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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.hidesertstar.com/articles/2005/03/05/editorial/opinion1.txt


The Hi-Desert Star's view: Off-road rift growing deeper





Whether the Hi-Desert has a problem with off-road vehicles in general is
a matter of perspective. But one thing is certain: There is a definite
problem with aggressive trespassing, property damage and verbal assault
- carried out by people who are driving ORVs.

The daily calls to the sheriff's station with complaints of off-road
riders, the full-house attendance at last weekend's conference - which
was pretty much framed as more anti- than pro-ORV use - and even the
record response the Hi-Desert Star received for our online poll on the
topic all show the people of the Morongo Basin have strong opinions on
off-road riding.

Some of the people fighting ORV abuse in their areas claim riders have
caused thousands of dollars in damage, threatened them and purposely
targeted their private property.

Then there are the ORV proponents, who say those abusers are part of a
small percentage of the many people who enjoy riding off-road. Most,
they claim, are doing it legally and courteously.

The problem is, both sides are probably right.



Large signs, route guides and other educational and persuasive tools
will always be only a part of the solution. They are viable answers, and
must be pursued because they will help to create a culture of awareness
in which people self-enforce the laws - or at least the law of common
courtesy.

But just as with most crimes, law enforcement is probably the most
effective solution. It can't prevent off-road abuses, but at least it
can punish those who commit other crimes - trespass, malicious mischief,
threats - while driving their off-road vehicles.

More patrollers and stiffer penalties will mean the scofflaw off-roaders
can no longer act like barbarians and get away with it.

The problem is the county sheriff's department only has a fraction of
the money and personnel it would take to effectively combat off-road
abuse - most of which takes place in remote areas, with criminals who
are already on their getaway vehicles.

And the Bureau of Land Management has provided even less personnel and
resources to curb ORV abuse.




Increasingly it seems the rift is growing between those who do ride ORVs
and those who say they are victims of abuse. Soon it may become an
unbridgeable chasm.

Money for truly effective enforcement will not be secured overnight.
Until it is, both sides of this issue must work even harder to live
together and discourage the criminals who happen to ride ORVs and are
doing everything they can to dig that chasm between us.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ursidae69 said:
I agree we need to police ourselves, but I don't think most of us are the problem. I've gone on trail rides in several states with several different groups from various 4x4 websites, and I've yet to see a real bad apple. Most people recreate responsibly.
I agree, most people are responsible. I do frequently run into bad apples though. Maybe it's just the nature of some of our trails here in CA.

They mostly fall into two groups. The first group is usually made up of younger people who simply don't know they are doing anything wrong (wheeling off the trail, tearing up meadows, etc.). Usually a little education goes a long way with this group. The second group seems to be made up of people who simply don't give a shit. These are the scums who toss beer cans, cigarette butts, and everything else out the window without a second thought. Severe peer pressure is the way we have been dealing with these sorts, although I have my doubts that it does any good. If I had it my way we could just shoot them in the head and bury them on the side of the trail.

Later,
....Mike
 

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Idea

I think I have an idea that would do good for us. I saw a picture of a SHERIFF Jeep Cheerokee in a mag not long ago.

The problem is the county sheriff's department only has a fraction of
the money and personnel it would take to effectively combat off-road
abuse - most of which takes place in remote areas, with criminals who
are already on their getaway vehicles.
We could get together w/ Pirate, TS, CustomTacos, and any other boards that would like to participate and open a PayPal account for donations towards another Off-Highway equipped Patrol Vehicle. When they decked it out w/ the equipment and correct decals ie "SHERIFF" they could add a donated by, or made possible, by the clubs and organizations that participated in donating the funds for the vehicle. And if not on the vehicle we'd atleast get good coverage for it. my .02

Can someone put this together?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
GOT COPE? said:
I think I have an idea that would do good for us. I saw a picture of a SHERIFF Jeep Cheerokee in a mag not long ago.
El Dorado County has this rig. I volunteered as a driver for a law enforcement tour on the Rubicon last summer. I got the impression that there really wasn't too much demand for that shift. There weren't many Sherriffs who wanted to spend weekends on the trail, and even fewer who were willing to camp.

Dream job if you ask me, but apparently not in the real world.

El Dorado county has a Jeep and a few quads, and they do random patrols on the Rubicon. It's just really difficult to cover the territory well enough to stamp out the stupid behavior.

Later,
....Mike

 

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Dream job no kiddin. But guess a helicopter would fit their needs better, but so much more expensive. But youre right the best and most effective way would be to Police ourselves.
And its funny they get so pissed about littering the trails, yet they dont think twice about throwing a cigarette butt out in town. Nor do the cops seem to do anything about it. I could write a months quota in one day from a the people i see tossing "butts" out the window. And just for the record littering counts all the same to me no matter where its done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here is an all too common example of how we are screwing ourselves. I took this picture near the Loon Lake entrance to the Rubicon trail, although I could find a similar example just about anywhere.

If we don't start educating our peers, we are gonna be out of places to wheel soon.

Later,
....Mike







 

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Discussion Starter #7
GOT COPE? said:
Dream job no kiddin. But guess a helicopter would fit their needs better, but so much more expensive. But youre right the best and most effective way would be to Police ourselves.
And its funny they get so pissed about littering the trails, yet they dont think twice about throwing a cigarette butt out in town. Nor do the cops seem to do anything about it. I could write a months quota in one day from a the people i see tossing "butts" out the window. And just for the record littering counts all the same to me no matter where its done.
I chewed for about 5 years, and smoked for about 10 years after that. I can see both sides of the coin, but tossing butts out the window is still litter!

We almost had a brawl out on the trail a few years ago. Some jackasses were trashing their rig in the little sluice, and one of the guys flicked a butt out of the rig. Not only is it litter, but we were under fire restrictions. BigBadBob picked up the butt, stuffed it out on the side of the guy's rig, and then flicked it in his face saying "you dropped this on the trail". It was 3 vs about 15, so they just kept going...

Sometimes you gotta confront people on their terms before they will understand.

Later,
....Mike
 

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I agree about the butts thats why I mentioned it. There are piles of them along the road here in Atlanta.
I was coming out of Taco Bell and saw a kid who was eating in the parking lot throw a cup on the ground. I picked it up and asked him if he realized he'd dropped it. I told him I wasn't trying to be an ass but the litter adds up. I even offered to toss it for him. But he kept it in his truck and said he'd do it. I do shit like this all the time. I hate seeing people litter.
 

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Mike, can't speak for "crap-o-fornia" but I've been told by rangers, police etc take a pic of vechile showing license plate and infraction (try not to been seen) and send it to them and they will issue citation.
 

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It's sad that the environmental groups are prejudice against all ORVs. That's what it is when they are stereotyping all off road recreation drivers. The proposals they put forth are an outcome of their prejudice and do not allow for personal responsibility.

Closing recreational land to ORV use only amplifies the problem. As there are fewer places to recreate, those that are open get more use. I advocate a rotation of off road trails and roads in an area over a three year period. The USFS and BLM can designate a rotation of trails to be open one year in three or two years in three. This allows the "closed" trails to re-vegetate (is that really a word?) while the trails are worked on to install erosion control measures. This provides a variety of trails to use, allows for repair and keeps public lands open to the public. I associate with crop rotation for soil conservation.

Enforcement of the "laws" that may get passed is critical. There just aren't enough law enforcement folks to be present at every critical point (ref: Rubicon picture earlier in the thread) to catch or deter the stupid people who ignore posted signs.

We can do an awesome job of respecting the land within our groups, but that in no way prevents stupid individuals from going out on their own and violating the areas around the trails. It comes back to individual responsibility every time.
 

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GOT COPE? said:
I think I have an idea that would do good for us. I saw a picture of a SHERIFF Jeep Cheerokee in a mag not long ago.
...
Can someone put this together?
I agree with Mike here. It will be under utilized to the point of waste.

I'd be much more interested in giving law enforcement a ride for the weekend. Undercover cop style :). If that shows promise then we can work on getting them their own vehicle. However, I don't see this happening either. You're talking a rig and putting an inexperienced driver out on a really hard trail and saying "don't get stuck, don't break it." Riiiight.

Back to the issue at hand: Can't you shoot trespassers in NV? One injury by gunshot with a lot of press would result in fewer of these cases.
 

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The problem with your rotating trail closures is that closed trails aren't ever reopened. I'm still waiting for one of my trails in the Sierras to "re vegetate" after ~3 years of being closed.

By the time its finished vegetating there will be no remnants of a trail. It's closed to vehicle access... Forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
BigBadBob0 said:
The problem with your rotating trail closures is that closed trails aren't ever reopened. I'm still waiting for one of my trails in the Sierras to "re vegetate" after ~3 years of being closed.

By the time its finished vegetating there will be no remnants of a trail. It's closed to vehicle access... Forever.
Are you talking about this trail? If so, it was one of my favorite places to go for many years. RIP Bassi Falls. :mad: You can enjoy the Bassi Falls Hiking Trail now though.... :rolleyes:

Later,
....Mike

 
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