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  1. #1
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    speaking of the Owyhees

    Just thought I would pass on this email I got today from Tyler Welshimer

    As you may recall, I updated you folks 6-8 weeks ago that Owyhee County was moving forward in formulating plans to allow the maximum recreational opportunities while minimizing the negative impact. User groups include mountain bikers, hikers, horse folks, ranchers, farmers, off-road motorized vehicle folks etc. etc.

    A view of the Owyhees - 10 years ago vs. today - shows an incredible proliferation of trails - some 2-3 feet from the other; impromptu parking areas that grow without thought etc.

    Some of you may recall conflicts a few years ago when the BLM, attempting to "do what's best for Idaho" - but from Washington, D.C. . . . . . started blading/rehabbing trails (some of us called it plowing), including portions of the Barking Spider mountain bike course - the week before the race.

    In an effort to update plans to present to BLM, Owyhee County wants input from user groups. Sheriff Gary Aman has received blown-up maps of the Owyhees from BLM, showing roads, trails etc. What the task force that Aman chairs has asked for is for user groups to look at the maps, note which trails are their priority for their particular activity, which ones are secondary etc.

    Now don't get ahead of me here. Several years ago, users jumped to the worst possible conclusion - trail closures! The reason for input is to work towards the most use/least conflict/damage. The best example is Trail 1065. There is one trail coming down the hill. If we mountain bikers come charging down the trail while a horse rider is coming up, it's easy to spook the horse. And as I've said before, regardless where you are, TALK when approaching horses. Their eyes magnify things seven times so most bikers are seen as 40-feet tall! Sheree and I were road riding on Saturday. We came up behind four horse folks. We talked - fairly loud since we were overtaking them - to get the horses to turn and see us well ahead.

    Back to 1065 - instead of closing the trail, the discussion is making a second, parallel trail on that section - to avoid conflict. On the other hand, if there are 10 spider trails in a 20-foot area, it would make sense to blade some of the trails. No one enjoys riding on what looks like a major interstate of dirt!

    To decide where/when to hold a meeting so mountain bikers can give their input, I first need to know who is interested in giving input. Madonna Lengerich has offered her home as a possible site. It works best for her schedule to have a meeting on a Thursday, Sunday or Monday night. I'm out this week and March 1. Beyond that, I'm fairly flexible.

    Let me know if you're interested and what would work for you.

    Tyler
    I just don't understand my wife....she thinks its nuts to ride when the temperature is in the 20's....go figure

  2. #2
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    Thu or Mon night works for me

  3. #3
    Hi!!!
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    Thanks for posting this Swede ---

    I've done a handful of hikes with Madonna. I think she can outhike 99% of the people out there. That's cool of her to offer to hold the meeting at her place.

    Please forward this to Tyler....I would like to attend a meeting either on a Thursday or Monday night.

    And which one is 1065? I thought the trail #'s out there were only 3 digits while the roads were 5 digits.

  4. #4
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    I'd like to be there.

    Mon 2/26, Thur 3/1 or Mon 3/5 work for me.
    Thanx to all for your efforts.
    Am I being kind?

  5. #5
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    Please remember that BLM's proposed action as discussed above is not the Wilson Creek Subunit. The input that BLM and the Owyhee group is seeking is for the Murphy Subunit (which is NOT where you guys have been riding...are at least where you have been taking pictures of).
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  6. #6
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    Remember? Never knew that; thanks for letting us know. I'm interested in the Wilson Creek area where we ride then, not this other area, at least not now

  7. #7
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    Government Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    Please remember that BLM's proposed action as discussed above is not the Wilson Creek Subunit. The input that BLM and the Owyhee group is seeking is for the Murphy Subunit (which is NOT where you guys have been riding...are at least where you have been taking pictures of).
    I don't speak for the BLM and I'm not a member of the Owyhee County Recreation Task Force but BLM has publically stated

    "Several elements of the plan were recommended to BLM by the Owyhee County Recreation Task Force. We appreciate their continued cooperation and involvement as we complete this effort and begin the second of three phases of the travel management efforts in the Owyhee Front. The second phase in the Wilson Creek area should begin soon."

    I realize "soon" is not very motivating - but I think it's prudent as trail users for us to keep our heads in the game.

    Al have you seen the latest on the Wilson Creek?

    http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/fo/owyhe...son_creek.html

    Looks like maps are available for everybody to look at!

  8. #8
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    For Wilson Creek EA FONSI and Decision Record, there is nothing further to keep ahead of. (Other than mitigating comments that would delay implementation of the Decision...and the growing number of trail users.)

    The Decision Record (DR) is favorable for the MTB user group. I personally wish I could speed up time so that the comment period would close, and so that they could proceed with implementation. I am worried about the DR, as I personally had to sit and listen the individual(s) who overturned the last DR. I really don't want to listen to that again. I am holding my breath until the close of business on the last day of the comment period. I am hoping no one challenges it. The BLM, and a handful of others (you know who you are) have worked hard to get that EA and DR where it is. To them, I am sincerely indebted.

    As for the Murphy Subunit Proposed EA, I've never ridden there. I'm already busy with projects to which I can ride to. I got a lot a fish in the fryer. (Shameless Plug follows.) If anyone wants to learn more, they'll have to go to the March 7 SWIMBA meeting.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  9. #9
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    Fried Food

    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    For Wilson Creek EA FONSI and Decision Record, there is nothing further to keep ahead of.
    Tyler is looking for public input from current trail users to take a look at the new maps he has - The maps include Wilson Creek Subunit.

    I think Tyler would like to share them with as many people as he can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    The Decision Record (DR) is favorable for the MTB user group.
    By favorable do you mean that my favorite trail won't be closed?

    They do specifically talk about closing "fall line" type trails, I pretty sure you like fall line type trails also.

  10. #10
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    Brett,

    All I am saying is the Wilson Creek EA and DR is nearly final. The area that everyone rides in is VERY close to being designated as nonmotorized...which I think, or thought, everyone would view as favorable (I also thought the EA & DR was favorable because they were also changed to allow bikes back on the China Wall). If the map viewing is to get comments on the Wilson Creek EA, I am not in favor of it.

    For the record, I am not for the delay in the designation of the Wilson Creek as non-motorized. If anyone would like to delay that designation, please feel free to comment and/or revisit the DR. The time BLM will take to address those comments, and possibly go back out to comment, will allow motorized users that much more time to access the area and make those wonderful trails wider and more loose. And that is not something I want to see happen. Onto issue number 2...

    "By favorable do you mean that my favorite trail won't be closed?

    They do specifically talk about closing "fall line" type trails, I pretty sure you like fall line type trails also."

    I like sustainable fall line trails. This is true, but the context of the use of "fall line" is such that is is one of the management actions necessary to address resource protection, access, and economic criteria. Such closure of fall line routes also is subject to its own, and what I view as reasonable, set of criteria. Having said that, if your favorite trails is such that it does not allow the BLM to meet its mandated criteria, it may be rerouted...or worse case it may be closed. Regardless, the DR is favorable. It designates the area non-motorized, protecting it from further impacts from ATVs , and also establishes criteria for the management of trails within the area.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  11. #11
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    Thread Jacked

    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    All I am saying is the Wilson Creek EA and DR is nearly final.
    You've managed do drag to many details that contribute to making this thread more complicated than it needs to be.

    Bottom line is Tyler is looking for input from mountain bikers that use the Owyhee Front that want to take a look at the BLM maps he has and talk to him about them.

    Why are you so concerned that Tyler is going to derail this process?

  12. #12
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    more comments

    C & B

    The process was derailed last Fall by horse folks who complained (after the comment period) about being excluded off China Wall (bikes allowed) and having to stay on the existing trails. The BLM backed down and gave them concessions......and during that time BLM signed the trails and allowed increased motorized traffic and damage to the existing trail system.

    If we can get through this new BLM comment period........Wilson Creek may be nonmotorized by the end of March.
    Last edited by formica; 02-21-2007 at 09:47 PM.

  13. #13
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    Swede

    Give Tyler my best. Also refer him to the Owyhee Resource Management Plan

    http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/fo/owyhe.../planning.html

    It should give him some LIGHT reading, and a base for developing a "plan" for the area.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  14. #14
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    Hmmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by Markv
    If we can get through this new BLM comment period........Wilson Creek may be nonmotorized by the end of March.

    Thanks for telling me how you see it - seems like most of the same info that been out there for awhile though.
    Last edited by formica; 02-21-2007 at 09:48 PM. Reason: more insults.

  15. #15
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    Opportuities to review the maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Burn
    Tyler is looking for public input from current trail users to take a look at the new maps he has - The maps include Wilson Creek Subunit.

    I think Tyler would like to share them with as many people as he can.
    Hey, C_B (or anyone else in the know) -

    Do you know if the proposed meeting at Madonna's house is the only way to review the maps? I'm one of those people who will stare at maps for hours, so I'd like to be able to review them in advance, if possible. I don't really know my way around the area, but I'd like to get an idea of the size of the area and the amount of trails that may end up being shared or divvied up between the different user groups.

    HH

  16. #16
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    Hello HH

    Quote Originally Posted by Double H
    Hey, C_B (or anyone else in the know) -

    Do you know if the proposed meeting at Madonna's house is the only way to review the maps? I'm one of those people who will stare at maps for hours, so I'd like to be able to review them in advance, if possible. I don't really know my way around the area, but I'd like to get an idea of the size of the area and the amount of trails that may end up being shared or divvied up between the different user groups.

    HH
    I e-mailed Tyler (called Madonna also) to give some closure to this thread this morning - kind of got out of hand.
    No response from either yet.

    The "area" of the Owyhee's is huge (don't know the acreage) and much of it is untouched and will propbaly stay that way.

    The problem is Wilson Creek has become the focal point (just like the boise front) becuase of it's proximity to the highway..i.e. easy ascess.

    Also the WC area has some unique trails that are very fun ride and if motorized vehicles were to use the same trails they would not be as fun.

    So non-motorized in this area is probably a good thing, but again this a BLM decision and they have a much bigger or longterm view on what will work for the Wilson Creek area trying to balance all the of the public interests.

    The ironic thing about this whole discussion is that the BLM is trying reign in the Motorized overland travel. That is to say motorbikes trying to get views of horses or just tearing across the dessert.

    I believe that is why MTB'ers are getting "favorable" treatment by the BLM, as a group we've not caused them to much work or heartache.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_Burn

    Thanks for telling me how you see it - seems like most of the same info that been out there for awhile though.
    Let me see if I can put this in an analogy form.

    A bunch of people got to gather and developed a really great chocolate cake. You didnít participate in the process so the group put sprinkles on it that may not be your favorite. But overall, the chocolate decadence cake looks delicious and the bakers offer you a piece even though you didnít help!

    Along comes Typhoid Mary from prison (with a little brown showing under her nails) and she offers to give you a week old donut but it comes with strings attached. If you take the donut, Mary reserved the right to take the piece of cake given to you feely by the group, and in addition might find a way to take the whole cake.

    We are getting almost everything we want should we gamble that we could keep what we have or loose it. Would you take the doughnut or the cake?

    Why would a bunch of ranchers and Owyhee County Commissioners (also ranchers and Stewards of the West) do something for mountian bikers (more than likely in their mind we are a bunch of lycra clad wussy boys that ainít brighten enough to ride a ďmachineĒ or a hars). We are nothing but a bunch of Ada County resident and probably not even a natives (as a fourth generation Idahoan I am not even a native in their mind). Hhmm, do you think the motorized crowd would like to find a backdoor? Hhmm, do you think the motorized crowd would like to find a backdoor? Should we deal with the horses mouth or the backend.

    The reason Mark is pissed is because we have shared local knowledge and our pay back is a bunch of discussion on how multiuse might be appropriate out there. Some of us have take time off of work to write technical comments on the Environmental Assessment and were content with the first round. Had more of the mountain bikers gotten off there mattress backs and actually spent the time to write responses based on BLM analysis, BLM might have felt secure enough to tell the equestrians to take-a-hike on there comments made after the comment period closed.


    While the rest of you have been posting pictures and giving directions to motorcyclists, we have been waiting for the close of comments. Please don't screw it up!!
    Last edited by formica; 02-21-2007 at 09:49 PM. Reason: cleaning up insults

  18. #18
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    Your cake tastes funny

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbuddha
    The reason Mark is pissed is because we have shared local knowledge and our pay back is a bunch of discussion on how multiuse might be appropriate out there.
    There will always be motorized vehicles in the Owyhee's, wake up and get used to it.

    As far as Wilson Creek goes as I stated before it may not be an appropriate place for motorized vehicles. That's a BLM decision not mine.

    I can see why your so passionate about this area for biking but to warn me not to screw it up is a complete joke - I have nothing to do this decision by the BLM.

    How the hell am I going to sway BLM one way or the other? Please explain!

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