: A talk with the Arizona Wilderness Coalition


JeepGuy
01-20-2007, 09:11 PM
I received a call from Jason Williams (Regional Director of the Arizona Wilderness Coalition) this morning regarding the letter I sent to them. We had a nice discussion about my concerns I pointed out and I thought I would relay them to everyone here at TTORA.

He basically wanted to call me to confirm that someone actually got my letter and discuss what their organization is actually supporting and working towards. He appreciated my passion for the great outdoors and desire for keeping trails open. He discussed the Martinez Cabin issue and had some valid concerns. There is a real problem on that trail with vandalism and the masses of OHV users. The cabin has been seriously vandalized and scavaged for fire wood and recent roll over accidents on the Luge has caused leakage of harmful fluids into the water source for wildlife in the area. That is why his organization is in favor of closing that trail. I expressed to him that yes, that is a serious problem and unfortunate. I also went on to state the following.

"Yes, that is a problem and it's unfortunate that there are a few bad apples out there that have to ruin it for the rest of us and give all of us a bad name. However, that happens everywhere, not just in the backcountry. We see it all over the city, suburbs, and even in the pristine North Scottsdale area which is the Beverly Hills of Phoenix. That does not mean that public roads are just shut down as a result. I am against closing Martinez altogether to solve this problem. That sounds like the easy cop-out solution that doesn't take any effort or thinking. Instead, try working WITH the off-road community on a solution rather then just shut it down. Let's see if we can come up with a better solution. If the Luge is a problem because of the water source at the bottom, then let's have a bypass for that one section. That would be a whole lot more reasonable then closing the entire trail down completely. As far as the vandalism is concerned, let's put up a gate or fence of some sort around the historic cabin. The point is, let's work together on a solution rather then against each other. Also please remember, the guy with a beer in one hand and the steering wheel in the other does not represent us responsible 4-wheelers."

He agreed that working together is a good solution and said that they do work "with" the off-road community on these issues but there's always the guy that says "I want to go anywhere, anytime". Of course then there's the guy on the other end of the spectrum that says "I want everything closed to motorized vehicles, period!" Those two guys are the reasons why we have a problem working together and we need more people that are willing to compromise involved in solving these issues. As far as the Martinez issue is concerned, I proposed the idea of creating a new bypass for the Luge to avoid rollovers into the water source. Jason said that could be very expensive, but I think there may be ways around that as well. We could have fund raisers, or a portion of the State Land Permit money go towards it, or just charge a fee for using that single trail. There are numerous options to raise money if we are willing to work "together".

He also stated that the big problem they are seeing is the creation of new roads and trails. Apparently, from what I'm told, it has gotten out of control in Arizona and becoming a real problem. He said that if we could all agree that no more trails would be created as of today, then they would be "good". However, that probably isn't going to happen at this point. Most of the trails he is referring to is the quad and dirt bike trails, but he also mentioned a new trail in FJ called Jawbreaker (I think). Apparently some trees were cut down to make this new trail without any approval. They have a problem with this because there is no regulation on what & where someone can just make a new trail. I have to agree with him that we need some kind of control on new trails/roads being created so no one is inadvertently destroying endangered wildlife or historic areas or just doing something stupid. They are not against new roads and trails being created as long as it's not out of control.

The bottom line: WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER! After talking to this organization it doesn't sound like they are the hard-core liberal tree huggers we portray them to be. They are certainly willing to work with us and compromise to reach some common ground, but it's a two way street. We have to give a little for them to give a little. Not to mention, it's better for everyone in the long run. The scenery will be that much more spectacular, wildlife will actually survive and be part of the scenery, the trails that we know and love will continue to stay open, and we could actually create new trails without offending the environmentalists. All-in-all, a better wheelin' experience for all of us. :D

There's my :2cents:

TucsonTRD
01-21-2007, 07:14 PM
the bottom line is we have an uphill battle. imo, it will be easier for them to shut the trails down than for us to keep the trails open. i'm glad to hear that organization is being closed-minded. it sounds like it may be too late, but we need to police ourselves. and report violaters.

good post, i hope we can keep positive conversations going.

TBob
01-22-2007, 09:37 AM
Shawn I posted your thread on the undertakers. - he is what my buddy Tom
had to say about it -

"Bob,

That Jason Williams doesn't appear to know his ass from a hole in the ground! I would wager $1000 he's never been around the martinez Loop, possibly never to the cabins, and maybe never even in FJ period!

"Rollovers in to the water source at the bottom of the luge"...what????? Please show me a pic or some documentation. The "Luge" hasn't been run in years, and perhaps there truly is a water source at it's real bottom. But for now, and the last several years, a bypass is already being run. I've not heard of any serious rolls (by a truck/jeep) on this bypass?? And even so...any oil spill would have to leak a LONG WAY before reaching any water I can think of?!?!

"A new trail called Jawbreaker"...again, what????? That trail has been closed for several years. It wasn't an issue with opening it (it was a legal trail for a while), but due to abuse and the riparian area it crossed, it was closed...one of Fucktardo's slick moves where he pulled off a so called "emergency closure". He tried it recently on Martinez but thru Sandee's vocalism and clear(er) thinking from Patrick Madigan (Fuckhead's boss), the closure was denied.

So while it seems these AZWild guys are "organized" or whatever...their arguments appear to be false/ignorant. Is it a good idea to talk/with them?? I dunno. Maybe better to let them hang themselves with their own ignorance!"

Westy
01-22-2007, 10:55 AM
It just goes to show that AZwilderness guy has NO clue what he is talking about...anybody that has run Martinez and knows about the Luge can tell you it hasnt been run in a long time.

No surprise they are spouting off more incorrect accusations...

And I would be very reluctant to say they arent hard core tree huggers after reading all the articles and proposals on their site.

JeepGuy
01-22-2007, 01:29 PM
Wow! I guess there's a WHOLE lot more to the story then I knew about. I just did the Martinez Cabin trail last month but didn't do the canyon part.

AZ Guys: keep us posted on what's going on and what we can do to help. There's only so much I know/find-out about when I don't live in AZ anymore/yet.

yogiaz
01-23-2007, 03:47 PM
I agree bob.... I have not seen or heard of anybody running the acutal Luge. Everybody seems to take the easier bypass to the right. And if one vehicle did roll into the Luge... they would have to leak out more than a few quarts of oil for it to travel from the top of the mountain to any usuable water source.

Im all for working together when the other party really wants to listen to alternatives. But the reality of the situation is that most of the people who want trail closures are not interested in any other solutions.

Its a bleak outlook for people who use the trails.

Yogi


Shawn I posted your thread on the undertakers. - he is what my buddy Tom
had to say about it -

"Bob,

That Jason Williams doesn't appear to know his ass from a hole in the ground! I would wager $1000 he's never been around the martinez Loop, possibly never to the cabins, and maybe never even in FJ period!

"Rollovers in to the water source at the bottom of the luge"...what????? Please show me a pic or some documentation. The "Luge" hasn't been run in years, and perhaps there truly is a water source at it's real bottom. But for now, and the last several years, a bypass is already being run. I've not heard of any serious rolls (by a truck/jeep) on this bypass?? And even so...any oil spill would have to leak a LONG WAY before reaching any water I can think of?!?!

"A new trail called Jawbreaker"...again, what????? That trail has been closed for several years. It wasn't an issue with opening it (it was a legal trail for a while), but due to abuse and the riparian area it crossed, it was closed...one of Fucktardo's slick moves where he pulled off a so called "emergency closure". He tried it recently on Martinez but thru Sandee's vocalism and clear(er) thinking from Patrick Madigan (Fuckhead's boss), the closure was denied.

So while it seems these AZWild guys are "organized" or whatever...their arguments appear to be false/ignorant. Is it a good idea to talk/with them?? I dunno. Maybe better to let them hang themselves with their own ignorance!"