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  1. #1
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    Non-motorized Trail Passion (trail damage by motorized vehicles)

    I am lucky enough to live minutes from 50,000 acres of National Forest here in southeast Wyoming. All of the single track in this area is non-motorized. ATV's, side by sides, dirtbikes etc. can ride on system roads but all single track is non-motorized. Damage to the singletrack has become more common in recent years. As you can see in the pic, ATV's have gone around the singletrack and killed a large patch of vegetation. Every year I come back to this area the trail gets wider and wider.
    Every time I have confronted someone on the trails who is breaking the rules (I make sure to be polite and not agitated) they play the "Oh, I didn't know" card and usually they end up peeling out and leaving a nice cloud of smoke for me to inhale. Penalties are stiff if caught, but enforcement is almost non-existent.
    The Forest Service seems to put more people in office chairs than people out on the land so I don't see how this growing problem will be mitigated. It's a real bummer though as this trail (one of my favorites in the area) and others are continuing to suffer more and more damage from motorized vehicles. I am not anti-everything motorized, but I really think some trails should be left alone from motorized vehicles in order to preserve them for people who wish to get exercise without inflicting much damage onto the land.
    Curious to see if anyone has any good advice or stories on the matter.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Non-motorized Trail Passion (trail damage by motorized vehicles)-twinmtn.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Citizens arrest!

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    Large rocks.

  4. #4
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    Bring a cell phone and start snapping pictures or recording video. Document it or it didn't happen.

  5. #5
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    ^^^^^ This.
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  6. #6
    zrm
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    Part of the reason there is so little on the ground enforcement presence is that the motorized groups lobby fiercely against allocating anywhere near the resources needed. Most FS people I've worked with would love to have more LEOs on the ground but they don't get the money. There needs to be a strong voice from the non motorized community to get the money for better enforcement.

    Where I live - one of the more heavily used ranger districts in the west - had one LEO for this ranger district who also was the sole LOE in the neighboring district. It took years and lots of letter writing but the neighboring district finally got their own LEO. One LEO per district is still grossly inadequate but it's lot better than what it was.

    Our RD also has worked out an arrangement with the sheriff's dept that there are a few deputies that have the authorization to enforce FS regulations and that helps also. They actually patrol on dirt bikes and ATVs when time allows. They focus at first on education but don't hesitate to write tickets and impound equipment when needed.

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    work with your county sheriff. Our local sheriff has a backcountry division. I will say the local forest leo can be *****. I cut firewood for my house. years have gone by without any leo checking my permit. But in the last 3 years I have been checked more than the last 10 years. so we are seeing the exact opposite. more leo in our national forest. To be honest, don't know if I like it or not. Most of the leo have some fricken chip on there shoulder.

  8. #8
    dumb ass
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin_amador View Post
    Bring a cell phone and start snapping pictures or recording video. Document it or it didn't happen.
    in Minnesota all we need to do is get the id/license # on the atv and call it in. the cops show up at the guilty party's house and write them a ticket. pics help but only the # is needed...
    Baby seal walks into a club.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    work with your county sheriff. Our local sheriff has a backcountry division. I will say the local forest leo can be *****. I cut firewood for my house. years have gone by without any leo checking my permit. But in the last 3 years I have been checked more than the last 10 years. so we are seeing the exact opposite. more leo in our national forest. To be honest, don't know if I like it or not. Most of the leo have some fricken chip on there shoulder.
    What's wrong with getting checked? Shouldn't be a problem if you're not breaking the rules eh?
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  10. #10
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    Problem the area in the photo is in one of the more remote areas within the Vedauwoo boundary. Unless a Sheriff had an SUV he isn't getting back there. Also, they aren't discrete about it ever because they know they won't get caught. It's a royal bummer.
    It's becoming a bigger problem and the local newspaper even wrote about it this month.
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  11. #11
    tg
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    Realy hate those guys!.......wish I had a way to make all singletrack killers go away.colorado has the same prob and it bugs the sh!tt out of me!

  12. #12
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    It seems like they should create trails for the motorcycles. That way they can enjoy the legally too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wetpaint View Post
    It seems like they should create trails for the motorcycles. That way they can enjoy the legally too.
    In the Snowy Range mountains, which is about only 40 min from Vedauwoo, there is more Forest Service land with plenty of motorized trails to use. The problem with putting motorized trail right next to non-motorized trails is that people cannot stay on the intended trail. Motorized riders would soon be on non-motorized trails causing conflict and trail damage. I do agree, however, that motorized riders need a place to go too, the problem is keeping people where they shouldn't be.

  14. #14
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Some seem content with government control over every aspect of our lives. I personally don't want to see a policeman when I'm in the national forest. We should all worry less about what the other person is doing. The forests according to some, have been here for a very long time and will continue to be so. They won't always be the same.

    Bikers are pissed off by those on atv's. Those on atv's are pissed off by bikers. Skiers don't like snow bikes. I had some hunters that didn't like seeing me on a bike a month or so ago. Hikers don't like either bikers or atv's. Heck, we even have the Biodiversity group here in town and many of them don't want anyone in the forests for any activity.

    We should all do a little looking the other way. The forest is where we should go to enjoy life and put a smile back on our faces, not worry about what someone is doing.

    It's all just dirt, rocks, grass, and trees. They haven't always been there, and they won't always be there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    It's all just dirt, rocks, grass, and trees.
    Thank god for that! Also- no roads, buildings, cars, smog, and ideally only the birds and wind to interrupt the silence. That's what differentiates the forests from the rest of the country IMHFO.

    The same rocks have been here since the earth was born BTW and aren't going anywhere until the end. Grass and trees only take temporary leave.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Some seem content with government control over every aspect of our lives. I personally don't want to see a policeman when I'm in the national forest. We should all worry less about what the other person is doing. The forests according to some, have been here for a very long time and will continue to be so. They won't always be the same.

    Bikers are pissed off by those on atv's. Those on atv's are pissed off by bikers. Skiers don't like snow bikes. I had some hunters that didn't like seeing me on a bike a month or so ago. Hikers don't like either bikers or atv's. Heck, we even have the Biodiversity group here in town and many of them don't want anyone in the forests for any activity.

    We should all do a little looking the other way. The forest is where we should go to enjoy life and put a smile back on our faces, not worry about what someone is doing.

    It's all just dirt, rocks, grass, and trees. They haven't always been there, and they won't always be there.
    If I see someone burning a J on the trail I will look the other way. If I see a pack of ATVs tearing up my favorite trail I will report them. Not because I'm an ass, but because I enjoy the fact that these trails are my refuge from loud obnoxious machines.
    True the government can't patrol everywhere, and I like the fact they can't, but it doesn't mean we can't protect our own trails.
    As soon as the trail widens more ATV's will come, when the trail is even wider, 4-wheel drive trucks will come. Then it's not single track anymore. That's whats happening at Twin Mtn.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbykr©™ View Post
    in Minnesota all we need to do is get the id/license # on the atv and call it in. the cops show up at the guilty party's house and write them a ticket. pics help but only the # is needed...
    The motorized crowd had been successful in keeping their ID tags to the very smallest size imaginable. It's very difficult to read the tags, even if you have a photo of the machine.

    I encountered a group of ATVer's on rented machines (the worst user's of the entire bunch). I told them that they were on a non-motorized trail. They left the way they had come, pissed off at me.

    Half an hour later the guy that I talked to drove down a different trail to tell me that he knew I was correct and he agreed with what I had said. By coming back to me, he drove the machine down a very steep single track trail, and after talking to me, he did a 3 point turn in the middle of a stream. Still didn't get it.

    I realize that there are going to be user conflicts. ATVer's like narrow trails just like MTBer's do. However there is a huge difference in width between the 2. In my area, all it takes is one ATV to go down a bike trail, then all the others follow, because it's now an ATV trail. If there are non-motorized signs, they usually get shot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Some seem content with government control over every aspect of our lives. I personally don't want to see a policeman when I'm in the national forest. We should all worry less about what the other person is doing. The forests according to some, have been here for a very long time and will continue to be so. They won't always be the same.

    Bikers are pissed off by those on atv's. Those on atv's are pissed off by bikers. Skiers don't like snow bikes. I had some hunters that didn't like seeing me on a bike a month or so ago. Hikers don't like either bikers or atv's. Heck, we even have the Biodiversity group here in town and many of them don't want anyone in the forests for any activity.

    We should all do a little looking the other way. The forest is where we should go to enjoy life and put a smile back on our faces, not worry about what someone is doing.

    It's all just dirt, rocks, grass, and trees. They haven't always been there, and they won't always be there.
    damn straight.

  19. #19
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    If it wasn't for motorcycles alot of the single track that mountain bikers now ride today wouldn't exist. You can't forget about the history.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    If it wasn't for motorcycles alot of the single track that mountain bikers now ride today wouldn't exist. You can't forget about the history.
    I don't think history is relevant. I guess it's a nice footnote to know how the trails got there but does not influence how it should be managed. It's about keeping the trails sustainable. Should we let 4x4 Jeeps on the trails near Tie City? Because some of them were formed from when it was military training areas.
    I am not anti-dirt bike or anti-ATV, I just don't like seeing all the damage in Vedauwoo. The Snowy Range offers plenty of motorized trails.

  21. #21
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    Well, I have seen headquarters trail, gowdy and other trails in the happy jack/tie city area get pretty wide over the years even though its strictly for non motorized use. Alot of the trail runners go around rocks and even bikers, so its kinda hard to keep an area sustainable that gets a ton of use.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    Well, I have seen headquarters trail, gowdy and other trails in the happy jack/tie city area get pretty wide over the years even though its strictly for non motorized use. Alot of the trail runners go around rocks and even bikers, so its kinda hard to keep an area sustainable that gets a ton of use.
    Comparing runners to 5,000 lb SUV's and 500 lbs nobby tired ATV's is a bit of a stretch. It's not just about being wide, it's about a trail getting completely torn apart . All trails get wide over time but a trail with ATV use or car use will naturally become much wider, much faster.
    My whole point is that it's a problem and it sucks. Even the Forest Service and local media here have recognized it.

  23. #23
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    Yeah your right. Not sure how the problem could be solved without enforcement and trail management/maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    Yeah your right. Not sure how the problem could be solved without enforcement and trail management/maintenance.
    I am gonna become "Trail Man", vigilante superhero trail enforcer. Just when you think you are safe to drive a lifted F-350 onto our single track I jump out of the bushes with my go GoPro, document the evidence ride off into the sunset! lol

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    Right on.

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