Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums
chrisski

AZ Off ROad Closure. Comment Due Jan 16, 2020

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, GeoJack said:

This kind of stands out, "Up to 800 miles of unauthorized roads on all three forests could be decommissioned under this alternative."

I think we've all seen how they close "unauthorized" roads, and they make the sole determination as to what roads are "authorized". Many of the "unauthorized" roads were in existence -- and even on maps -- long before the FS or the BLM deemed them to be "unauthorized". It's all arbitrary and capricious and every new wave of bureaucrats wants to exercise their authority. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Sonoran Dave said:

A large chunk of which is inaccessible to wheeled vehicles because of road closure policies. The last firewood permit I received from Prescott NF, they made sure to tell me, that vehicular recovery further than a couple car lengths from a sanctioned trail was no longer allowed. I was allowed to winch a log to the trail, but could not drive to it. I don't think I would enjoy backpacking a Ponderosa pine very much.:hiker: Apparently neither do any of my fellow humans, because the areas close to a road are all nicely groomed with zero harvestable wood to be had. Plenty of wood out past the reach of winchlines though.  

This is exactly why firewood cutting does not get the job done and the FS must do maintenance. And exactly why those temporary roads need to be established and then closed. And exactly why I pointed out that simply expecting firewood cutters to reduce the fire danger on millions of acres is not a good management policy.

No, you cant drive your truck and trailer off road to cut firewood in most areas. Nor should you be able to. So the FS has maintenance projects that reduce that fire risk with supervised projects. They just cant manage that type of acreage by allowing people to drive off road to get wood. That creates entirely different problems and still won't get the wood thinned in areas that it needs to be. 

I think thinning and maintenance is a good thing. And I also think the FS does a pretty good job at closing the problematic routes and leaving the best access routes open. I know that does not get the truck any closer to the good firewood cutting in certain areas but that is just the way it goes. :idunno:

I think sound forest management trumps easy access every time. There may be places where closures have made access unreasonably difficult and managers have gone overboard. In the areas I frequent this is not the case. Quite the opposite. They are closing hundreds of miles of trail indeed, but as far as I can tell it affects access very little. It is just networks of side roads made by woodcutters and hunters often in sensitive areas. And they probably should do twice as much thinning and burning after the bugs, drought, and subsequent fires. I am sure they would do more if they had the funds to do it. They are struggling just to keep the fire load down along the main routes and adjacent to infrastructure.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Dakota Slim said:

I think we've all seen how they close "unauthorized" roads, and they make the sole determination as to what roads are "authorized". Many of the "unauthorized" roads were in existence -- and even on maps -- long before the FS or the BLM deemed them to be "unauthorized". It's all arbitrary and capricious and every new wave of bureaucrats wants to exercise their authority. 

It is not arbitrary at all. There is a process by which routes are evaluated and designated. And there are comment periods to gather public input. If you knew about the process maybe you would have a better understanding of the subject and would understand more about what they do and why.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

This is exactly why firewood cutting does not get the job done and the FS must do maintenance. And exactly why those temporary roads need to be established and then closed. And exactly why I pointed out that simply expecting firewood cutters to reduce the fire danger on millions of acres is not a good management policy.

No, you cant drive your truck and trailer off road to cut firewood in most areas. Nor should you be able to. So the FS has maintenance projects that reduce that fire risk with supervised projects. They just cant manage that type of acreage by allowing people to drive off road to get wood. That creates entirely different problems and still won't get the wood thinned in areas that it needs to be. 

I think thinning and maintenance is a good thing. And I also think the FS does a pretty good job at closing the problematic routes and leaving the best access routes open. I know that does not get the truck any closer to the good firewood cutting in certain areas but that is just the way it goes. :idunno:

I think sound forest management trumps easy access every time. There may be places where closures have made access unreasonably difficult and managers have gone overboard. In the areas I frequent this is not the case. Quite the opposite. They are closing hundreds of miles of trail indeed, but as far as I can tell it affects access very little. It is just networks of side roads made by woodcutters and hunters often in sensitive areas. And they probably should do twice as much thinning and burning after the bugs, drought, and subsequent fires. I am sure they would do more if they had the funds to do it. They are struggling just to keep the fire load down along the main routes and adjacent to infrastructure.

Bob I agree with you for the most part, but the NFS and BLM in AZ are closing roads that have been in use for decades...or longer. Some of these roads lead to old mineral discoveries, some to cattle camps, some are hunting or woodcutting areas. Closing a temporary road built to clear a timber sale is an entirely different matter, and one I have zero issue with. I think it would be an outstanding idea to allow firewood permit holders to access those timber sale areas for a brief period after the logging company is finished and before the road is closed. There is always stuff left behind that folks like myself, would happily cart away to keep our homes warm. Otherwise a NFS firewood permit is basically worthless here. The FS seems to be happy to sell you a permit that they know you can't fill. Paying for something and not getting it...is theft.

I disagree with the closure of the traditional routes. I comment during the open periods but my opinion seems to make little difference. Those closures concentrate public land use into progressively smaller and smaller areas, increasing the impact on the land. I don't like being herded...and I believe that is what's being done. It's easier to close an area than it is to police an area. It's unfortunate that policing is needed, but not all humans are trustworthy and it IS needed. I rarely see Rangers when in Prescott NF, yet I can walk into a whole building full of them in Prescott. Maybe if those Rangers were actually out in the forest instead of sitting at a desk pushing paperwork...conditions and enforcement of existing laws would be better.  

There are no easy answers for this problem, and as our population continues to increase, these issues will only get worse.

 

  • Like 6
  • well done 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every road leads somewhere. And if it is closed then you are going to have to walk. And the people that use the road are going to gripe. It is a sad fact of life. 

I am not trying to say every road closures a good thing. I am just trying to get an acknowledgement that every road closure is not a bad thing.

Every organization is spread thin. They have complex jobs with complex requirements and work within a complex organization.

It is not very efficient. It is subject to the criticisms and accusations of every clueless jackass out there. Everyone is an armchair expert that has their ideas about how our agencies should be run. But very few of us understand the multitudes of factors that influence the policies we see as public land users.

I am certain that every government agency from the FS to the US Postal Service is all screwed up and wrecked with red tape, inept leadership and corruption. 

I just don't see anything wrong with designating roads and closing the ones that need closing. We can discuss the need to keep roads open that provide the only access to an area. But it is ridiculous to argue that closing any roads is wrong. Or to look at the number of miles of proposed closure and make any assumptions about how it may affect access.

I know it isn't like it used to be. Especially around a huge city like Phoenix et al. But something has to be done to keep these jackasses from cutting, burning, trashing and driving over every square inch of it. We are losing the last of it fast. 

The term "lock it up" is always used when some fellow has to get out of his vehicle and lace up his boots. If some men can't drive right down the side of a hill he feels his rights have been violated. 

IMHO they should close most high impact areas around populated areas to all ATV and UTV travel. And leave open a very few roads for access for vehicles.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

Every road leads somewhere. And if it is closed then you are going to have to walk. And the people that use the road are going to gripe. It is a sad fact of life. 

I am not trying to say every road closures a good thing. I am just trying to get an acknowledgement that every road closure is not a bad thing.

Every organization is spread thin. They have complex jobs with complex requirements and work within a complex organization.

It is not very efficient. It is subject to the criticisms and accusations of every clueless jackass out there. Everyone is an armchair expert that has their ideas about how our agencies should be run. But very few of us understand the multitudes of factors that influence the policies we see as public land users.

I am certain that every government agency from the FS to the US Postal Service is all screwed up and wrecked with red tape, inept leadership and corruption. 

I just don't see anything wrong with designating roads and closing the ones that need closing. We can discuss the need to keep roads open that provide the only access to an area. But it is ridiculous to argue that closing any roads is wrong. Or to look at the number of miles of proposed closure and make any assumptions about how it may affect access.

I know it isn't like it used to be. Especially around a huge city like Phoenix et al. But something has to be done to keep these jackasses from cutting, burning, trashing and driving over every square inch of it. We are losing the last of it fast. 

The term "lock it up" is always used when some fellow has to get out of his vehicle and lace up his boots. If some men can't drive right down the side of a hill he feels his rights have been violated. 

IMHO they should close most high impact areas around populated areas to all ATV and UTV travel. And leave open a very few roads for access for vehicles.

IMHO, the next roads they close should be the ones Bob uses. He'll just have to walk. Nothing personal, just some good old what comes around goes around. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dakota Slim said:

IMHO, the next roads they close should be the ones Bob uses. He'll just have to walk. Nothing personal, just some good old what comes around goes around. 

They have already closed all areas for off roading as well as most of the networks of minor trails where I live. The entire area is the Organ Mts Desert Peaks Monument now days. Travel is limited to the main designated roads. The entire area is regularly patrolled and many groups help monitor activities.

No problem with me. I support the monument and the closures 100%.

Walking is no problem at all. I did my usual seven mile hike today like I do most days. And I have hunted on foot all my life. I don't hunt from a vehicle nor anywhere near one. I would not have it any other way.

If your thing is burning gas and spinning tires you might miss those miles of trails criss crossing every acre. I enjoy getting out past all the noise and insanity where few travel. 

There are hundreds of miles of ATV trails if you want to do that. We don't need to turn it all into a motocross track and that is exactly what is going to happen without closures and strict enforcement.

No matter how bad you would like me to be inconvenienced by a road closure it is just not going to happen. I am firmly behind closing every one of them in high impact areas. And the more guys like you they keep out of the woods the better it is for guys like me. So I have no quarrel with responsible management and eliminating a bunch of these roads.

The fewer people out there the better as far as I am concerned. The ones that have the stuff it takes to lace up their boots and hit the trail on foot have never bothered me a bit. The beer bottle  throwing off road crowd that has to try and conquer every hill and rock slide needs to be controlled. So the more closures of trails the better I like it.

Where I go there are no roads. Never have been. I like it that way and I am working with a big group of like minded individuals to keep it that way.

  • Like 2
  • well done 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Bedrock Bob said:

They have already closed all areas for off roading as well as most of the networks of minor trails where I live. The entire area is the Organ Mts Desert Peaks Monument now days. Travel is limited to the main designated roads. The entire area is regularly patrolled and many groups help monitor activities.

No problem with me. I support the monument and the closures 100%.

Walking is no problem at all. I did my usual seven mile hike today like I do most days. And I have hunted on foot all my life. I don't hunt from a vehicle nor anywhere near one. I would not have it any other way.

If your thing is burning gas and spinning tires you might miss those miles of trails criss crossing every acre. I enjoy getting out past all the noise and insanity where few travel. 

There are hundreds of miles of ATV trails if you want to do that. We don't need to turn it all into a motocross track and that is exactly what is going to happen without closures and strict enforcement.

No matter how bad you would like me to be inconvenienced by a road closure it is just not going to happen. I am firmly behind closing every one of them in high impact areas. And the more guys like you they keep out of the woods the better it is for guys like me. So I have no quarrel with responsible management and eliminating a bunch of these roads.

The fewer people out there the better as far as I am concerned. The ones that have the stuff it takes to lace up their boots and hit the trail on foot have never bothered me a bit. The beer bottle  throwing off road crowd that has to try and conquer every hill and rock slide needs to be controlled. So the more closures of trails the better I like it.

Where I go there are no roads. Never have been. I like it that way and I am working with a big group of like minded individuals to keep it that way.

Is that where you shoot up all the old bottles? From 600 yards away?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Dakota Slim said:

Is that where you shoot up all the old bottles? From 600 yards away?

Yup. That is where I shoot them!

:pop:

Edited by Bedrock Bob
It sure sounds like you are getting pissy again Slim. Maybe you should try to stay on topic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the firewood rules go, it’s the same here, you aren’t allowed to drive more than a vehicle+trailer length off designated trails to retrieve wood. They changed it in 2016 I believe. Prior to that you were pretty much allowed to drive anywhere to pick up wood. All the easy wood is gone, you have to be pretty determined ,to fill a trailer with good wood,  now that you can’t leave the road for it. It does make it harder for firewood, but I’m suprised they ever allowed people to drive anywhere they wanted. One person can drive through a field once and the tracks will be there for years, once there’s one set of tracks it’s not long before someone else drives down it and it becomes a road. I feel like a lot of guys have some common sense and would not be obnoxious about the things they do out there. There’s too many who don’t have any common sense. It’s hunting season right now, and the amount of trash and destruction in the woods out here from these guys is ridiculous. Despite the roads being closed guys are still making new ones. Guys in UTVs  are out there doing donuts in riparian areas and blazing new trails without thinking twice. Just tearing it up and treating it like their personal playground with no rules . Why is it like 90% of hunters are incapable of burying their toilet paper? It’s gross the mess some of these guys leave behind. We definitely need some kind of rules/oversight because there are way too many idiots out there with no common sense. I love the forest. I hope regulating it more will keep the weekend warrior dumbasses using it for a playground out. If crap wasn’t getting torn up and destroyed they wouldn’t be regulating it. I’d like to hear what some of the guys against the road closures think could be done to curb the problems that led to this decision.  

  •  
  • well done 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me its more of access to claims.  Sure we can hoof it in, but when a claim is a mile away from the nearest open road, now I'm limited in how I can run that material, and also limits the amount that I can go in and explore and test a claim.

Its kind of personal for me, because an area I was looking at, spent about 40 hours planning my trip there, only to find the road had been closed by a Travel Management Plan.  Like has been said, I humped my way to the site anyway, and spent some time there looking at it.  These were roads that were on maps prior to 1976, but still closed.  Didn't get to spend nearly the time I wanted on that claim, and had the access been easier, I probably would have went back over several days to thoroughly sample the area.  About a year later, a corporation came through and claimed the area.  So that was possible loss of an income producing claim because of road closures.

I'm not asking to develop a new road, I'm only asking to be able to drive on a road that is there and is on historical maps.  Don't like the fact that I'm losing access bit by bit to these areas.  I have never blazed my own trails or created a road of my own, not do I intend to ever.  I only ask that I can take a quad or a rokon or if big enough a pick up along these roads so I can do mineral exploration.

If these roads are closed, I will respect it.  The farthest I will get off a trail is to pull off the road so I can camp, which is pretty close to a trailer and a half length, and I am only pulling off on spots already developed.  I only hope that when the forest service or BLM closes these roads, they have taken into account comments.  If any plan is implemented in full after a comment period, IMO, the decision was made to implement in full prior to the comment period.

A lot of this is are you as a responsible steward of the land held accountable for others mistakes?  Should your  source of income or livelihood be threatened?  I don't expect it to be honestly keep it open, but I expect the forest service to exercise due diligence in enforcing these laws by being out in the field.  If illegal motorcycle trails are being used, I don't think having a trail cam to catch offenders is all that unreasonable.  There's a lot of these main trails that branch off, but there's also some common starting points where these bikes are trailered in.  I don't think it unreasonable to look for people that way prior to just going straight to shutting the motorized land access down.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is the belief here that any rule is some sort of environmentalist plot to "lock us out". When actually it is a free for all race by unethical public land users to destroy it all before some other idiot destroys it first.

20 years ago it was all about buying a jet ski and seeing what a huge tool you could be on the water. They had to restrict the river as well as the irrigation canals and drainage because guys would try to ride those things everywhere. The lakes became chaos and there were all sorts of problems.

Now every swinging sausage has to have a Razor to drive in circles around every tree. They have cut networks of trails until the desert is unrecognizable. They are doing huge environmental damage and people are going crazy. The cost to just keep them out of sensitive areas is tapping resources meant for other projects and costing the taxpayer big time. The battle is rapidly being lost. 

The entire southwest is going to look like a motocross track if they dont get control somehow. The idiots are reckless, disrespectful and completely unethical. They will ride anywhere and everywhere regardless of rules. They spray paint over petroglyphs, drive up rock formations and dump garbage way the heck out there in the hinterlands.

The damage these ba$tard$ have done already is irreversible and widespread. But if there is any suggestion to try and regulate their shameful activities they scream the government is oppressing them somehow. 

Some people are selfish bit€hes where the planet is concerned. They will deny and ignore any ethical boundary just to get a cheap thrill in their expensive little noise buggy.

By the time this ATV fad fades away we will be left dealing with the aftermath for hundreds of years. 

All we really need to do is stay on existing trails and respect the land a little. Since we can't do that as a society then the land managers have the duty to close the roads and restrict vehicular travel. It is the direct result of unethical and disrespectful mindset of the people who operate these vehicles. Not some liberal plot to "lock" anyone out nor some extreme environmentalist scheme. 

  • well done 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it all that unreasonable to ask that some sort of enforcement be attempted before we go straight to closure?   An OHV sticker is supposed to be used to pay for officers for enforcement.  May not be all that much money, perhaps 5 officers in the entire state.  I'd like to see some results from this enforcement.  If a reasonable amount of effort is being made, then by all means shut these roads down.  There has to be some report made that has the results of the enforcement that can be made public.

I'm odd in the way that I expect our tax dollars we give the govt to be spent reasonably.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chrisski said:

Is it all that unreasonable to ask that some sort of enforcement be attempted before we go straight to closure?   An OHV sticker is supposed to be used to pay for officers for enforcement.  May not be all that much money, perhaps 5 officers in the entire state.  I'd like to see some results from this enforcement.  If a reasonable amount of effort is being made, then by all means shut these roads down.  There has to be some report made that has the results of the enforcement that can be made public.

I'm odd in the way that I expect our tax dollars we give the govt to be spent reasonably.

You obviously dont know what efforts have bern made and assume nothing has been done because you are not aware of it.

It is a lot easier to make assumptions based on ignorance than it is to get the facts. They are readily available to anyone who exerts a minimal amount of effort.

Why don't you get involved and help work toward a solution rather than make accusations based on a lack of knowledge?

 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Chris. I am sorry. My post came off wrong. I re read it and I dont want to edit it. I wrote it and I am not proud of it.  I want to apologize for the tone because it seemed directed at you. 

You aren't making any accusations and I did not mean to imply you were ignorant. Im sorry Chris.

My point was there are reports and they have tried enforcement. They are overwhelmed with a lot of things not the least of which is red tape and bureaucracy.

We all wish it was more efficient and that there were better solutions. And I ask that you see that before you assume they have not tried enforcement or that there is not information you can access to see what they have been doing. 

I wish there were no closures too. We are in complete agreement on that. So is every hunter, prospector, off roader, and tree hugging environmentalist. No one is the winner in any of this.

So try to re- read my post and forgive my pushy language. It was at your expense and that was wrong. I hope you can accept my apology.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • well done 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, chrisski said:

I have never blazed my own trails or created a road of my own, not do I intend to ever.

You probably have been a part of the process though Chris, we all probably have, and that is the point.. you may not have been the FIRST guy that blazed across the desert in his Razor, but you might have been the guy who followed the tracks the 2nd time, or the 50th time, 100th time or 10,000th time. That is the point, these once non-existent trails become major "access roads" that didn't exist 30 years ago. 

I personally don't see much distinction between "enforcement" and "closure" when it comes to rampant ATV off-roading. If a road was never there it shouldn't be there now. We've got plenty IMO. I own and use an ATV myself, but it doesn't mean I need to be able to drive up to every square inch of the desert. Outside of designated wilderness areas its getting hard to find places that aren't already within a mile or two of a road already. 

My main frustration with the management agencies is that they ignored much of the problem for decades. Rather than closing those new roads one-by-one as they popped up they let decades go by and now there's zillions of miles to deal with. 

  • Like 1
  • well done 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...