Letter to the Editor: Adventure Trail opposition


atvdamage1(The Bishop Chamber of Commerce has asked for comments on the Adventure Trails project.  Mike Prather shared his view and some photos from the Lone Pine area.)
Dear Tawni and Bishop Chamber,

Some photos of irresponsible ATV use in Lone Pine. along the Lower Owens River and in the Alabama Hills. In my neighborhood, the Alabama Hills, we have much damage on DWP lands around the scenic rocks and we are seeing single track (walking/horseback) trails being widened by damaging riders on ATV’s. Attracting more riding reduces areas with natural sound and quiet. It displaces users who will no longer hike in noisy OHV areas. In recreation atvdamage2planning this is called ‘displaced recreation’ where one user over time displaces the others due to their activities. Opportunity exists in abundance for motorized recreation without Adv Trails. Our communities run the risk of changing into the busy motorized play areas that you see elsewhere in our state and the West. I would like to see our present problems and damages fixed before inviting more riders, a few of which, will ruin things for everyone. We are not so desperate that we must run the risk of losing what quality of lands that we have just to attract money. There are alternatives and our imaginations are our only limit.

My comments are not in any way related to the recent petition sent out by the Center for Biological Diversity. I’ve openly opposed the Adventure Trails System since its first appearance. It is a bad idea that would be placed on top of already damaged LADWP and BLM lands. It is reckless and irresponsible to support this proposition before current abuses and management inadequacies are addressed.
Michael Prather
Lone Pine


54 Responses to Letter to the Editor: Adventure Trail opposition

  1. Mark October 31, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Wayne Deja you’re going to enjoy this website


    I know several of those riders on the wall of shame. A site like this might be necessary in Inyo County.

  2. salblaster September 4, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    heres a little something on the pictures in this article. the first picture is of a little dirt bike track just north of the lone pine dump, its used mostly by locals and is about an acre in size. it’s not on public land but on dwp land, that means private property. it’s been there for at least 40 years maybe longer. the second picture i’m not positive but looks like the man made sand hill left over from an old rock and gravel quarry just south of diaz lake. it’s around 1 1/2 acres in size and has been there for decades. also not on public land. as for the alabamas since the blm gave it a special designation status a couple of years ago the movie flat road area has never looked cleaner, theres camping allowed and lots of rock climbers in the cooler months. the blm kept their promise and did’nt close the area to ohv’s. and i know for sure that it’s patrolled by blm because about a year ago my daughter and i were riding quads around that area and were stopped and checked for green stickers. we were legal and they were reasonably polite to us, a little lecture on low impact riding then we were on our way. now i know theres alot more to the alabamas than movie flat road area and i do see liter around the owens valley but trying to pin it on atv riders is like singleing out 1 driver at the daytona 500 and giving him a speeding ticket.

  3. Trouble September 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    Mr. Prather exaggerates almost every one of his arguments in this letter. The Adventure trail is designed for trails and roads already in use today. Any thing else is just playing on peoples fears to keep people from enjoying our great outdoors. I can drive my truck down every one of this roads and trails right now and have for the the last 30 years.

    • Charles O. Jones September 5, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Exaggeration? Playing on people’s fears? What do you base those conclusions on?

      Based on the very real examples elsewhere, I find it glaringly obvious what to expect if OHV use is increased in the Owens Valley. Maybe those impacts don’t bother you, but to pretend they don’t exist is just disingenuous.

  4. WOW September 4, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Could some one please post photos/ and or a link that will show all the damage done in areas of concern?…. As far as I can see there is plenty of land to share. We are all blessed to have such wide open space in Inyo County, with that said there is a lot of area to enjoy multiple activities, hiking, dirt bikes, fishing, mountain bikes, climbing, wild flower viewing…ect. Has anyone been on the Whitney trail lately to see how much trash is being left behind? Or what about the PCT trail…just a thought.
    There will always be a bad apple, but don’t let the spoil it for the rest of us.

    • Mark September 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Yes more pictures, the ones posted in this article do not show much. It would also be nice if we could click on them and make them larger.

    • Charles O. Jones September 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      @ Wow,
      The Mount Whitney Trail has a very strict quota system. Can you imagine what it might look like if the use was uncontrolled? Many of the heavily used OHV locations are damaged and abused. Perhaps a Whitney-type quota system should be implemented for OHV’s?

      And yes, there will always be a bad apple. But it’s not just about bad apples, it’s about shear numbers, and more use equals more damage. it’s a sad reality of living in the most populated state in the union.

    • philip anaya September 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm #


      Dirt Bikes and Mountain just might share the trail, the dirt road but don’t expect hikers ,climbers, wild flower observers and especially fishermen to welcome the off road vehicle, ripping earth , flying stones, sands and wild flowers from knobby tires and assaulting the decibel tolerance of most of us “nature lovers” . Most of us appreciate the folks who are slowing down on the dirt roads as they see us , sharing the road and the trail That is how these mixed use ideas that you suggest might work in the real world. There is a place for the off road ripper and your right to off road ripper lifestyle can only exist in those places because the hikers, bird watchers flower lovers and fishermen know to avoid these abused ripped lands . The idea is that folks leave a trace of their travels in many ways . Hikers, climbers, wild flower observers bird watchers , don’t leave ripped trails in their wake. There are a lot of different kinds of Fisherman some who leave footprints and some who leave trash but nearly every fisherman is not going to appreciate the “ripping” off roader’s means of transportation spooking the bite. Maybe rippers need to buy some square miles of land, pay the property taxes et all and Rip away but just be wary that your dust containment mitigation plan doesn’t effect your neighbor.
      WOW . That’s what personal freedom entails. Personal responsibility for what we do . That’s what makes the US of A great . The freedom of great personal responsibility choices.

  5. Wayne Deja September 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    Trouble….THIS is what so many people are “worried about”…….A very low % of ATV’ers use or stay on designated trails as it is now….all the “guys” getting together and blazing through any area they see fit….and like that one poster said,making it a point to tear-down closure signs and travel in areas that they should not….and as far as the paved road access goes,the plan is for CERTAIN roads allowing ATV travel…not all of them…..but my bet is,the ATV’ers will do the same with the paved DESIGNATED roads as they do with the DESIGNATED off-road trails…..They will want it all….they will feel every road,in town,out of town, quiet residental roads….all of them….they will think and feel them to be all open to their reckless,annoying,destructive abandon.

    • Trouble September 2, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Wayne, people have been riding quads on all these trails for 40 years and still can. This trail system only allows people to come into town on there quads and razors. I don’t see the issue with our envirment changing one bit.

      • Charles O. Jones September 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

        Allowing the OHV’s to come in to town will attract more enthusiasts from further away. That may be good if you’re only concerned with filling rooms, serving meals or selling t-shirts. But don’t be naive, if this proposal goes through it will definitely have an environmental impact as well as an economic one.

        • Wayne Deja September 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

          Charles….Just curious…..If (and that’s a BIG IF) this OHV “coming into town” thing does happen,if there will be this on-rush of ATV enthusiasts crowding into Bishop on week-ends….along with their millions of $$$$ to spend….a question I’ve got to ask……Where will all these ATV vehicles,dirt-bikes,etc. park while they’re spending their millions in town ?…I have to admit,I haven’t been to downtown Bishop in a while,but last time I was there, not too terribly long ago,I had trouble finding a parking-spot when I was going to the pet store….and same thing down the street a few blocks…and that was on a weekday morning….not a weekend..

        • Ken Warner September 4, 2014 at 8:03 am #

          Charles: “That may be good if you’re only concerned with filling rooms, serving meals or selling t-shirts.”

          That’s a very large segment of the local economy — unfortunately.

          • Charles O. Jones September 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

            @ Ken,
            Very true. And they deserve to be heard just like everyone else that has a stake in the matter. But local economic interests alone shouldn’t be the basis for policy decisions that will undoubtedly have a negative impact on surrounding federal lands. Federal lands belong to ALL of us, not just the few who stand to make a profit from them.

  6. Trouble September 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I still don’t see what everybody is crying about. There are not going to be any new roads or trails. All your sage brush is going to be o.k.! People are just going to be able to ride their quads into town legally on our paved roads.. They already can ride ever where else anyway.

  7. Wayne Deja September 1, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Some here are thinking the answer is to “educate” those ATV’ers about possible damage being done to an area…by them…..Give me a break !!!…# 1…All they would have to do is open their eyes and see what they are doing and causing all the damage,and why it’s nessessary to shut-down certain areas to motorized traffic…and # 2.. if some of them STILL need some more “education”,”google” Red Rock Canyon,Jawbone Canyon,Cal City,Lake Los Angeles,Fairmont,and look up photos of how those areas USED to look back in the 70’s-early 80’s….then take a drive to those same areas now…..THAT would be all the”education” they would need to see what they are doing.

    • Ken Warner September 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Wayne: Education sounds reasonable. But you see how some act here on the list to “educational” objections. It won’t work. You’ll just get punched.

      • Mark September 4, 2014 at 9:13 am #

        It depends on ones approach and delivery.

  8. p ite August 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    i remember when red rock canyon was pristine

    • Mark August 31, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      I remember when everywhere was more pristine. So how much of the damage do we attribute to population growth and the uniformed?

      • sugar magnolia September 4, 2014 at 8:32 am #

        I just wonder why it is that so many of the uninformed are ATVers? The more motorized the sport, the more uninformed the user….seems to be true.

        Although, I will say I see plenty of hikers cutting corners on the switchbacks, which we’ve all be taught is bad for the trail…so it’s not just motorized sport enthusiasts.

        • Ken Warner September 4, 2014 at 9:47 am #

          Many “hiking” trails up here are stock trails and they are uncared for and difficult to walk on because the trail is worn down to the rocks below.

          One can still find remnants of old trails. Those old trails make sense to walk on because there are fewer switchbacks and few rocks.

        • Wayne Deja September 4, 2014 at 11:59 am #

          Sugar magnolia……I don’t think it’s so much that the ATV’ers are uninformed…..I’m thinking it’s more like they just don’t care.

  9. wagonrd August 31, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    The trend is clear and has been so for 50 years “Close public lands to vehicle use.” These are Court based actions, not public forum discussions. The Sierra Club has full time lawyers who file suit after suit to the point where the Forest Service just rolls over and surrenders. I’ll just quietly make the point that when the Preseversationist groups have made it a felony to drive a vehicle off the pavement, their lawsuits will cease.

    • RandyKeller September 1, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      The closure of public lands is not all the result of lawsuits. The Desert Protection Act of 1994 greatly expanded Death Valley Park and made most of it wilderness, closing a vast acreage of land that had been used (lightly) for decades, including designated Inyo County roads. Prior to passage, the BLM had worked with local people and agencies to determine what areas should be wilderness, deciding to designate about half that were proposed. Not good enough for the Sierra Club or Senators Cranston/Feinstein. The bill that was eventually passed by Congress took all of the land into wilderness, despite the opinions of federal agencies and the people that live around the land that there were good reasons not to do so, and despite the fact that the land was lightly used and not under threat. It was purely a political move to satisfy the senators’ urban constituents.

      It is great to preserve wilderness. But this bill did not preserve wilderness. It created wilderness by barring traditional uses of land that had been used for generations. And in doing so negatively affected the lifestyle of the rural people who live in the area to salve the conscience of urban dwellers who have sacrificed the areas where they are warehoused. It seems like we should be able to do better than this – sacrificing the culture of the rural by the urban. Maybe if we got out of the mode of everything or nothing, winner take all, and showed some consideration of all our communities, things would be better in this country.

      • Ken Warner September 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

        The bill you refer to was passed 20 years ago. What would Death Valley look like now had that bill not been passed?

        • John Barton September 1, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

          Ken- It would look much the same.

          • Ken Warner September 1, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

            John Barton: In 1994 — when that bill was passed — there was 263 million people in the U.S. Now, in 2014 there are nearly 320 million people and a lot more motorcycles and quads and OHV.

            Does anything look the same now as it did in 1994? I know I don’t….

        • RandyKeller September 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

          I think the desert would look much the same as it does today. It looks much the same today as it did then. You can still see the remains of the little two track dirt roads that people used to access the desert, they do not cause much harm and did not then. Seems to me that the people who are the most connected and intimately familiar with the land do the best job of protecting it.

          But my heartburn goes more to the attitude of the ends justify the means; that if you can not achieve your land use objective by convincing the locals of its benefit, you force it on them, and thereby force them to change their lives to suit your purposes. It is an attitude that exists to this day. You will see it play out in the adventure trails adventure. Assuming that the community through its representatives determine it is a good thing, I’d bet a quarter that the Center for Biological Diversity will sue to stop it, not because adventure trails threatens biological diversity or the environment, but because they do not like a lifestyle involving ATVs.

          The wilderness movement has much more to do with land use planning than environmentalism, and it is a crude land use tool. And when you have urban multitudes imposing an urban vision of rural life on the people who actually live on and adjacent to federal lands, it seems like a culture war.

          • Charles O. Jones September 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

            With all due respect, federal lands belong as much to the city-dwellers as they do to those of us who live adjacent to them. It’s no culture war.

          • RandyKeller September 4, 2014 at 11:20 am #

            I certainly agree that our federal lands belong to us all. What I think is lacking is respect for generations of people who built lives around these lands and have done a pretty good job of caring for them. In protecting and preserving the land (mostly from themselves) there is little regard or true understanding by the urban majority of the cost they impose on the rural minority, and these costs are imposed mostly for aesthetics. The land managers have more targeted means to protect environmental values without diminishing the communities most intimate with the land.

            Seems to me that an important line was crossed in Inyo County when the wilderness act went from protecting existing wilderness to creating wilderness by excluding folks from land they had used for generations. The act went from a tool to create or preserve a cool aesthetic to an assault on an alternative lifestyle.

        • Wayne Deja September 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

          Ken….Isn’t that the truth…and a good example,a few years ago when the partial remains were found from the missing German family between Sugarloaf Peak and Needle Peak(literally,in the middle of nowhere in Death Valley),on another website,many were saying they were going to head out there on their ATV’s to “check out the area”…..which happens to be closed to all motorized traffic…and some of the regular posters warned them against doing so,stating the fine is VERY HEAVY if caught in the area,as well as impounding their vehicle….I myself was making plans to go to the area,but making it a Mengal Pass drive,then a hike….but the searcher that found the ID and purse personally advised me what a difficult hike it was and how easy it is to get turned-around in that particular area….as well as a 8 + mile hike UPHILL to get back to where I was planning to park….

  10. Michael Prather August 29, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    @Steve, I’m assuming Toomey?

    Steve: “This is 2014 to me dirt roads and trails don’t spoil the experience but allow you to experience it.”
    Prather: No one has even been talking about dirt roads spoiling the experience. Don’t put words in people’s mouths that were never said. All of us enjoy responsible ridding and access to awesome places.
    Steve: “The impact from the segregated ares, we concentrated the OHV use to the point that we have over used places like Jawbone and all the rest.”
    Prather: The OHV areas were negotiated out of desert protection as sacrifice areas sadly. It was a bitter pill, but compromise was made. Are you saying that now that these areas have been destroyed you need more?
    Steve:”The trail to Mt. Whitney is littered with bags of human waste tossed by hikers unwilling to haul it out.”
    Prather: Out of order Steve – speculation.
    Steve: “So Mike please work within your group and clean up your area. I will work within my group to do the same.”
    Prather: These are not ‘my group’s’ areas, whatever that even means. These are all of OUR areas, Steve. All of America’s. I have talked with AAPL members twice about putting together a multi-stakeholder restoration of the terribly torn up ‘play’ area on the Lower Owens River east of Lone Pine. We need able badged hands, knowledge of soils and OHV management. AAPL is the go-to group. It’s DWP lands so we’ll need a Letter of Permission. Will you help me and others, Steve, help our lands? if we don’t pull together and work on these problem our Inyo-Mono lands will be under constant siege and declining condition. That hurts our experience and that also hurts the bottom line of main street. Our area is different than most. IT is exceptional and deserves to be managed to a higher standard.

    michael Prather
    lone pine, ca

    • Steve August 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

      Mike thank you for reading my post.

      I am not the best writer and some times the infliction in what I write can and has be taken the wrong way. So I am sorry if I did it again.

      First let me say that I do not use my last name and it is not Toomey. I have my reasons.

      I said what I said about roads because so much has been about wilderness being road less.

      My point about Jawbone was used because, Jawbone is consistently used to knock OHV use now that it looks the way that it is today. But what made it the way it is today is the designation and concentration of OHV users. Without the designation it would not look the way it is today.

      I used the fact that permitted hikers leave their poop bags behind on Mt. Whitney. Because they agreed to haul out their poop when they signed for their permit. This point is to show that while the OHV user is demonized for their miss use, where is the blow back on the hiking trail user. And yes it may not have been the best place to state my bitch about it.

      And I was probably off base to say you were one group and I was another. When in truth we both like being out doors and enjoy what Inyo has to offer.

      At some point in time I my come to a meeting and you may be there and I will introduce my self.

  11. Steve August 29, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    The whole point is the have a regulated off highway experience and enjoy what Inyo Co. has in unspoiled places. This is 2014 to me dirt roads and trails don’t spoil the experience but allow you to experience it.

    I have the greatest respect for the land I travel on and the people I meet along the way. I also take the time to clean up what others have left behind. And teach others to do the same so as not to loose access to these wonderful places.

    I have been an advocate of “Tread Lightly” sense the 1980s. We worked on a compromise by segregating areas by activity because we all could not agree to be at the same place at the same time. So we got ” Off Highway Vehicle Areas”, “Wilderness Areas”, “Green Stickers Programs” and “Hiking Permits”. We got what we asked for and then some.

    The impact from the segregated ares, we concentrated the OHV use to the point that we have over used places like Jawbone and all the rest. This concentrated impact to Wilderness ares is also damaging. The trail to Mt. Whitney is littered with bags of human waste tossed by hikers unwilling to haul it out.

    So Mike please work within your group and clean up your area. I will work within my group to do the same.

  12. JaneE August 29, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    I have zero confidence that off-roaders will stay within the designated road system. All it takes is one or two people to strike off on their own a couple of times. Then the next riders see a new “road”. Unless the damage is repaired and the area marked off immediately, people will think that it is ok to ride there because other people already have, so it must be part of the system, right?

    When the 15 freeway was being built through Devore, the foundations for future overpasses were built and bermed, to reduce the cost of construction a few years later when they were planned for construction. By the time the off-roaders got through with them, the cost savings had been lost, and they needed as much work to make useable as new construction would have. Not to mention looking just plain ugly. Did make a good object lesson on the nature of erosion in disturbed soil, though.

  13. John Harris August 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    I went to the last meeting at the Bishop City Hall concerning these issues, the best response I heard was from a local business man. He stated that the Adventure Trail System is not a unproven concept. Inyo County Adventure Trail System is just a mirrow of a Trial System that has worked great in Utah for almost twenty years. It has brought tourist, jobs and added many dollars to the local economy. The Bishop Trail System is planned on existing roads with no exceptions. So I don’t agree for a minute that our land will damaged in any way. People are already allowed to drive their jeeps, motorcycles and trucks on every one of these roads/trails. I think we need this Trail System!

    • Charles O. Jones August 28, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      Those with economic interests will always down-play the negative impacts. I’ve ridden some of those trails in Utah and there is most certainly damage to the land. Not to mention that Utah has a population of less that 3 million people while California has a population in excess of 38 million. Do the math.

  14. Rick O'Brien August 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Where are the BLM rangers when all this destruction is happening ? Doing stakeouts on some old man digging up 100 year old trash ? I was camping with 12 of my buddies in Grapevine Canyon, down toward Ridgecrest, and 2 of them decided to race up the hillside on their motorcycles,and a BLM ranger happened by right as they got to the top. When they got back down, the ranger handed them both a citation to appear in Federal Court. It cost each of them 500.00, and that was way back in 1985. If the BLM would do their jobs & start handing out these extremely expensive tickets, the word would get out. You hurt people where it hurts most, (the wallet) & you get their un-divided attention, always. I realize that they can’t be everywhere at once, but most of the damage is done on the weekends, right ?
    (Note to local BLM rangers…go to Alabama Hills on Saturday)

    • abacus August 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      Do you know how many BLM law enforcement rangers there are for the entire Inyo district? More or less 750,000 acres, territory extending from Olancha to Topaz? If not, find out before continuing to make ignorant statements.

      • Rick O'Brien September 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

        All it takes is ONE. I think ONE BLM ranger could cover the Alabama Hills on a Saturday.

        And judging by the votes, it looks like I’m not the ignorant one, AND…I don’t hide behind some B.S. screen name. Why do you ?

        • Mark September 3, 2014 at 9:41 am #

          If they just put the same effort into policing OHV’s as they do snowmobilers their presence would have a huge impact. If you recall they use an airplane to spot illegal snowmobilers, an airplane would work great for spotting OHV’s riding on closed trails and in illegal areas.

        • none of your businiess September 3, 2014 at 9:44 am #

          So the one BLM LEO should patrol the Alabama Hills, and leave the other 750k acres to fend for themselves? Or just on Saturdays? Maybe you should find out what the BLM LEO does for a daily/weekly/monthly routine, or perhaps stop voting for people who promise to shrink gov’t till it can be drowned in a bathtub. As for the votes, it seems people are in favor of ignorance. Yay, ignorance.

          • Rick O'Brien September 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

            Why’d you change your name, OH MIGHTY ONE, KING OF ALL KNOWLEDGE ?
            If you’re so freakin’ smart, why don’t you back up what you say with your name?
            AND…BTW oh holy one…it’s none of your B-U-S-I -N-E-S-S.

        • Wayne Deja September 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

          Rick…..Don’t put too much faith in the “authorities” in this sort of thing…..a few years back,went to Lone Pine Campground in February,saw a couple guys fishing the creek out-of-season,mentioned it to them,and they didn’t seem to care…so I went back to town to make a 1-800 phone call to the DFG to report it….and the person on the line was not only rude and seemed not to care much about it,but she didn’t even know where Lone Pine was….so then went to the ICSO and mention it to them….they made a phone call to DFG, sent out an officer,and wha-la…..busted…no fish for you !!

          • Mark September 4, 2014 at 5:02 am #

            I’m always amazed the effort that goes into protecting an invasive species.

            The checkpoints on 395 were over the top

  15. Charles O. Jones August 28, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    I rode dirt bikes for years. All one needs to do is go to Jawbone, El Mirage, or any of the umpteen other places frequented by dirt bikes and ATV’ers to see the damage they inflict on the land. It would be foolish to expect anything different in the OV if legal riding is expanded.

  16. Mark August 28, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Did Wayne just compare the shooting of a gun instructor with an Uzi by a nine year to ATV’ers tearing up land and leaving trash?

    Wayne many of these OHV’ers are ignorant of ‘their right’ and the damage they do by riding over brush and making new trails.

    The cure for ignorance is education.

    OHV’ers have long policed themselves over trash so I’m not sure they are the ones responsible for the leaving of trash. But many are clueless the damage their tires do when off existing routes.

    • roger August 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      Mark, The cure for ignorance may be education , but there is NO cure for stupid.

      • Mark August 29, 2014 at 6:37 am #

        Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

  17. Steve August 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Mike please back off.

    I just got done checking on the Web and stopped at 3.5 million acres of “Designated Wilderness” and Nat. Park lands in Inyo Co. I am sure the list could go on but that should be enough land for you and anyone that needs to have it all to your self.

    For me I like to share and meet new people what ever their interest. Be it on foot, on horseback, riding ATVs.

    This place is big and you have lots of room already set aside.

    • Philip Anaya August 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      Hey Steve,
      10,266.9 sq miles of Inyo County times 640 acres per equals 6.57 million acres minus the “designated 3.5 millon acres” (where there is only a trace of footprints) leaves 3.07 million acres (less our local communties) up for grabs to either be opened up to the whims of nature adventurers whose activities find a way to rip and damage and leave tracks on the very nature that they profess to love and explore. or Should we seek preservation of these acres for the future, to the continuing natural forces of nature, that since the beginnings of time, have up to this point, shaped these lands.
      I prefer seeing the erosional forces, the evidence of flows of alluvial depositions and eolian effects, A Death Valley Racetrack mystery/wonder finally explained and a Bristlecone Forest , much more than lands that have had the effects of our human enterprise . Coming from the urban sprawl, for some of us, there is a recognition of the places and wonders obiterated, nonexistent in the City. The Ignacio’s among us, like myself, can not understand how others place such a limited value on what is empty landscapes, empty vistas, both distant and locales up close and personal , on what is truly the Earth, that was created and now evolved.
      I do not play golf but thanks to TV we can watch the pros deal with their divots. They replace flying sod and resurface the sand trap and they leave the next player on the course a perfect opportunity to experience the course the way they found it . That’s one way to do it. That’s one way to leave a trail behind you.
      I do not expect any individual to take on the reponsibilities of cleaning up after another . I respect andappreciate that there are folks willing and able who see that need and respond. The idea of Wilderness Areas and National Parks address the capacity that we humans are incapable of . Let’s honor and support the vision of those who worked, strived and help create these “Acres” and lets see if we can find ways to manage the adventure trails before damage is done and these other acres too become restricted.
      Happy Trails, a path to the future of our Owens Valley is a evolved consideration of each others point of view and a even more evolved cooperative resolution to differences of opinion. When we are dealing with changes and challenges to landscapes of the existing evolution of Earth’s creation which is this decision regardinging Adventure Trails we need to get this absolutely correct for each and every square inch let alone square mile.

  18. Joe August 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I ride a motorcycle and I drive a Jeep offroad. I am often embarrassed and ashamed of what I see others doing to our land. Unfortunately I don’t see it occur so I can’t say if it’s ignorance of a few or purposeful misuse of many. I can only see my responsible use being cut back due to the actions of others who don’t think or care about the consequences. A few bad apples ruining the barrel applies completely here.

  19. Wayne Deja August 28, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Mr. Prather….Good article…WITH photos….but,the thing is ,you could max out a sim-card in a camera just taking more photos of the areas in the Alabama Hills alone with the ATV destruction…..and their trash left behind..now getting deeper into the nice areas that USED to be quiet camping places with nearby hiking and walking trails and areas…but,still,some will post and comment….”It’s OUR land…..We can do as we please…WE WANT MORE !!!”…..But all the while,the majority of the ATV’ers can’t stay on the designated trails as it is now…What it does,in a loose sort of way,is remind me of the recent shooting at the rifle range,where the 9 year old girl ended up shooting the instructor while she was firing an uzi full-auto…and FOX NEWS saying it was the 9 year old’s rights(the 2nd amendment) to be able to shoot the gun at a range…Many of the ATV’ers kind of see it as “their right” to do to the land our fore-fathers fought so hard for to keep free for all of us….kinda like that one poster says( and will surely show up with this story)….”I’ll continue to tear down the” no motorized vehicles” signs…and if you don’t like the trash I leave behind….then pick it up”…all about themselves……ME,ME,ME,ME,and the hell with the rest of them…..


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