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Sacbee's article "Off-road use drives trail plan for Tahoe"

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Did anyone read this in today's metro section in the bee?

TRUCKEE - A dramatic escalation in the number of off-highway vehicles in the Tahoe National Forest has led officials to begin planning how to protect both trails and environment.

Within four years, Tahoe National Forest officials hope to have a revised trail plan for the 1.2 million-acre forest, which encompasses Sierra County, parts of Nevada and Placer counties and a small section of Yuba County.

Users of OHVs, as the vehicles are known, are "loving the land to death," Tahoe National Forest officials say.

OHV users on motorcycles, mountain bikes, and quads or other four-wheel-drive vehicles "create roads through meadows, wetlands and archaeological sites, as well as on steep slopes," said Rick Maddalena, lands and recreation officer for the forest's Truckee and Sierraville ranger districts.

The forest's "OHV Route Designation Plan," will start with a 95,000-acre study area surrounding Truckee. Of about 500 miles of trails and roads on Forest Service land within the study area, at least 80 miles are "what we call unclassified and unplanned," Maddalena said.

"I know some folks think the Forest Service is just an obstacle to their enjoyment of the outdoors, but it's also our job to protect it," Maddalena said. "Trails need to be built with the benefit of input from wildlife biologists, archaeologists and soil scientists."

Steve Davis, who heads the High Sierra Motorcycle Club, said he supports the Forest Service's plan, even if it means losing some trails.

"We need to make sure the trails we use get on the map because everything not on the (final) map is going to be closed," he said. "We're hopeful that most of the trails we currently use will remain open to us."

Davis, a 29-year Truckee resident, agreed with Forest Service officials that "there are lots of new trails being created right now and this gives the OHV community a black eye."

"It's not the good old days anymore when you (could) do what you like," Davis said. "We have to take care of what we have."

His club and a mountain-bike group are in the process of adopting a trail near the Sierra Buttes that was built by miners' mules during the Gold Rush. Now heavily used by OHVs of all types, it needs maintenance, and Davis hopes a grant will help them do it.

The Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Club also has adopted some trails, Maddalena said.

Pam Rocca of the North Tahoe Trail Dusters, a four-wheel-drive club, said her group wants to be involved as well. "There is so much restoration and hard work put in by the four-wheel-drive community that is not being recognized," she said.

All national forests will eventually come up with trail plans, said Ann Westling, public affairs officer for Tahoe National Forest. California's plans will be funded by the state OHV Commission.

The popular Rubicon Trail, where Spider Lake was recently closed to campers because of contamination and overuse, will be addressed in the Eldorado National Forest plan.

Westling said the two forests will collaborate on the few miles of the Rubicon that are in the Tahoe forest.

The trail plans are necessitated by an increase of more than 600 percent in OHV use nationwide since the early 1970s - up from about 5 million to 36 million users.

"We're not trying to get rid of OHVs but to enhance the OHV experience while avoiding user conflicts," she said, adding that there has also been increased use by mountain bikers, hikers, backpackers and equestrians.

The majority of the study area's 500 miles of forest trails and roads are now "multiple use, open to everybody," Westling said.

The five-step plan will inventory existing trails and identify routes that offer the best trail system and protect environmentally sensitive areas, she said.

"This may mean improving some routes, consolidating others to eliminate duplication, closing a few routes that are of the greatest environmental concern and perhaps even building some additional trails," she said.

Truckee is approximately at the center of the Tahoe National Forest's initial study area, which includes private land that will not be affected by the plan.

Westling's office will begin meeting with interested groups in the area and branch out later this fall with workshops in Truckee and Nevada City.

Once the inventory of existing roads and trails is completed, a temporary order will prohibit all wheeled vehicles - motorized or not - from using mapped trails and designated open areas in the study area. That temporary order is expected this winter, after which a system of OHV routes will be proposed.

Snowmobiles will not be affected by the order. "We're looking at potential resource damage, and snowmobiles are over-the-snow," Westling said.

Once a route system is decided, a permanent order will be issued designating trails for use by motorized OHVs, she said.

Any decisions to build, modify or close trails to protect environmentally sensitive areas likely will be addressed a year from now, Steve Eubanks, forest supervisor, said in a news release.

http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/10811446p-11729431c.html

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Well here we go dammit. Where does this come from? Greenies and A$$ face quad riders. Its all goin to hell in a hand basket :cry:

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:cool:i say [@#$%&*!] the arciological &%$#@!en sites, its people that dig up the dead bones from our ancestors are the ones doing the damage,carma will get them, as for as the the fat-ass quad rider, redneck mother [@#$%&*!],[@#$%&*!] you too. your fat ass,s cant ride a 2-wheeler.o.m.g. i am so sorry i lost it :cry:

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one day we'll have mandatory GPS trackers on our dirt bikes and you'll have to check in for each ride day on the Forest service website to advise them of your ride plan and the greenie satelite sytem will send you a $400.00 ticket if you go off the trail system designated as open that day.

of course by the time that day comes they be digging up Fester's bones :cry:

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I just got a letter Stateing that the US department of AG is doing the route survey called RID.. route Inventory designation... They are marking all dirt roads and trails and eliminating the ones not used much or going over " sensitive" areas.. what a bunch of crap I think they are just tring to RID the forest of OHV :cry:drz016.jpg

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