Utah Valley DH/FR Notice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Utah Valley DH/FR Notice

    FYI:

    A friend of mine at a shop faxed me a Notice from the USFS today at my office. These Notices are apparently being distributed at bike shops in Utah Valley. They specifically deal with Squaw Peak and the areas around Timp/Dry Canyon. I am familiar with Squaw Peak, but do not know about the trails in and around Timp or Dry Canyon. It has been several years since I lived and rode in the area.

    The Notice is advising that it is illegal to build or ride unapproved trails. Fines up to the amount of $5000 and not more than 6 months imprisonmment for building illegal unapproved trails on USFS land.

    Per the Notice, penalties are less clear for riding illegal trails.

    ----

    While I realize that there are not many legal DH/FR trails in and around Utah Valley, the best way to go about securing sustainable DH/FR trails is to approach the land managers and try to work out a solution.

    Land managers like organized groups that they can trust and build relationships with when it comes to DH/FR trails, or any trails for that matter. My guess is that the best way to approach the lack of riding in Utah Valley is to get organized and try to make a difference. Building illegal trails won't encourage the USFS to build trails, and it hurts the DH/FR image everywhere else. The most successful DH/FR trails in the country in the last few years have been built in cooperation and coordination with land managers - not illegally. See Teton Freedom Riders, Post Canyon, Black Rock, Colonnade, etc.

    Food for thought.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux
    FYI:



    While I realize that there are not many legal DH/FR trails in and around Utah Valley, the best way to go about securing sustainable DH/FR trails is to approach the land managers and try to work out a solution.

    Land managers like organized groups that they can trust and build relationships with when it comes to DH/FR trails, or any trails for that matter. My guess is that the best way to approach the lack of riding in Utah Valley is to get organized and try to make a difference. Building illegal trails won't encourage the USFS to build trails, and it hurts the DH/FR image everywhere else. The most successful DH/FR trails in the country in the last few years have been built in cooperation and coordination with land managers - not illegally. See Teton Freedom Riders, Post Canyon, Black Rock, Colonnade, etc.

    Food for thought.
    Definitely part of the story and a good way to look at it. Another is that some of the best legal trails were built illegally and then became legal. People are catching on and it seems like its getting easier to build good legal trails. Look at Park City - best trail: illegal. Moab - best trail: used to be illegal (and they are trying to get blue dot and green dot legal). But I think whether one is for or against illegal trails, we should all be working to get more legal trails.

  3. #3
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    I understand that it's really hard to get the go-ahead to build a legal trail, but it needs to be the way everyone approaches the process. If we can get organized, we might be able to get some momentum with land managers. But if we allow the "legalize our illegally built trails" mentality, then all we do is butt heads and create a negative image. I personally don't have a positive image of WAFTA right now, but as far as I can tell they're doing what they can with what they have. I can only imagine they're pretty stretched with limited resources and nearly infinite projects.

    I think we need to keep our illegal trails on the dl, don't talk about them, and focus energy on developing legal opportunities. Yes the best current trails are illegal, but if we progress in a smart fashion I think we can develop some amazing opportunities. If it means creating a second freeride-oriented advocacy group to help, then so be it.

    I don't know how to help WAFTA, but I'd love to help. I don't think I'm in the minority of people who want to be part of WAFTA, but have no clue what's going on. The website is never updated, the ongoing projects seem to be a well kept secret of the handful of people able to go to meetings. I'll let this be a cry to make us want to help. Give us an idea of what's in the works and how we should help.

    Sorry, I got sidetracked, but the thoughts of our own Blackrock or Colonnade got me all foaming at the mouth. Let's use this social tool to progress our needs here in Utah. There are piles of people from other organizations that are willing to give advice, but people like me have no idea what sort of projects are going on or need help.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Sorry to hear about your image of WAFTA right now. Admittedly, the website has not been updated (substantially) in a while. It is all volunteer run, and most people have been pretty busy with work as of late.

    Go to www.facebook.com/wafta and become a fan. Many updates are posted there, once they get rolling.

    WAFTA would love to have you involved. How would you like to help? Draper dig days (weekly) will begin soon, I will post up details when the day of the week is finalized.

    Also, come see Follow Me at Brewvies this Thursday night.

    If you'd like a more substantial update, let me know. Many of the news updates/developments will be presented in a slide show format before the Follow Me show, as that seems to be a good way to inform an audience.

    Mike

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux
    Go to www.facebook.com/wafta and become a fan. Many updates are posted there, once they get rolling.
    Mike
    Done, thanks.

    I understand that it's all volunteer, and that it takes a lot of effort to keep a website up to date and running smooth, but I think it's worth checking into the WAFTA forum once in a while and answering questions or just getting rid of the feature and directing people to Facebook. It's pretty frustrating to see question after question ignored.

    I will come join meetings and such as soon as I'm released from my purgatory of business trip to Boston. Hopefully by spring I'll get to live in SLC again.

    I literally answered a text message from a good friend in Pittsburgh while I was typing this that read "dude we have a full blown Whistler style trail going publicly approved, it's nuts". I just get a little frustrated when I see our area with so much potential going nowhere and every other part of the country blowing up.

    While I'm out of town, I'd love to help any way I can, If we can devise a weekly update on this forum of what WAFTAs up to that would be a huge start. I think a little bit of visibility of projects and focus will go a long way. The more people we can show progress to, the more people will help when it comes down to doing work.

    Again, I don't want to be too critical, but I'll bet I'm not the only one with an unfavorable perception of WAFTA. It's easy to change, so let's get to it.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Good points. When I get home tonight, I will type up a WAFTA update thread. Those who want to chime in can add to it each week. Hopefully, Facebook will replace the forums for getting notices out, but for now, copy and paste is an OK thing to do.

    Have fun in Boston. Go to Fenway for me. I just got back from business in Chicago last week, and got to go to Wrigley for the first time. Awesome.

    Mike

  7. #7
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    For those who want to know more about WAFTA, come to Follow Me this week. WAFTA is promoting the show and you will have plenty of oportunities to ask questions and find out what WAFTA is about. good chance to get stoked and get real WAFTA information.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=608035

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux
    Good points. When I get home tonight, I will type up a WAFTA update thread. Those who want to chime in can add to it each week. Hopefully, Facebook will replace the forums for getting notices out, but for now, copy and paste is an OK thing to do.

    Have fun in Boston. Go to Fenway for me. I just got back from business in Chicago last week, and got to go to Wrigley for the first time. Awesome.

    Mike
    Went down to Fenway a couple weeks ago, it's an impressively nice field these days. Boston's a great town, but give me the mountains any day. Luckily my bike will be showing up this week, so that should occupy some more of my time.

    I'd be all about the follow me premier, and I'll keep an eye out for updates.

    Thanks Mike,

    Justin
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  9. #9
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    I've talked to the usfs, and know someone in the area with a written paper stating as long as unnatural materials, ie, plywood, lumber, etc for building, they have no problem with it. so unless something has changed...which i assume i'll find out soon enough...just don't use wood.

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    Last edited by nmpearson; 04-26-2010 at 10:31 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmpearson
    I've talked to the usfs, and know someone in the area with a written paper stating as long as unnatural materials, ie, plywood, lumber, etc for building, they have no problem with it. so unless something has changed...which i assume i'll find out soon enough...just don't use wood.
    Well, I know for a fact that isn't correct. An illegal trail is an illegal trail no matter what was/is used to build it. Even if riders just start riding old game trails, turning it into a well worn biking trail, it's still illegal. That's basically what's happening above the BST in Orem and that's what has prompted the response by the USFS. There's many, many other factors involved with creating a new trail that the average Joe rider just doesn't take into consideration. The more illegal trails that pop up, created by mtn. bikers, the less likely any new legal trails will be allowed to be built.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallsteve
    Well, I know for a fact that isn't correct. An illegal trail is an illegal trail no matter what was/is used to build it. Even if riders just start riding old game trails, turning it into a well worn biking trail, it's still illegal. That's basically what's happening above the BST in Orem and that's what has prompted the response by the USFS. There's many, many other factors involved with creating a new trail that the average Joe rider just doesn't take into consideration. The more illegal trails that pop up, created by mtn. bikers, the less likely any new legal trails will be allowed to be built.
    I'm going to go meet with the USFS along with a few other locals to find out exactly what is going on. It is true...whether you believe it or not. I don't want to have to jump to any conclusions until all the facts are straight

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmpearson
    I'm going to go meet with the USFS along with a few other locals to find out exactly what is going on. It is true...whether you believe it or not. I don't want to have to jump to any conclusions until all the facts are straight
    Not doubting you. I'm curious about the 'letter' as well. I wonder how old it is and who signed it. I'm just saying, it won't stand. Not with the current local USFS management. They aren't going to let anybody build a trail anywhere they want just as long as no unnatural material is used. I belong to a mtn. biking club, URMB, that has adopted the section of the BST where the illegal trail in question has popped up. I'm well aware of the situation and have had 2 meetings and several phone calls with the USFS Pleasant Grove District office personnel.
    Let us know how your meeting goes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallsteve
    Not doubting you. I'm curious about the 'letter' as well. I wonder how old it is and who signed it. I'm just saying, it won't stand. Not with the current local USFS management. They aren't going to let anybody build a trail anywhere they want just as long as no unnatural material is used. I belong to a mtn. biking club, URMB, that has adopted the section of the BST where the illegal trail in question has popped up. I'm well aware of the situation and have had 2 meetings and several phone calls with the USFS Pleasant Grove District office personnel.
    Let us know how your meeting goes.
    The letter was signed last year about march and stated that we were allowed to ride the trails, but basically not build anything out of wood or build new trails. I really hope that they don't start fining people for riding the main squaw trail. We don't want to break the rules. We just want to be able to ride the trail that many of us have ridden for the last 10 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmpearson
    The letter was signed last year about march and stated that we were allowed to ride the trails, but basically not build anything out of wood or build new trails. I really hope that they don't start fining people for riding the main squaw trail. We don't want to break the rules. We just want to be able to ride the trail that many of us have ridden for the last 10 years.
    OK, that makes more sense now. So, what you're saying is the letter is for one specific trail not the whole BST foothill area, correct?
    Still curious about who signed it and how your meeting goes.
    Thanks,

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by tallsteve
    OK, that makes more sense now. So, what you're saying is the letter is for one specific trail not the whole BST foothill area, correct?
    Still curious about who signed it and how your meeting goes.
    Thanks,

    Steve
    yeah, we were only focusing on the pure dh track. I ride the rest of the trail just for training, but most of our guys just do the dh stuff. it was the trails manager...i can't remember his name. i'm trying to catch him at the PG station because he's out on trail most of the time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmpearson
    yeah, we were only focusing on the pure dh track. I ride the rest of the trail just for training, but most of our guys just do the dh stuff. it was the trails manager...i can't remember his name. i'm trying to catch him at the PG station because he's out on trail most of the time.
    That would be Joe McFarlane.

  18. #18
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    just talked to joe...he was just as cool about it as before. kinda a whole, all those main trails are illegal even for hiking, so ride if you want, but you could possibly get ticketed. It sounded originally that they were going to refocus their efforts. Not sure if that's the case

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmpearson
    just talked to joe...he was just as cool about it as before. kinda a whole, all those main trails are illegal even for hiking, so ride if you want, but you could possibly get ticketed. It sounded originally that they were going to refocus their efforts. Not sure if that's the case
    What? All the main trails (where?) are illegal for hiking or any kind of riding. Is Joe cool, or is Joe an a-hole? This is all much less clear.

  20. #20
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    sorry, i should have been more specific. Joe is a way cool guy. Not a prick at all. I've met with him before and the story was basically the same. If it's not specifically marked, it's illegal. The trail that us as downhillers ride is a trail that's not marked, so it's illegal even to hikers it seems. As for riding it, he said just ride at your own risk. There's a possibility to be ticketed, but they're not going to specifically look to ticket riders. Mostly just the builders. I do know a few builders in the area and have talked to each of them. It sounds like dry canyon is the area that is gathering more of a close watch.

    For making it legal...there's probably no way unless someone wants to front substantial amounts of money. A survey will have to be done on the trail, then i know there's places that are eroding horribly, so that will need to be remedied. But yeah, nothing really has changed, just dry canyon added to the list of the areas they'll be watching

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    Thanks for the update and clarification.

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