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Author Topic: Shoe Creek - UPDATE  (Read 42 times)

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Offline pcwolf

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Shoe Creek - UPDATE
« on: June 13, 2015, 12:49:40 PM »
Greetings

On Friday June 5th, 2015, after over a year of trying to arrange a meeting a few members of VA4WDA Board of Directors met with the U. S. Forest Service Glenwood-Pedlar District Ranger at Alhambra Road bottom entrance to Shoe Creek.  Parking the USFS pickup at the first clearing, Ranger Lauren Stull and lead Forester David Whitmore jumped into the front passenger seat of a couple of our Wranglers and we drove the trail.

The private property is not currently barricaded.  There are however almost continuous "NO TRESPASSING" signs along that part of Shoe Creek trail.

We discussed some of the erosion concerns on the USFS portion of the trail, stopping where it was severe.  The Forester held keys to the barricade closing the trail up to Slippery Rock unlocked and opened it so we could survey that trail as well.  Back on the main trail, David pointed out the blaze marks that show the start of private property and then on the top side, the blaze marks that show the resumption of USFS property.

At the bottom of the trail, President Jesse Schneirla and myself approached the house of one of the property owners. A woman came out and had a friendly discussion with us about what our organization is prepared to offer to prevent offroaders from further abusing the trail.  She said her father owned the property at the top of the trail, took our VA4WDA business card and promised to deliver it to her dad.

I want to sincerely thank the Ranger for fitting us into their busy schedules. We met at noon and I originally promised to get back off the trail by 2:30pm for her to make other appointments.  We ended up on the trail until nearly 4:00pm.  I believe she enjoyed getting out in Jeeps and our conversation once she saw we are committed, serious and ethical offroaders with a real desire to partner with them. Dave told me on the ride what his typical season is like, handing ATVers, Appalachian Trail Hikers, Bear Hunters, Cyclists, Horse Riders, Greenpeacers, and dozens of other groups who all want resources for their particular interests.

VA4WDA is large and growing, and member dues allow us to come to the table with serious labor and funds to demonstrate our commitment.

Whatever people think about the Forest Service and trail closures, they are dedicated hard-working public servants and we are on the same team with the same goal: 
Preserve public lands and provide open access to ALL users.

-Phil
Land Use
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 02:35:11 PM by pcwolf »

Offline pcwolf

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Re: Shoe Creek - UPDATE
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 02:28:59 PM »
    MY OPINION OF THE KEY TAKEAWAYS OF OUR MEETING:  (in no particular order)

    • The abuse on the private property is not as severe as I once thought.  I recall two, perhaps three, clearly illegal trails.
      I believe these trails could be permanently blocked by a handful of our volunteers placing barricades or guardrails across them in a weekend or two of work.
    • There is NO right-of-way held by the Forest Service across the private property. Passage is ENTIRELY based on the goodwill of the property owners.
    • We have finally received the official posture of the USFS on the issue of Shoe Creek. 
      I have heard nothing but rumor and hearsay for years, most of which was wrong :)
    • There is NO legal overnight camping along the creek. Day use is welcome.
      Some of the camping clearings are expanding into virgin vegetation and have grown noticeably over the past few years.
    • The Ranger is not terribly optimistic about keeping the trail open for wheeling.  Shoe Creek access is being held by a slender thread.
      If the private property is closed, the USFS will most likely close the ENTIRE trail to motor vehicles rather than keep both ends open.
    • YouTube is NOT a friend of Shoe Creek. Rangers and VA4WDA both note greatly increased abuse with this video exposure.
    • Slick Rock is now on USFS property.  It was private, but due to a land swap the USFS now owns that trail.
    • During our survey we drove up to the "double dip" and walked up to Slick Rock.
      The trail cutting left across the stream and up to The Lookout is also USFS property. This entire trail from the barricade is CLOSED.
    • Locks on barricades are OFTEN vandalized and destroyed in order to get vehicle access.
      This is a federal misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine of up to $500, six months imprisonment, or both. That penalty is provided in 18 U.S.C. 1863
      Rangers have found locks booby trapped to cause harm and have learned to examine the locks before reaching in.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?
    [/list]
    « Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 02:08:17 PM by pcwolf »

     

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