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View Full Version : Proposal to shut down trails in Tahoe Nat'l Forest


otteray
11-16-2008, 9:24 AM
Please read the email sent to me.
It's outrageous that a council of Mandarin-like bureaucrats can once again decree what to do with our public lands.

Dear Ray,
The Tahoe National Forest is currently proposing the closure of over 2400 miles of existing forest roads & trails, which are vital for recreation as well as access for management to promote forest health.
These trails lead to vistas, scenic byways, secluded lakes, creeks and primitive camping. None of these trails have been proven to affect water quality, habitats, or plants. However unless more people speak up in favor of preserving these great trails it is likely they will be lost forever.
In just TWO MINUTES you can help by submitting a letter using pre-drafted comments or your own comments to the Tahoe National Forest.


Please ACT NOW comments are due before 11/26/2008. Click below & create your letter.

http://www.savethetrails.us/Default.aspx?PetitionID=22

Please share this email with your lists and post it on blogs


~Thanks your friends at www.SaveTheTrails.us

This campaign is supported by Save The Trails, Friends of Forest Hills OHV Trails, Friends of Tahoe Forest Access, Nevada County Woods Riders, Friends of the High Lakes, Rubicon Trail Foundation, CORVA, California Four Wheel Drive and others

AngelDecoys
11-16-2008, 9:42 AM
Not surprising actually. Just a little before the real storm. One of the things little discussed, but on Fienstien's (and other Democrat's) agenda is to redesignate some of the National Forest areas into National Wilderness.

National Wilderness = Fee/permit to enter, limitation on use, no hunting, no off-roading, little to no logging. You get to pay the fee, hike into the area if not impacted, camp, and hike out.

Welcome to change. :)

.454
11-16-2008, 9:54 AM
Not surprising actually. Just a little before the real storm. One of the things little discussed, but on Fienstien's (and other Democrat's) agenda is to redesignate some of the National Forest areas into National Wilderness.

National Wilderness = Fee/permit to enter, limitation on use, no hunting, no off-roading, little to no logging. You get to pay the fee, hike into the area if not impacted, camp, and hike out.

Welcome to change. :)

I am not a fan of Feinswine or her Party of leftist loons, but you are making a small mistake here. You can hunt in National Wilderness areas. You just need a permit to enter from the Forest Service, which is free. There is also a restriction on any vehicles with wheels entering, motorized or not. That includes game carts, which makes taken game difficult to transport to the road. But you still can use a ded sled for that. This year I hunted Sheep Mountain National Wilderness and I got all this information from the Forest Service.

AngelDecoys
11-16-2008, 9:59 AM
Thanks for the correction. With regards to hunting in wilderness areas, I didn't know that was permissible. National forest yes, I thought that was a big no for wilderness areas. That's what happens when you ask the wrong person in uniform (shrug).

ETA: As a side note, hauling out a deer via sled for miles will reduce the numbers of hunters in those areas. At least most people I know aren't going to haul a sled for miles if they can't at least get a truck/jeep/vehicle close (within a mile).

Rumpled
11-16-2008, 12:11 PM
Signed the petition, hopefully one more comment helps.

In the Medicine Lake Highlands of Modoc NF they closed 38 miles of roads, 40% of the total there. They only had 1 comment against it, apparently it was pretty pre-ordained. I submitted a comment against it, apparently I was the only one. I've never been there, and probably never will - but we need to keep access to our public lands.

As far as the wilderness deer hunting, it's generally best to bone out the meat and pack it out. Takes one very stout hunter or two guys or two trips to get all the meat, cape and antlers out. No sense in carrying out a bunch of heavy bones.

bulgron
11-16-2008, 12:44 PM
Not being a hunter, I feel compelled to ask.

Is there anything that says you can't use a horse or a mule to haul game out? I mean, besides the fact that most people don't own horses or mules anymore?

But all of that aside, I was once an avid backpacker and this whole shutting down of trails thing is really irritating. Why does it bother people that a guy on foot might decide to travel through these areas anyway?

Or is it that what they really want to do is keep 4x4s and ATVs out of those areas? Not that this is any better, but I would like to understand the motivation behind trail closures.

AngelDecoys
11-16-2008, 1:33 PM
Or is it that what they really want to do is keep 4x4s and ATVs out of those areas? Not that this is any better, but I would like to understand the motivation behind trail closures.

Bingo. That's it exactly. Years ago when I was part of an 4x4 jeepers group out of Stockton, we had letter writing campaigns on occasion.

'Wilderness' removes the public access. No 4 wheeling and that includes logging roads. So great, you got to the area but sorry you can't enter since the 6 permits for the area have already been issued. Enter on risk of a pretty hefty fine.

I'm a bird hunter (no mammals) but i see it as killing the future for new hunters. Watching the deer hunter park at the entrance, hike into wilderness 15 miles (along the logging road he could have driven had it been national forest instead of wilderness), hunt, then pack it all out just spells less hunters for the future.

Rickfifty
11-16-2008, 1:51 PM
It's not just the Tahoe Forest, it's EVERY National Forest. They are ALL going through the process of closing trails.

JBird33
11-16-2008, 5:18 PM
It's not just the Tahoe Forest, it's EVERY National Forest. They are ALL going through the process of closing trails.

Yep. I work for the government, and it is called road designation. Pretty big deal, and I believe it is mostly due to ATV riders venturing off of trails and tearing up more of the forest. So people were basically invited to designate which roads they wanted most to stay open, etc.

It is a big, pain in the *** process and it is far from being over yet. Don't expect implementation anytime too soon. If you want to do something about it, get involved now. Once the window of oppurtunity closes, the Forest Service will tell you too bad, you had the chance.

M. Sage
11-16-2008, 5:50 PM
National Wilderness = Fee/permit to enter, limitation on use, no hunting, no off-roading, little to no logging. You get to pay the fee, hike into the area if not impacted, camp, and hike out.

Since when? I've been in National Wilderness and was never aware of any fee. The Ranger I saw one time at the head of a trail leading into said Wilderness never stopped to check to see if I'd paid one, just looked at us, saw that we were hikers (with sidearms), waved and drove on.

fairfaxjim
11-16-2008, 6:21 PM
It is correct that ALL national forests are having to deal with this. My understanding is that it is the result of a court decision on a case brought by environmentalists. The long and short of it is that all roads and trails in prettly much all National Forests have to be inventoried, mapped, and a determination made as to whether or not they are officially designated forest service roads or simply roads that were made by common usage. In the interim, I believe all roads that are not offical roads are to be closed to further usage. I also believe a plan must then be devised to permanently close the unoffical roads, and to mitigate the damage and restore the areas effected.

There are sections on each forest's website, some with maps of all the roads, about this program.

Since this is in response to a court order, I don't know what effect petitions or public input has at this point, but it has been some time since I last reviewed the status of this one.

It will certainly change the way large areas of national forest are allowed to be accessed.

AngelDecoys
11-16-2008, 6:44 PM
Since when? I've been in National Wilderness and was never aware of any fee.

Not sure on the fee. Probably confusing myself with the fire permit ($5?). You do need a permit to enter most wilderness areas. (Probably all in CA). The permit is to both monitor the numbers of people (Restricting numbers in some like Echo lake), and so the department of agriculture knows where people may be if there's a fire, bigfoot sighting, Cthulhu, etc.

The point is, the permits are 1st come, 1st serve and unlike in National Forest, are imposed to limit access (Sometimes for good reason). I've been stopped by rangers in the past and asked to see the permit. I don't know how much the fine is, but the ranger assures me its high enough for a 'teaching moment.'

The redesignation of 'National Forest' to 'Wilderness' is a bit off topic from the OP's initial post which makes a great point. For anyone who 4 wheels in National Forest, perhaps to hunt, or shoot, or just to drive around, having access to those logging roads far out-weighs the potential damage some ATV's, or jeeps might be causing. And guess who keeps those roads clear for fire crews? ;) Its the jeepers.

Might make sense in some parts of Alaska (a tundra) where tracks can last for years, but not so much in the lower 48 where damage disappears in a year. IMO - Tahoe is just another example of over protection by people who think the forests are just to hike, backpack and sightsee in.

.454
11-16-2008, 8:54 PM
Not being a hunter, I feel compelled to ask.

Is there anything that says you can't use a horse or a mule to haul game out? I mean, besides the fact that most people don't own horses or mules anymore?




Last time I checked, horses and mules don't have wheels. So yes, you'd be OK with one.

lead chucker
11-17-2008, 8:06 AM
The point is, the permits are 1st come, 1st serve and unlike in National Forest, are imposed to limit access (Sometimes for good reason). I've been stopped by rangers in the past and asked to see the permit. I don't know how much the fine is, but the ranger assures me its high enough for a 'teaching moment.'


Starying a bit from the topic, but that's not entirely accurate. Only certain high-use trails in areas that are considered 'sensitive' have a quota on them and it's only for multi-day use. Other than the Mt. Whitney trail, I don't think there are any quotas for day-use in any of the wilderness areas (at least in CA).

JBird33
11-17-2008, 2:41 PM
We (Forest Service) get taken to court by environmental groups so much, it is positively insane. The thing of it is, if they win their case, we have to pay all their legal fees as well. But if we win, they don't have to pay for ours for some strange reason. So even if they have a poor case, they will usually take us to court because they don't have anything to lose.

AngelDecoys
11-17-2008, 2:55 PM
Only certain high-use trails in areas that are considered 'sensitive' have a quota on them and it's only for multi-day use.

Limitations for multi-day use pretty much includes most people who want to hunt for the weekend if that area is impacted. Or do most hunters you know hike in for the day, hunt, then return to the parking lot and the RV?

Other than the Mt. Whitney trail, I don't think there are any quotas for day-use in any of the wilderness areas (at least in CA).

Off the top of my head, add Echo lake, and Desolation Wilderness. Having done the approx 263 miles of the John Muir Trail in my youth, and most of the PCT, I've done a fair amount of backpacking. Its more than just Mt. Whitney ;)

BTW - I was off topic only with regards to some politician's desire to redesignate national forest areas to wilderness areas. Have you considered the differences? Sorry I even mentioned it. ;)

Which isn't the main point of the OP's topic anyway. His thrust was with limiting access in national forests (not wilderness areas). Something we should all be concerned with.

enduro4fun
11-17-2008, 3:29 PM
It's called route designation, not road designation. It will happen in every National forest across the country. The implementation is already happening, like Eldorado national forest takes effect Jan 1. There is a specific time line that each step of the process needs to occur by. Also It not really about ATV riders venturing off trails, It is dealing with user created trails some of which where created by horse and Buggy long ago. They are closing trails and roads, some of them historic routes that have been there for decades. I strongly suggest you write comments, on this process If you use the forest at all, If you drive a car or truck to a shooting spot over forest service roads this will effect you. Tahoe is proposing a winter closure from Jan thru May. That means you will effectivly be shut out of the forest for 5 months out of the year.

lead chucker
11-17-2008, 3:30 PM
I know it's off topic - I just hate to see misinformation.

From the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Managemnet Unit web site for Desolation Wilderness.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/recreation/wilderness/desowild/permits.shtml

Day users - May obtain a free permit from one of the following offices, or may issue themselves a permit at most major trailheads in the summer. During the winter, day permits are available at the Pacific Ranger Station. Day use is not subject to fees nor limited by quota at any time of the year.

I'll stand by my earlier post - I think Mt Whitney is unique in that there is a quota for day use as well as overnight use.

Limitations for multi-day use pretty much includes most people who want to hunt for the weekend if that area is impacted. Or do most hunters you know hike in for the day, hunt, then return to the parking lot and the RV?

As a matter of fact yes... most hunters I know won't go far from a road (by foot). The only hunters I've know or met who hunt in a wilderness area either do so along it's edges within easy access from road (day use permit), or pack in by mule/horse (overnight use permit for stock). I don't think I've ever met a hunter who backpacked in.

On another note - an overnight premit for anytime after Labor Day is usually pretty easy to get, as demand is much lower. After 9/20 (I think) there is no quota.

lead chucker
11-17-2008, 4:14 PM
Back on topic...

"Probition of wheeled motorized vehicle travel off the designated
NFS roads, NFS trails and areas by the public except as allowed by
permit or other authorization."

I have heard that this could include just pulling off the designated road far enough to camp... anyone know if there is any truth in that?

lead chucker
11-17-2008, 4:22 PM
Found this on El Dorado NF FAQ on the subject... guess that answers my question. :mad:

Why have you limited access to dispersed camp
sites?

This decision limits cross country travel, driving off
system roads and trails. This prohibition has been in place
since 2005 when the court order was implemented. You
will be able to park one vehicle length off the road, and in
some cases you may need to carry your gear to your
campsite. This decision includes some short parking spurs
that lead to popular dispersed camping, picnicking, and
other day use sites. An analysis of dispersed camping sites
will begin after this decision is implemented.

otteray
11-17-2008, 5:09 PM
http://www.trailsintrouble.org/

Go to the site; watch the short video that nicely describes it in a nutshell; and then be proactive working to save our access to existing forest routes by sharing the video or link with friends and contacting your lawmakers.

AngelDecoys
11-17-2008, 5:47 PM
I know it's off topic - I just hate to see misinformation.

I'll stand by my earlier post - I think Mt Whitney is unique in that there is a quota for day use as well as overnight use.

Whatever. I pass no misinformation as far as I know. I know of at least 2 separate occasions where our backpacking trip into the Echo lake area had to be re-located at the last minute because the prerequisite number of permits had already been issued.

grammaton76
11-17-2008, 5:58 PM
Hmm. "Wheeled motorized vehicle"... doesn't include off-road bicycles.

Not that it'd be really easy, but I could see it being easier to haul a deer out with a bike than with something else.

I could also see a cottage industry of 'horse taxi' types... get a call from the hunter, trot your horse out to the forest, and return with hunter and kill.

M. Sage
11-17-2008, 6:43 PM
How's the hunter going to call? Satellite phone?

762cavalier
11-17-2008, 6:52 PM
smoke signals :D


carrier pigeon :eek:

grammaton76
11-18-2008, 11:08 AM
Satphone rental - BIG deposit - from the horse taxi guy. :)

JDay
11-18-2008, 11:41 AM
Not sure on the fee. Probably confusing myself with the fire permit ($5?).

Fire permits are free, just ask for one at a ranger station.

lead chucker
11-18-2008, 3:27 PM
Not sure on the fee. Probably confusing myself with the fire permit ($5?). You do need a permit to enter most wilderness areas. (Probably all in CA). The permit is to both monitor the numbers of people (Restricting numbers in some like Echo lake), and so the department of agriculture knows where people may be if there's a fire, bigfoot sighting, Cthulhu, etc.

The point is, the permits are 1st come, 1st serve and unlike in National Forest, are imposed to limit access (Sometimes for good reason). I've been stopped by rangers in the past and asked to see the permit. I don't know how much the fine is, but the ranger assures me its high enough for a 'teaching moment.'

The redesignation of 'National Forest' to 'Wilderness' is a bit off topic from the OP's initial post which makes a great point. For anyone who 4 wheels in National Forest, perhaps to hunt, or shoot, or just to drive around, having access to those logging roads far out-weighs the potential damage some ATV's, or jeeps might be causing. And guess who keeps those roads clear for fire crews? ;) Its the jeepers.

Might make sense in some parts of Alaska (a tundra) where tracks can last for years, but not so much in the lower 48 where damage disappears in a year. IMO - Tahoe is just another example of over protection by people who think the forests are just to hike, backpack and sightsee in.

Actually - the fee situation seems to differ between areas.

For example:
Desolation Wilderness:
Reservation Fees: $5.00 per party/per permit (non-refundable). Permit fees are paid at time of reservation. Plan carefully before making your reservation as all fees are non-refundable.
Overnight Wilderness Permit Fee: $5.00 per person for one night, $10.00 per person for two or more nights up to 14 days (non-refundable). The cost of a single permit will not exceed $100.00. Children 12 and under are free. Golden passes do not apply to personal use permits.


John Muir Wilderness:
Fees are charged for reservations only, there is no charge for walk-in permits. For trips to Mt. Whitney there is a $15.00 per person reservation fee. Other areas are $5.00 per person. If you enter the Mt. Whitney zone at any time during your trip the $15.00 per person fee applies instead of the $5.00 per person fee. Reservation fees are not refundable once your reservation is processed. Fees are due when the reservation is made.

Rumpled
11-18-2008, 7:19 PM
The USFS does not charge a fee for permits. They can and do charge to reserve a permit. In all wilderness areas they are required for overnighters and most have quotas.
Whitney area they are required for day use.
Some state and federal parks require them for day use as well.

All wheeled things are prohibited in wilderness, no bikes, no game carts. But, SAR does use single wheeled litters from time to time.

deldgeetar
11-18-2008, 10:39 PM
This isn't new guys. Unfortunately, the riding community is not nearly as well organized as the 2A community is. And many riders are liberals that don't seem to understand that the people they vote into office want to end their hobby.

Clear Creek was closed down by the BLM this year at the reccomendation of the EPA, for naturally occurring asbestos which was deemed to be "cancer causing." Of course, there are zero cases of cancer from naturally occurring asbestos in the soil (from the region or anywhere else), and world scientific consensus is that naturally occurring chrysotile asbestos is not a carcinogen. It was closed anyway, because the dust that OHVs kick up there is supposedly cancerous. Also, there are some areas where the San Benito Primrose grows, and this plant is on the endangered list. Environmental lawsuits caused an EIS and supposed route designation process that was never completed and never signed correctly. Clear Creek was closed due to environmentalist lawsuits and the fact that it was a multiuse area, which is a major headache for the BLM to manage. Because hunters, hikers, OHV'ers, and others can't manage themselves.:rolleyes:

The Eldorado National Forest underwent a similar EIS and route designation process and many of the most prized areas and trails are closed, thanks to environmentalist pressure and the lack of oversight by the Forest Service.

We can expect many closures and "route designations" like these that will limit our jaunts into the wilderness in the next 4 years. It's a sad thing that this country is becoming much less free, and people are too stupid to realize it.

http://www.howobamagotelected.com