Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gold Butte Trail Monitoring

Offroading Home met with an intrepid group of offroaders who have just quietly and behind the scenes been going about the business of monitoring trail usage in the Bunkerville/Gold Butte riding area.

Probably few of us know that the BLM recruits cooperation from clubs and individuals who can ride the trails taking GPS readings and noting things like wash-outs, land-slides and other trail damage as well as noting usage.

A few members of the Trails and Dunes club from Las Vegas rode the West Bunkerville Flats area today monitoring trails along Nickle Creek Ravine and into the Old Mine area being trained on how to use the BLMs GPS units and what types of forms are necessary to document "hazards and incidents" for the BLM.

Why on earth would an offroad club want to monitor trails for the BLM? Well, there are many reasons.

1- Who has the greatest vested interest in seeing to it that the trails are in good condition and remain open? Certainly not the Sierra Club or the "fiends of Gold Butte." No one but an absolute idiot would want to damage the area in which we ride – contrary to what the lobbyist and her PR arm want you to believe.

2- Who has the agenda to close off the area to motorized vehicles and seniors? It's the Sierra Club's mission statement to pretty much close off every mountain, tree and piece of running or standing water to motorized vehicles and therefore seniors. They believe that anyone who isn't in the backpacking/hiking fraternity should only be able to see these areas in books on somebodies coffee table!

I guess truth can hurt you worse in an election than about anything that can happen to you.”
Will Rogers
3- Prevent one-sided exaggeration of damage claims. Offroaders need to do our own monitoring to verify claims of damage made by the "huggers" who would like nothing more than to escalate any damage noted into a catastrophic incident.

4- Prevent legislation-motivated damage. Offroaders need to assist in the identification of those deliberately causing damage to make absolutely certain that it's not done by radical environmentalists intent on 'sacrificing for the greater good' to stimulate legislation.

Even for me this premise is hard to accept; but – simply ask yourself: "who, if anyone, might benefit from spray painting over petroglyphs at the Red Rock Canyon" – amazingly if not 'conveniently' at the precise time of a Harry Reid backed lame-duck omnibus bill with hidden wilderness and other pork legislation?

5- To counter-balance anti-senior barrier projects. In most places, including the Gold Butte area, offroaders need to combine to undertake conservation and improvement projects which will help to counter-balance the one-sided post-and-cable, put-up-a-parking-lot, landscape-the-desert mentality of the environmental lobbyists and their minions.

Especially noted on Gold Butte, the term "environmentalist" seems to be used mainly for "marketing" reasons as it is clear, from the projects they have chosen to obtain BLM permission to undertake, that they are more for their own fund-raising purposes (selling Popsicle name plaques for plants) and eliminating senior riders (blockades to senior access on all views and sites); while, completely ignoring many much more obvious environmental concern projects, but which would still allow multi-use. [ed note: more in future articles]

6- If for no other reason than to gather data which will allow verification/rebuttal of damage claims purported by closure groups in their publicity and speeches. Yes, unfortunately, there are those of us who have witnessed misrepresentation of damage photographs by 'fiends' trying to make a point for closure in the Gold Butte closure battle. Most likely it occurs in other jurisdictions as well.

7- And, to earn monies [in the unlikely event that any are made available] for club-sponsored improvement projects actually designed for senior-friendly, mult-use instead of exclusive, hiker-only or politically-motivated, airport-trade-off "wilderness" schemes. Ask yourself, who else will look out for the offroad experience except for offroaders?!

It's a great thing you do guys… I wish there had been more of you out there in the training today!

Learn A Little More

In this time of hidden political agendas, back-door politics and vested interests masquerading as moral principles a short clip I found recently seems to pretty much say it all… Ohh, where's the "gipper" when we need him?

The very Best of Ronald Regan - Part 1 of 2


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