Paliza trail cleanup on May 1st with USFS

alia176

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Sounds like the ATV club is setting up a cleanup of the trails (roads) in the Paliza Canyon area of the Santa Fe National Forest. The entire cleanup is already organized (The USFS will dictate the work to be done) and all we need to do is show up and get credit for it!

It'd be good for our club to participate in this event. Perhaps David can give us more info?

:cheers:
 
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This is the first I've heard of it, actually. I'm trying to think of the volunteer coordinator's name in Jemez, but it escapes me right now. If I do, I'll post it up, but you could always call the district and ask for her by title, too. I won't be in the office next week, so it would be the week after before I can find out anything.
 
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Here's some info from Ron:

Marc,
The point of contact in the Jemez is Phyllis Martinez and she will probably refer you back to me. I have been working with Phyllis for around 4 years now. The problem is the high areas that we ride is probably still convered in snow and so Paliza might not be the area we hit. I am also going out of town for few days starting wednesday to the Burro Moutains in the Gila for an ATV ride. I will contact Phyllis this week before I go and will get back to you next sunday with better details beside a date and place,

Ron
 
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I'll post any updates that I get regarding this. If you'd like to contact Ron directly, his email address is:

Redneckrons at msn dot com

I have a phone number as well but you'll need to send me a PM for that.

- Marc
 
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I have a couple thoughts on this to share. I randomly met Phyllis while on a mtn bike ride with Tobascophish a few years ago. Juane had worked with her on some project years before and chewed the fat for a while. My sense was that she was not interested in motorized recreation in the district. The relevance for this forum is that the group could end up cleaning up a trail that, given the degree of closures suggested for the Jemez district and all of the NF property in the Santa Fe NF, would not again be available to us for evermore. And whether that is where we want to spend the club's energy.

In the 11 years or so I have been involved with HDC, the Paliza route has gone from "Primitive Road - Travel Discouraged" to only narrow wheelbase travel allowed (narrow gate at the entrance before the pond) to (at least on FS maps complete closure), to regaining a numbered route status and now to complete closure except for foot, bike, horse travel (as I read the language in the final EA/EIS). Do we, as an organization, want to help the USFS to reduce access by cleaning things up so they can claim the area is too pristine for motorized recreation? I have too much focused educational experience in public lands management to ignore the way this seems to be going not to chime in.

Mr. 2manycruisers, what do you say?
 
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I don't have any experiences with FS folks to base my opinions on or compare to yours. I guess I'm enough of an optimist to think if people who enjoy motorized recreation in our National Forest help the FS with trail maintenance, that goodwill *might* translate into positive considerations for future road closures.
 
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I see what your saying Greg, but I tend to agree with Marc. My thoughts are like this, we have a chance to make a positive impact to the people that maintain the areas we want to enjoy. As it is with many things in our world today, there is many misconceptions about our hobby/sport. I would like a chance to show that we arent the destructive types.

Daisy
 
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In my first post, I almost said something similar to Greg's comments. You can be sure Paliza will be closed to all vehicles when travel management is implemented (target date December 2010), so why bother. I deleted before I posted that because I do agree with daisy that we should still work to make a positive impact and possibly build a relationship for the future. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the future is very bright for the ohv community on SFNF, but we should work with what he have.
 
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10 yrs. ago when I first came to New Mexico I worked in the woods as a subcontractor to USFS, State Forestry, local Soil and Water conservation Districts, and attended many Citizens Advisory Committee meetings for developing Bernalillo County Open Space areas. I also lived directly across from Oak Flats Camp Ground. I watched it go from being able to take trails from there all the way to Carizzozo Canyon, to narrow width vehicles only, to no vehicles. And listened to equestrians complain about mountain bikes.

Working directly with administrators from these agencies left me with the feeling that all primitive roads and areas should be closed to vehicular traffic, except for official vehicles. I once heard it said that it was unfortunate that we (off road vehicle enthusiasts) paid taxes. If we didn't, they could shut us out without comment. As more and more areas are closed to us it's evident to me that putting effort into projects like Paliza is a fool's errand if we are to believe the current proposed EA/EIS. Altruistic efforts like cleaning up Paliza will never undo the actions of yahoos that won't stay on trails, or clean up after themselves, etc., or counter the very loud and very active equestrian community. I will be more than happy to participate in cleanup or maintenance projects in areas that have traditionally been open for many years, are currently open and look to stay that way in the future. Beyond that, I contribute to OHV lobbying efforts or go out of the country. OK, call me a cynic, but I don't see many new trail areas being opened to us or ones currently open remaining that way. I'm with sirenmoses, put your effort into something you may be able to enjoy. (Rant over).
 
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The last three posts pretty much sum up what I was trying to say without saying it - the decisions have already been made and any additional public comment/involvement will be tilting at windmills. I have seen the NEPA process used in several circumstances to reverse-engineer a predetermined political or sicial agenda. The land administrators follow the NEPA process to be in compliance, but the protocl has so many loopholes and opportunities for abuse it no longer meets the intent of the drafters of the original Act.

I'm particularly disgusted with the way things have been handled on the SFNF, at least in the Jemez district. During the process when the edict came down from DC to catalog all the roads and thier degree of use on the NF, all of the sudden numerous routes that had been closed or use-limited were reopened for a couple three years. Paliza is a good example (I never saw the gate at the northern end open, winter or summer, except during that period). Another is the Guadalupe river crossing route. Still another is the "Heartbreak Hill" road. Why would these routes all of the sudden become accessible again for a period? My cynical brain tells me the local administrators intended to inflate the degree of public use on these routes because... more open roads to maintain and manage means more money in the budget from DC. So now we have two stakeholders within the same government playing against each other. I'm not some right wing anti-government nut, but I'm very frustrated at after sitting in the classroom learning how public lands are supposed to be managed, seeing how the process works in the real world is disheartening.

Given a nice May Saturday I'd rather spend it doing something worthwhile and with a purpose, even if it's just hanging out at the park with my kids.

End rant (for now).
 
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I don't put out the 'support local trails' lightly, as I am agast at how much OHV Sandia Ranger District plans to open in my back yard (Oak Flat and David Canyon). In the 10 years I've lived and worked in the East Mountains I've seen how much badness can happen when there is no enforcement of the long-standing rules.

Places I used to PT are now covered in garbage and carcasses: so much for K9 SAR training. Places I've walkd the dogs now have drive-arounds blazed to bypass gated roads.

These are what I feel we can best spend our energies on: demonstrating to the landowners and lawbreakers alike, that we want to do right.

Doesn't have to be at Sandia: just sayn we should be thoughtful about what we support.
 

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