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Ride Dark Divide while you can

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Dualsporters, take time this summer to ride some of the most scenic and challanging trails in the Northwest. Don't put it off and say you will do it someday. This may be the last summer to ride some of these trails.

A new Travel Plan will be adopted in 2010 for the Gifford Pinchot NF. Even though I am deeply involved in the Plan, I can not say what the status of the trails will be in 2010. Right now there are about 150 miles of dualsport trail in the Dark Divide and other locations around the Forest. While I am fairly sure the Blue Lake trailbike and quad trails will stay open, the fate of the dualsport trails is not certain.

Lack of funding is preventing the Forest Serice from opening roads to quads and trailbikes or re-examining the existing system of dualsport trails. Some interest groups want to see some, if not all the Dark Divide trails closed to motorized use. The Forest may only be able to enact the trail closures listed in the 1990 Forest Plan, which includes about half the trails in the Dark Divide. Some other trails around the Forest have been closed to trailbikes since 1990, so the total amount of dualsport trails could be substancially reduced.

Trailbike club members have worked hard over the years to keep these trails rideable but many miles are still rutted, which makes it hard for other trail users. The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Association has been trying to get the Forest to do the planning and is in the process of applying for an RCO study grant. But the RCO will not fund this type of general planning with an uncertain outcome. I probably should not be posting this kind of stuff but at this point, I don't much care what happens to me, I just want to see as many riders as possible enjoy the trails while you still can. Don't put it off.

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Thanks for everything you have done, all the hard work you put in and the behind the scenes frustration you must go through. :thumbsup:

My goal again this year is to ride every trail up there, I missed that by a couple last year. I am looking forward to the snow melt and work parties to get the trails open for the season.:ride: I hope it is not too short this year.:rant:

Ride it while you can.

208370739_KTZEU-L.jpg

Later,

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I have been riding Gifford for over 10 years now and this is :ride: The first 5 years I rode up there you would see no one, no one at the staging areas, n one on the trail etc. Felt like I had it all to myself. The last 5 years have seen stunning increases in use. Cool that people are getting to experience this great area but also probably the beginning of the end as trails become eroded do to the additional use.

Let us know where our help would be best directed pleas.

- Thanks for your hard work :thumbsup:

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I am little confused as to why this primarily affects dual sporters? Are these the miles of "trail" that were supposed to replace the miles of multi-use trails that were closed to motorized use in the 90's?

Is there a map that can be posted that indicates the threatened trails...

I plan on getting my 16 yr. old up onto Langille, Sunrise, Jumbo & Tongue Mt. for the first (hopefully not the last) time this summer :thumbsup:

ChromeXR, thanks for the insight...

And to those that are out there planning work parties I would like to make atleast one... I live up north and it's a drive but the SJMC usually does one ride down there each year and I would like to help out especially on the north part of the forest with the valley trail, langille ridge, green mt. etc..... please PM me when the time comes.

Thanks:thumbsup:

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I am little confused as to why this primarily affects dual sporters? Are these the miles of "trail" that were supposed to replace the miles of multi-use trails that were closed to motorized use in the 90's?

To connect the trails legally into loops via the forest roads you are supposed to have a "highway legal vehicle"...

Later,

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I too live up north ( mill creek) and the drive to GP is about 4 hours, but will do ANYTHING to help this area! it is hands down the best riding anywhere. i too would like to know trail #'s affected and am open to help with trail maintenance and work partys. post here when the time comes and i will be there!

Joe

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Tom,

Thanks for the update and for all your efforts in GP. It was a pleasure working with your group on the Spencer Butte Trail last year and am looking forward to being involved in more work parties this year.

I already have a couple riding trips planned for GP this summer. It was right about this time last year that trail clearing started on the Valley trail. Are any trails free of snow as of yet?

Thanks again.

Danny

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With more snow than usual, the trails will be late to open. The section in the photo above will probably have frozen snow in August. The trails most in question are the Boundary trail west of Langille and all the ones south of the Boundary trail except 2 and 80. Getting the Dark Divide trails in top shape might help, demostrating that they can be maintained over time. Politically, I am out of options and ideas.

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i called usfs in randle 2 mos. ago and they say the best thing you can do is get certified on your chain saw by usfs and help clear trails with usfs crews so the hours can be logged volunteer. also you are covered under their (i think?) they said l&i insurance. also usfs looks at trail bikes as just another use in the dark divide. also some "groups" do want to close the d.d. and one other thing stated was the dramatic increase in a.t.v use is a big concern.

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Eric Kangus, Dan Coughlin and I met with some of the USFS GP staff at the headquarters in Vancouver. We presented them with this letter: http://www.jctra.org/gallery/v/other/GPNF_letter_2008.pdf.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=1

JCTRA is constantly working to keep these trails open and open up sections of road to multi use that would allow ORV users to legally make a loop. Our meeting went very well and I hope our request is given careful consideration and implemented in whole or part by the USFS.

We all need to be active in some way or we will loose trail miles year after year.

Joe........

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Jake I will give you a hand at riding all the trails in Gifford:ride: . On a serious note my work pays me for 8 hours of community service so when the snow clears I am up for some trail cleaning during the week.

UOTE=jmetteer;6248389]Thanks for everything you have done, all the hard work you put in and the behind the scenes frustration you must go through. :thumbsup:

My goal again this year is to ride every trail up there, I missed that by a couple last year. I am looking forward to the snow melt and work parties to get the trails open for the season.:ride: I hope it is not too short this year.:rant:

Ride it while you can.

208370739_KTZEU-L.jpg

Later,

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I have a guys weekend set aside in September for sure and I will take a Friday/Monday off to get a 4 day weekend. My last big trip of the year is Tahuya over Labor day weekend so September and October are open. I did not ride the GP enough last year and I plan on making up for some lost time this year,,, if the snow ever goes away. I would love to bring my oldest son (12). He can do it but it may scare the shit out of him, it sure would be nice to get him up there on some nice high trails before they are gone forever.

Joe........

Austin hitting some Tahuya Singletrack 2007

IMG_1101.JPG

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I live in Randle and spend most of my summer riding these trails. I hope there is something that can be done to save this riding area. I talk to a lot of the people riding up here and I am surprised at how far people are traveling to ride here. That tells me it is a pretty special place and it is worth saving. Lets try to keep as much information up as we can about this to try and save this riding area.

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Count me in for any trail maintenance! We have a cabin in Packwood and are up there all the time. I have some experience with trail clean-up, re-routing, and building new, so use me!

John

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I live in Randle and spend most of my summer riding these trails. I hope there is something that can be done to save this riding area. I talk to a lot of the people riding up here and I am surprised at how far people are traveling to ride here. That tells me it is a pretty special place and it is worth saving. Lets try to keep as much information up as we can about this to try and save this riding area.

tell me about it! i love riding GP, and have to drive 4 hrs to get there but it is WELL worth it. :thumbsup:

Joe

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[/img]For those who havent been here is some of my favorite picures, Jumbo and Mt. Ranier in the back ground. You can also see Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and on a real clear day also Mt. Hood from here too. :eek:

devilstaircase060.jpg

some goats on Jumbo[

devilstaircase055.jpg

Jumbogoats.jpg

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Hey fellow trail riders, I have been a part time Randle resident for the last 3 years. We bought a place there since we love the area so much. I've been riding the trails in the Dark Divide since 1997 and we bowhunt for the whole month of September in that area as well. I feel that I know the area quite well and don't want to see it closed to motorized use. According to the WTA.org site the Juniper Ridge trail is most at risk of being closed to our uses. If you get a chance to use this trail, please be courteous to hikers and leave a good impression. We actually got a positive report from a hiker on their site a couple years ago. If you haven't tried it, shut your bike off and coast down the trails. It's a blast and feels like you're riding a mountain bike! The hikers will appreciate it too.

I'll keep an ear to the ground for trail maintenance parties. Thanks for your support.

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Hey fellow trail riders, I have been a part time Randle resident for the last 3 years. We bought a place there since we love the area so much. I've been riding the trails in the Dark Divide since 1997 and we bowhunt for the whole month of September in that area as well. I feel that I know the area quite well and don't want to see it closed to motorized use. According to the WTA.org site the Juniper Ridge trail is most at risk of being closed to our uses. If you get a chance to use this trail, please be courteous to hikers and leave a good impression. We actually got a positive report from a hiker on their site a couple years ago. If you haven't tried it, shut your bike off and coast down the trails. It's a blast and feels like you're riding a mountain bike! The hikers will appreciate it too.

I'll keep an ear to the ground for trail maintenance parties. Thanks for your support.

They wanna close Juniper because they can drive up 2903 (?) and with a short hike can be above Tree Line, it's the lazy man's way to hike above tree line... I often shut my motor off coming down tongue mountain onto the Cispus and yes it's a blast but coming off the mountain onto the 2903 / trail head I would think that it would be dangerous running silent for the hikers would not hear us coming:excuseme:

DS Mt Goat, I agree we should be courteous but it's a two way street and when I stop to say "hi, good day to be out huh? How many in your group? There is one bike behind me..." and I get nothing, the little earth muffin turns his head and looks the other way ignoring me (mind you we are the only two on this ridge and within sight of anything with a heartbeat)... he can kiss my a$$ and frankly if he gets bumped off the trail by my buddy behind me because he cannot see himself associating with me (the enemy apparently) in the spriit of safety... well, what are we supposed to do:excuseme: I'm always nice and courteous and infact some of the coolest people I meet out on the GPNF trails is the back country horsemen but the hikers at times come off as very pretentious as I am sure alot you can relate too.

Well, I'm hoping late August for Langille, what's everyone else's guess as to when the high stuff will be free of snow enuf to ride?

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