines are saying this is the year that we're really seeing a huge difference.

    A few questions:

    Will the Seedhouse area trails be impacted THIS year? I'm coming out in mid August. I've been reading that hundreds (thousands?) of trees were removed from Seedhouse area campgrounds. Is that work done for now? Were trails impacted? Has deadfall been cleared from the trails?

    How about future years? Is it expected that they'll go deeper into the forests to remove dead trees? Will they impact the existing trails in order to accomplish that?

    Just a little worried.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I'd be more worried about Grand county

    The only impact so far has been visual with pines turning red, and the increase in fire danger caused by all lodgepoles dying. The FS has been removing a ton of hazard trees around public campgrounds and I'm pretty sure that all the campgrounds up seedhouse road are open for the summer.
    The bike trails in North Routt have not been affected by the dying lodgepoles, just the same old story with charred snags from the fires of '02 randomly falling across the trails in burned out zones. Other than that, the trails have been cleared of deadfall and are riding great.

    I'm not sure there is a plan for the future removal of dead trees deeper in the forest. My guess is that the logging industry is going to be busy for years removing trees from around subdivisions and from easy-to-access areas that already have old logging roads in place. So I don't think you will see any new roads put in to remove trees in more remote parts of the forest.
    Plus, with the timber market so saturated with pine, you basically have to pay somebody to haul your logs away. So other than getting paid big bucks by HOA's to create defensible space in preparation for "The Big One", there is not really any reason to go deeper into the forest.

    Things up here are looking really different from a few years ago but it is still Steamboat, so don't let the dead lodgepoles stop you from coming up for a vacation. We still have tons of aspen, spruce, and fir trees too.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  3. #3
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    Thanks very much for your reply and all the information. I've been reading the Steamboat Pilot online, and the big 5-part feature they are doing kinda put the scare in me. I haven't really seen anything on potential problems for trails in these forests.

    Thanks again.

    CL

  4. #4
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    In a few more years they will start falling and that willbe a problem for trails.

    My Parents driveway last night in Steamboat.



    Cheers,

    Beanman

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMan
    My Parents driveway last night in Steamboat.
    I can see my driveway in that picture too!
    Thats a great picture, BeanMan. The sunset/sunrise alpenglow really brings out the red up on the hills. I think you have just inspired me to go out and shoot some beetle-kill shots around the 'boat.

    People were really shocked and sad to see the pines on the ski area turn red this spring. But what many people don't realize is that nearly all the mature pines are now dead and what is still green is going to stay that way....
    Until the Spruce beetles kill the rest of the spruce trees and the big fire kills everything else.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  6. #6
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    Looks like we're in for some trail and FS road closures in North Routt. I'm worried.

    http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/2...-roads-trails/

    Does anyone know if Routt County Riders (or anyone else) is engaged on this issue to ensure that impact to actual trails is minimal? My biggest fear is that some singletrack will become logging road. I prefer to ride up 443 and then down Swamp Park/South Fork, really hoping those trails are protected.

    The article seems to indicate this will be an on-and-off thing for about 3 years - is that the best guess out there? Anybody heard otherwise?

    Thanks, keeping my fingers crossed.

  7. #7
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    Short term sacrifice for long term benefit. The USFS is trying to minimize the closure time on roads and trails in order to keep recreation opportunities available for the public. FR443 will be closed all summer for commercial logging operations and I am guessing South Fork trail will also be closed.
    The commercial logging operations are taking place near roads and developed areas so the impact on hiking trails such as South Fork will be minimal.

    There are Hotshot crews and Felling modules working overtime to remove tens of thousands of hazard trees along side the hiking trails in the district. The trails are looking dramatically different after the crews have gone through and clear cut all the dead lodgepoles but at least the trails will stay OPEN in the future.

    Keep your heads up out there! and dont park or camp around dead trees, SERIOUSLY!
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

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    Hi there, would you tell me how those camping spots around the rabbit ears pass are these days? I car camped at those secluded spots in the past and they were all under nice pine trees that gave me great shelters from rain. Are those trees still there?

    This Friday is looking really good, doncha think?

  9. #9
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    Depends on where you are refering.

    I haven't seen much tree removal from rabbit ears this year. They basically hit all the good riding spots....

    Which reminds me....When, if ever, are they gonna be done with Emerald logging. We will be on two months when they estimated one. It's like the news on it has gone silent...no updates that I have seen anywhere.
    "I'm supa-fly TNT, I'm tha guns of the navarone!"

  10. #10
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    How can the RCR update progress when they are busy fighting themselves over Creekside acess? I've heard that the Beal's trail on the BLMerald is flagged, and the machine will begin cutting next week, as long as the route passes inspection. With the RCR trail crew doing all the flaging, they would be unable to do anything else, like a progress report on the Orton trails, or any other trail work days.

    Boz, get up there and tell us what's going on.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker
    How can the RCR update progress when they are busy fighting themselves over Creekside acess? I've heard that the Beal's trail on the BLMerald is flagged, and the machine will begin cutting next week, as long as the route passes inspection. With the RCR trail crew doing all the flaging, they would be unable to do anything else, like a progress report on the Orton trails, or any other trail work days.

    Boz, get up there and tell us what's going on.
    Yes unfortunately that is probably true. They are probably done with the logging and are keeping the signs up so no one messes with the grand new design and construction of the new trails....I have seen that mentality in action once this year...

    Ugh Creekside, what a cluster-fudge that became...One way with speed checks converted to 2 way and full speed ahead. Thanks go to the forest circus who have created a dangerous situation where there once was not...And what should have been a no brainer call for RCR that took weeks to develop a stance....

    Go Go Bike Town USA!
    "I'm supa-fly TNT, I'm tha guns of the navarone!"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SS Boz

    Ugh Creekside, what a cluster-fudge that became...One way with speed checks converted to 2 way and full speed ahead. Thanks go to the forest circus who have created a dangerous situation where there once was not...And what should have been a no brainer call for RCR that took weeks to develop a stance....

    Go Go Bike Town USA!
    Stupid Forest Circus!! I want my Creekside trail Nowwwww. Waaaaaah..
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    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  13. #13
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    Why are you blaming the Forest Sercive? It is the ski area that originally designated Creekside as a one-way trail... Illegally.

    It is also the SKI AREA that has proposed turning Creekside into the new Multi-use/Multi-directional trail on the Northern boundary of the ski area.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

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    ...Because everything i have read (even from your beloved SKI AREA) points the finger at the forest service not approving of a one way trail...which apparently both parties overlooked for how long? Go ahead and throw me back a number....I am sure you know.

    I know where your allegiances lie but are you blind to the fact they turned it into a dangerous trail? Go give it a hike or ride up to your home on occasion since you are so confident that the SKI AREA/FS made the right decision...

    The trail would have been best served with no "improvements" and left alone...
    "I'm supa-fly TNT, I'm tha guns of the navarone!"

  15. #15
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    I heard that Creekside and Valley view will be closed as soon as replacements are built. Both were built outside the operational boundries of the ski area. Sucks as we just had a great hillclimb up valley view and whatever record was established will go away once Valley View is reclaimed by the woods.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SS Boz
    ...Because everything i have read (even from your beloved SKI AREA) points the finger at the forest service not approving of a one way trail...which apparently both parties overlooked for how long? Go ahead and throw me back a number....I am sure you know.

    I know where your allegiances lie but are you blind to the fact they turned it into a dangerous trail? Go give it a hike or ride up to your home on occasion since you are so confident that the SKI AREA/FS made the right decision...

    The trail would have been best served with no "improvements" and left alone...
    USFS never approved it as a downhill trail because the ski area never went through the approval process. Apparently the process has now begun and it is possible that Creekside will be officially designated a downhill trail in time to ride next spring.

    Dangerous trail? try riding in control and you wont have to worry about colliding with other trail users, bears, moose or mountain lions.

    And lastly, when did I say anything about the land managers making the "right decision"?
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker
    I heard that Creekside and Valley view will be closed as soon as replacements are built. Both were built outside the operational boundries of the ski area. Sucks as we just had a great hillclimb up valley view and whatever record was established will go away once Valley View is reclaimed by the woods.
    Nope, not going to close. Creekside is WITHIN the permit area, and Valley View has been through the approval process so nothing to worry about.

    As for the hold-up with starting construction on the 2 new trails.... The ski area is going to have environmental studies done everywhere they are considering building new trails in the future rather than just in the area around Valley View where the new intermediate trail is going in.
    That way they will have approval and can build as many trails as they want in the future.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  18. #18
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    I can't wait for the new trails to go on line, it'll spread out the traffic and make all the trails better. Finally the ski area is on the right track. One thing i wondered about is the possibility of expanding the x/c trail network into the basin below the chutes, an extended sunshine type trail on the upper sundown area would be great riding.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    USFS never approved it as a downhill trail because the ski area never went through the approval process. Apparently the process has now begun and it is possible that Creekside will be officially designated a downhill trail in time to ride next spring.

    Dangerous trail? try riding in control and you wont have to worry about colliding with other trail users, bears, moose or mountain lions.
    The process has now begun after how long? Still a testament to poor management...

    Rest assured, I am not worried about my riding and control...I am worried about someone walking up the trail in a blind corner that some guy built into a slingshot berm and gets smoked, then we all lose....Tell your buds up there, good job on keeping two way trails safe....
    "I'm supa-fly TNT, I'm tha guns of the navarone!"

  20. #20
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    Got anything to contribute besides complaints? There are already enough anonymous interweberz spreading false rumors and negative vibes throughout the cycling community in Steamboat.

    Freeride Steamboat and Routt County Riders could sure use some help from the community with getting these trails approved and built. Step it up folks.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    Got anything to contribute besides complaints? There are already enough anonymous interweberz spreading false rumors and negative vibes throughout the cycling community in Steamboat.

    Freeride Steamboat and Routt County Riders could sure use some help from the community with getting these trails approved and built. Step it up folks.

    You get to the point with people who contribute nothing constructive and only complain(anonymously to boot) that you just ignore them. The unfortunate thing is that even if they make legitimate points, you miss them because after a while you've come to simply tune them out and focus on solutions that can provide effective solutions.

  22. #22
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    Freeride Steamboat and Routt County Riders could sure use some help from the community with getting these trails approved and built. Step it up folks.


    How exactly can we pressure the Forest Service to speed up the process? From what I've seen it's government red tape that's the problem. Unlike private businesses, they tend to talk and plan and talk and plan way more than they get out of the office to get things done. If the Forest Service was paid to get work done, things would proceed faster, instead they are bound by long winded rules and proceedures that tend to extend the timeline out indefinatly. Attempting to speed the process is painful and lends to burnout from the volunteers that are pushing against the federal bureaucracy and make me wonder if delay and not instituting change is the goal. It's easier for a government employee to not do anyting than to take action and get something the people want completed.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    Got anything to contribute besides complaints? There are already enough anonymous interweberz spreading false rumors and negative vibes throughout the cycling community in Steamboat.

    Freeride Steamboat and Routt County Riders could sure use some help from the community with getting these trails approved and built. Step it up folks.
    This started off constructively as a question from my end. You decided to jump in when someone roasted the Ski Area/FS. So you have little to contribute yourself on this topic, you are merely pushing the opposing point.

    Hope to see you out at trailwork this weekend. Us folks who don't contribute will be there on the BLM land building a new trail...you know, not contributing....
    "I'm supa-fly TNT, I'm tha guns of the navarone!"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SS Boz
    This started off constructively as a question from my end. You decided to jump in when someone roasted the Ski Area/FS. So you have little to contribute yourself on this topic, you are merely pushing the opposing point.

    Hope to see you out at trailwork this weekend. Us folks who don't contribute will be there on the BLM land building a new trail...you know, not contributing....
    Your constructive question had to do with logging on emerald mountain, which quickly turned into SBS and yourself roasting not only the Ski Area and USFS, but also Routt County Riders.
    This is when I stepped in and pointed out the fact that the freeride community is coming across like a bunch of whining children regarding the creekside issue. Things take time, everybody needs to take 2 steps back and relax.

    Thanks for contributing with the trailwork days, I know everybody likes to get out and play in the dirt.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker
    Freeride Steamboat and Routt County Riders could sure use some help from the community with getting these trails approved and built. Step it up folks.


    How exactly can we pressure the Forest Service to speed up the process?..... It's easier for a government employee to not do anyting than to take action and get something the people want completed.
    Maybe that government employee gave up trying to help out the people after they kept insulting the said employee instead of offering constructive ideas and compromises.

    Respect gets respect. Everybody wants the USFS to do this and that, but all they can do is complain about how useless the government is and how long things take to be completed.
    We can start by getting our act together as a cycling community and stop all the negative talk towards Routt County Riders and land managers. Routt County Riders has a great partnership with the Forest Service and they are probably your best bet for getting anything pushed through the approval process.

    The process is what it is. Embrace it, or go whine and moan some more about how we dont have any trails.

    Try building a positive relationship with your local politicians and land managers and see how much smoother things go.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

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