Monday, May 24, 2010

Gold Butte Closed Trails

This ATV trail map is still a work in progress. However, because it's taking a bit longer than I had anticipated and because people have asked many times for me to "clarify" (if that is possible) what the BLM has done to the Gold Butte trails this past year, I feel obliged to release the portion which is already complete.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Gold Butte Trail Closure Map]

The BLM did put out a map (of sorts) a couple of years ago, as part of the so-called "public comment" portion of their trail-plan update.  And it still is the only "official" (sort of) map available for the area, although not available anywhere except on an obscure web page. However, it was/is so UN-labeled and so high-altitude and so difficult to read that actual names of trails or positions of closures are to say the least confusing — which was possibly their real intent all along.

For example, the Kurt's Grotto closure absolutely caught…
everyone (except the "fiends" of course who have a direct back-room connection to the BLM Vegas office) off-guard; because, when we looked at the "public" map, the exact place of closure was non-specific. Twenty feet (1/256th map inch – nearly the size of a single dot on a printer) one way or the other means a drop of more than 100 yards over an embankment!

And who in their right mind would think that anyone would begin a "hike" trail by going off a cliff? Tempers flared and Nancy Hall, the good old paid lobbyist (and lead "fiend") tried some damage control by claiming that "they were going to make an alternate trail, for people of all capabilities, down the bluff."  Never happened, likely never will – which is also likely their agenda.

Incredibly the "fiends" public relations arm (the Desert Valley Times) made it look like the whole thing was Nancy's altruistic "gift" to us! The so-called reporter conveniently went brain dead when it came time to ask Nancy, the simple questions "when… where… how… ."

When several of us point blank asked the BLM heads to talk about the so-called "plans" at public meetings they tap-danced around like you'd though we had just asked for their first-born.  A PR spin worthy of the Mesquite Mayor.

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”
Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain
Newcomers to the Mesquite, Bunkerville, Gold Butte and surrounding areas are confused by finding "no trail" (i.e. fiend obliterated) where their map clearly shows a trail – especially after they had ridden 30 or more miles from the last cross roads!

So what I undertook was to attempt, as accurately as possible, to overlay the BLMs published map onto Google Earth and draw their trails, following actual satellite images. No small feat.

Most of the maps Upper Gold Butte riding area is completed; but I'm still working on the Lower Gold Butte riding area. [Anyone wanna hep?]

One thing to notice is that nearly all open trails are un-named. It seems that whenever the BLM gets around to giving the trail a name – it's pretty much toast (dead).

The Gold Butte Back Country Byway is in purple. The open mapped trails are in green and the closed are (alas) in red.


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I will, of course, be moderating all comments to make sure (a) they conform to the standards of good taste set forth by Offroading Home; and (b) nope that's pretty much it.