Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Thank you quads. 1 reason Why FH is closed for winter

Recommended Posts

ok I admit it, those deep single ruts were probably caused by a dirt bike and then got worse and yes ok I believe you old timers and how the total sport bothr dirt bikes and quads has mushroomed, BUT I will conitinue to mount an offensive to define the real Quad damage at FH and they need to participate. WE need to define the problem, and if you ride FH you see the quad double ruts and pig slop holes they dig as well which are not captured on those photos....and parts of trail 7 as wide as a highway due to their widening of the trail....and how their double wide tire base keeps more trail surface wetted and sloppy reducing drying ability of the trail surface, etc.

and yes I am afraid of the FH director Jan Cutts and her global speak about water quality on a stream that goes nowhere fast...all this bio-water quality save the children speak and how she is doing this for the safety of the children BS sounds like Hillary Clinton talking, but she did keep us open all the way till FEB 20, 2007 this year and she has asked for Volunteers formally on the USFS website and that is the good news....and frankly some of us TTers who are talking with Jan Cutts and Mo tebbe and mark lambert weekly pushing the OHV volunteer effort - well we take the credit for that.

I will do the Volunteer work at FH. I am a big momemtum person in all this OHV volunteer effort. The Quads had better come help too at FH that is all I'm saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BigBob, It takes a great man to admit his mistakes. You are to be commended for your efforts to keep riding areas open. :lol::lol: This "Quad Rider" will help you with Trail Maintenance Restoration efforts even though i've never ridden at FH. It's hard sitting here taking the bashing, but to support all the OHV community I'll take a stand. Send me a PM as to when you'll be starting and I'll make every effort to support the cause. :applause:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what do you the quad guys are willing to help:thinking: Bob i think we spoke about before, if you build it they will come. I think i have been hanging out with yz wiley to much i am starting to get his sense of humor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok Quad guy I will send you a PM tomoorrow, Tonight I leave you all this great post by Dave Wood at the Dist 36 site\\\

"I do not support the conclusion of the USFS on the observations presented with the photos. http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe/recreation/arrd/ohv.shtml

Photo #1 shows a machine-groomed route, which was not properly constructed by USFS guidelines. The trail has no rolling dip. The trail is not out sloped. Rutting will occur when water is channeled down a route as opposed to off the route. Out sloping allows the water to drain off the trail to the downhill side. Most riders use the term Off Camber. The USFS uses the term "out sloping" or “in sloping”. What is observed in these photos is the improper use of a trail tractor, which in sloped this route. The in slopped condition created by the USFS improper use of Trail tractors created this problem. Water has no opportunity to get off the trail. The use of the trail or non-use will NOT prevent this erosion. No use will only slow the damage, not prevent it. Many routes at Foresthill also show troughing, a condition were the inside and outside berms are allowed to remain or the graded condition of the route is below the “grade”. This provides no opportunity for the water to exit the trail bed.

A rolling dip is not a water bar. It is the creation of natural water exits from the trail by designing the route to rise and fall on a decent or inclines. This trail descends without a rolling dip. Used in combination with an out sloped route the water does not get the opportunity to “run” down the route causing erosion. Poor design.

Sedimentation ponds can be a good, as they allow sediments to be trapped and not flow into a stream. The last photo suggests that a puddle is flowing sediment into a stream. When in fact it traps the sediment. Now if a bike cuts a rut in the dam, or a trail tractor grades the bump smooth, which creates the puddle, then sediment will flow. Ruts can also be self-healing. Those that ride Clear Creak often can see this phenomenon. Parts of the rut will slough in and create dams, which will backfill with sediment, and ugly deep ruts will fill themselves in. The key is not to allow the water a chance to build momentum.

At Foresthill you find many water bars used as water diverters. The USFS guidelines indicate that this is an inappropriate structure to use in an OHV area. Water bars are used on logging roads, to put a road to rest for the winter or longer. Water bars do not hold up well to wheeled use. The wheels will cut the diversion and the water will continue to flow down the route instead of off the route. With proper construction, per USFS guidelines, the trail would have a rolling dip, which would not allow the water to continue down the route. What we see with the USFS is the use of larger water bars and deep cuts for many feet and often many yards off the route, creating drains. The amount of earth moved to create such fixtures only creates a larger problem. What do we often see on the backside of a water bar, puddles? The drain plugs, a large puddle is created the water bar is cut by spinning tires and the water flows down the route. The solution is to create a bigger water bar and a deeper, longer drain. This is no solution and only creates more work and a less sustainable route.

The trail tractor operators seldom use the knowledge learned over two decades. Trails Unlimited teaches proper use of the trail tractor and USFS guidelines do as well. Read the Poff report, he was contracted several years ago to report on OHV trails by the USFS Southwest region 5 Rich Farington, (retired) Kathy Mick has been promoted into his position overseeing trails. Roger Poff is a Soils Scientist. One problem is that, often, unsupervised seasonal employees use the equipment. They are often not trained in the proper use of the trail tractor. They simply drop the blade make it look pretty. They define a good job, as many ignorant OHV users do as well, as a smooth, bladed route, free of bumps and obstacles as a good job, NOT. Wide so any idiot with a 450 MX bike can twist the throttle and rail it like a moto track. The outside tractor created berms or cut bank represent berms to rail. Water bars as jumps. Speeds are increased, safety is compromised. An out sloped trail with the outside or downhill berms removed requires more skill to ride. It requires more work in the short run to remove the outside berm. The rolling dips make the trail more challenging and fun for the OHV rider as the trail undulates up and down. It also slows the trail speed. The water bar gets cut and the water flow fast for a long distance causing erosion.

I will also point out that dry conditions are when the real damage is done. By OHV or the trail tractor. Compaction occurs with moisture in the soil. While roosting around in wet weather, or snow, the mud tracks may appear bad, but most of the soil remains on or near the trail bed. By restricting use until the trail is dry, compaction does not occur, Anyone who has ridden Foresthill can see what I am talking about. Trails and roads have been turned into silt beds by logging and the improper use of the trail tractor in dry conditions, more silt. Trails, roads or routes, which are ridden in the spring, with moisture in the soil, become “hardened” some call “blue groove” or Sierra concrete. Such “hardened” routes are not near as dusty as the areas, which have been turned to silt by tractors. Riding or using tractors in dry conditions turns the soil to silt. The silt becomes dust and is blown away from the trail bed. When it rains, if proper structures are not in place, the silt turns to mud, ruts occur and the soil may runoff the trail bed. Clean water acts have made this a very bad situation, which the USFS must mitigate. The presentation by many that our OHV silt is bad. The natural sedimentation is never accounted for. Cloud Microburst, when rain is heavily concentrated in an area and flash flooding and landslides occurs. I have witnessed mountainsides slide and many tons of sedimentation entering rivers/creeks. Mud flows for miles. No roads, no trails, just the side of the mountain coming down. Heavy snow, with warm rains following, creates above average runoff and huge amounts of sedimentation flow downstream. Just take a boat ride at Folsom Lake during the spring snow melt. Huge trees and the lake is brown with sedimentation. The eco nuts and those of you who support no science based legislation and or supporting past clean water propositions have created enormous pressure on the USFS and BLM land managers to eliminate ALL sources of sedimentation. Such photos as presented by the USFS presents a misleading impression to the casual observer. The rest of the story is the down stream photo. 100', 1000' etc. The water from what minute amounts of sedimentation created by OHV crossings has completely settled out, just a short distance down stream and runs clear. It is important to have well thought out, hardened, water crossings or bridges to minimize sedimentation. Foresthill OHV trail system too often sees the improper use of the trail tractor in dry soil conditions. When reported the USFS denies the occurrence, when pressed, they finally admit to the improper use and blame “seasonal worker”.

The solution does require that OHV users take on a greater role in maintaining our trails. The knowledge is there and we have twenty years of experience with the proper and improper use of trail tractors. Land managers must be willing to learn from past mistakes that sending a seasonal, unsupervised and not properly trained worker out to “maintain” trails has caused enormous damage to our OHV trail systems. To drop a blade for the entire length of a trail and looking at miles groomed is wrong. If you have a 100 yard problem area, that is beyond the ability of volunteers or staff to correct and equipment is needed. Fix the problem area and lift the blade on the rest of the route. Do not grade the rut smooth, yet in so doing bring the trail bed below grade. Or push up a larger water bar, with a deeper, longer drain. Do not in slope the route, out slope the trail. Remove downhill berms. Use rolling dips. Take a look at most roadways, do they build our roads to allow water to run to the middle of the roadway and puddle. No, they build the middle of the roadway up, so the water flows off the roadway. Proper construction can create a sustainable route that will hold up for many years such as trail 6, built with a trail tractor. By not engaging in periodic grooming the trail was allowed to “mature”. Allowing the inside bank to slough off into the trail and the outside to slough off, thus allowing this tractor built trail, to develop a single track character, in many areas.

I think it is gross mismanagement to toss the OHV volunteers out of our managed OHV areas that created great trail networks. The Land managers take on the roll of maintaining our OHV roads, routes and trails. Getting OHV green sticker funds to “maintain” such. They get on tractors and since 1986 have systematically destroyed trail systems by the improper use of tractors and poor design. Then take pictures of the mess the land manager created and then blame OHV. Over this same period a new sport evolved, Quads. Land managers simply fail to protect the single track character of trails. We see the conversion of trails to Quad routes, speeds increased as obstacles are removed with grooming and more danger awaits each of us. The Tahoe NF provides many of our states best OHV trails. I would like to believe that the Foresthill OHV area could follow the great example set in other parts of the Tahoe NF to create and maintain a sustainable network of trails, routes and roads?

__________________

Dave Wood

AMA Charter Life member"

great post dave, thanks for the education

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can all throw around the blame, but know this, three years ago when I first rode Loop 1 or 7 at FH I thought that this was some good learning 1 and a half to two track trail stuff and it was great. Now I would have no problem taking my Tacoma down most of it, laugh if you want but most would agree with me.

Some Quads are just for work, some are just for Ass_Wholes, you decide where you fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will do the Volunteer work at FH. I am a big momemtum person in all this OHV volunteer effort.

Bob, you kick ass. Your's and other's willingness to make Georgetown a better place is much admired and appreciated. I for one am very appreciative of all you've done at GT. If you got your hands on Foresthill the place would be a better place for everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It doesn't matter what kind of vehicle made the rut, it is there and someone with an agenda posted the picture with intent. Don't you think it is strange that this was posted on the forestry website just before new wilderness legislation is about to be introduced?

Not so much an agenda, I don't think, although it is true that we aren't universally liked by people in the USFS (hell, we aren't universally liked, period). This is a NEPA-related problem (National Environmental Policy Act), and probably more specifically ties into the overall USFS Forest Plan. Sedimentation of running streams is a major red flag for aquatic life. Could be an OHV trail, could be an equestrian trail, could be a mountain bike trail, could be a walking trail. Doesn't matter. Per Forest Orders, the USFS will shut it down until the problem is repaired. The USFS does have an agenda, and it is to balance the recreation/environment scale. Stream sedimentation is a major environmental threat (and unlike many claims, scientific research backs this up). Trails right next to running streams are always a problem. That having been said, this area needs a lot of work, but it's manageable.

As Bob points out, Jan Cutts at FH is really trying to work with us, she seems very fair. We need to offer her support by providing volunteer labor and obeying trail closure. Changing the current situation will take time and hard work (and I think you and I are in complete agreement here). We can fix those trails, and we can improve them for the future (tread hardening + proper drainage would probably go a long way here...a culvert or bridge would be a benefit, too).

We've got to prove we can be responsible, and we've got to take ownership of our riding areas. Many of the people I see out on the trails understand this. But it only takes a couple of hamfisted guys riding through saturated soil like this to create problems, bike or quad. If we take ownership, we'll win trust outside the OHV community, something we desperately need if we hope to keep these areas...and perhaps, expand them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
can't we all just get along I think rodney king said it best lets quit blaming the quads and get out there when they reopen it and fix the prob.

Amen!:applause:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wameith, I agree with your post. There are a lot of trails that are laid out in a way that promotes erosion. Working with trail coordinators we can help alleviate some of these problems by having better laid out trails that drain into rocky vegetated areas that can catch sediment before it gets into streams. I spent an entire day looking at trails last week with a BLM official and discussing how things can be laid out to to minimize run-off and the proliferation of illegal trails and or routes. The fact of the matter is that "any" recreation displaces soil in one form or another, current EPA restrictions make this a big no-no and puts a giant target on our sport. One of the areas I ride in gets huge mud puddles in areas where cattle congregate on the trail, and I have seen rain ruts on horse only and hiking only trails. Erosion happens, it is naturally occurring all over the planet. If it was not for erosion the Central Valley of California would not be the bread basket of the world that it is. The sediment from thousands of years created the most fertile valley in the world. I am in no way saying that we should roost away and forget about the environment. What I am saying is that we as a community need to practice conservation and preserve our riding areas the best that we can. I have seen over the period of 25 years how the environmental movement has pushed us out and the saying that we can not leave a mark on a trail is the beginning of the end for us. I have seen huge rain ruts in areas that are closed to all off-road use, many of which are far greater in size than what I see in OHV areas. Thanks for your well informed information. The main thing is that we as a community need to be more pro-active rather than reactive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
............... Tonight I leave you all this great post by Dave Wood at the Dist 36 site\\\ ...............................

Good post. That's exactly the stuff we learned in the training we received for our Volunteer Trail Maintenance Supervisor program at Georgetown last year. We spent classroom and field time with the engineer in charge of trail design and construction for the Eldorado National Forest and he stressed those same design features, rolling dips and out-sloping for proper control of run off, control and containment of sediment, etc. It's not rocket science, but then again an incredible amount of long term damage can be done when someone doesn't know what they are doing goes to work on a trail, especially if they're on a TrailCat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been several posts here basically saying "let's stop the finger pointing ......... blah, blah, blah" I agree with that sentiment to a certain degree, but Like BigBob has tried to say several times we have to identify the root cause of a problem before we can really fix it.

I too believe that the incredible increase in use of the trail system over the last few years, and especially quad use, is a huge contributing factor. Now before you quad guys go flaming me for this opinion let me finish by adding that I personally find the forest service to be mostly responsible for the current state of the trail system. As I've said in other threads on the subject, those trails were not designed for the use they are getting. Here we are talking about what it is going to take to "harden" the lower trails so that they are better suited for the use that they get, but actually it should have been the forest services responsibility to do so BEFORE they designated them as appropriate trails for quad use. Yeah I know, hindsight is 20/20 blah blah blah, but they sure don't have any problem pointing their fingers at the OHV community, and I have yet to hear them accept any of the responsibility themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of final notes. 1. My title of this post was "ONE reason why FH is closing during the winters" I did not write that it was the #1 reason. It is only one of many. I have to admit my opinion on quad riders is not a pleasant one. An unfortunate accident between an out of control quad rider and my son put this perspective into my brain. And more so it was his unforgiving attitude after the head on that made me feel this way. I know there are many quad riders who are responsible, however what I see is more non responsible rebel type riding than I see with the dirt bike riders. Why is that? Youth? No fear due to 4 wheels? Maybe.

Willingness to work together to cure some of these issues. Very minimal. I hope my mind can be swayed another way, but until I actually see the care, I am unconvinced. Not trying to knock those who are planning on helping and I hope you do.

Hopefully posts like these will stir the discussion that is needed and allow all of us to wake up and help preserve the right to ride.

MIR

ps. Anyone know the location yet of the FH meeting next week. I have been unable to get a response from the people at FH. I believe the meeting is the 15th?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good posts all. Go Team GO!

Yeah that comment about erosion and how it created the valley is important perspective. Another perspective we want to remind others of is: here we are the focus of little details on little trails, then in comes the logging thinning operation and wipes out entire trails as they did on trail 5-7 at FH. and talk about soil movement and open sore land for erosion

there is an overall unfairness doctrine in place when we sweat over little OHV trails and then the loggers simply wipe them off the face of the earth.

I agree Jan Cutts has now shown she will work with all sides. The March 15th meeting will be a good helpful meeting. I look forward to working with our Quad friends later this spring when FH reopens. I want to be there opening weekend Standing at Sugarpine and handing out flyers asking all Riders to help Volunteer.

Yes those problems at FH can be solved by drainage and attention and good trail building techniques.

Hey Quad guys. lead us to the Quad/ATV web site like DomenicWTF did & make a good post over there about help needed, get them interested in our issues and have all sent contact info to

friendsofforesthillohvtrails@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There have been several posts here basically saying "let's stop the finger pointing ......... blah, blah, blah" I agree with that sentiment to a certain degree, but Like BigBob has tried to say several times we have to identify the root cause of a problem before we can really fix it.

I too believe that the incredible increase in use of the trail system over the last few years, and especially quad use, is a huge contributing factor. Now before you quad guys go flaming me for this opinion let me finish by adding that I personally find the forest service to be mostly responsible for the current state of the trail system. As I've said in other threads on the subject, those trails were not designed for the use they are getting. Here we are talking about what it is going to take to "harden" the lower trails so that they are better suited for the use that they get, but actually it should have been the forest services responsibility to do so BEFORE they designated them as appropriate trails for quad use. Yeah I know, hindsight is 20/20 blah blah blah, but they sure don't have any problem pointing their fingers at the OHV community, and I have yet to hear them accept any of the responsibility themselves.

You Sir have hit the nail squarley on the head!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still no location for the March 15th meeting. Worst case scenario I'll know by the 12th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started riding FH about six years ago, I remember the first time I went there trail 7 and 1 was a slick rutted up mess, I think the trails are going to need a lot of voulnteer work to correct the problems in the basic design of the trails. Just going an filling in the ruts is going to be a bandaid on the problem. I don't think quads to be the sole problem at FH, but I think the increased use of them has contributed. It was very rare to even see a quad there six years ago. I hope we can find an in to the quad community so they can do thier share to improve the trails at FH. Hopefully something good will come out of the March 15th meeting Identify the problems, create solutions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

haha under bigbobs name it says "Get Help Now" you have 10,000 posts and counting, nice. Anyway back to topic. I can see why they would want to stop you from riding with those big ruts, but common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
haha under bigbobs name it says "Get Help Now" you have 10,000 posts and counting, nice. Anyway back to topic. I can see why they would want to stop you from riding with those big ruts, but common.

though the pictures are isolated, they have many more examples, the main problem with deep ruts is that riders try to avoid the ruts by going off the designated trail. Going off the trail is a no-no, yess seeems like as small thing but what we're dealing with here is over time the trail system will deterioate to the point where many many new off trail bypasses are self created by the riders to avoid the damaged spots and eventually it becomes a mess, to some point where the system has deterioated to point of causing real impact on the trails sustainabilty.

THIS is not new, clubs and volunteers have been doing Trail maintenance for YEARS as has the USFS. The crisis now is with so many new riders and lack of funds, we need more attention and help to the issue of Trail Maintenance or we will loose trails. THEY HAVE SHUT IT DOWN.

regardless of wether you think they shut us down based on small things or not........with so many riders a trail system can become a crap hole in short order if these few deep water ruts are not cleaned up. That's our view, but the bigger matter is the anti access crowd uses these relatively small isolated water ruts as proof the world is coming to an end and they shut us down fast.

answer is: WE have to work with the USFS to keep our trails in GOOD shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As I've said in other threads on the subject, those trails were not designed for the use they are getting. Here we are talking about what it is going to take to "harden" the lower trails so that they are better suited for the use that they get, but actually it should have been the forest services responsibility to do so BEFORE they designated them as appropriate trails for quad use.

I assessed a couple of trails at GT a few weeks ago with Bill Walker, the Forest Trails Program Manager for the El Dorado. Very interesting conversation with him. In so few words, many of the trails on the El Dorado (GT included), started life as hiking trails. I don't know if that is the case at FH or not, but siting is certainly key. If they were designed today, I think things would look quite a bit different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I assessed a couple of trails at GT a few weeks ago with Bill Walker, the Forest Trails Program Manager for the El Dorado. Very interesting conversation with him. In so few words, many of the trails on the El Dorado (GT included), started life as hiking trails. I don't know if that is the case at FH or not, but siting is certainly key. If they were designed today, I think things would look quite a bit different.

as I understand it Mark Lambert of the FH ranger district built the FH trail system as a dirt bike trail system 20 years ago or more. at least that is the history as I have been told.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×