land lover

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

47 Excellent

About land lover

  • Rank
    TT Member

Profile Information

  • Location
  1. Sorry, the last link I posted was accidentally pertaining to Grand Staircase instead of Bears Ears, so it should've read "You could read details from the BLM ( ), or just send a couple paragraphs about the importance of riding across BENM to:"
  2. Trail Fans- Well spring is in full bloom, but we only have another month or two before it's too hot for trail work. On several designated motorcycle and ATV trails between Moab and Green River, Ride with Respect (RwR) needs help to fix some signs, cattle guards, and slickrock where the paint blazes have faded. Keeping these trails in shape is even more important now that the BLM must re-do its travel plan in this area within six years. Please pitch in a half-day in exchange for a sandwich and smiles. RwR will be out there every week in April and May, so just let us know what date(s) you might be available. ~ The Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) began as a campaign for Greater Canyonlands National Monument a half-dozen years ago, so by now you might be sick of my writing about it, but it's important to follow through. The BLM and USFS scoping period is our first chance to weigh in on management within the boundaries that were scaled back to roughly 200,000 acres, a process which RwR described last December ( ). Although BENM is now a more manageable size, it still encompasses several significant 4WD roads and even a few motorcycle trails across both of the monument units, including the list below. Indian Creek Unit: Bridger Jack Mesa 4WD road North Cottonwood Creek graded road Heifer Mesa 4WD road Shay Mesa 4WD road Shay Mountain Trail (north end of motorized singletrack) Indian Creek Trail (north end of motorized singletrack) Shash Jaa Unit: Texas Flat 4WD road Arch Canyon 4WD road Little Baullie Mesa 4WD road Comb Ridge Dugway 4WD road Snow Flat graded road Comb Wash graded road Butler Wash graded road River House Ruin 4WD road These routes in the Indian Creek and Shash Jaa units are shown on San Juan County's maps of Bridger Jack Mesa and Arch Canyon, respectively ( ). The majority of those maps are within the 200,000-acre monument as you can see from the BLM's map of both units ( ). All of these routes have recreational value on their own, and most of them connect to routes outside the monument, which make them key to riding several off-highway vehicle (OHV) loops on regular BLM and USFS lands. The BLM won't yet consider each route during the scoping period, but feel free to mention specific routes and why they matter in particular, especially if you have a personal connection with them. The scoping period will address "OHV area designations," which RwR advocates leaving unchanged so that existing trails aren't closed before we even get to the travel-planning period. More broadly, RwR advocates that BENM provide for diverse recreational opportunities including all the existing OHV routes, especially those that create riding loops outside the monument. Connectivity should be maintained for unlicensed OHV's to cross the monument units even if roads are improved. Finally, OHV riders shouldn't be charged a fee to cross the monument units unless the fee is used to maintain or enhance OHV trails onsite. The Indian Creek and Shash Jaa units are also crossed by state highways 211 and 95, respectively, which would make it difficult to collect fees from the public at large. Nevertheless increased visitation could lead to entrance fees and "improvements," which certainly have potential to displace OHV opportunities. For one thing, both monument units are sort of a gateway to other BLM and USFS lands such that, if they were to significantly restrict OHV use, the units would become choke points. For another thing, responsible OHV use can be compatible with the monument's purpose of protecting antiquities, and it can even promote awareness and appreciation of such resources. You could read details from the BLM ( ), or just send a couple paragraphs about the importance of riding across BENM to: Mr. Lance Porter District Manager Canyon Country District Bureau of Land Management 82 East Dogwood Ave Moab, Utah 84532 or Of course the issue of BENM boundaries is currently tied up in courts, and ideally Congress would pass a comprehensive land-use bill, but presently this scoping period is worth our focus. Although imperfect, the 200,000-acre BENM has potential to further protect cultural resources without significantly diminishing OHV opportunities. Comments are due this Wednesday (4/11/2018), so please write a brief letter today, and send a copy to RwR ( clif at ridewithrespect dot org ) for extra credit! Thanks -Clif Koontz
  3. mrgem- Yes, it's hard to describe a complex issue concisely and compellingly while remaining accurate, so I appreciate the encouragement. Right, Western Rim Trail is a perfect example of how our states relate and why we should coordinate efforts (although, to me it's more an eastern rim, ha ha). Feel free to contact me through Thumper Talk, or directly. Happy New Year.
  4. cjjeepercreeper- Thanks. Monument proclamations were critical back in the day, and they may still have their place, but this authority has been exploited increasingly. We need to urge our representatives to address the problem in Congress (not just the White House and Supreme Court), not to mention informing the general public as you have done.
  5. Another year, another handful of trails improved. In 2017, Ride with Respect (RwR) contributed three-and-a-half-thousand hours of quality work to public lands. Also, when land-management lawsuits came to Moab and administrative actions came to Monticello, RwR tried to promote moderation and cooperation. With so much activity in 2017, we'll need to raise several-thousand dollars just to start 2018 in the black. You can make tax-deductible contributions by sending a check to Ride with Respect, 395 McGill Avenue, Moab, Utah 84532. Already we've had over thirty donors and a hundred volunteers. A Polaris TRAILS grant entirely funded our construction of the new Tri Tip ATV loop south of White Wash. New support also came from the Off-Road Business Association, plus long-standing support from Utah State Parks, Grand County, and the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) based in Colorado. Below are seven highlights of what trail riders can accomplish when we work together. ~ Tri Tip ATV loop at Dubinky Tenmile Point is a bit of a sand box, and the Five Miles of Whoops were severely braided. Fortunately, north of there lies a slickrock expanse where RwR constructed seven miles of 52"-wide trail that forms a loop with three prongs to connect Red Wash Road with Dead Cow Loop and the Midway access of Tenmile Canyon. For vehicles wider than 52" to make the same connection, we marked some primitive roads as Tenmile Point 4WD route. Finally we blocked off three miles of the Five Miles Of Whoops for a net gain of four miles. We should credit the wilderness-expansion groups for not appealing the project because, even though it's located a few miles away from Labyrinth Canyon, this proximity does require a degree of accommodation. Most of the project involved installing a couple-hundred metal signs across the slickrock so that Tri Tip doesn't need to be painted in perpetuity. In addition to supplying these signs, the BLM provided a compressor to drill the holes. This project was also made possible by Polaris Industries. ~ campsites near Sovereign Trail Although trails remain the focus of RwR, their immediate surroundings sometimes have issues where we can help. Particularly along Willow Spring Road, camping has become extremely popular. To start managing this use more closely, the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration contracted RwR to fence the boundary of a dozen campsites that needed delineation. We also fenced off areas to prevent the proliferation of new sites. Finally we closed a dozen campsites that were either in the flood zone of Courthouse Wash, in a tributary wash, or in a drainage structure of the graded road. While there are still dozens of established sites available to camp in along Willow Spring Road, and dozens more along Dalton Wells and Klondike Bluffs roads, they are full during peak weeks in spring and fall. So be prepared to camp even further from Moab by following the BLM rules and minimum-impact practices: As an alternative to remote camping, you could also pay for a place nearby, like Green River to the north or our friends at 3 Step Hideaway to the south. ~ La Sal and Abajo cattle guards In the past decade, RwR has installed a dozen cattle guards, mostly in the La Sal and Abajo Mountains. They offer convenience for trail users and a piece of mind for ranchers that their cattle won't be lost due to an open gate. However, cattle learned how to cross these guards, so we modified them by adding side rails, a sheet-metal base, and narrower gaps between cross rails. The 5" gaps are narrow enough to discourage cattle but still wide enough that any cattle attempting to pass can free themselves and back out. Finally we relayed these fun lessons in physiology and psyCOWlogy to the cattle-guard manufacturer who is refining his design so that no one else has to work on these products in such remote spots. ~ Mel's Loop reroutes SW of Rabbit Valley Mel's loop is somewhat isolated from the trail system of Utah Rims along the Colorado border. Across the Westwater boat-ramp road, riders had been connecting from Utah Rims to Mel's Loop via Westwater Wash, which is a riparian corridor for wildlife. RwR routed riders away from the wash to the new South Link singletrack along a rim to reach Mel's Loop. Further southwest, where Mel's Loop crossed private property, the owner generously assisted RwR in rerouting closer to the railroad tracks. Although the new route is loose, it will compact somewhat over the seasons, and will make Mel's loop a couple miles longer. In fact, the BLM graciously permitted RwR to construct singletrack parallel to Kokopelli's Trail rather than simply following the doubletrack. In this way, the new part of Mel's Loop and South Link could be used by motorcyclists and bicyclists who seek a more challenging version of Kokopelli's Trail. Special thanks to the Buzzards MC, the Bookcliff Rattlers MC, and especially to the MTRA of Grand Junction for recruiting a total of 52 volunteer days! ~ Tread Lightly's "Respect and Protect" campaign To include OHV riders in its campaign about preserving cultural resources, Tread Lightly invited RwR to its video shoot in Sego Canyon: RwR suggested the locations and provided riders for Tread Lightly to film. We think the video turned out well, conveying the valuable and irreplaceable nature of archaeological and paleontological sites. We commend Tread Lightly for incorporating local OHV groups into its educational products. Over the last few years, Tread Lightly has strengthened its staff to start reaching an OHV audience more effectively. It's our job as riders to help distribute responsible-riding materials consistently, whether it's coming from Tread Lightly, NOHVCC, or Stay The Trail Colorado. Remember that education is a little cheaper than trail work and a lot cheaper than law enforcement, although all of these tools are key ingredients. The surge in side-by-sides brings more people and, in particular, more people who are new to the backcountry. Let's spread the riding ethic to conserve access, not mention conserving the land, itself! ~ settlement of BLM resource management plans RwR proudly assisted BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) to create a path forward for the resource management plans (RMP's) that govern BLM land across the southeast half of Utah. Along with the TPA and COHVCO, BRC intervened in the case, and thoroughly consulted a few key OHV advocates statewide. Together we ensured a fighting chance to maintain equitable access of public lands. BRC's press release includes links to the settlement: A decade ago, most BLM land was completely open to motorized travel anywhere. RMP revisions limited OHV riding to designated routes, and their new travel plans closed half of the existing 4WD, ATV, and motorcycle trails. Although this loss of access was a tough pill to swallow, RwR has spent several-thousand hours helping BLM implement and refine its travel plans. Meanwhile, wilderness-expansion groups sued the BLM for not restricting OHV's and other uses even further. Although the court ruled in favor of the BLM on most counts, it ruled adversely on a few others, primarily because BLM didn't sufficiently document the evidence and rationale for its otherwise-reasonable decisions. This ruling forced BLM to hemorrhage millions of dollars (e.g. paying archaeologists to survey every designated route by foot, even old mining roads) in order to keep its routes open. With the appeal process stalled, and the settlement process open to intervenors like OHV groups along with the state and counties, we tried turning lemons into lemonade. Draft after draft, BRC et al. proposed changes not only to benefit public access, but also to allow for effective management. The wilderness-expansion groups wisely accepted a couple dozen meaningful revisions, earning our support of the final agreement. Although the final agreement was unsuccessfully challenged by the state and counties, it doesn't diminish their role during the implementation of this settlement. In fact, recently BRC et al. consulted the affected counties when commenting on areas that BLM must reconsider for ACEC evaluation as part of the settlement. The settlement requires BLM to do more analysis, but it doesn't dictate a decision. The settlement makes BLM's procedures more cumbersome for the six affected RMP's, but it doesn't set precedent for subsequent RMP's or other field offices. These procedures may not be a model of pragmatic management, but under the circumstances, they are a prudent compromise. Most of all, the settlement fully vacates the court's previous ruling against BLM, so the agency is no longer forced to choose between immediate closure or immediate archaeological survey for every mile of route on its travel plans. What does all of this mean for OHV riders? Basically the BLM must redo half of its travel plans, and it's the "good" half, which includes Labyrinth Rims (i.e. all the trail between Moab and Green River), the San Rafael Swell, Factory Butte, and Hog Canyon (see PDF pages 37-43 of agreement). These areas have different deadlines, ranging from two years to eight years (see PDF pages 7-8 of agreement). We stand to lose hundreds of trails, but if we step up to the plate, we could keep the vast majority of trails and even add news ones (whether previously-closed trails or better-yet brand new ones with proper design). The wilderness-expansion groups are banking on the redo resulting in many trail closures, but most of the trail access can be defended again, and we should think outside the box for new trails (especially to improve the connectivity of current trail systems). As you can imagine, the next few years will take all hands on deck, from local clubs to state and national organizations. Primarily we can help BLM with this larger workload by inventorying the routes and monitoring the conditions. We need to obtain inventory data from the BLM and counties, then GPS any routes that they missed. An incomplete inventory is the kiss of death for a travel plan, and BLM may refuse to accept route data later on in the process, so the time to GPS routes is now. Keep in mind that the current travel rules are still in effect, so obtain BLM travel maps (available from BLM and some county-tourism websites), and stay on designated routes when traveling by vehicle. Signing a settlement with traditional adversaries is no one's idea of a good time, but we appreciate BRC et al. for soliciting RwR's input. This experience gave us confidence that they made the right call. ~ Bears Ears National Monument Across the nation, politics seems to be getting more melodramatic, and the two million acres from Moab down to Mexican Hat was no exception. RwR has done a couple-thousand hours of trail work there, mainly on the northeast side of the Abajo Mountains, where there are few significant archaeological sites, and where motorcycle and non-motorized trail users seem to appreciate our contribution. The area is already "protected" to varying degrees, and after three years of developing a comprehensive land-use bill, in 2016 the Utah Public Lands Initiative (UPLI) was poised to "protect" the area even further, along with a stronger Native American influence on management of the area, and modest assurances to secure recreational access and other land uses where appropriate. Despite offering a quadruple "win," wilderness-expansion groups rejected any compromise in favor of unilateral action. Unfortunately most mainstream conservation groups went along, which convinced the majority of Congress to discard the PLI rather than refining it. For details, please see RwR's 2016 year in review: As promised, after election season had passed, the Obama administration proclaimed a 1.35 million-acres of BLM and USFS land as Bears Ears National Monument (BENM). The boundary generally followed a couple NCA's proposed by the UPLI, but the proclamation included none of the measures to conserve OHV access, let alone any of the other OHV assurances that the UPLI had offered beyond its NCA's. The monument offered no substantial increase for Native American influence, and it reduced the influence of local residents and elected officials who are most affected. Most of all, the monument went beyond the Antiquities Act authority to proclaim monuments, "the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected." The 1.35 million-acre BENM covered many areas without significant cultural sites and many areas with significant OHV trails, including some of the motorized singletrack and ATV trails that RwR has cared for. This proclamation was an enormous setback for the resolution of many issues on public lands. Fortunately the new Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, reviewed all of the really-large national monuments proclaimed within the last two decades. Having spent twenty-million dollars campaigning for BENM, wilderness-expansion groups then campaigned to misinform the public about this review process. To clear things up, RwR's executive director wrote his personal perspective for the American Motorcyclist Association: Unlike our previous Interior secretary, the new one provided a formal public-input period to give every American the opportunity to submit comments that would be documented, and RwR participated. Predictably, the vast majority of comments opposed scaling back the most controversial monuments, but the vast majority of them were based upon several false premises. Secretary Zinke listened to reason over volume when recommending that BENM be scaled back while urging Congress to actually increase Native American influence and actually increase archaeological preservation through budgetary support. On December 4th, the Trump administration shrunk BENM to 200,000 acres, comprised of two main units called Indian Creek and Shash Jaa, which is Navajo for Bears Ears. The majority of excluded acreage is already "protected" through other designations. These other protections include several wilderness study areas, as shown on this map: The map does not show additional designations, such as Valley Of The Gods, which is currently "protected" as an Area Of Critical Environmental Concern. Beyond all of these designations, what little acreage is left simply doesn't warrant the sort of emergency action that monument proclamations were intended to be. Since the 200,000-acre BENM focuses on areas that weren't already "protected," it certainly encompasses valuable OHV trails that are in jeopardy of closure when management plans are approved for the monument within about five years. In the Shash Jaa unit are 4WD trails like Texas Flat and Hotel Rock. In the Indian Creek Unit are motorized singletracks like Shay Mountain and Indian Creek leading up to the USFS trail system. These routes provide outstanding OHV opportunities and key connectivity, but RwR is willing to resolve any new management issues by doing trail work or even rerouting as needed. Unlike the overwhelming nature of a 1.35 million-acre BENM, the current Shash Jaa and Indian Creek units are concentrated enough that we can adapt. They still might constrain OHV riding, but not constrict it completely, RwR is willing to work in good faith to help protect the monument's resources for all visitors. More myths about the 200,000-acre BENM are dispelled in the infamous Zephyr, which advocates expanding wilderness designations yet critiques the tactics of wilderness-expansion groups that have emerged over the last couple decades: Most members of the public haven't even heard these myth busters, so they don't even question claims that scaling back BENM would harm antiquities, harm natural resources, and—get this—harm recreational access. While it is theoretically possible for a monument proclamation to bolster recreational access, the 1.35 million-acre BENM didn't do so. On public lands, there's an inherent tension between preservation versus access, and we can certainly debate the right balance point. But we can't debate the fact that “protected” areas have traditionally reduced access. To claim otherwise is to one-up George Orwell on doublespeak. Another Zephyr article highlights the need for more law enforcement to protect archaeological resources: We agree, and point out that actively managing recreation is another key ingredient, which is often relatively inexpensive and effective. After all, in the Twenty-first Century, deliberate looting is far less common while inadvertent impacts are far more common, as recreation use grows. As RwR has proven in partnership with federal and state agencies, most activities can be managed well with thoughtful planning and thorough implementation. Plus, putting recreation technicians out there in the field provides a management presence. This realization is shared by most people who spend time on the land, yet it gets lost when polarization escalates into a turf war. Reestablishing a middle ground may help to identify common solutions on the ground. U.S. Representative John Curtis has taken a stab at resolution by introducing a bill covering the 200,000-acre BENM to increase (a) law enforcement, (b) funding that could cover recreation management, and (c) Native American influence actual decision-making rather than mere consultation. It would also effectively ban mining over the 1.35 million-acre area previously proclaimed as BENM. He'll have an uphill battle, as some on both sides prefer to let litigation play out. However it could take years for the courts to truly settle whether either of the administrative actions—proclaiming a 1.35 million-acre BENM or subsequently scaling it back—were legal in the first place. Regardless of the outcome, the scaling back gives mega-monument advocates a taste of what it's like to be on the receiving end of sweeping administrative action: It's only a taste because scaling back BENM leaves only a small chance that the 1.35 million-acre area would be developed imprudently, whereas implementing a 1.35 million-acre BENM leaves a large chance that the best OHV trails would be closed, not to mention all the other BLM and USFS land at risk of monument proclamation every four to eight years. That risk has risen exponentially since passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906, as monument proclamations have proliferated despite that there's less and less land not already "protected," not to mention that all federal lands have become more restricted with each passing decade. Even if the judicial branch rejects the executive scaling back of BENM, it's in everyone's interest to reform the Antiquities Act legislatively. Only through this reform will multiple-use and access advocates take interest in compromise because they would know that such an agreement couldn't be trumped by another mega-monument. In the absence of our modern laws and agencies, the Antiquities Act was designed for emergency action to protect archaeological sites. Now it's being used overtly to protect "cultural landscapes" and covertly to break the promises of FLPMA, the organic act of the modern BLM. When the federal government reversed its policy of selling BLM land to a policy of "retention" in 1976, it promised to ensure local input and an inclusive form of conservation through several measures: These pillars have steadily eroded and are on the brink of crumbling if the mega-monument trend is not reigned in. Inclusive conservation matters because it allows people to use and connect with the land in their own way without encroaching on another's right to do the same. Local input matters because nearby residents have a greater stake and are more familiar with their surroundings than the average person living a thousand miles away. For example, a million-acre monument campaign sounds great from a distance because it is viewed in the abstract, so "the more land, the better." In fact, though, it wouldn't create more land. The proposed boundaries encompass existing places with existing uses that would be displaced or, without alternative locations, simply extinguished. Applying the name Bears Ears to everything that's west of U.S. 191 and southeast of Canyonlands / Glen Canyon NRA down to the edge of the Navajo reservation would make sense to anyone looking at the area from a map of U.S. highways. It makes less sense to people looking at the area from their backyards. That's why the Bears Ears campaign was less effective in San Juan County despite saturating social media, traditional outlets, and outdoor-clothing catalogs. Yet the campaign succeeded in persuading the only person needed, and that is the person who signed the proclamation. So you can understand the local impulse to transfer federal lands into state hands. However, the land-transfer movement would be rendered moot by simply honoring the intent of the Antiquities Act, FLPMA, and the balance between state and federal government. At first blush, this allusion to federalism might sound like geographic tribalism, which former president Bill Clinton recently warned against: He writes "All too often, tribalism based on race, religion, sexual identity and place of birth has replaced inclusive nationalism in which you can be proud of your tribe and still embrace the larger American community." Indeed, combining this tribal diversity with a common thread of national identity creates a sort of Venn diagram of links that strengthen our society. He continues "Twenty-five years ago, when I was elected president, I said that every American should follow our Constitutional framers' command to form a more perfect union, to constantly expand the definition of 'us' and shrink the definition of 'them.' I still believe that. Because I do, I favor policies that promote cooperation over conflict and build an economy, a society and a politics of addition not subtraction, multiplication not division." Let's apply this ideal to President Clinton's proclamation of a 1.88 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) in 1996. Most states have very little federal land within their borders, and they hold a majority in Washington, D.C. In contrast, Utah is comprised primarily of federal lands, and this kind of state is the minority. In effect, not only is Utah's influence diminished in its own state, but also in D.C. In other words, non-federally dominated states have the most influence within their own borders AND within the borders of federally dominated states. If the non-federally dominated states were exposed to an overreach of the Antiquities Act, the law would be reformed in a New York minute. This disparity between states was only furthered by President Clinton's proclamation of GSENM. In theory it benefited the nation, but in practice, it benefited the non-federally dominated states. It had a guise of nationalism, but an effect of tribalism. Over twenty years later, perhaps President Clinton will realize that ensuring a more equal footing for states like Utah would be the way to form a more perfect union. These days, self-reflection is more scarce than antiquities, which makes it refreshing to see another Zephyr article about "standing in the other man's shoes": While this level of candor has alienated the editor from wilderness-expansion groups, it's courageous, and desperately needed among the shrinking field of journalism (which compels us to pay for content from the Zephyr and High Country News to Range Magazine or something in between). While his first 500 words poignantly summarize how we wound up with a BENM, the subsequent 5,000 words explore his own role in the current dysfunction, and therein lies the recipe for resolution. If politicians, lobbyists, and ordinary citizens followed this trail, where would it lead? Meanwhile, on the literal trails, RwR will continue to focus on maintenance and education with great appreciation for our supporters, partners, and the public lands. Clif Koontz Executive Director
  6. For extra credit, last Monday Ride with Respect got help from another volunteer to groom old sections of Mel's Loop that had whooped out and consequently braided. We also installed gates to convey that singletrack means a single track. Ultimately it may require routing the trail away from such sandy soil, but grooming and gating will help us figure out what's needed. Thanks to Utah State Parks for the equipment plus BLM for planning and supplies, not to mention RwR's volunteers for over fifty days of honest work!
  7. Yesterday seven volunteers helped RwR finish up by delineating corners, blocking off the old route and posting signs to explain the switch. A couple of MTRA members even donated $100 each ( )! Over the next couple years, the new route should prove to improve Mel's Loop and provide a singletrack alternative to Kokopelli's Trail so that there's something for everyone.
  8. dlee- Indeed, the volunteers are awesome, as some have shown up for four weekends in a row!
  9. I'm thankful for another ten volunteers this past week (mostly from MTRA and BRMC), and looking forward to more! On Saturday, December 2nd, join Ride with Respect at 9:00am a quarter-mile south of Exit 227 along Interstate 70. Bring a large backpack and motorcycle if you have one, and RSVP with me to get a sandwich.
  10. redhurricane- Yes, retired guys are our most avid volunteers, but keep in mind that RwR can schedule additional dates to match up with your work / vacation schedule. All- Last Saturday's volunteers were top notch, but there were only three of them. So RwR will host a couple more trail work "parties" to be sure that we connect with Mel's Loop. The forecasted high is 66F, but we'll meet a bit later just to let things warm up. This Saturday, November 25th, and next Saturday, December 2nd, join us at 9:00am a quarter-mile south of Exit 227 along Interstate 70. Bring a bike if you have one, and RSVP with me to get a sandwich. Thanksgiving treats (aka leftover Halloween candy) will sweeten the deal!
  11. dmac1- I appreciate the encouragement, and the times that you've traveled over the Rockies just to lend a hand. All- For this Saturday, so far there are only five people signed up, so I hope to get more RSVP's soon! With at least ten volunteers, by Saturday afternoon there will be four new miles to ride, not to mention all the old trails.
  12. This past Friday, eleven volunteers from northern Utah affiliated with the Buzzards Motorcycle Club helped to finish the South Link of Mel's Loop (first photo). Yesterday four faithful MTRA members were matched by that of the Bookcliff Rattlers Motorcycle Club, including Mel himself (second photo). Plus we had an engineer from Alta Motors, the head of Timberline Trailriders, and the owner of Moab City Car Wash (north of City Market) who has supported RwR for fifteen years and counting! To finish making Mel's Loop longer with less whoops and more slickrock, Ride with Respect needs another big group this Saturday, November 18th. Join us again at 8:30am a quarter-mile south of Exit 227 along Interstate 70. Bring a bike if you have one, and RSVP with me in order to get your gourmet sandwich!
  13. Sorry for the delay. I "followed" the thread with daily email updates, but TT didn't actually email me with an update until today. I even checked my "spam" folder. Anyway, thanks for the questions from 99klr250, mrgem, and redhurricane. I was glad to see answers from zzsean, who had put in a long day, and even brought his own tools. Some experienced riders would consider the new trails to be easy by singletrack standards, but anytime you mix some turns, sand, and steps, things can get tougher (especially as the trails will age). Yes, there's room for travel-trailer parking a few-hundred yards south of Exit 227, and more room a few miles further south on the left side where BLM installed a kiosk (i.e. sign with roof). Thanks to 11 volunteers affiliated with the Buzzards MC, today we finished the South Link, and tomorrow I'll have another 11 volunteers start on a route that's further south. By Thanksgiving, RwR plans to groom the worst-whooped parts of Mel's Loop. There will probably be a week after that when it's still warm enough to ride, and some precipitation would really help the sand (mainly south of the RR tracks), although too much precipitation could become slick (mainly north of the RR tracks). I hope to hear if any of you can make the next Saturday, November 18th!
  14. Have you given back to the trails this fall? Along the Westwater road we've built a couple miles of motorcycle trail in cooperation with the BLM, but have a couple more to go, so please help while the weather's good! Last Saturday's trail work went so well (including a half-dozen members of the Motorcycle Trails Riders Association from Grand Junction) that we'll do the next two Saturdays as well. On 11/11 and 11/18, join Ride with Respect again at Interstate 70 a quarter-mile south of Exit 227, this time at 8:30am. Bring a bike if you have one, and RSVP with me in order to get a sandwich from Love Muffin Cafe.
  15. Volunteers from as far as New York City are plugging away (photo's below), and the mornings are still cool, which is all the time you need to earn a "free" lunch. The next work dates are this Thursday and Friday, 6/1 and 6/2. We hope to get a few more volunteers to finish strong!