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Sandee McCullen
07-16-2004, 11:55 PM
Here's what's up guys......................

Word leaked out yesterday that BLM is looking at requiring ALL 4.0 trails and above (in their words......... " Any/all rock crawling or extreme technical trails"......... They feel Terminators are "rock crawling" trails) will require a permit to use. There is to be a state leadership meeting next week that I have been invited to.............. (they didn't have much of a choice) but I MUST sell these guys on a "plan" or we will truly be locked into a mess. I realize, and most likely you all do also, that there is no way they could ever police or manage something like this but if it gets into the Resource Management Plans we're locked in for 10 to 15 years. Even and amendment would take 5 years or more. This is being looked at STATEWIDE. I have been yelling "consistency" to them for a number of years............... Well, this is what they consider consistency. WE need to join together to show them there is another way to manage recreation consistently.

Same ole story................. They are concerned about "non-qualified" vehicles traversing the technical trails. Again............ Rock stacking must stop; by-passes must stop; keeping our trails clean from oil and unnecessary marks is an absolute necessity. Another of their concerns is the liability. I thought that throughout the past several months when I sat with the managers to develop the "rating/requirement" for signing, they were content that WE would respect and honor the requirements and directives. I guess now they feel this isn't enough.

Between now and Wednesday next week I have to write a PLAN for the technical trails and "how" to implement the safety or management of the technical trails. The first thing they need to see and accept is commitment from us (clubs and/or individuals) that we will help in management and patrol of our trails. If this means turning in a fellow 4-wheeler for not abiding by the rules of the road.............. So be it. If each club would send a short paragraph stating their support of "self patrol" and "responsible use" I can present this as a show of good faith to allow us to show our support and partnership of responsible use BEFORE laws or regulations are implemented to gate or close our trails.

The land managers and VERY concerned about their liability of recreationists on technical trails............. As are the insurance companies. Our insurer in Arizona is issuing us liability coverage to cover the land managers but it's still very iffy for the insurance companies unless we can show "sincere intent" and "education" re the safety of our sport................... Most states cannot even obtain liability coverage to enable them to host events within their association or clubs.

I'm sure there are a number of you that are going to blaze over the roll bar and/or roll cage requirements but before you fume too long think of the alternative........................ No trails to require special equipment................ Thusly no liability for the insurance companies or the land managers.

If we all truly consider the safety issues of our sport on any trails above a stock 2.0 - 3.0 trail I think most would agree it's worth thinking about. We cannot continue to wheel anywhere, anytime like we have in the past 40 plus years. We are now on the front page; are being viewed and watched very closely; are losing more than we're keeping; and in simple words must "Leave No Trace"........................ As recreationists in Arizona we are outright spoiled! We have hundreds of miles of trails of all levels of difficulty; we have never had rules or keepers............... We do now. This will not change. ............... WE must change. Change our views, attitudes and methods of 4-wheeling as our sport. If we continue to abuse our trails at the rate we're at right now all of our trails will look like Sycamore within 10 years........................ That will force closure!

Your help and consideration will certainly help this change in process easier. If anyone has any ideas on what I can present as OUR PLAN on managing and maintaining our trails to meet the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) it will help convince the managers you all do want to help.

THANKS, Sandee

JamesT
07-17-2004, 07:13 PM
I have two questions:

First, are these policies being implemented across the country on all BLM land? Since BLM is a national agency, if they aren't, then there is a double standard being applied.

and Second, who is going to inspect and where are they getting the resources to inspect vehicles? Are we going to have to find some out-of-the-way BLM office and try to find a time that they are open to drag our rigs down there?

Maybe one comment too; You are suggesting we police the trails? You have got to be kidding. Granted if there is some flagerent stock vehicle on a 4.0 rated trail I may say something, but I am not going to go around and make sure every vehicle on the trail is up to specs.

Maybe I am reading this wrong, you are talking about all the time, correct? This is not just for events. I carry my own insurance and I am pretty sure it covers me all the time, even off road.

Sandee McCullen
07-17-2004, 11:57 PM
I have two questions:

First, are these policies being implemented across the country on all BLM land? Since BLM is a national agency, if they aren't, then there is a double standard being applied.

and Second, who is going to inspect and where are they getting the resources to inspect vehicles? Are we going to have to find some out-of-the-way BLM office and try to find a time that they are open to drag our rigs down there?

Maybe one comment too; You are suggesting we police the trails? You have got to be kidding. Granted if there is some flagerent stock vehicle on a 4.0 rated trail I may say something, but I am not going to go around and make sure every vehicle on the trail is up to specs.

Maybe I am reading this wrong, you are talking about all the time, correct? This is not just for events. I carry my own insurance and I am pretty sure it covers me all the time, even off road.

In short:

No this is not being implemented across all BLM lands and no, it doesn't make it a double standard. Each state, as well as each Field Office, can implement standards that fit their issues or situations. As it is right now Arizona is a leader in having the most "existing route inventory" done as well as having 5 BLM Resource Plans open at this time along with 2 from Forest Service. Arizona BLM will be approving a BLM Adopt-a-Road policy in August. This will be the first BLM state to have an official Adopt-a-Trail program but most likely it will be adopted across BLM in the future. The same goes for many of the "solutions" Arizona approves for "extreme trail use" within the new RMP's.

I'm not sure where this "permit" thing is coming from and I will fight it.............. what my message was is "this is what they want to implement............. I need support from all of you stating YOU ALL will help police ourselves........... and keep our trails as "LEAVE NO TRACE". This means no rock stacking; no by-passes; no spills; no, or little, visual impact such as tearing up a bank or sidewall of a bank or hillside. It doesn't mean you have to "tech everyones vehicles" nor does it mean you have to turn anyone in............... what it does mean is we cannot invite friends on trails we know are not equipped to do at this time. We cannot tell them........... no problem, we can pull you through or stack rocks. If we can sincerely commit to the agencies (Forest Service will be right at the back door of BLM in all these issues) that we do and will show good faith to educate our own and consider the resources we will keep our trails for our use............... if we continue to abuse...... we lose.

All of your comments about "permits" plus numerous others are on my list to present to the BLM............. "how" will they implement this process and "what" do they plan to gain from it?

You may have personal insurance and don't care about "events" but many other 4-wheelers do enjoy planned events. We cannot offer "events" without insurance to cover the land managers or land owners. Arizona is very lucky in the fact we have been able to obtain this coverage for now...... the insurance underwriters for Arizona are wary and cautious each year but most states or groups cannot obtain insurance at all. This is important to many.

In answer to your last question........... yes, this permit would be for ALL.

WE must change our way of wheeling and our attitude about how we do it. I believe we can make this work but being defiant won't work. If defiance rules and those few get caught we ALL lose............

Sandee

JamesT
07-18-2004, 07:48 AM
I am not trying to be "defiant". It seems to me that some one hasn't thought this through.

In general, education is the first step. This means BLM handing out flyers, posting signage and getting their message out. This should be no problem for them, because they seem to think they have the resources to implement other things. If this fails then you go to more extreme options.
Another thing that goes along with the above is, if there is nothing posted at the entrances to the trails they are purposing this for they won't have much legal recourse. So the signage needs to be put in place first. In other words, if "Joe Blow" is crusing around Table Mesa in his stock vehicle and happens to wind up on Terminator, with no signage saying "This is off limits to stock vehicles" the BLM cannot prosecute him, and if they tried too, probably nothing would come of it.

Another thing is, some of these trails are 4.0 on some lines and 2.5 on other lines. How the heck are they going to try to regulate that? I can see it now, a sign (that will get washed away in the next heavy rain) in some wash "Left requires a permit and right doesn't" the signs continue up the entire wash. Next thing you know, you get some "ex-military" saying, I thought you meant my "miltary right", :p or, my right as I was coming down the wash.

Sandee McCullen
07-18-2004, 10:22 AM
I am not trying to be "defiant". It seems to me that some one hasn't thought this through.

In general, education is the first step. This means BLM handing out flyers, posting signage and getting their message out. This should be no problem for them, because they seem to think they have the resources to implement other things. If this fails then you go to more extreme options.
Another thing that goes along with the above is, if there is nothing posted at the entrances to the trails they are purposing this for they won't have much legal recourse. So the signage needs to be put in place first. In other words, if "Joe Blow" is crusing around Table Mesa in his stock vehicle and happens to wind up on Terminator, with no signage saying "This is off limits to stock vehicles" the BLM cannot prosecute him, and if they tried too, probably nothing would come of it.

Another thing is, some of these trails are 4.0 on some lines and 2.5 on other lines. How the heck are they going to try to regulate that? I can see it now, a sign (that will get washed away in the next heavy rain) in some wash "Left requires a permit and right doesn't" the signs continue up the entire wash. Next thing you know, you get some "ex-military" saying, I thought you meant my "miltary right", :p or, my right as I was coming down the wash.

I didn't intend my statement of "defiant" to mean you........... it's an overall statement involving many recreationists that refuse to change or feel they have the right to do as they wish on PUBLIC lands. ............ my apologies if it sounded like it was directed at you or anyone specific.

I understand ALL your issues......... these are the facts I intend to face them with next week. Again, my point.............. how many OHV recreationists are willing to accept "managing our own"? If I go into this meeting with no support from the OHV community indicating they will look to pushing the education and compliance, the managers will simply "require permits" and when that doesn't work (personally I think they know it won't work) they can then CLOSE the trails and blame the closures on US because we wouldn't comply and they couldn't enforce............

Don't ever think they cannot do this........... they can offer a "recreation transportation system they feel is safe for both us and them" and be done with it. I personally believe these guys....... with pressure from the GAGS, would go so far as to blast some of these trails closed to eliminate our access capabilities.

You're right.......... "education is the first step"............ but are you going to "read" or "comply with the flyer a government agency hands out?; is your friend that doesn't have the required equipment going to pay attention?; if we disagree with "THEIR MESSAGE" are we going to comply?................ I doubt it. If they get this permit issue through we simply lose it all when they see "compliance" isn't there. The education needs to come from within our own..........as does the compliance.

I cannot even get VJC guys to help support Hunter Off Road (approx $5.00 per person) for his ORBA membership where we can obtain legal support............... how does anyone think we can "sue" on our own? or fight for our rights? The 4-wheelers in the east have to drive 3 hours to a "park", pay anywhere from $20.00 - $35.00/$40.00 a day or weekend to 4-wheel. Why is it our people cannot dig into their pockets for a few bucks to help support and fight for our trails AND rights?......... maybe combining our sport with helping legal by hosting a "Fund raising Trail Ride" is something to think about. The annual Crown King AzVJC ride be a "fund raiser" to help defend our rights?............ The annual Hunter Off Road BBQ........ ???????? There are dozens of ways to help.

Recreationists in the west/southwest are very apathetic about the massive issues before us. They don't believe the land managers "can do anything to us" ... all they want to do is play. States all around us are losing miles of trails but our guys sit back and believe "it cannot happen to us". They are in for a BIG SURPRISE. WE need to be responsible, educate, comply, and most of all need to "get involved" in the issues and understand what WE HAVE TO DO. It's not going to be handed to us on a golden platter. Writing to me with all the issues of "how can they"?; "what do they expect to do"?; "they need to educate" is not getting involved.

They have full intention of "POSTING SIGNS" at the trailheads. These are the signs with "trail descriptions and equipment requirements" that the agencies, insurance underwriters and a group of OHV recreationists have been working on for the past couple of months.............. our guys don't agree with the requirements either. It seems the OHV recreationists simply want it all their way. That is not going to happen.

I will personally fight this permit issue to the end. I do not believe it can or will work but maybe that's exactly what they want. MAYBE?????........ They can then close the trails, don't have to manage, don't have to work to monitor or maintain the trails.............

I apologize for harping on and on about this but once again............ I KNOW this permit issue is not going to work. You all need to consider what happens when it doesn't................ WE WILL BE AT BLAME and WE ARE THE ONES THAT WILL LOSE. Will the 4x4 community, support compliance to the trail/equipment requirements and will they change their attitude about the wheeling they do? Will they help educate and police our own? Will they make an attempt to understand the NEPA requirements the land managers must work under? Will they find time to "get involved"? All the answers lie within these few questions.

Flexy
07-18-2004, 03:07 PM
I didn't intend my statement of "defiant" to mean you........... it's an overall statement involving many recreationists that refuse to change or feel they have the right to do as they wish on PUBLIC lands. ............ my apologies if it sounded like it was directed at you or anyone specific.

I understand ALL your issues......... these are the facts I intend to face them with next week. Again, my point.............. how many OHV recreationists are willing to accept "managing our own"? If I go into this meeting with no support from the OHV community indicating they will look to pushing the education and compliance, the managers will simply "require permits" and when that doesn't work (personally I think they know it won't work) they can then CLOSE the trails and blame the closures on US because we wouldn't comply and they couldn't enforce............

Don't ever think they cannot do this........... they can offer a "recreation transportation system they feel is safe for both us and them" and be done with it. I personally believe these guys....... with pressure from the GAGS, would go so far as to blast some of these trails closed to eliminate our access capabilities.

You're right.......... "education is the first step"............ but are you going to "read" or "comply with the flyer a government agency hands out?; is your friend that doesn't have the required equipment going to pay attention?; if we disagree with "THEIR MESSAGE" are we going to comply?................ I doubt it. If they get this permit issue through we simply lose it all when they see "compliance" isn't there. The education needs to come from within our own..........as does the compliance.

I cannot even get VJC guys to help support Hunter Off Road (approx $5.00 per person) for his ORBA membership where we can obtain legal support............... how does anyone think we can "sue" on our own? or fight for our rights? The 4-wheelers in the east have to drive 3 hours to a "park", pay anywhere from $20.00 - $35.00/$40.00 a day or weekend to 4-wheel. Why is it our people cannot dig into their pockets for a few bucks to help support and fight for our trails AND rights?......... maybe combining our sport with helping legal by hosting a "Fund raising Trail Ride" is something to think about. The annual Crown King AzVJC ride be a "fund raiser" to help defend our rights?............ The annual Hunter Off Road BBQ........ ???????? There are dozens of ways to help.

Recreationists in the west/southwest are very apathetic about the massive issues before us. They don't believe the land managers "can do anything to us" ... all they want to do is play. States all around us are losing miles of trails but our guys sit back and believe "it cannot happen to us". They are in for a BIG SURPRISE. WE need to be responsible, educate, comply, and most of all need to "get involved" in the issues and understand what WE HAVE TO DO. It's not going to be handed to us on a golden platter. Writing to me with all the issues of "how can they"?; "what do they expect to do"?; "they need to educate" is not getting involved.

They have full intention of "POSTING SIGNS" at the trailheads. These are the signs with "trail descriptions and equipment requirements" that the agencies, insurance underwriters and a group of OHV recreationists have been working on for the past couple of months.............. our guys don't agree with the requirements either. It seems the OHV recreationists simply want it all their way. That is not going to happen.

I will personally fight this permit issue to the end. I do not believe it can or will work but maybe that's exactly what they want. MAYBE?????........ They can then close the trails, don't have to manage, don't have to work to monitor or maintain the trails.............

I apologize for harping on and on about this but once again............ I KNOW this permit issue is not going to work. You all need to consider what happens when it doesn't................ WE WILL BE AT BLAME and WE ARE THE ONES THAT WILL LOSE. Will the 4x4 community, support compliance to the trail/equipment requirements and will they change their attitude about the wheeling they do? Will they help educate and police our own? Will they make an attempt to understand the NEPA requirements the land managers must work under? Will they find time to "get involved"? All the answers lie within these few questions.


Sandee, I may be wrong, But isn't this all being based on a trail "system" that WE helped implement? :eek: If in truth thats what it is, then this will cease all help that the BLM will get from me in helping "implement" trail ideas.
I was under the idea that this would not hurt us, by doing and assisting the BLM, But however now it appears to have taken a turn. And a wrong turn at that. Please clarify for me......


Joe

JamesT
07-18-2004, 06:04 PM
Sandee, I may be wrong, But isn't this all being based on a trail "system" that WE helped implement? :eek: Joe

Yeah and once they implement their program, we are switching to the Colorado based system. So stock Jeeps can run Terminator again... :p

Sandee McCullen
07-18-2004, 07:28 PM
Sandee, I may be wrong, But isn't this all being based on a trail "system" that WE helped implement? :eek: If in truth thats what it is, then this will cease all help that the BLM will get from me in helping "implement" trail ideas.
I was under the idea that this would not hurt us, by doing and assisting the BLM, But however now it appears to have taken a turn. And a wrong turn at that. Please clarify for me......


Joe

You are absolutely right and I have full intention of letting them know this..... The bottom line regarding identifying the trails is still: If we didn't identify them they would be closed........... not just permited or regulated. I don't like this BS one bit but I do believe we can win this with support from all. The agencies know our numbers and are feeling our "strength" but they are also "calling our bluff" regarding whether we will truly "SUE" as a result. Until we get business support to ORBA where we can get legal support we will lose this battle. There is no way Arizona can initiate a legal action against BLM without a minimum of $100,000.00............ It costs big buck just to file a FOIA for us to obtain the data and/or facts they have supporting a decision............. BRC has helped on a number of issues but they tend to lean towards the national issues and/or snowmobiles and/or bikes and ATV's. We MUST partner with those that can and will help us.

We MUST back up our strengths!

I need a number of letters exactly like yours............ if I can take 100+ letters like yours to the meeting where these leaders can see what the public thinks about this it will make a difference.

I don't believe BLM is proposing this "permitting system" to hurt us or close trails............ they simply don't know what to do about the growing numbers of OHV recreationists traversing trails they are not capable of. These are the guys that are stacking rocks, making by-passes, ripping oil pans,and leaving U-joint parts and broken axles when they do break. If we truly followed the "LEAVE NO TRACE" these regulatory agencies wouldn't even know we were there. The "greenies" couldn't declare "BLM or FS are NOT manageing or protecting the lands". We certainly have enough trails in Arizona to accomodate ALL levels of vehicle capabilities and driver experience. As our experience develops and our vehicles modify, so can the level of trail................ that's the whole reason for lockers, D60 axles, beefed up parts, larger tires, air pressure and a whole page of other modifications.

Don't you dare back out on me now.................. if they see weakness from us they WILL simply close everything they deem "unmanageable" or "unsafe" or "a detriment to the resources". WE are the only ones that can stop this action.

ocncretesucks
07-18-2004, 10:55 PM
So you can turn me in if you see me on a trail that you do not think my jeep is capable of being on!
Who determines how high or how big of tires you need.
If you run a short wheel base why would you need a big lift because the trail rating says so?
This does not look user friendly at all.

Sandee McCullen
07-18-2004, 11:29 PM
So you can turn me in if you see me on a trail that you do not think my jeep is capable of being on!
Who determines how high or how big of tires you need.
If you run a short wheel base why would you need a big lift because the trail rating says so?
This does not look user friendly at all.

I'm sorry you think this issue is all about "who can turn who in"......... that is not the issue. The issue is the RESOURCES and the damage OUR sport is doing to them and how much will we police our own to protect the resources. If the abuse on the extreme trails continues as it has this past year they will all look like Sycamore within a number of year.......... OR simply be closed to our use.

There will be "required equipment signs" at each trail............. the ratings are balanced with the vehicle size. Those that worked on developing the requirements have wheeled for a long time and know and understand what a vehicle can do. I believe the requirements are fair and make sense although I will be talking to the group that worked on the requirements and talk about tire size a bit more. I believe the tire size we've developed is a bit tight........... at least for this beginning phase, but the bottom line is still.......... OUR people are abusing the resources under the pretext of: Public lands......... can do as we please.

What is "user friendly" to you? Allowing everyone to do as they please?... wherever they please? We are not "Leaving No Trace"........... there is rock stacking, oil pools on rocks and soil, and by-passes being made daily. I received a report on Friday that BLM is going out to the Terminators next week to investigate NEW paths/trails being developed. If this is happening we're looking at losing these trails permanently. The Terminators are listed within a "riparian area" and many specialists feel we should not be there PERIOD. Phoenix BLM has supported us in retaining these trails for OHV use but if they find new trails/routes/by-passes etc............. they will quit defending us and let the greenie specialists close these trails permanently and there won't be a thing we can do about it.

Our fellow 4-wheelers need to stop whinning about all the injusticies done to them and consider what they are doing to the resources............. asking us to respect the trails and resources is not asking too much. The education about the trails, ratings, equipment, safety and ethics must come from our own. As does the policing of those that feel they don't have to abide by the rules.

DFRacing
07-19-2004, 11:27 AM
Our fellow 4-wheelers need to stop whinning about all the injusticies done to them and consider what they are doing to the resources............. asking us to respect the trails and resources is not asking too much. The education about the trails, ratings, equipment, safety and ethics must come from our own. As does the policing of those that feel they don't have to abide by the rules.__________________
Sandee

I agree, What needs to be done is leave trail ratings the way they are and the people equipped to do these trails take the time to derock everytime you are on these trails. The rigs not equipped stay off the trails and do the trails they are equipped for and take the time to derock these trails....ect,.ect.
This way everyone has a challanging trail for all levels.
It really sucks that Axle Alley took 17 hours with 4 rigs through the first time and now, it can be driven in less than an Hour with 4 rigs.

Todd

DFRacing
07-19-2004, 11:40 AM
Originally Posted by ocncretesucks
So you can turn me in if you see me on a trail that you do not think my jeep is capable of being on!
Who determines how high or how big of tires you need.
If you run a short wheel base why would you need a big lift because the trail rating says so?
This does not look user friendly at all.


This kind off attitude is what is going to our tough trails closed. You ask who determines the trail ratings. How about the people who open the trail. Most off the time the extreme trails are opened by experenced and well equipped rigs. If these rigs struggle with what they have then anything less should not be on that trail because it will get rock stacked. If anyone is worried about body damage, breaking parts ect. ect... They should not be on 4 - 5 rated trails.
Just like when you go skiing.. novice skiers do not go on black diamond trails.

Sandee McCullen
07-19-2004, 12:04 PM
Our fellow 4-wheelers need to stop whinning about all the injusticies done to them and consider what they are doing to the resources............. asking us to respect the trails and resources is not asking too much. The education about the trails, ratings, equipment, safety and ethics must come from our own. As does the policing of those that feel they don't have to abide by the rules.__________________
Sandee

I agree, What needs to be done is leave trail ratings the way they are and the people equipped to do these trails take the time to derock everytime you are on these trails. The rigs not equipped stay off the trails and do the trails they are equipped for and take the time to derock these trails....ect,.ect.
This way everyone has a challanging trail for all levels.
It really sucks that Axle Alley took 17 hours with 4 rigs through the first time and now, it can be driven in less than an Hour with 4 rigs.

Todd

I don't believe any "trail ratings" are being changed. The "equipment requirements" which basically refer to the "acceptable safety" of use on the specific trail. I believe the only "requirements" changed were the roll bar and/or cage and tire size. I also feel the tire size may need to be adjusted at least for this first phase but the rest of the requirements are simple common sense. The agencies are VERY concerned about liability as are the insurance carriers. It seem to me that since 99% of the requirements are what we already do we shouldn't have any problem with compliance. We simply MUST bend with the liability issue or we'll lose all. These "safety" measures are the only way the agencies and insurance carriers can hopefully get out from under liability if someone rolls their vehicle.

A case from a couple of years ago: A "dork" entered a mine on BLM property near Parker somewhere. Inside the dark shaft there was a vertical shaft this guy fell into. He was not seriously hurt........... sprained ankle I believe....... but he sued the BLM for $1,000,000.00 claiming NEGLIGENCE on the part of the BLM because they did not post a "warning sign" indicating it was dangerous to enter the mine shaft. This idiot WON!!

We not only need to consider the resources, we must consider the directives the agencies are under regarding "management of the lands and resources".

The "requirements" also reduce or eliminate the rock stacking, by-passes and massive oil spills.......... these are the major issues the managers are concerned with although the environmentals are now pushing this "visual impact" thing. Like it or not we MUST find a middle ground that works for both sides or OUR side is the side that will lose.

JamesT
07-19-2004, 12:51 PM
Our fellow 4-wheelers need to stop whinning about all the injusticies done to them and consider what they are doing to the resources............. asking us to respect the trails and resources is not asking too much. The education about the trails, ratings, equipment, safety and ethics must come from our own. As does the policing of those that feel they don't have to abide by the rules.__________________
Sandee

I agree, What needs to be done is leave trail ratings the way they are and the people equipped to do these trails take the time to derock everytime you are on these trails. The rigs not equipped stay off the trails and do the trails they are equipped for and take the time to derock these trails....ect,.ect.
This way everyone has a challanging trail for all levels.
It really sucks that Axle Alley took 17 hours with 4 rigs through the first time and now, it can be driven in less than an Hour with 4 rigs.

Todd

And this sir is why I tend not to get involved in these discussions...... Thanks for reminding me.

BTW - I remember when the Salt River was a 4.0 run. This run started at Mill Ave. and went west to where Priest is now. Oh yeah, it's called Tempe Town lake now.... Dang, I am showing my age...

jeepin_al
07-19-2004, 01:06 PM
Seems there are two opposing forces forming here. The most basic problem is something we would ALL agree on, most everything depends on driver skill more then just rig capability. Also, rigs vary so much with apparently the same attributes visually (4" lift with innappropriate shocks running 33's vs a 3" lift with good articulation and 32" tires etc etc) that there doesn't seem a valid way to regulate these things. What I have read so far smacks of a knee jerk reaction by all parties. I would have sworn that Arizona has a "stupidity" law and if you endanger yourself unnecesarrily by doing things such as crossing a flooded stream in the monsoons etc you pay for your own extracation and recovery. I don't have a problem with getting a permit to wheel that has a liability clause releasing the state from any liability for my own stupidity if I hurt myself, but regulating how much I have to build my jeep up to do such and such trail seems a little overboard. I thought the rating system was a guide to allow you to know what to expect before you got to a trail, not a legally binding explanation of a trails difficulty level. What about the trail that becomes easier over time (they ALL do, even without rock stacking), or after a heavy rain where what was a 3 is now a 4 due to slick rock. Just seems like too many variables to regulate, but the permit with a signed release makes a bit more sense for the insurance aspect of it. As for the greenies, there is nothing short of closing all the national forests that will satisfy them and you know it. In their case it comes down to tread lightly and enjoy nature for what it offers while you can, and fight everything they do, small considerations add up quite quickly, sort of like the rating system apparently has in this situation.

We need to look at management and funding rather then letting them further regulate. Look at all the money innapropriately taken from the OHV community already that actually is helping the greenies. If this money was spent on trail clean ups, improvements, or trail adoption programs the trails would be in the shape they should be, and people would be helping out more.

Just a little babbling pointlessly, jsut seems to me there is a division amongst even club members of how to react, but the greenies are organized and aiming right for the heart. This is a perfect plan to set up an unenforcable regulation so that when it fails they can point out how the OHV community isn't able to be regulated and therefore should just be stopped.

Sandee McCullen
07-19-2004, 01:47 PM
Seems there are two opposing forces forming here. The most basic problem is something we would ALL agree on, most everything depends on driver skill more then just rig capability. Also, rigs vary so much with apparently the same attributes visually (4" lift with innappropriate shocks running 33's vs a 3" lift with good articulation and 32" tires etc etc) that there doesn't seem a valid way to regulate these things. What I have read so far smacks of a knee jerk reaction by all parties. I would have sworn that Arizona has a "stupidity" law and if you endanger yourself unnecesarrily by doing things such as crossing a flooded stream in the monsoons etc you pay for your own extracation and recovery. I don't have a problem with getting a permit to wheel that has a liability clause releasing the state from any liability for my own stupidity if I hurt myself, but regulating how much I have to build my jeep up to do such and such trail seems a little overboard. I thought the rating system was a guide to allow you to know what to expect before you got to a trail, not a legally binding explanation of a trails difficulty level. What about the trail that becomes easier over time (they ALL do, even without rock stacking), or after a heavy rain where what was a 3 is now a 4 due to slick rock. Just seems like too many variables to regulate, but the permit with a signed release makes a bit more sense for the insurance aspect of it. As for the greenies, there is nothing short of closing all the national forests that will satisfy them and you know it. In their case it comes down to tread lightly and enjoy nature for what it offers while you can, and fight everything they do, small considerations add up quite quickly, sort of like the rating system apparently has in this situation.

We need to look at management and funding rather then letting them further regulate. Look at all the money innapropriately taken from the OHV community already that actually is helping the greenies. If this money was spent on trail clean ups, improvements, or trail adoption programs the trails would be in the shape they should be, and people would be helping out more.

Just a little babbling pointlessly, jsut seems to me there is a division amongst even club members of how to react, but the greenies are organized and aiming right for the heart. This is a perfect plan to set up an unenforcable regulation so that when it fails they can point out how the OHV community isn't able to be regulated and therefore should just be stopped.

Agree, agree and agree................. the bottom line is WE don't take care of our own and we have to start if we want to keep our trails open. Again, I truly believe the BLM know a "permitting system" will not work but when it doesn't work they can blame US and close the trails under: Cannot manage.

Something I think everyone is missing.................. no one is RATING trails. We know, as do the agencies, that most trails get easier with use and due to Mother Nature some get easier and many get harder. The agencies are simply looking at the trails......... in their determination........ that are ROCK CRAWLING TRAILS. In their prospective this includes any trail that requires modification to the vehicles to enable them to do. I am working on a "Education Class" describing what a "modified vehicle is"; how a locker works and why; how lockers lessen the damage to the trail; winch techniques and how "winch points" on some trails will help; what air pressure does; larger tires and tread; etc......... following this presentation I propose we get some of these guys into a SEAT and show them HOW we can traverse the trails without impact and HOW we can do stuff they cannot even imagine. WITHOUT RESOURCE DAMAGE. When we start showing WE ARE EDUCATING and PARTNERING WITH THE AGENCIES, THE GREENIES HAVE NOTHING TO HOLD AGAINST US OR THE AGENCY.

We KNOW what a vehicle is capable of, virtually by the modifications...... we cannot judge the experience of a driver. This is where the seemingly tough "requirements" come into the picture. Liability IS a problem......... they can post all the "liability waivers" they wish......... if someone gets hurt or rolls their vehicle they can sue irregardless of any waiver. The ONLY thing that will save the agencies backsides when OUR people sue, is the show of "intent to notify or warn". Same with our insurance other than they only need ONE suit filed and they have to defend or pay and we've lost insurance forever. If we lose our insurance there will be no more "events" such as 4x4 Jamboree; Spook Rally; Roundup; Trail Dust Days; Desert Splash; or CalRocs. You think there's ticked off people now............... make these events unavailable and you'll think "ticked".

There are no vehicle requirements beyond common sense. I'm going request we meet again to re-discuss the tire size but this is the only requirement that would hurt anyone from doing the extreme trails. A roll bar and/or cage are simply common sense safety gear. The rest of the requirements are no different than we already have within our own.

Marty
07-21-2004, 09:30 AM
So if the BLM implements this plan and some one participating in the permit system hurts/kills themselves or passengers could they then sue the BLM, just not sure about the lawsuit part?
Marty

Sandee McCullen
07-21-2004, 10:14 AM
So if the BLM implements this plan and some one participating in the permit system hurts/kills themselves or passengers could they then sue the BLM, just not sure about the lawsuit part?
Marty

We always allegedly have the right to sue............. whether we have cause is another issue but in answer to your question: Yes, they could be sued if the involved could prove BLM was negiligent in "warning" of the safety issues involved. Thusly, the reason for the requirement signs that are viewed by their legal dept. and the insurance companies to be sufficient "safety standards". The permit system will not make a difference regarding "liability" one way or another but the safety requirements will definitely help.

I don't know their reason for the "permit"................ I doubt they know at this time but for the time being they seem to feel that this will separate the men from the boys and stop the non-qualified from entering certain trails. I'm HOPING they will understand "permits" will not resolve the issues they are concerned about............ changing the watershed by way of rock stacking & by-passes; oils into the water table and/or wildlife water supply; and most recently the "visual" impact to our resources. Game & Fish keep pushing how we're "fragmenting wildlife habitat" and numerous other ridiculous issues but the bottom line is simple and really quite easy to solve............... LEAVE NO TRACE.

If they cannot "see" we've been there they certainly can't shut us down or blame us can they?

Hopefully no one is planning on "suing" for something. That will only take ONE to lock our trails out forever and cancel any/all chances for insurance which means this state will never be able to host "events" of any kind. They can always post, and probably will to some extent, a "liability waiver" ......... "traverse at your own risk" .......but if someone can "prove negiligence" the waiver doesn't mean anything.

Hope this answers your question...........

weasel_ugs
07-21-2004, 11:04 PM
I dont see how a permit system will help considering not everyone gets a permit to drive on state land trust as it is. I think the only people that will know to get permits and have them are the ones that know the issues at hand and leave no trace.The people that do most of the destruction probably dont know you need a permit and probably dont care.How do we stop these people? Don

Sandee McCullen
07-21-2004, 11:24 PM
I dont see how a permit system will help considering not everyone gets a permit to drive on state land trust as it is. I think the only people that will know to get permits and have them are the ones that know the issues at hand and leave no trace.The people that do most of the destruction probably dont know you need a permit and probably dont care.How do we stop these people? Don

Once again............ I doubt BLM will actually go to a permit system but if they do most of these trails under consideration may be GATED so the only way in is with a combination. It won't be a permit like required for State Trust Lands that are wide open. If the trail is not gated it will be SIGNED "permit required". If at that time a vehicle is found to not have a permit they will be cited. This fine is not cheap........... State Land is $500.00 - $2500.00. BLM can do likewise.

Again............... if we stay calm and reasonable I believe we can make the BLM understand we will continue to be responsible recreationists. They're ONLY worry is "HOW to keep the non-qualified vehicles out of the extreme trails". "Safety", "liability" and "resource abuse" are the issues they're trying to address for their new management plans.

Sandee McCullen
08-12-2004, 10:24 PM
Here's what's up guys......................

Word leaked out yesterday that BLM is looking at requiring ALL 4.0 trails and above (in their words......... " Any/all rock crawling or extreme technical trails"......... They feel Terminators are "rock crawling" trails) will require a permit to use. There is to be a state leadership meeting next week that I have been invited to.............. (they didn't have much of a choice) but I MUST sell these guys on a "plan" or we will truly be locked into a mess. I realize, and most likely you all do also, that there is no way they could ever police or manage something like this but if it gets into the Resource Management Plans we're locked in for 10 to 15 years. Even and amendment would take 5 years or more. This is being looked at STATEWIDE. I have been yelling "consistency" to them for a number of years............... Well, this is what they consider consistency. WE need to join together to show them there is another way to manage recreation consistently.


Same ole story................. They are concerned about "non-qualified" vehicles traversing the technical trails. Again............ Rock stacking must stop; by-passes must stop; keeping our trails clean from oil and unnecessary marks is an absolute necessity. Another of their concerns is the liability. I thought that throughout the past several months when I sat with the managers to develop the "rating/requirement" for signing, they were content that WE would respect and honor the requirements and directives. I guess now they feel this isn't enough.

Between now and Wednesday next week I have to write a PLAN for the technical trails and "how" to implement the safety or management of the technical trails. The first thing they need to see and accept is commitment from us (clubs and/or individuals) that we will help in management and patrol of our trails. If this means turning in a fellow 4-wheeler for not abiding by the rules of the road.............. So be it. If each club would send a short paragraph stating their support of "self patrol" and "responsible use" I can present this as a show of good faith to allow us to show our support and partnership of responsible use BEFORE laws or regulations are implemented to gate or close our trails.

The land managers and VERY concerned about their liability of recreationists on technical trails............. As are the insurance companies. Our insurer in Arizona is issuing us liability coverage to cover the land managers but it's still very iffy for the insurance companies unless we can show "sincere intent" and "education" re the safety of our sport................... Most states cannot even obtain liability coverage to enable them to host events within their association or clubs.

I'm sure there are a number of you that are going to blaze over the roll bar and/or roll cage requirements but before you fume too long think of the alternative........................ No trails to require special equipment................ Thusly no liability for the insurance companies or the land managers.

If we all truly consider the safety issues of our sport on any trails above a stock 2.0 - 3.0 trail I think most would agree it's worth thinking about. We cannot continue to wheel anywhere, anytime like we have in the past 40 plus years. We are now on the front page; are being viewed and watched very closely; are losing more than we're keeping; and in simple words must "Leave No Trace"........................ As recreationists in Arizona we are outright spoiled! We have hundreds of miles of trails of all levels of difficulty; we have never had rules or keepers............... We do now. This will not change. ............... WE must change. Change our views, attitudes and methods of 4-wheeling as our sport. If we continue to abuse our trails at the rate we're at right now all of our trails will look like Sycamore within 10 years........................ That will force closure!

Your help and consideration will certainly help this change in process easier. If anyone has any ideas on what I can present as OUR PLAN on managing and maintaining our trails to meet the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) it will help convince the managers you all do want to help.

THANKS, Sandee


NEWS RELEASE.........
As of "unofficial" word yesterday BLM will NOT be requiring "permits on all technical trails" across the state. They will however be adopting my submitted plan:
Proposal from the OHV community regarding Extreme Technical Trails. (aka: Rock Crawling)



· Access maps and RMP’s to reflect Extreme Technical Trials, (Rock Crawling) and/or areas of several trails, as SRMA’s. Do not reflect the actual trail on an access map.

· Technical Trails to have “Trail Information and Required Equipment” at each trailhead. (*see attached proposed Requirements as agreed on w/ agencies, insurance & recreationists)

· Kiosks to be placed at strategic positions for education purposes regarding the required equipment; clean up; trail patrol; laws and ethics.

· Place Limiting Obstacles (Rookie Filters) at trail entrance and/or exit, if needed or practical.

· Place “winch points” on rock obstacles where needed.



Responsible Recreationists will:

· Encourage organized clubs to “adopt” the extreme technical trails to help with cleanups; maintenance; monitoring; and trail patrol within a managed schedule.

· Maintain an MOU for volunteer hours to install signs; kiosks; and lead education weekends at strategic locations in partnership with law enforcement rangers/officers.

· Continue hosting “101” Safety & Driving Education Clinics for new 4-Wheelers.

· Update “requirements” for trails on a yearly basis.

The "Requirements" have been revised and accepted............ hopefully these now fit our use abilities. The agencies and insurance broker are happy with them. We'll only be using the requirements for the 4.0 or 4.5 and above trails. I suggest the 4.5 and harder. Agencies want the 4.0 and up.???? We'll see. The main point is they are turning some of the management and ownership to us. We must be responsible. Most likely Armegeddon will be gated with access by permit as will Martinez Canyon but I "think" we can work with the rest..............????

I've asked the ASA4WDC WEBmaster to post the new requirements on the WEB page in place of the existing ones. Hopefully we can all work with these. They will be requirements for Jamboree but they will also be the signs within the trailheads of the technical trails.

flxy_tj
08-12-2004, 11:04 PM
At least this is something that we can control and work with. Will they do the permits like they do Bulldog Canyon? I feel that works out well, or are they talking about a fee? I'm not complaining one bit at all. Just trying to find out more info......
Thank you so much for your hard work Sandee.
Jon Snowden

Sandee McCullen
08-12-2004, 11:46 PM
At least this is something that we can control and work with. Will they do the permits like they do Bulldog Canyon? I feel that works out well, or are they talking about a fee? I'm not complaining one bit at all. Just trying to find out more info......
Thank you so much for your hard work Sandee.
Jon Snowden


IF any of the trails are gated and access will be by permit I don't know at this time how they'll work it. I do know the permit will be free but I don't know if it will be like Bulldog Canyon or not. That permit doesn't do a thing for the trail................ FS has no way to trace WHO or WHEN with the process they use. They are talking about a "one day" permit so they can deny permits if there is cause or excess use. I don't know how they'll implement this but at this time I'm just glad they've decided to not do a permit system for ALL technical trails.

I agree, I think we can live with the standing proposal............. times are definitely changing.

flxy_tj
08-13-2004, 12:01 AM
Yes, times are changing but we need to accept these changes as group and hope for the best, and if we don't like it get involved. I have not been as involved as I would like but I'm working on changing that issue.
I feel the permits will keep people from abusing some of our trails and taking rigs down the trail that are not equipped.
I dont want all of the trails that people go on to turn out like the coves.... :(
That would not make me happy at all.

weasel_ugs
08-13-2004, 01:46 AM
I have never used a permit sytem for a trail before so I have a question. Say there is a run through Martinez and it is gated,does everyone on the run need a permit or is there a group permit for something like gated trails?

This new system looks like something very workable,especially with the kiosks for info for the people that dont know anything that is going on.Thanks for keeping us informed and fighting for us. Don

flxy_tj
08-13-2004, 02:22 AM
I know with Bulldog everyone is suppose to have a permit to do the run.

ROCKFAN
08-13-2004, 08:17 AM
Sandee - This is excellent work - thanks for your efforts in getting this in place. I regard this as a victory for our side - the trails stay open, with reasonable requirements for access to them. Curious about how enforcement would be handled, and how violations would be handled (if they were caught)

We all need to hold up our side of the bargin, and keep the trails clean and de-rocked.

What's an "SRMA"?


NEWS RELEASE.........
As of "unofficial" word yesterday BLM will NOT be requiring "permits on all technical trails" across the state. They will however be adopting my submitted plan:
Proposal from the OHV community regarding Extreme Technical Trails. (aka: Rock Crawling)



· Access maps and RMP’s to reflect Extreme Technical Trials, (Rock Crawling) and/or areas of several trails, as SRMA’s. Do not reflect the actual trail on an access map.

SNIP

roger
08-13-2004, 09:53 AM
Sandee,

Is the idea of making the Table Mesa area a designated OHV area still on the table?

-Roger

Sandee McCullen
08-13-2004, 10:20 AM
Sandee,

Is the idea of making the Table Mesa area a designated OHV area still on the table?

-Roger

The Florence Junction area will be classified as a "Multi-Use Recreation Area". That's the reason for the formation of the Middle Gila Conservation Partnership.

The route inventory was completed about a year ago.......... the MGCP group is now working it's way through "designating" all the routes reflected on the inventory maps. The first step is to create 3 alternatives for each of the trails in the area. These 3 alternatives then go back to either BLM Tucson or the MGCP group again for development of a "Preferred Alternative". Once this is done the DRAFT EIS for the RMP will offer 5 alternatives............... As is; Closed; Open; Preferred or other....... There are plans to tie the northwest corner of the State Trust Lands into an "Open OHV park (no specific trails) to tie in with the OHV Recreation area on the east side of Hwy 79 (Desert Wells) but this is mostly for ATV's and bikes.

We will never have an OHV area like Johnson Valley that is open to anywhere, anytime............

Sandee McCullen
08-13-2004, 11:12 AM
Sandee - This is excellent work - thanks for your efforts in getting this in place. I regard this as a victory for our side - the trails stay open, with reasonable requirements for access to them. Curious about how enforcement would be handled, and how violations would be handled (if they were caught)

We all need to hold up our side of the bargin, and keep the trails clean and de-rocked.

What's an "SRMA"?

Sorry, sometimes I get so used to the acronymns I forget most do not know them..
SRMA: Special Recreation Management Area. Actually I believe they're going to use a NEW acronymn for these technical route areas: SRU's. Special Recreation Units. A SRMA has some limitations that wouldn't work for what we're looking at doing so they've made up a new one!!

Re Permits: I don't know how they'll handle them. I doubt they even know at this time. It's not going to be an easy issue because I know they want to be able to derive "flow charts" from the permit process. By issuing a six month permit like F/S does with Bulldog Canyon simply eliminates this factor. I know they're talking about INDIVIDUALS............. I am pushing for a club/group to obtain a permit with all participants listed. Most likely they will go towards a "dated" permit. For a specific day or dates????? These will not be "fee permits"............ the toughest obstacle is going to be "How to obtain a permit". Re "law enforcement"................ ?????????????? I'm sure there will be many hours of discussions regarding these questions as we get closer to the final RMP.

Thanks to all for hanging in there.............. we're just getting started.