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Washington Capital Forest 4x4 Busted

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http://washingtondnr.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/4x4-driver-cited-for-damaging-forest-road/

The driver of this 4×4 was cited on Friday (March 26) for intentionally causing soil erosion and destroying vegetation in Capitol State Forest. The driver admitted guilt and accepted responsibility. His dog (seen in photo) was ashamed to be seen with him.

DNR Law Enforcement Service’s Chief Larry Raedel observes that some people are driving their 4×4s up on the shoulders and banks of forested or primitive roads in Capitol Forest and other areas.

Chief Raedel also says that he and other DNR law enforcement officers have spotted more areas where some drivers of 4×4s and other off-road vehicles have driven onto DNR-managed trust lands, creating unauthorized trails and road systems. Many of these user-built trails create ruts, erode soil and damage tree roots and other vegetation. A lot of that dirt — or sediments — can run off into creeks and jeopardize water quality and damage habitat. In addition, riding off authorized trails isn’t always safe for the driver or other people nearby.

Licensed 4×4s may be driven on forest roads on state trust land and authorized 4×4 trails. Operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and other off-road vehicle have similar rules to go by.

DNR has been addressing many of the environmental and safety issues related to user-built trails through comprehensive recreation planning at some of our more popular recreation areas. We’ve been working with user groups and interested citizens to improve safety and overall user experiences at Reiter Foothills Forest in eastern Snohomish County, Ahtanum State Forest west of Yakima, and Yacolt Burn State Forest near Vancouver, Wash.

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The guys a dork but...

"Many of these user-built trails create ruts, erode soil and damage tree roots and other vegetation. A lot of that dirt — or sediments — can run off into creeks and jeopardize water quality and damage habitat."

👍 Freaking hilarious in an area that is regularly clear cut. WOW. Let see, punch new roads in, drive endless congo line of log trucks, change oil on rigs on the spot, strip square miles of land of trees and vegetation to the ground.

- or -

Make a 10" path of destruction a few miles long.

Must be where "fuzzy math" comes into play cuz it just does not add up to me.

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Sound to me like they are just lying the foundation to say that all trails need to be closed in Capitol Forest for good, because of eroding soil, damage tree roots and other vegetation being destored because of ORV's.

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Sound to me like they are just lying the foundation to say that all trails need to be closed in Capitol Forest for good, because of eroding soil, damage tree roots and other vegetation being destored because of ORV's.

i do agree with this a little bit but i am glad to see that they are citing 4x4s i have run into them on the trails up there and they are all driving on the trails up there already this year

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Wonder what he was cited for and how much it will cost him and/or the DNR?

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They have authority to impound the vehicle, repair or replant the vegetation, double or triple cost or repairs and use that as the fine to get your machine back. At least that was the threat that was made to a friend of mine, even though it was quite obvious the damage was previously done (he got caught).

Have had this "discussion" a few times myself about riding on un designated trail. Many times the dept didn't even know the (old) trail was there? If we ALL rode designated mapped trails they would have WAY more user conflicts. Also they are losing more land and creating more enviro impact by their decision not to trap or kill beavers than any trail system. Didn't used to be that way.

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They have authority to impound the vehicle, repair or replant the vegetation, double or triple cost or repairs and use that as the fine to get your machine back. At least that was the threat that was made to a friend of mine, even though it was quite obvious the damage was previously done (he got caught)..

The feds are empowered to do that on USFS managed public land, but what is the DNR allowed to do beyond writing a ticket?

If there is actual damage to the value of the State trust land, then jail and fines are possible, but short of that . . .?

My personal opinion about riding trails that are not shown on maps is very liberal, but if folks are ruining things then my attitude swaps 180 degrees in a big hurry.

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Tod, i could give you example after example of stuff like this on DNR land. My experience has been they are just trying to stop the activity than trying to be hard asses and citing the perps. What they actually have authority to do? don't really want to find out.

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Tod, i could give you example after example of stuff like this on DNR land. My experience has been they are just trying to stop the activity than trying to be hard asses and citing the perps. What they actually have authority to do? don't really want to find out.

The major DNR folks try to ed everone, your right if they really wanted to get nasty they could put a real hurt on you. Nice to see that they do catch a few. we have all done trails that were not on the list with little damage over years and years and back when it was ok. New rules and one heck of a lot more folks. What ya gona do?

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The major DNR folks try to ed everone, your right if they really wanted to get nasty they could put a real hurt on you. Nice to see that they do catch a few. we have all done trails that were not on the list with little damage over years and years and back when it was ok. New rules and one heck of a lot more folks. What ya gona do?

Ignore it...ride as I always have. Tread lightly, quietly, and with a smile. Somehow I don't ever get bothered...and if the day comes, I'll pay the ticket, and never stop for that guy/gal again. Escalation is a beeeitch. I suppose they got the money to pay for it...NOT. Gotta remember, WE aren't doing anything wrong, just enjoying the world our maker provided us. Nobody is harmed. 👍

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Especially when the trails USED to be motorized years and years ago as well as being built by motorcyclists. Motorized as in all trails were legal and none were said to be one way or the other during their historical use. Or if they were purely game trails that mtn bikers found but are still on trust land and there's no damage occurring from our use of said ST - what's the BFD?

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Well, it is a matter of degree. I used to 4x4 off-road, but it got to be too expensive and is not near as much fun as a dirt bike. The bigger and heavier the vehicle the more damage it does.

The problem with 'unauthorized trails' is a thorny one. There is a DNR riding area near to me that I ride because it is near, I don't yet have a truck to haul my bike to Walker, and the trails are shorter and easier so I can use them to practice and get in shape.

However, many of the trails are 'unauthorized'. The official DNR sign says not to create trails. I forget if it says more. But some of these trails are clearly not 'authorized'. Some people are going back in there and making or extending trails. Some of the trails are not bad, but some *are* bad in the sense that you can see erosion - one in particular has degraded a lot in the last couple of months with large ruts from runoff and bikes appearing. It is one of my favorite warmup trails because it only takes about 30 seconds to ride and I can loop around and warmup on it - it is challenging enough to get me warmed up but not so much that it wears me out. But now I am thinking it should be closed and/or repaired, at least the section that has the big ruts and run off.

The problem is, I am pretty sure nobody is even supposed to be riding that trail, so if I go to DNR about it, they may shut the whole area down.

There are other trails where people have extended existing trails and made a total mess of it - making huge mud bogs and destroying significant vegetation.

Now some of these trails are not bad and would have vegetation grow back in a year or two, but others are pretty bad and the damage won't self-repair for a long time, certainly not if people continue to ride them.

Some of the trails are obviously old roads that end in the trails, so which are trails and which are roads? Where does the road end and the trail begin?

Some of these places do need more management, a lot more, and I am sure many of the people who ride this particular place would volunteer to repair some of the damage, but we are gun shy from having Reiter shut down to all riding with no reopening in site. Surely the whole area wasn't so bad that everything had to be shut down? Now people are going to this other area I ride and Walker instead, causing more damage to where I ride - I don't know about Walker.

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Walker is in reasonable shape...and getting better thanks to volunteers and Skagit MC. A board of folks that work closely with the DNR, seemingly have the appropriate model...but there seems to be a hidden agenda behind Reiter. If I were you, I'd go fix the area. Dig a drain...be smart about it so it doesn't have to be done again, and fill in or ramp any holes. I hate ecology blocks unless absolutely necessary.

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The problem is, I am pretty sure nobody is even supposed to be riding that trail, so if I go to DNR about it, they may shut the whole area down.more, and I am sure many of the people who ride this particular place would

While it is illegal to build new trail without DNR permission, you can legally repair unofficial trails.

Ref: WAC 332-52-405(3)

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=332-52-405

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Walker is in reasonable shape...and getting better thanks to volunteers and Skagit MC. A board of folks that work closely with the DNR, seemingly have the appropriate model...but there seems to be a hidden agenda behind Reiter. If I were you, I'd go fix the area. Dig a drain...be smart about it so it doesn't have to be done again, and fill in or ramp any holes. I hate ecology blocks unless absolutely necessary.

I would need at least ten wheelbarrows full of rock and some help. Not even sure that would do it - I am not sure how to repair such damage. I would just guess that putting in rocks of about 3 or four inch diameter would help when riding over it. At this point, even if it is closed, any rain will damage it more unless it is repaired. It won't recover by itself.

I have no truck to go haul a wheelbarrow (or even a wheelbarrow) out there. I suppose I could ask for volunteers who could help. I'll take some pics the next time I am out there and ask the people who ride there to help.

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That is if it is an 'emergency' repair. Not sure this qualifies.

"Emergency maintenance for purposes of this subsection means the reasonable mitigation of immediate safety hazards, and brushing, weeding, windfall removal, clearing drain ditches or culverts, or tread repair to prevent immediate resource damage."

If it fits within this description, then you are good to go.

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I would need at least ten wheelbarrows full of rock and some help. Not even sure that would do it - I am not sure how to repair such damage. I would just guess that putting in rocks of about 3 or four inch diameter would help when riding over it. At this point, even if it is closed, any rain will damage it more unless it is repaired. It won't recover by itself.

Maybe a re-route would be better and/or easier.

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The weirdest thing about that area you ride CodeMonkee is being a DNR trust land it all can be logged. Imagine the ruts and mudholes created then. They don't get repaired. They just doze more slash around them to hide their visibility.

It is likely a road that overgrew that you are now riding there as a trail. Does the runoff/erosion truly exit the site and contribute to siltation in adjacent streams?

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Maybe a re-route would be better and/or easier.

I don't think that is feasible in this case - every slight reroute made through the area results in the same problem. The trail goes through a drainage that has very silty soil in it. Once the vegetation is destroyed the silty soil is exposed and washed away. I think the only way to prevent more damage would be to put rocks over it to hold the soil in place. Even that may not do it, but it may mitigate damage from more riding.

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