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.
Sincerely,
Michael Prather
Lone Pine

 

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Mark
Mark
7 years ago

Wayne Deja you’re going to enjoy this website

http://www.orvwatchkerncounty.com/index.html

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

salblaster
salblaster
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

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… Read more »

WOW
WOW
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  WOW

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
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  WOW

@ 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… Read more »

philip anaya
philip anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  WOW

WOW, 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… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

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
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

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… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

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
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

@ 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… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

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
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

It depends on ones approach and delivery.

p ite
p ite
8 years ago

i remember when red rock canyon was pristine

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  p ite

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

sugar magnolia
sugar magnolia
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

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… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  sugar magnolia

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… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  sugar magnolia

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.

wagonrd
wagonrd
8 years ago

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.… Read more »

RandyKeller
RandyKeller
8 years ago
Reply to  wagonrd

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,… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  RandyKeller

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
John Barton
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken- It would look much the same.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

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… Read more »

RandyKeller
RandyKeller
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

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… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  RandyKeller

Randy,
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
RandyKeller
8 years ago
Reply to  RandyKeller

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… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

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… Read more »

Michael Prather
Michael Prather
8 years ago

@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… Read more »

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

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… Read more »

JaneE
JaneE
8 years ago

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,… Read more »

John Harris
John Harris
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  John Harris

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… Read more »

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
8 years ago

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… Read more »

abacus
abacus
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

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
Rick O'Brien
8 years ago
Reply to  abacus

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
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

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
none of your businiess
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

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… Read more »

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
8 years ago

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
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

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… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

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

The checkpoints on 395 were over the top

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

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… Read more »

roger
roger
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

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

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  roger

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

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  Steve

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… Read more »

Joe
Joe
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

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… Read more »