Bad News for the LCC DH- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bad News for the LCC DH

    I am super bummed about this. I loved this trail, and thought the Forest Service was kind of taking a look the other way attitude towards it. Sucks.
    I can't get the hyperlink to work for some reason, so here is the story.
    Date: Jul 28, 2010
    Contact(s): Lorraine Januzelli

    CONTACT:Lorraine Januzelli 801-473-8944
    USFS Reclaims Unauthorized Trails to Protect Watershed Health
    SALT LAKE CITY, July 26, 2010 -- As part of an ongoing effort to protect watershed health, US Forest Service officials are reclaiming unauthorized mountain bike and hiking trails in Little Cottonwood Canyon below the White Pine area this month and restoring the areas to their natural condition over the next several field seasons.
    Initial efforts will be visible to visitors. Unauthorized trail access points will be blocked by natural barriers. Official signs will notify people that the trails are off-limits and why. In order to succeed with the restoration efforts and protect the watershed, the public has to stay off the unauthorized trail.
    “These user-created trails are not constructed to official standard, are not sustainable, and feature hazardous man-made “stunt” apparatuses,” said Cathy Kahlow, Ranger of the Salt Lake District, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. “In fact, one trail empties into a campground and creates the potential for serious collisions between campers and fast-moving mountain bikers.”
    “Moreover, the unauthorized trails cut across sensitive watershed management areas, damaging aquatic and riparian ecosystems,” emphasized Kahlow.
    Aquatic and riparian areas are crucial components of healthy watersheds, acting as natural filtration systems and providing buffers against erosion. These areas also provide habitat to diverse plants, fish, birds, mammals and other species that, in turn, help maintain essential ecosystem functions.
    In addition to reclaiming the unauthorized trails, District officials are reaching out to trail user communities as well as canyon ski resorts. Such collaboration is intended to inform user groups about the damage caused by unauthorized user-created trails, discourage use of these trails, and enlist a cadre of volunteers to assist with the reclaiming and restorations efforts. The District is exploring with the ski resorts the potential to offer downhill mountain biking trails as an alternative.
    Reclaiming efforts are set to begin this week. Restoration efforts will continue for the next several field seasons. After closing the unauthorized user-created trails, Kahlow notes, there remains 1,797 miles of authorized non-motorized trails open across the Forest. Users can check with local US Forest Service offices or Visitor Centers for information on which of these are open to mountain bikes.
    Last edited by CeeJay; 07-29-2010 at 03:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    The link didn't work for me (asked for a login) but here's parts of an e-mail and doc that I received just a bit ago:

    email:

    Hi folks, you may have heard or seen the press release that was released on 7/26 that provided notice that the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, in partnership with Salt Lake City Public Utilities, will be closing a section of user-created trail in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This work is expected to begin on Friday, July 30 and continue throughout the summer. The section of trail that runs from the White Pine trailhead to Tanners Campground, as well as a segment that starts from the highway and ends in Tanners Campground, will be closed and restored. The trail will be closed to protect watershed health and provide for public safety. The unauthorized trail is not sustainable in its current location and presents an unacceptable level of hazard to unsuspecting families and children camping at Tanners Campground. The attached flyer and news release provide additional information regarding the closure and restoration activities.

    We recognize that the closure will be unpopular with users of the trail and feel it is important to disseminate this information to a wide group of users and other interested parties. Please forward this on to those who may have interest.

    Document:


    USFS Reclaims Unauthorized Trails to Protect Watershed Health
    SALT LAKE CITY, July 26, 2010 -- As part of an ongoing effort to protect watershed health, US Forest Service officials are reclaiming unauthorized mountain bike and hiking trails in Little Cottonwood Canyon below the White Pine area this month and restoring the areas to their natural condition over the next several field seasons.
    Initial efforts will be visible to visitors. Unauthorized trail access points will be blocked by natural barriers. Official signs will notify people that the trails are off-limits and why. In order to succeed with the restoration efforts and protect the watershed, the public has to stay off the unauthorized trail.
    “These user-created trails are not constructed to official standard, are not sustainable, and feature hazardous man-made “stunt” apparatuses,” said Cathy Kahlow, Ranger of the Salt Lake District, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. “In fact, one trail empties into a campground and creates the potential for serious collisions between campers and fast-moving mountain bikers.”
    “Moreover, the unauthorized trails cut across sensitive watershed management areas, damaging aquatic and riparian ecosystems,” emphasized Kahlow.
    Aquatic and riparian areas are crucial components of healthy watersheds, acting as natural filtration systems and providing buffers against erosion. These areas also provide habitat to diverse plants, fish, birds, mammals and other species that, in turn, help maintain essential ecosystem functions.
    In addition to reclaiming the unauthorized trails, District officials are reaching out to trail user communities as well as canyon ski resorts. Such collaboration is intended to inform user groups about the damage caused by unauthorized user-created trails, discourage use of these trails, and enlist a cadre of volunteers to assist with the reclaiming and restorations efforts. The District is exploring with the ski resorts the potential to offer downhill mountain biking trails as an alternative.
    Reclaiming efforts are set to begin this week. Restoration efforts will continue for the next several field seasons. After closing the unauthorized user-created trails, Kahlow notes, there remains 1,797 miles of authorized non-motorized trails open across the Forest. Users can check with local US Forest Service offices or Visitor Centers for information on which of these are open to mountain bikes.

  3. #3
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    can uou still shuttle it?
    not anti-bobsled

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Am Chumley's Username
    can uou still shuttle it?
    Well, from the USFS release it looks like no. The trail is being closed and re-vegitated.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay
    Well, from the USFS release it looks like no. The trail is being closed and re-vegitated.
    ok thanks.
    not anti-bobsled

  6. #6
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    I dunno about any one else but Ill be damned if I don't get at least one more run in...

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    Pretty awesome. . . and I'm gonna say that this is also backed by, let me guess, a $5000 fine?

    Irony = our totally rideable trail is deemed "unsustainable" while their official-built-to-standard-sustainable trail is utterly destroyed by water this Spring.

    Incidentally, I wasn't aware of what a "stunt apparatus" was so I googled it and found out:

    I've never seen anything like this in LCC, but I'm sure something like this is in the back of the Heavan. . .

  8. #8
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    Any word about the closure from the bottom of Tanner down to the top of Quarry? Last time I was there it was posted as a $5k fine.

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    I, of course, would not know for sure as I never ride a closed trail. . . but I think it is still closed.

    However, I had a lengthy conversation with a FS Ranger last Summer in the Tanner Campground and, although it started off a bit rocky (I'm told I can be gruff), we became friendly and he assured me that they really didn't care about closing the trail below Tanner. They were fairly intent on closing it from White Pine to Tanner and I guess this is evidenced from the press release above. I would say I remain suspicious that the closure for "high water" is simply being used as a ploy to just shut down the whole works. After all, there's basically no water at all on the section between Tanner and the ruins (so I hear) so why is it still closed? This battle has happened before and will probably happen again. I just hope we don't go the way of Moab with video cameras at trail heads to issue tickets.

  10. #10
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    i think they put up rops.
    not anti-bobsled

  11. #11
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    Maybe WAFTA should have a presence at this?

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50...-salt.html.csp

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123ski
    Maybe WAFTA should have a presence at this?

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50...-salt.html.csp
    Thanks for posting that link. I was just going to do that. WAFTA is planning on being present and asked that everyone that has an interested in future of freeride and DH biking be present. The FS flunkies that are attached to the LCC DH trail being closed will also be there, so it would present an opportunity to let them know that DH'ers in Utah care about our sport and responsible trail building in the state. Please show up if you can.

  13. #13
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    other trail users

    I'm confused why they are focusing on the bike trail when there are tons of other offshoot trails all through that area leading to bouldering and climbing areas? There are trails leading off into the woods at every pull-out that are user created and "unsustainable" but no one has ever done anything about it. Does patchouli oil prevent erosion? Do bouldering pads enhance wetlands? I don't want to sound like a baby, but the freeride bikers seem to be singled out in this case. I think they probably have a point with the trail leading into the campground, but beyond that, the trail is more sustainable than most trails around here.

  14. #14
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    Woops, double post
    Last edited by motts; 08-01-2010 at 02:23 PM. Reason: double post

  15. #15
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    not only that, they have cut down hundreds of "living" trees to block that trail.


    so complaining that bikers are bad for a little erosion makes it ok to kill trees that were 30-60 years old. seriously?

    what about the quarry trail at the bottom of the mountain. it is in the exact same location as the one they are crying about. that trails is ok with them but not this one?

    there is something fishy going on here. they must hate DH bikers and only love XC riders.
    Out riding, leave a message

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay
    Thanks for posting that link. I was just going to do that. WAFTA is planning on being present and asked that everyone that has an interested in future of freeride and DH biking be present. The FS flunkies that are attached to the LCC DH trail being closed will also be there, so it would present an opportunity to let them know that DH'ers in Utah care about our sport and responsible trail building in the state. Please show up if you can.

    WAFTA absolutely does not refer to people who work for the Forest Service as "flunkies".
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    WAFTA absolutely does not refer to people who work for the Forest Service as "flunkies".
    Yep. I do. I am just passing along info and in no way represent WAFTA.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OilcanRacer
    they must hate DH bikers and only love XC riders.
    Agree with your post, but I think we ALL KNOW what they REALLY hate...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  19. #19
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    i went to ride it yestrday and there were trees on it.
    not anti-bobsled

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Am Chumley's Username
    i went to ride it yestrday and there were trees on it.
    Yeah, I guess that is how USFS "reclaims" illegal trails. I am in no way advocating this, but it would be pretty easy for someone to go up there with a chain saw and undo the FS solution. KUTV actually did a story on the trail last night and showed some of the carnage. They also were able to interview one of the dumbest DH'ers I have ever heard.

  21. #21
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    me an jib talked to a reporter but i didnt see a camera. jib got a flat on one of th trees.
    not anti-bobsled

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay
    Yeah, I guess that is how USFS "reclaims" illegal trails. I am in no way advocating this, but it would be pretty easy for someone to go up there with a chain saw and undo the FS solution. KUTV actually did a story on the trail last night and showed some of the carnage. They also were able to interview one of the dumbest DH'ers I have ever heard.
    That just ain't nice... did you stop to think that maybe that guy posts on here regularly but doesn't spend a great deal of time practicing for interviews? I applaud the fact that someone was representing us at all.

    JMH

  23. #23
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    we tried to showe the reporter how we rode the trail but it was hard wth all the trees. jib got a flat tire and i had to cary my bike most of the way down.
    not anti-bobsled

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    That just ain't nice... did you stop to think that maybe that guy posts on here regularly but doesn't spend a great deal of time practicing for interviews? I applaud the fact that someone was representing us at all.

    JMH
    Yeah, you are probably right. He just said something about pinning it through the campground and one of his buddies running over a tent. It's like, man are you a FS employee poising as a biker? Because you are not helping the cause of DH'ers. But I wasn't there, maybe the interview was spliced up. Sorry if that biker is on this board.

  25. #25
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    was he on a kona?
    not anti-bobsled

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay
    Yeah, you are probably right. He just said something about pinning it through the campground and one of his buddies running over a tent. It's like, man are you a FS employee poising as a biker? Because you are not helping the cause of DH'ers. But I wasn't there, maybe the interview was spliced up. Sorry if that biker is on this board.
    Actually, from what I heard he had many more dumb ass comments but they were luckily edited out by the tv station.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay
    Yeah, you are probably right. He just said something about pinning it through the campground and one of his buddies running over a tent. It's like, man are you a FS employee poising as a biker? Because you are not helping the cause of DH'ers. But I wasn't there, maybe the interview was spliced up. Sorry if that biker is on this board.

    Oh, well that does sound retarded, I didn't see the interview and am not sure what footage they used but I know they also talked with Dr. Boudreax... I don't think he has run over any tents lately.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfinn
    Actually, from what I heard he had many more dumb ass comments but they were luckily edited out by the tv station.
    That is the same story I am getting, but I really do need to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Am Chumley's Username
    was he on a kona?
    I think he was on a Demo 7, but I'm not sure.

  30. #30
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    does anyon know when they are going to take the trees off so we can ride it agan? i could cary a chainsaw up to help.
    not anti-bobsled

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Oh, well that does sound retarded, I didn't see the interview and am not sure what footage they used but I know they also talked with Dr. Boudreax... I don't think he has run over any tents lately.
    This wasn't Dr. B. Dr. B is the man. He had some good stuff to say, but his interview got cut short. He came across as intelligent and responsible.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Am Chumley's Username
    does anyon know when they are going to take the trees off so we can ride it agan? i could cary a chainsaw up to help.
    That is the whole point of this thread; that the Forest Service is closing the trail permanently. That is the reason they cut the trees down, to block the trail from all future use. They don't want anyone riding it ever again.

    It would obviously not be something I would support or recommend, but you brought up an interesting point about the chainsaw. If the trail builders that build this illegal trail were willing to put in the countless hours and unbelievable effort to clear the trail, build jumps, move rocks etc, how much of a deterrent is it to chop out about a 24" section of tree laying across the trail? I am being totally serious in being against that because I think it would hurt the opportunity to build more free ride trails here in the long run, but it just makes me think the FS people are short sighted and, well kind of stupid if they think a few trees laying across the trail are going to stop people that are willing to work so hard to build something.

  33. #33
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    ok thanks.
    not anti-bobsled

  34. #34
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    So, if anyone on this thread wants more options for freeride and DH trails in Utah a good way to show support is to become a fan of WAFTA on Facebook. WAFTA can use the number of it's fans as a metric to show the level of interest in biking when it meets with entities like the FS or others. If agencies believe there are large groups of people wanting something it is usually a little easier to get them to listen.

  35. #35
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    Nah, after more than three years of trying the right way and building a relationship with the FS, then getting a slap in the face with and overnight closure of a trail that has been around longer than anyone trying to manage it... get the chainsaws out.

    Time for underground justice. The FS has shown that they have no plan on working with the people. Cathy Kahlow was asked in an interview if she would be willing to have a town hall meeting with user groups to discuss options for this trail. She said NO!

    From the FS official site:
    "The job of Forest Service managers is to help people share and enjoy the forest, while conserving the environment for generations yet to come. Some activities are compatible. Some are not. You, as a concerned citizen, play a key role. By expressing your views to Forest Service managers, you will help them balance all of these uses and make decisions in the best interest of the forest and the public."

    Dictators don't work with the people and we have tried long enough to subdue illegal trail building so as to not hurt our reputation.

    And yes, everyone should join WAFTA. The more organized a group we can build, the stronger our voice will be.

  36. #36
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    ^everyone should get on facebook and suggest the WAFTA page to all their friends, just go to the WAFTA page then click "suggest to friends" below the WAFTA profile picture. Invite your friends that bike..or even those that dont.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Am Chumley's Username
    does anyon know when they are going to take the trees off so we can ride it agan? i could cary a chainsaw up to help.

    i heard rumors that somebody already started chainsawing the blocked trees out of the way. they are doing this at night when the FS are not there.

    whats next, is the FS going to flatten the mountain so riders don't have anything to ride down on?
    Out riding, leave a message

  38. #38
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    As far as I understand, when the freedom riders continued building and chainsawing their trails from the FS carnage, they ended up making it a legal trail in the long run....?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorwegianRepresentative
    As far as I understand, when the freedom riders continued building and chainsawing their trails from the FS carnage, they ended up making it a legal trail in the long run....?
    That is some hard logic to argue against. So, you can either be like WAFTA and spend years trying to build in-roads with the FS, open respectful dialogue, and promise careful stewardship of the trail only to get screwed over, or you can flaunt the law, build trails anywhere you feel like, reopen closed trails and in general have an anarchist attitude, and get what you want. I guess the Forest Service writes the rules...

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorwegianRepresentative
    As far as I understand, when the freedom riders continued building and chainsawing their trails from the FS carnage, they ended up making it a legal trail in the long run....?
    The flip side of this coin is massive fines and a prison term. They got lucky in Jackson, it could just as easily have gotten VERY ugly. I think that an organization like WAFTA is necessary because it becomes an official face for the FS to deal with when they can't stop the trail builders. I guess we need a good balance of both!

  41. #41
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    jib and i trid to ride it agan last night but the trees are still there. i dont know how they expect us to ride it with all trees? some guy got really mad at us and said that we coldnt ride the trail wtih all the trees on it. duh! i bent a spoke on a branch and jib got a cut on his ankle. we coudlnt ride most of it and had to carry our bikes down it again. if my dad will let me we are going to tke the quads up there with a tow lien and some saws to clean them off. the guy said they wrent going to clean them off. i dont know. i got a new pack for my saw for my brithday and my dad put a winch on the grizzlie so we could do it. i just dont want that guy up there saying he was gonig to take our bikes.
    not anti-bobsled

  42. #42
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    Hey I am not saying that its right to do what the Freedom Riders did just merely pointing out another aspect that had not been brought up. I would never consider staying up all night for months building illegal trails.

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    By the way as I understand it, it is only the white pine to tanner flats that has trees on it correct? Or does even the tanner flats to the top of quarry trail contain tress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorwegianRepresentative
    Hey I am not saying that its right to do what the Freedom Riders did just merely pointing out another aspect that had not been brought up. I would never consider staying up all night for months building illegal trails.
    I haven't been up to check, but white pine to the Tanner's is closed for sure. Dr B indicated there seems to be some hope for Tanner's down. Someone in the FS office sounds amicable to that option, but they are out of the office until next week. Hopefully we could make the lower section happen now and work on a re-route around the wetlands and campground to get the trail open from up higher. If I hear anything one way or the other I will post. Please do the same if what you hear is from someone that would know, not some 15 year old on his beat Kona Stab that pins it through the campground, smashing people's tents

  45. #45
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    We were up there last night camping and from talking to the people that maintain the campground, it seems like the the FS is at least thinking about allowing a starting point right below the tanner flats campground (at least that's what they told him). How authoritative it is, I don't know. I could have been the guy just talking with the forest service people and it could have been their opinion.

  46. #46
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    I can't even fathom how someone managed to run into a tent, definitely doesn't help anything though if it is true.

  47. #47
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    Link to the KUTV Story:
    http://connect2utah.com/search-fulltext?nxd_id=102165
    (It's too bad they spliced up Mike's Interview into such a short soundbite)

    Link to a trailer for the Freedom Riders movie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcdyR95babg

    If you haven't seen the Freedom Riders movie, I highly recommend it. Not so much from a rider's point of view, but from a land manager's point of view. Unfortunately, the main difference between the Forest Service unit in Jackson Hole, and the FS unit here is Salt Lake is that the Teton folk saw Downhill Mountain biking as an additional draw for tourist dollars, which draws a lot of water (literally) in Jackson Hole. In the Wasatch, water will draw more dollars than tourism when it comes to the goals of Forest Service.

    If you watch the whole movie, you will see what happens when the riders start getting too aggressive with their chainsaws. When it comes to a war of cutting down trees, the Forest Service will win every time. JMH is right, the situation could have gotten really ugly really fast in Jackson, but fortunately level heads and a spirit of cooperation prevailed. The end result is an amazing network of still-growing DH trails. If you haven't been up there, make it a priority. It is only five hours away, and a great destination for riding when the temps are hot here in SLC.

    If nothing else, the Freedom Riders movie can serve as guidance for us here in Salt Lake. The only way the LCC trail will ever be a fully legal is through a cooperative, level-headed set of negotiations. These negotiations will take a long time, and may not actually work out in the long run as far as the current trail is concerned. But with people like Mike Howell and the rest of WAFTA working for our interests, we stand a much better chance of emulating the Teton Pass trails than if we sneak into Little Cotton Canyon at night with chainsaws, or refer to the Forest Service as "Flunkies." As much as we want our trails, these guys are just doing their jobs, which is first and foremost to protect our watershed. I would venture to guess that most of the employees of that Forest Service Unit would rather have the bike trail open and accessible than spend their days patrolling it, and issuing tickets. If I were a Forest Service employee, I would rather be building trails than policing them. The goal of future negotiations will be to find the common ground that we can all live with.

    Basically: Support WAFTA!
    http://www.waftautah.com/home.html

  48. #48
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    There is a formal appeals process that we can go through with the Forest Service. I believe the appeals are given to someone higher up than the person that made the decision to close the trail. Perhaps WAFTA should have a free showing of Freedom Riders somewhere and make the official appeals forms available for everyone that shows up?

  49. #49
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    Instead of appealing for a trail that was never a part of the plan and that has a direct impact on watershed and a campground why not pursue the better solution? Why do ski resorts, who have leases for use of public lands in winter months have the authority to deny use of these public lands in the summer months? Why does no one take advantage of existing snowmaking facilities to create irrigated trails?

    Example - Brighton's Milly lift, a good place for a small "test park". It has a lodge at the base, is fast and provides access to a wide variety of terrain. Those in search of rock gnar could ride trails off of the Milly bowl side, those wanting flow could hit longer routes toward the dam. If Brighton doesn't want to run it, why not court a second investor for a summer lease? They could rent Brighton's lifts and in the end, Brighton only makes money they wouldn't normally.

    just thinking...
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  50. #50
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    Mike is in ongoing dialog with the USFS from a WAFTA perspective but I think people should still communicate with them individually as they desire. While the loss of use does sting, in the long run hopefully it will be a good thing. Perhaps the most important lesson I've learned personally as a WAFTA rep is that things usually take way more time than I'd ever imagine they could when it comes to these things.

    As for the 'free showing' of the movie: Usually those who produce the movies want payment for public showings of their goods. So my guess is that won't happen. Plus the WAFTA board is pretty busy with current things and their personal lives so arranging something like that would already heap upon guys stretched pretty thin. 123ski, if you want to try to arrange I can get you the contacts for the guys from when we held the premiere to see if they'd waive the fees but finding a venue for free might not be as easy.

    Cheers

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    Instead of appealing for a trail that was never a part of the plan and that has a direct impact on watershed and a campground why not pursue the better solution? Why do ski resorts, who have leases for use of public lands in winter months have the authority to deny use of these public lands in the summer months? Why does no one take advantage of existing snowmaking facilities to create irrigated trails?

    Example - Brighton's Milly lift, a good place for a small "test park". It has a lodge at the base, is fast and provides access to a wide variety of terrain. Those in search of rock gnar could ride trails off of the Milly bowl side, those wanting flow could hit longer routes toward the dam. If Brighton doesn't want to run it, why not court a second investor for a summer lease? They could rent Brighton's lifts and in the end, Brighton only makes money they wouldn't normally.
    While the terrain would be outstanding for a bike park, this isn't really possible. Brighton like all the cottonwood resorts has very limited yearly water rights. If they irrigated trails in the summer, they would not have water to make snow in the winter. Also, there is no way the owners would hand over use of these chairlifts to a private investor to possibly damage (even if that was totally unlikely) or just add wear and tear too. These lifts are their livelihood and cost millions, they run them as little as possible and only when it has significant economic benefit. They don't have a ton of real-estate to sell either which is why they don't even run scenic lift rides.

    Honestly though I'd rather have free shuttle areas over a better lift served place (unless someone is totally going to build a mini Whistler). With a little kid it's super convenient to do laps and take turns riding/driving. Paying for 2 day passes when you only get half a day of riding kinda blows.

  52. #52
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    pay to play?

    Sure, putting FR trails at a resort is an option, but shouldn't be the only one. The FS is trying to dump the issue on someone else. Having trails on public lands accessible only by paying a resort is essentially economic discrimination.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by motts
    Sure, putting FR trails at a resort is an option, but shouldn't be the only one. The FS is trying to dump the issue on someone else. Having trails on public lands accessible only by paying a resort is essentially economic discrimination.
    Take out the Lifts and Water part of the equation and it works fine. I could see shuttle trails on Millicent that had NOTHING to do with Brighton management. All it takes is the FS okay.

    JMH

  54. #54
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    This response was sent to those of us who e-mailed the Forest Service representative listed on the official closure article. It reads very much like it was crafted from a public relations handbook and makes many references to their own internal studies from 2003 that mark the land as unavailable for use. Furthermore, the response is sprinkled with claims that they have extensively worked with local mountain biking groups, which is not the case from my understanding.

    Basically, a lot of hand-waving and claims that their hands are tied (by their own previous findings, nonetheless). Most concerning to me was the question at the end where she asked if there are "other lands nearby with less sensitive ecosystems that can accommodate such use?" I hope I'm wrong, but this makes it sound as though she is asking us for advice on where to place such trails. With the approach the forest service is taking, I believe they will soon discover where the mountain bikers want their trails when they are built anyway to satisfy the now pent-up demand for good trails. I don't condone such trail building, but we all know that it will happen.

    Full text quoted below.

    Thanks for your interest and concern about the route closure between White Pine trailhead and Tanner Campground in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Salt Lake District of the Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest heard from many trail users to include many from the mountain biking community. Below, you’ll find responses to your concerns, an in-depth look at the rationale behind the closure, and where we’ll go from here.

    Let me address your concerns one-by one. First, why was it decided to reclaim this user created trail? In order to fulfill our responsibilities as public land-managers, the District is obligated to correct known safety hazards that affect our visitors and to support /improve important riparian habitat and watershed conditions as prescribed in our Forest Plan. (For those who many not know, forest plans are collaborative processes, developed over several years with extensive community involvement from diverse stakeholders. In our case, thousands of residents participated, which included members from the mountain biking community.)

    The immediate need involved visitor safety where the user created trail used the same route that campers walk to enter a camping site. The route also passed through the heart of the campground. There have been many complaints from visitors frequenting the area who have been startled by fast moving cyclists using the same trail corridor as those hauling equipment to their site as well as upsetting other campers in the campground. Fortunately, there have not been any reported accidents and we chose not to wait until one occurred.

    Second question, why not authorize a route in this area? In the year 2000, the idea to construct a trail from the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon all the way down to the mouth was explored by the Forest Service and local communities. The area was surveyed for a potential suitable location and field reviewed by agency resource specialists. The riparian area near White Pine was identified as one of the last secure places available in the canyon for wildlife habitat and additional impacts from even a properly built trail could add sedimentation that would affect aquatic habitat. The area also contains a substantial amount of important cultural artifacts. After this review, it was determined that between the human pressures already present throughout the canyon, including the presence of a heavily used state highway, that adding the intrusion of a trail, along with the potential sedimentation to the fish bearing stream and added effects to water quality would bring into this riparian habitat was not acceptable. Our 2003 Forest Plan standard prescribes that new trail construction in this area is not permitted.

    Third, why didn’t we reach out to the mountain bike community before reclaiming the trail? We have met with leaders in the mountain bike community in the past about this section of trail and made it known that the area this trail was pioneered through was “a highly sensitive wetland.” This information was disseminated by the mountain bike community through various blog sites that asked riders not to ride or construct features in that area and to travel through the campground in a safe manner. This request was not honored. In fact, the route was used more, more features were built, and unsafe travel through the campground did not diminish. Meanwhile other government entities, as well as trail advocate groups, were complaining to the Salt Lake Ranger District to fulfill our responsibilities and forest plan direction to protect the watershed and riparian habitat in that particular area. The district reviewed our policy of potentially allowing such a trail however quickly was reminded that we had no option to adopt or construct a trail in this area. We needed to close the area before more damage and use continued.
    Plain and simple, this was a fulfillment of a commitment to public land stewardship, there wasn’t an ability to do anything different.

    Fourth, Why cut the trees to block the area, can’t you just sign it closed? You are causing more damage by cutting trees. It would be great if we could just put up a sign and people would respect the closure. We attempted that approach in the mid-2000s on the lower section of user-created trail. Not only were the signs removed and ignored, we attempted a similar closure approach of clogging the trail, only to have it unclogged and re-opened within a year or so. Our experience is that people do not think those signs apply to them… only someone else…. When we have to close a trail physically, we first look for natural barriers. We select trees in the area that are properly aligned with the trail portion we are trying to close, and we selectively thin out the forest in that area. Trees, as they lie on the ground, catch sediment which helps curtail erosion. As the trees decompose they provide soil and other plant nutrients.

    Okay, so what’s next? We plan to continue discussions in the future with leaders in the trail user communities about their interests in trails and other opportunities. We have had discussions with our ski areas about the potential for developing appropriate trail systems at their resorts and have been researching, with the mountain bike communities, other existing programs at ski areas on National Forest System (NFS) lands as well as other developed biking trail systems. We commit to continuing this discussion and looking for realistic opportunities to address the biking community’s desire for this type of recreation in an appropriate setting. Are there other lands nearby with less sensitive ecosystems that can accommodate such use?

    There are multiple demands on this highly valued and heavily used, but finite Wasatch Front. Mountain biking, in all its forms, is a valid use NFS lands. The questions are how much, what kind, and where is use sustainable in maintaining healthy watersheds and ecosystems, for which we and future generations want to enjoy, and depend on?

    Cathy Kahlow

    Salt Lake District Ranger
    Cathy's e-mail address is:

    [email protected]

  55. #55
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    Hey Prof, good idea about the fundraiser. My brother is an organizer with SLC Film Festival and says this type of fundraiser would be right up the alley of a few nice venues they work with in SLC. If someone has an in with the film co. he's confident he could line up a nice venue for no $. PM me and I'll and put you, or WAFTA, in touch with him, he's more of a roadie biker but a bunch of his friends are DH guys and he's happy to help organize something.

  56. #56
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    I'm sure I'll get my ass kicked for saying this, but the FS response seems pretty well balanced to me. Maybe their concerns about the campground are a bit over re-active, and their claims about the riparian area erosion a bit exaggerated, but over all, it seems like they thought about the trail in the area and decided it was not appropriate. There are rules in place to make sure that federal lands are not overrun or used incorrectly, and those are the rules they are following. We may not agree with those rules, but I don't see anything super unfair about what they decided.

    I know everyone thinks we should have trails everywhere, and there's certainly a part of me that feels that way too, but the reality is that maybe some places are better than others. I don't see why the LCC creek has to be the only place for this type of trail. Just because a user trail was created there doesn't mean it has a right to stay there. Wouldn't it make sense to put it somewhere that avoids some of these issues? ( better road for shuttling, less impact to resource, etc? )

    let the flaming begin....

  57. #57
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    ^^^They closed the trail entirely. The trail is centuries old. No they did not have any right to close this trail entirely. There are statutes that prohibit closing a trail of this nature. As has been stated, this goes way beyond bikes.

    Did you know that Hogum fork was once a town? If the FS wants to reclaim this area to a previous state, are they going to rebuild the town that existed half way up the canyon? Are they going to rebuild the railroad system that was once in place? Are they going to open up White pine so that we can once again use vehicles on the jeep trail that it actually is? Are they going to rebuild the bridge accross the river that existed in the now closed section?

    The impact that one small trail, centuries old, has in this canyon is totally insignificant when compared to what has taken place in this canyon in years past.

    You are incorrect in thinking the FS response was well balanced. The response is highly slanted. Do you know the mission of the FS and by what methods they are supposed to manage our land? You should read up on it. It is clearly stated that the balance should heavily include the needs of the puplic.

  58. #58
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    FS a bit hypocritical?

    I wonder how the FS sees the contridiction of closing this old, established use, minimum impact trail and at the same time helping The Bird and Alta dig big holes up the hillside and dump tons of concrete for lift tower bases or even construct whole buildings on peaks in the name of "multiple use."

    Some day in the future when the FS buckles and widens the LC road to four lanes across so the resorts can pump more rental cars per hour in to their parking lots every morning, will we remember they paved over a little trail that was closed because of the unreasonable impact?

    I'm not anti-resort, but mulitple use means Billionares and Joe Biker.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguebuilder
    ^^^They closed the trail entirely. The trail is centuries old. No they did not have any right to close this trail entirely. There are statutes that prohibit closing a trail of this nature. As has been stated, this goes way beyond bikes.

    Did you know that Hogum fork was once a town? If the FS wants to reclaim this area to a previous state, are they going to rebuild the town that existed half way up the canyon? Are they going to rebuild the railroad system that was once in place? Are they going to open up White pine so that we can once again use vehicles on the jeep trail that it actually is? Are they going to rebuild the bridge accross the river that existed in the now closed section?

    The impact that one small trail, centuries old, has in this canyon is totally insignificant when compared to what has taken place in this canyon in years past.

    You are incorrect in thinking the FS response was well balanced. The response is highly slanted. Do you know the mission of the FS and by what methods they are supposed to manage our land? You should read up on it. It is clearly stated that the balance should heavily include the needs of the puplic.
    You are correct. The problem is everyone feels that they represent the public. Some public ( not sure who exactly.. ) might feel that we don't need this trail. Some other public ( bikers ) might feel we do need the trail. I don't think its so clear cut as to what the public wants - and even more importantly, just because the public wants it, does that really mean we should do it? I'm open to the possibility that the public isn't very well equipped to make decisions on trail management/feasibility/sustainability/impact. The FS might not be perfect, but I don't know that they are the worst at figuring that stuff out either. I do agree, its contradictory to promote the ski areas and development while shutting down a bike trail. I'm sort of playing both sides here, but really, I don't think the FS is purposefully attacking mountain biking or anything. They just decided that wasn't a good place for a trail, and it pissed off the people that used that trail. Everyone feels entitled to the things that they want/had - I feel the same way all the time.

  60. #60
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    I think slcpunk makes some decent and valid arguments.

    But I'm not in the mood to fight that fight.

    On a related side note regarding the campground issue. I'm fairly certain the Mormon Trail in East Canyon runs right through the campground. I don't think that campground sees the traffic as the one on the LCC trails, but still. For sake of argument.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcrockymountainrider
    I think slcpunk makes some decent and valid arguments.

    But I'm not in the mood to fight that fight.

    On a related side note regarding the campground issue. I'm fairly certain the Mormon Trail in East Canyon runs right through the campground. I don't think that campground sees the traffic as the one on the LCC trails, but still. For sake of argument.
    I'm not really sure I am really ready to fight that fight either....pretty luke warm over the FS ... but thought i would stir up the pot a bit. I guess I could have just posted another "what tire for X" thread... maybe a "what's the best tire for riding down from the China wall into Tanners and over some jimmy's tent?" thread...I'm thinking something with spikes.

    Maybe East Canyon campers are low-brow and don't complain about bikers ...where the Tanners crowd is more east side/sugar house/SOC folk. who knows.

  62. #62
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    It's obvious what side I'm on; but, I wouldn't be supprised if there never was a camper who complained. The trail runs next to one site, not through any.

    It should be noted that I'm not fighting the fact that the FS isn't yet seeing eye to eye with the growing squishy bike scene. That is taking some time. I'm upset that they feel they can close a historic trail entirely. I guess I'll walk my 3 year old up the highway instead so we can enjoy our canyon.

    As far as SLCpunk's view on what everyone feels they need. Closing the trail isn't about feelings, mine compared to yours, as much as logistics. Numbers are growing in the front. Trails are needed. Less trails is not what is needed. Closing historic trails is not what is needed. Closing a trail that sits 20 yards from a highway is hardly doing much by way of reclamation and protection of supposed riparian areas.

    Once again, the FS didn't close an illegal MTB trail to bikes. They closed a historic trail to all.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguebuilder
    It's obvious what side I'm on; but, I wouldn't be supprised if there never was a camper who complained. The trail runs next to one site, not through any.

    It should be noted that I'm not fighting the fact that the FS isn't yet seeing eye to eye with the growing squishy bike scene. That is taking some time. I'm upset that they feel they can close a historic trail entirely. I guess I'll walk my 3 year old up the highway instead so we can enjoy our canyon.

    As far as SLCpunk's view on what everyone feels they need. Closing the trail isn't about feelings, mine compared to yours, as much as logistics. Numbers are growing in the front. Trails are needed. Less trails is not what is needed. Closing historic trails is not what is needed. Closing a trail that sits 20 yards from a highway is hardly doing much by way of reclamation and protection of supposed riparian areas.

    Once again, the FS didn't close an illegal MTB trail to bikes. They closed a historic trail to all.
    Yea, i'm coming around ... your point that we need more trails is definitely a good one. I can't stand seeing projects that seem pointless compared to putting in new trail. (re-hash pipeline, shoreline, "dumb down" threads here) I'm not convinced that the trail was really that much of a problem either environmentally or socially, although there is little hard evidence on that front, other than the FS's word. Its true that the LCC creek is far from an untouched natural environment, and I don't see how a bike trail would change the character of the area that much.

  64. #64
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    Why is it that FS reps, BLM reps and for that matter IMBA reps are reluctant to carry-on discussions of this sort on forums like MTBR?
    Like she and others have said "we've had discussions with members of the mountain bike community." um..Who? The SOCMBA?
    "We continue to have discussions with leaders in the trail use community." Huh? How can I get in touch with these "leaders" in trail use. I have a feeling it may be the SOCTUA.
    IMHO....
    If there's a problem with erosion on this trail causing problems with the canyons watershed then reroute or repair the problem area, but don't close the trail. Have I ridden this trail? No. Do I plan to ride this trail? No. But as others have said, the demand for trails, mtb or other wise, is only going to grow, and closing shuttle monkey trails like this one will only create greater pressure on other shuttle monkey trails. (i.e. crest, mill D, pipeline,and so on.) Increasing trail degradation and user conflicts, which will in-turn endanger mtb access to those trails.
    I'd be willing to bet my bottom dollar the main reason for closing this trail is paragraph # 3 in Cathy's response. The FS WILL be held liable for any accident on this trail, and being as this is a shuttle monkey or beginner trail, it wouldn't be a matter of if there were an accident, but when. The settlement would be paid with your tax dollars.

  65. #65
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    I met with the USFS officials last week. Hopefully I can shed a bit of light on what's going on with this, and answer a few of Shelbak73's questions. ** Disclaimer: All my opinion, so take it for what it's worth....

    Why don't they use forums? Honestly, they're reluctant to use any electronic media - even to reply to personal inquiries. They have a process they follow, and it's very easy for things to be misinterpreted, copied and pasted, and whatnot. I wish they would use the available tools, such as forums and social media outlets, to spread the news and their messages but we all know gov't moves slowly to adopt these things. I know for a fact that they read them though.

    Who are they having discussions with? The only one I can vouch for is WAFTA. Others I don't know about. While we've had past discussions, we've actually asked them (and received positive results) about having regularly scheduled meetings with them to build a better relationship and be more involved with things. I also know for a fact that other groups are pressuring them to manage the forest in ways that would not be friendly to bikers.

    I still see LCC as a legitimate trail option since WAFTA also worked with SOC and Congressman Matheson to change the corridor for their wilderness proposal so this could be a possibility. Hopefully with some cooperation this will happen.

    I also hope continued dialog with the USFS regarding this trail (and others) will result in positive outcomes for riders. I'm glad so many people have taken their personal time to voice their opinions to them, and hope that continues. Don't sit back and think that the work that WAFTA (or any other group for that matter) is doing is adequate. You can't blame anybody but yourself if you don't continue to pay attention and bring your concerns to those who can do something about it. Sorry if that comes off a bit 'preachy' but we all know that sometimes the loudest voice is the only one that gets heard, regardless of the message.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    Why is it that FS reps, BLM reps and for that matter IMBA reps are reluctant to carry-on discussions of this sort on forums like MTBR?
    As someone who deals with social media and forums as a part of my job, I can explain this a bit...

    While there is a strong positive to the equalizing qualities of the forums, the internet rewards people who post the most quantity, not the most quality. You can randomly and frequently start posting about any bike brand on MTBr and in a month Google will consider you as valid a search return as those opinions posted by people who actually own one of the bikes. Ill-informed basement dwellers with no real experience have as much credibility online as do people who spend every day out on the trails. By conducting most lengthy discussions offline, the various services insure that the people who have voices are those who care enough to get to the meetings, to organize their thoughts and to put in the time to become well-informed.

    These organizations could conduct polls on the forums, etc, but surveys often say more about the group that designed them than they do about public opinion. Witness the recent Wasatch 30 Year Plan Survey - there were very few places to add commentary or to expand on answers. Example - do I want LCC and BCC to be a fee area? Maybe, but I want to explain my answer, and couldn't in the survey.

    I think you can sum it up with these 3 points:

    - Many contributors to MTBr are smart, organized professionals, but their voices don't always stand out online as much as the voices of reactionary jackasses. IMBA, the FS know this and deal accordingly.

    - Second, remember that MTBr is actually a very small community when compared to the total number of freeriders in the Wasatch - for example, one of the biggest contributors to recent DH/freeride trailbuilding is a guy who doesn't have an MTBr account at all. Managing each online community takes a lot of time - take it from someone for whom this is a job.

    - Finally, people like TheProf and Err put a ton of time into meetings, trailwork etc - their dedication to building relationships with Mountain Trails Foundation, FS, IMBA etc can't always be communicated on a forum, but honestly, because of the time they have put in and their clear understanding of the entire set of issues, their opinions eventually weigh more than do those posted here by people who never show up to organized meetings or events.

    Cheers,
    C
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheProf
    I met with the USFS officials last week. Hopefully I can shed a bit of light on what's going on with this, and answer a few of Shelbak73's questions. ** Disclaimer: All my opinion, so take it for what it's worth....

    Why don't they use forums? Honestly, they're reluctant to use any electronic media - even to reply to personal inquiries. They have a process they follow, and it's very easy for things to be misinterpreted, copied and pasted, and whatnot. I wish they would use the available tools, such as forums and social media outlets, to spread the news and their messages but we all know gov't moves slowly to adopt these things. I know for a fact that they read them though.

    Who are they having discussions with? The only one I can vouch for is WAFTA. Others I don't know about. While we've had past discussions, we've actually asked them (and received positive results) about having regularly scheduled meetings with them to build a better relationship and be more involved with things. I also know for a fact that other groups are pressuring them to manage the forest in ways that would not be friendly to bikers.

    I still see LCC as a legitimate trail option since WAFTA also worked with SOC and Congressman Matheson to change the corridor for their wilderness proposal so this could be a possibility. Hopefully with some cooperation this will happen.

    I also hope continued dialog with the USFS regarding this trail (and others) will result in positive outcomes for riders. I'm glad so many people have taken their personal time to voice their opinions to them, and hope that continues. Don't sit back and think that the work that WAFTA (or any other group for that matter) is doing is adequate. You can't blame anybody but yourself if you don't continue to pay attention and bring your concerns to those who can do something about it. Sorry if that comes off a bit 'preachy' but we all know that sometimes the loudest voice is the only one that gets heard, regardless of the message.
    Paragraph # 1. Why don't they use forums.
    Control problems? They can't control the content or how it's used? So long as the representitive can speak with authority I don't see how this could be a problem. It's my opinion these representitives fear being put on the spot as authorities of their given orgs and being held accountable by their superiors.
    What's the harm in this:
    Hello, my name is Ranger Vandeman I would like your input on a user created trail in LCC. Please follow this link for more information and a chance to comment. or.....
    Hello my name is ranger Vandeman, I would like your input on a user created trail in LCC. Here's whats happening...blah blah blah.
    Then thresh the e-grain from the e-chaff.

    Paragraph # 2.
    I understand, a few WAFTA members show up at a meeting and POOF! Their trail use authorities. There are many of us who will not join WAFTA simply because WAFTA represent one discipline in our multi-disciplined sport. I could see how WAFTA would like to keep these weekly discussions between them and the FS off of a public forum to protect their interests. This is the way it goes with special interest groups.
    It sure would be cool to have FS, IMBA , WAFTA and the mountain biking public involved in a public forum on the LCC, as well as other issues.

    Paragraph # 3.
    Like I said, Protecting our watershed is simple, controling the liability factor is hard.

    Paragraph # 4.
    Altho I don't agree with WAFTA's freeride centric view, thank you all for your work in the advocacy arena.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    As someone who deals with social media and forums as a part of my job, I can explain this a bit...

    While there is a strong positive to the equalizing qualities of the forums, the internet rewards people who post the most quantity, not the most quality. You can randomly and frequently start posting about any bike brand on MTBr and in a month Google will consider you as valid a search return as those opinions posted by people who actually own one of the bikes. Ill-informed basement dwellers with no real experience have as much credibility online as do people who spend every day out on the trails. By conducting most lengthy discussions offline, the various services insure that the people who have voices are those who care enough to get to the meetings, to organize their thoughts and to put in the time to become well-informed.

    These organizations could conduct polls on the forums, etc, but surveys often say more about the group that designed them than they do about public opinion. Witness the recent Wasatch 30 Year Plan Survey - there were very few places to add commentary or to expand on answers. Example - do I want LCC and BCC to be a fee area? Maybe, but I want to explain my answer, and couldn't in the survey.

    I think you can sum it up with these 3 points:

    - Many contributors to MTBr are smart, organized professionals, but their voices don't always stand out online as much as the voices of reactionary jackasses. IMBA, the FS know this and deal accordingly.
    If it's a sound point of view or suggestion it won't be overlooked.
    - Second, remember that MTBr is actually a very small community when compared to the total number of freeriders in the Wasatch - for example, one of the biggest contributors to recent DH/freeride trailbuilding is a guy who doesn't have an MTBr account at all. Managing each online community takes a lot of time - take it from someone for whom this is a job.
    Your focus on freeriding/DH trail building doesn't mean squat to me and many others, I want whats good for mountain biking as a whole.

    - Finally, people like TheProf and Err put a ton of time into meetings, trailwork etc - their dedication to building relationships with Mountain Trails Foundation, FS, IMBA etc can't always be communicated on a forum, but honestly, because of the time they have put in and their clear understanding of the entire set of issues, their opinions eventually weigh more than do those posted here by people who never show up to organized meetings or events.
    I'm a member of two of those orgs, and before the advent of the trail org I built and maintained trail for the third government org. Wow, by you're logic, people who can't or won't attend these meetings haven't any worthy Ideas, or valuable input? That's pretty arrogant.
    >>>>

  69. #69
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    The original question was WHY the FS didn't conduct more business on the web. I am offering a perspective as someone who has to weigh the value of both online and more traditional user group interactions

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    If it's a sound point of view or suggestion it won't be overlooked.
    Or it might be. Or the entire community might be misinformed. Incorrect info posted over and over again will eventually sway the opinions of online user groups. These defacto experts do a lot of damage and once their opinions are forever recorded in the Google machine, are almost impossible to clean up. Witness the long running MTBr debate over who owns the Bobsled, and whether or not it is a legal trail - no matter how many times local groups meet with the city and bring the facts back to the forums, the wrong info pops up in every thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    Your focus on freeriding/DH trail building doesn't mean squat to me and many others, I want whats good for mountain biking as a whole.
    Do I really have to provide an offline contributor example from every single genre of MTB? I don't mean to focus on freeriding, merely to point out that there are many active contributors to our mountain bike community who don't use these forums. There are lots of people on the BSTC who don't have a presence here either, and who are equally disinterested in the freeride aspects of MTB. I used a freeride example because this is a thread about a trail used by a lot of freeriders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbak73
    I'm a member of two of those orgs, and before the advent of the trail org I built and maintained trail for the third government org. Wow, by you're logic, people who can't or won't attend these meetings haven't any worthy Ideas, or valuable input? That's pretty arrogant. .
    Hilarious how you choose to get all offended when I am just describing the dynamics of decision making. No, I am NOT saying your opinion doesn't count, merely that when faced with limited time and money, people in charge of a project are going to give more weight to the opinions of people they know, respect and have met in person. This applies in any industry or organization, not just in public land management.



    Finally - the tone of your responses further illustrate the challenges of online business. Every single time a conversation occurs on the forums, you have to start over at square one, clarify and re-clarify responses, manage tangents and off topic discussions, sort the trolls from the bored people from the truly engaged folks, etc. You also have to manage escalating language that would never occur in offline interactions. I doubt that if we were having a face to face meeting about the challenges of including online community contributions in public land management decisions that you would call my thoughts arrogant to my face, but online it feels ok to you, and on the scale of e-jerkiness is pretty mild. While I understand that users forget about the real folks on the other end of the computer (and am guilty of it myself), imagine the much harsher language directed at an actual FS employee whose job it would be to interact with this forum every day. The true idiots are easier to ignore, but the smart, mean-spirited people can really get a fellow down sometimes.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  70. #70
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    Shelbak73, I'm not sure you are totally informed with WAFTA and it's representatives. They are avid cyclists in general... DH, FR, AM, XC and the doc even sports spandex regularly to ride his road bike.

    The fastest growing discipline within the biking arena is DH/FR... DH/FR did not have a voice or place in Utah... Thanks to the Prof and WAFTA it now does. If you care about biking as a whole, you'll care about FR and it will mean squat to you - two way street.

    Last time I was with the Prof, he was talking about the idea of creating a larger collective group uniting WAFTA with other AM and XC groups to get a good strong force to represent the general bike scene in the Wasatch.

    Don't assume that because the F stands for Freeride that that is all they concern themselves with. If it weren't for certain WAFTA representatives, a few major AM/XC trails would have been in jeopardy with the recent wilderness proposal. It's a good thing you're tastes in biking mean squat to WAFTA.

    I have found from the comments of most people who choose to not support WAFTA... they simply aren't informed, haven't been out to one dig day, haven't been to one meeting, etc.

  71. #71
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    Shel,

    The Prof's paragraph #4 makes your response to paragraph #2 look very stupid. That's a pretty stark contrast to the picture you're trying to paint of WAFTA, it's reps, and it's goals.
    Last edited by roguebuilder; 09-09-2010 at 10:39 AM.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    The original question was WHY the FS didn't conduct more business on the web. I am offering a perspective as someone who has to weigh the value of both online and more traditional user group interactions



    Or it might be. Or the entire community might be misinformed. Incorrect info posted over and over again will eventually sway the opinions of online user groups. These defacto experts do a lot of damage and once their opinions are forever recorded in the Google machine, are almost impossible to clean up. Witness the long running MTBr debate over who owns the Bobsled, and whether or not it is a legal trail - no matter how many times local groups meet with the city and bring the facts back to the forums, the wrong info pops up in every thread.
    What I was refering to is the actual forum debate, not someone who's doing a google search. I understand what you're saying. Like Vandeman and the Wilderness debate.



    Do I really have to provide an offline contributor example from every single genre of MTB? I don't mean to focus on freeriding, merely to point out that there are many active contributors to our mountain bike community who don't use these forums. There are lots of people on the BSTC who don't have a presence here either, and who are equally disinterested in the freeride aspects of MTB. I used a freeride example because this is a thread about a trail used by a lot of freeriders.
    No, you don't need to provide examples. And you don't mean to focus on freeriding but you do/did, because that's you're groups usual focus, and the point I was trying to make. Without hesitation you used FR as you're example, and identify with this as a FR issue simply because a lot of FR's use this trail, rather then a general MTB trail issue. I'm an AM/backcountry rider, but I try to think of the bigger picture first MTB as a whole, then AM/backcountry. Also before you try to lable me, I sold my uzzi about 5yrs ago, not because DH/FR isn't or wasn't fun, but that bike was a one trick pony.


    Hilarious how you choose to get all offended when I am just describing the dynamics of decision making. No, I am NOT saying your opinion doesn't count, merely that when faced with limited time and money, people in charge of a project are going to give more weight to the opinions of people they know, respect and have met in person. This applies in any industry or organization, not just in public land management.
    No, what's funny is how you are either reading in offence, or trying to convince others I was offended, just like you stating that your not saying my opinion doesn't count, when if you read my statement it was said in the general-tense. Just like your comment below, the tone of my response....What about your assumption of my tone, and misquoting my statements.


    Finally - the tone of your responses further illustrate the challenges of online business. Every single time a conversation occurs on the forums, you have to start over at square one, clarify and re-clarify responses, manage tangents and off topic discussions, sort the trolls from the bored people from the truly engaged folks, etc. You also have to manage escalating language that would never occur in offline interactions. I doubt that if we were having a face to face meeting about the challenges of including online community contributions in public land management decisions that you would call my thoughts arrogant to my face, but online it feels ok to you, and on the scale of e-jerkiness is pretty mild. While I understand that users forget about the real folks on the other end of the computer (and am guilty of it myself), imagine the much harsher language directed at an actual FS employee whose job it would be to interact with this forum every day. The true idiots are easier to ignore, but the smart, mean-spirited people can really get a fellow down sometimes.
    I will not apologise for the tone in which you've assigned my text to be read. You would find that if we were to be across the coffee table from each other I'd still be using the same language and smiling as we carried on with our spirited debate. As far as the heat that might be directed at a FS employee on a forum, that's when the mods step in, or the "ignore list" comes in to play.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguebuilder
    Shelbak73, I'm not sure you are totally informed with WAFTA and it's representatives. They are avid cyclists in general... DH, FR, AM, XC and the doc even sports spandex regularly to ride his road bike.

    The fastest growing discipline within the biking arena is DH/FR... DH/FR did not have a voice or place in Utah... Thanks to the Prof and WAFTA it now does. If you care about biking as a whole, you'll care about FR and it will mean squat to you - two way street.
    If your view of mtb is freeride centric, (I.E.) This established trail should be modified to better suit our FR needs or We should let the Wilderness people have this trail because it serves no useful purpose for us FRs. Then your FR sceine doesn't mean squat to me. When FRs start treating established trails with respect, and respect the needs of their nonFR MTB brothers and sister as their own, like you said, two way street.
    You're right, The FR and DH discipline are the fastest growing. Does that mean people are selling their AM or XC bikes? No,What this is, is the entry level MTB discipline. which makes it even more difficult for you Journyman FR/DH riders. They enter our sport with nothing more than the wish to ride downhill fast, without a clue as to the skill needed to carry out their desire. thereby causing user conflicts, trail damage etc,etc. and guess what, ALL MTBR's get the bad rap.

    Last time I was with the Prof, he was talking about the idea of creating a larger collective group uniting WAFTA with other AM and XC groups to get a good strong force to represent the general bike scene in the Wasatch.
    Sweet! But talk is cheap.

    Don't assume that because the F stands for Freeride that that is all they concern themselves with. If it weren't for certain WAFTA representatives, a few major AM/XC trails would have been in jeopardy with the recent wilderness proposal. It's a good thing you're tastes in biking mean squat to WAFTA.

    I have found from the comments of most people who choose to not support NRA... they simply aren't informed, haven't been out to one shoot day, haven't been to one meeting, etc.
    There you go, I fixed your last paragraph to show how foolish your statement was. Is this an attempt to guilt readers to support WAFTA? Aren't informed as to what? Dig for an association they may not agree with? Attend a meeting for an association who's members feel they can do what they want with the trails they ride?
    ((When I read the results to a poll about the modification of the bobsled, the YES side read like the WAFTA roll call.))

  74. #74
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    Haha, awesome Shelbak... awesome. Although your NRA thing is a bit off. A better analogy would be someone who loves shotguns, hunting rifles, assault rifles and semi auto pistols; but, takes a big disliking for revolvers, thinks they are of the devil and wishes they didn't exist.

    To get to the point. No one has to join WAFTA that doesn't want to. Don't join if you don't have a desire to progress the FR scene legitimately here in the front. But don't be an ass like you. You are stating falsehoods and making generalizations and stereotypes that aren't true and aren't fair. Your own response to the Prof shows contradiction. To keep to the point, and the name calling, you are a fool for saying things such as WAFTA would rather keep the meetings to themselves in the next post after WAFTA's president tells everyone to get involved and personally talk to the FS.

    WAFTA is working to cut down on illegal trails and user conflict while educating and creating areas to enjoy DH/FR discipline of biking. Representatives of WAFTA have recently been instrumental in saving a few major trails (non FR/DH) from potentially becoming wilderness area. How is that for Freeride-centric? And you're welcome. Most WAFTA reps and members participate in, love and support all disciplines of biking. Even if one didn't own or intend on ever riding a DH/FR bike, If they had any common sense, they would see what WAFTA is doing on a positive note for the sport as a whole.

    Keep on looking straight ahead, you're doing great!

    I'd love to say that we all are entitled to our own oppionions and thats okay... and that I'd love to catch up with you on the trails and take a spin together. But, you are selfish. You have clearly stated that you only concern yourself with what is good for you and what you put on your own plate. I hate to say this; but, I just don't think you and I can be friends.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguebuilder
    Haha, awesome Shelbak... awesome. Although your NRA thing is a bit off. A better analogy would be someone who loves shotguns, hunting rifles, assault rifles and semi auto pistols; but, takes a big disliking for revolvers, thinks they are of the devil and wishes they didn't exist.

    To get to the point. No one has to join WAFTA that doesn't want to. Don't join if you don't have a desire to progress the FR scene legitimately here in the front. But don't be an ass like you. You are stating falsehoods and making generalizations and stereotypes that aren't true and aren't fair. Your own response to the Prof shows contradiction. To keep to the point, and the name calling, you are a fool for saying things such as WAFTA would rather keep the meetings to themselves in the next post after WAFTA's president tells everyone to get involved and personally talk to the FS.

    WAFTA is working to cut down on illegal trails and user conflict while educating and creating areas to enjoy DH/FR discipline of biking. Representatives of WAFTA have recently been instrumental in saving a few major trails (non FR/DH) from potentially becoming wilderness area. How is that for Freeride-centric? And you're welcome. Most WAFTA reps and members participate in, love and support all disciplines of biking. Even if one didn't own or intend on ever riding a DH/FR bike, If they had any common sense, they would see what WAFTA is doing on a positive note for the sport as a whole.

    Keep on looking straight ahead, you're doing great!

    I'd love to say that we all are entitled to our own oppionions and thats okay... and that I'd love to catch up with you on the trails and take a spin together. But, you are selfish. You have clearly stated that you only concern yourself with what is good for you and what you put on your own plate. I hate to say this; but, I just don't think you and I can be friends.
    Intriguing post.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguebuilder
    Haha, awesome Shelbak... awesome. Although your NRA thing is a bit off. A better analogy would be someone who loves shotguns, hunting rifles, assault rifles and semi auto pistols; but, takes a big disliking for revolvers, thinks they are of the devil and wishes they didn't exist.

    To get to the point. No one has to join WAFTA that doesn't want to. Don't join if you don't have a desire to progress the FR scene legitimately here in the front. But don't be an ass like you. You are stating falsehoods and making generalizations and stereotypes that aren't true and aren't fair. Your own response to the Prof shows contradiction. To keep to the point, and the name calling, you are a fool for saying things such as WAFTA would rather keep the meetings to themselves in the next post after WAFTA's president tells everyone to get involved and personally talk to the FS.

    WAFTA is working to cut down on illegal trails and user conflict while educating and creating areas to enjoy DH/FR discipline of biking. Representatives of WAFTA have recently been instrumental in saving a few major trails (non FR/DH) from potentially becoming wilderness area. How is that for Freeride-centric? And you're welcome. Most WAFTA reps and members participate in, love and support all disciplines of biking. Even if one didn't own or intend on ever riding a DH/FR bike, If they had any common sense, they would see what WAFTA is doing on a positive note for the sport as a whole.

    Keep on looking straight ahead, you're doing great!

    I'd love to say that we all are entitled to our own oppionions and thats okay... and that I'd love to catch up with you on the trails and take a spin together. But, you are selfish. You have clearly stated that you only concern yourself with what is good for you and what you put on your own plate. I hate to say this; but, I just don't think you and I can be friends.
    Great post!
    This guy's got you pegged Shelbak, It's great to see somebody's finally captured your essence.

  77. #77
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    Shel also needs some help in spelling. Felt like I was reading a 5th grade journal entry......

    Good response though Rogue, seems Shel is trolling a bit but you hit the nail on the head w/ that last post. Thank you.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheezl
    Great post!
    This guy's got you pegged Shelbak, It's great to see somebody's finally captured your essence.
    I know! Uncanny isn't it, it's like he's looking into my soul.

    When you get back into town, stop by, my last batch of IPA has come to fruition.
    Oh, and I'd like you to look over my new manuscript entitled: Prejudice, painting by the numbers with a broad brush.

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