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  1. #1
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    okay to do my own trail maintence?

    hi, i live by sandy ridge and was noticing that after this past winter a lot of the trails are in need of some maintence. Things like raking down the burms, patching soft spots etc.

    My question is-is it okay to rake and repair trails on my own or does BLM/IMBA frown upon it? I'd like to do my part and most of the organized trail work days are on weekends when i gotta work.

    I started carrying a small sierra saw in my pack a few years ago and it has been a big help in cutting trees that have fallen on the trail. I've been suprised lately at the amount of tire tracks that go over or around branches and sticks, it only takes a few seconds to stop and clear the trail and make it better for the next ride!

    thank you,
    cb

  2. #2
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    from the NW trail alliance site:

    Steward: Tom Slovak
    Trail: Sandy Ridge
    Mountain Bike Area: BLM
    toms {at} nw-trail.org

    I'd suggest emailing Tom first. I don't know the legal in's and outs of maintaining trails - so I can't help you there.

    Problems occur when people CHANGE trails. Make jumps, lips on jumps, new trails, and things of that nature. I doubt raking and minor repair work will get you into trouble with the BLM. But it can be touchy I suppose.

    That's just my guess.

    good luck and thanks for the desire to help!
    Last edited by sketchbook; 03-31-2013 at 09:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    I have no problem with people doing random trail maintenance. Especially filling in/raking out braking bumps and potholes. Or even pitching the trail different so the water puddle potholes don't come back (browns camp needs a LOT of this). But, under no circumstances, should one ever remove roots, rocks or other natural trail features to their liking. FAR to much of this happens and I will leave at that.

  4. #4
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    If it's minor up keep that you want to do I say go for it. But please do not dumb down the trail in any way. I'm not sure what is up with BLM/IMBA lately but they don't seem to be doing anything with these trails or a whole lot on the new trail build from what I've seen. The few work days that they hold aren't enough to do squat. I miss the days of Bama building trail and a lot of volunteers helping out. I feel like trail work is very private and out of the public eye lately.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by finch6013 View Post
    I'm not sure what is up with BLM/IMBA lately but they don't seem to be doing anything with these trails or a whole lot on the new trail build from what I've seen. The few work days that they hold aren't enough to do squat....I feel like trail work is very private and out of the public eye lately.
    Could it be that much of the upper portions were under some late snow until fairly recently or that the wettest time of year isn't the best time to do a lot of maintenance and new build work until drainage patterns and rides lines can be assessed?

    BLM is not an organization that has a lot of public build and maintenance days. Not their style due to perhaps their policies regarding best build practices for sustainability and liability. They have their designated/authorized work crews that do 80-90% of the work and public work days make up some of the rest.

    I will say that the system has been improved significantly in the last 3 years that I have been riding it from addition of the bridge at Lil' Joe Creek, 338 loop, TTM, QPF, Rock Drop and maintenance to resolve drainage issues, armoring (not the gravel kind), tuning with berms, minor reroutes and such throughout the system, plus whatever is being built east of the climb road which I think is going to be ready to ride Summer 2013. I don't know how long you've been riding it or what trails there you are referring to.

    To the OP's question: email Tom at NWTA as mentioned. I don't think you want to be hiking or riding with tools in hand without a green light first. My guess is that they will tell you not to do even minor work on the tread itself but no problems with cutting a small tree across the trail or limbs that are in the way.
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by finch6013 View Post
    If it's minor up keep that you want to do I say go for it. But please do not dumb down the trail in any way. I'm not sure what is up with BLM/IMBA lately but they don't seem to be doing anything with these trails or a whole lot on the new trail build from what I've seen. The few work days that they hold aren't enough to do squat. I miss the days of Bama building trail and a lot of volunteers helping out. I feel like trail work is very private and out of the public eye lately.
    Nothing private about it, NWTA has work days at least once a month (next is 4/13) which are always posted on their calendar. The young lads that are part of AntFarm do the majority of the work and are the ones that have done a kick butt job of maintaining trails that are used by a crap load of people year round. E.g. The last Enduro series race in September (which was a blast) left the trails trashed and they did a fantastic job with the repairs and additional upgrades and changes.

    Per Glide's words above, work on the new trail and other upper trail work has been delayed because of the snow.

  7. #7
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    Moving fallen limbs, tree tops, and minor overgrowth is great and all users should do it, as its a courtesy to everyone riding behind you. And major kudos to those who carry small folding saws to remove the small-medium stuff that can't be pulled off the trail.

    Dirt work, however, is a different story. When you bring out shovels and tools it becomes a blurry line between "repair" and "modify". Even more important, somewhere behind the scenes there is communication and approvals between the land manager and trail steward, which can sometimes be fragile. The best move for you is to contact the trail steward.

  8. #8
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    Serious kudos to the antfarm kids. I've done some trail work along side them before and they do great work. Maybe its just me but years ago trail work happened all the time regardless of weather (minus snow) and I understand that the trails were new and just being built, many of them. But back then I always seen updates on what was being done, time lines for new trails, what and were sort of thing. Now there is a new trail being built and hardly anyone knows it's even happening unless you've noticed the trailheads on the east side of the road or heard from another rider about it. I've attended many NWTA build days out at Sandy and they don't seem to be once a month at all unless I just miss the notification some how. I'm hoping once the weather gets better the public will have the chance to get the new trail hammered out so it doesn't become another TTM that was done for six months before it "officially opened". ( I know the reasons why that happened but still) Anyway I love sandy ridge and can't wait to be given a chance to do all the volunteer work I can. Respect for the organizations and everyone involved behind the scenes, without them this gem we all enjoy wouldn't be legally possible. I hope we can all do our part to maintain and build rather than ride and let others do all the work.

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