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  1. #1
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    Naches District Trail Closures

    Just got word of this so don't have complete details yet, but it looks like our Naches District Ranger, Irene Davidson, is pulling yet another "power play" (she's getting a reputation for this). Looks to me like pretty much everything except main roads will be closed not only to motorized, but also non-motorized travel until June 15th.... on the WHOLE district! She's saying this time it's merely to keep them within they're budget. But they have the budget to enforce such a closure?

    Again, I don't yet know the complete scoop, If anyone else does, please post.

    Happy Trails'

    -ward

  2. #2
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    Here's some info, this was in today's paper: Naches District's motorized trails closed until mid-June | Yakima Herald-Republic

    The article's title refer's to "motorized trails" but in the fine print it looks like this time the trails that are closed will be closed to all user's, including hikers. As usual, going to need a lawyer to figure out if your breaking the law or not on some trails... especially "fringe" routes.

  3. #3
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    According to the article the trails are closed due to conditions on the ground, not political so that seems perfectly reasonable. I imagine the trails will be opened as conditions warrant. This link from the FS website might be useful http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices/. At the end of the day I'm sure it'll boil down to common sense: when the trails dry out, they'll be open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    According to the article the trails are closed due to conditions on the ground, not political so that seems perfectly reasonable. I imagine the trails will be opened as conditions warrant. This link from the FS website might be useful http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices/. At the end of the day I'm sure it'll boil down to common sense: when the trails dry out, they'll be open.
    Don't mind 'em closing the trails that need to be closed, but a "blanket" closure 'till June 15th is rediculous!! Some trails in this area are just fine to ride right now, especially on the rocky, sagebrushy sections on the east slope.

    I don't want to wait 'till mid June to ride what i've alway's ridden in the spring!!!!! Leave my spring alone- I'm not damaging one inch of trail riding rocky jeep trails from the Cowiche Mill road to Jump Off L.O. On a cold morning, I could still ride the packed snow on the last section and make the summit... if it was legal. But now I'll be breaking the law. Just can't fathom that!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Don't mind 'em closing the trails that need to be closed, but a "blanket" closure 'till June 15th is rediculous!! Some trails in this area are just fine to ride right now, especially on the rocky, sagebrushy sections on the east slope.

    I don't want to wait 'till mid June to ride what i've alway's ridden in the spring!!!!! Leave my spring alone- I'm not damaging one inch of trail riding rocky jeep trails from the Cowiche Mill road to Jump Off L.O. On a cold morning, I could still ride the packed snow on the last section and make the summit... if it was legal. But now I'll be breaking the law. Just can't fathom that!
    Hmmm, that doesn't sound reasonable at all. Although the original article you cited stated all trails are closed it's possible that is not entirely correct. It might be worth giving the District office a ring and inquire about specific roads or trails. I agree; a rocky, dry trail, especially doubletrack should be open. To effectively shut down recreation in the entire district until June 15th seems extreme to me.

    Now if we can just get the Mt Baker NF to open up a trail or two to mtn bikes...., oops, I digress.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Hmmm, that doesn't sound reasonable at all. Although the original article you cited stated all trails are closed it's possible that is not entirely correct. It might be worth giving the District office a ring and inquire about specific roads or trails. I agree; a rocky, dry trail, especially doubletrack should be open. To effectively shut down recreation in the entire district until June 15th seems extreme to me.

    Now if we can just get the Mt Baker NF to open up a trail or two to mtn bikes...., oops, I digress.
    Going to call them today to try to clarify. That's one of the problems with the FS, they often have a hard time (amongst themselves) defining they're own ruling as per what's okay and not okay. The "blanket" closure may have been just to simplify duties in they're office. Take my statements w/ a grain of salt... at least 'till we get some solid details. Some of the statements I've seen on facebook and other forums by "multiple users" (i.e. moterized and non-motorized) kind of made me push the panic button. Time to chill out and find the facts.

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    Just got off the phone with the Naches Ranger Station. With the exception of a few main access roads, the entire Naches district is closed until June 15th... that means to everyone including mtb's and foot traffic! No flower season on the east slopes this year. Sorry folks, but I'm having a hard time with this one! We buy the required passes, clean up other peoples garbage and generally do our best to comply and work with the FS and now they shut us out anyway!?!? The trails (mostly Jeep trails) on the east slope that we ride in the spring are largely ridge top or south facing slope routes that dry out way, way sooner than the forest trails closer to the crest and NEVER see a dollar of maintainance money anyway...EVER! They are "hardened routes" that go back to native american use long before the FS CONTROLLED them! The forest Service is acting like they own the land and will now make 100% of the decisions on how & when it will be used, irregardless of our input. Like I said, having a hard time with this one! If they want to turn the people against them that have been supportive of them in the past, this is a good way to go about it. Right now this minute, after the tone the guy just used with me on the phone... "you can always write your congressman- chukle,chukle", it's hard for me not to see them as the enemy! Now if I take my normal spring ride to Jump Off Lookout, I'll be treated like a tagger, shoplifter or tresspasser... That is just TOO MUCH!

    I will not feel guilty for riding my bicycle down (or up) ANY trail that I'm clearly not doing damage to... EVER!!!!!

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    That's frustrating. I can't get a grip on what the reasoning for closing all the trails is. June 15th is getting into "high summer" season after all. Did the guy on the phone at least throw you a bone and tell you that it was to preserve the trails or something like that? His tone certainly doesn't help with PR either.

    Is closing all the trails like this normal for over there (I'm on the wet side)?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Just got off the phone with the Naches Ranger Station. With the exception of a few main access roads, the entire Naches district is closed until June 15th... that means to everyone including mtb's and foot traffic!...
    Pure.bu11sh'te.

    Here's how it's worked in the Cle Elum district the last couple seasons:
    - All trails are closed to motorized use in spring until they are officially 'opened'.
    - Such closed trails are open to non-moto use, although to be honest they're usually muddy and certainly not logged so it's not paradise by a long shot.
    - Trails are opened on a case-by-case basis as they're assessed. For example, they'll open up the bottom part of Taneum ridge once it's been dried out, reconned, & logged. The upper part will be a few weeks later. Stuff up by Quartz/Clifty will be later still.

    This common sense plan actually works really well for the FS:
    - significantly less damage to trails that has to be fixed later.
    - some non-moto intel gets reported back so they can better plan their resources.
    - it gives the moto volunteer army a strong motivation to get out and help clear/repair trails with the FS so they can get cleared to play on them.
    - it gives the non-volunteer moto army a legit space to play that doesn't cause problems for everyone.

    ... and now I'm writing a note of thanks to our local FS office for their intelligent management in this regard. Clearly it could be worse.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    Pure.bu11sh'te.

    Here's how it's worked in the Cle Elum district the last couple seasons:
    - All trails are closed to motorized use in spring until they are officially 'opened'.
    - Such closed trails are open to non-moto use, although to be honest they're usually muddy and certainly not logged so it's not paradise by a long shot.
    - Trails are opened on a case-by-case basis as they're assessed. For example, they'll open up the bottom part of Taneum ridge once it's been dried out, reconned, & logged. The upper part will be a few weeks later. Stuff up by Quartz/Clifty will be later still.

    This common sense plan actually works really well for the FS:
    - significantly less damage to trails that has to be fixed later.
    - some non-moto intel gets reported back so they can better plan their resources.
    - it gives the moto volunteer army a strong motivation to get out and help clear/repair trails with the FS so they can get cleared to play on them.
    - it gives the non-volunteer moto army a legit space to play that doesn't cause problems for everyone.

    ... and now I'm writing a note of thanks to our local FS office for their intelligent management in this regard. Clearly it could be worse.
    Uh, that sounds reasonable, not to mention helpful for the FS.

  11. #11
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    Nobody I've talked to has any problem with them closing routes in areas that are saturated or have received significant damage... but everything?... including the sage brushy far east corners? Rocky ridge lines that a D8 cat would have trouble damaging? REDICULOUS!!!!

    They have turned away every ally they've ever had in this area, and I mean even they're sierra club friends with this one. And her remarks towards locals who have volenteered on this district for years and years are deplorable! Gotta get back to work or I'd keep going. Need to get my mind off this subject anyway!!

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