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I have a 6 mile loop I ride many times a week to just get out for a quick ride out behind my house in Ashley Resivoir in Holyoke, ma. It starts on an old access/fire road that leads no where anymore.
I had done a bunch of work to a up and over of a huge fallen tree, I was sick of the losing momentum and going around it. So i spent a good 2 hours making ramps that were solid and sturdy outta limbs, branches, and rocks. The very next day I went up the trail and it was completely pulled apart. For no reason that I can understand. This is state land belonging to the town of Holyoke and the state of Massachusetts.
If this was someones land, then cool, but it is not. I know alot of moto's, atv's etc use these same trails. They use the up and overs that have been there in the past. This wasnt just a throttle happy punk. The pile was pulled in all directions like a rabid dog found a pile of milkbones. I know how I felt and I am interested to know how others feel when they find this utter display of bullshiz. I did react after the 3rd day fixin and again finding this same problem. What do you guys feel is appropriate measures and reaction?
 

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Terrain Sculptor
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There could be so many reasons why your up & over was taken apart. If it was local authorities, you're out of luck. Also, I'd like to commend your local authorities for such prompt action. It usually takes the government weeks, months or years to get things done. If they have determined that what you built isn't safe or is an eyesore or something, you're not likely to convince them otherwise.

More likely, it was some hiker or even another mountain biker who has decided it isn't safe or they didn't like the way it looked. To solve the problem, you pretty much have to find and talk to whoever is doing it. Try to be civil because if you confront them, they'll just dig in their heels and you two will spend years digging that hole and filling it in again.

It's probably less work for them to tear it apart than it is for you to build it. You may have to just give up on it if they're that persistent.
 

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Big Gulps, Alright!
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How big is the tree? Some people enjoy the challenge of riding over fall logs/trees, one of these people may have viewed your work as trail sanitizing.

If you're tired of going around the log, then you can either A. learn to go over the log or B. get serious, grab a saw and cut it out.

Cutting it out would be a more permanent fix, but you should check and make sure that the tree hasn't been left there on purpose. Similarly, pay attention to how wide a cut you make if you remove the fallen limb. If the trail is multi-use then you need to make sure you make a wide enough cut to accommodate other users.
 

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Mosha said:
I have a 6 mile loop I ride many times a week to just get out for a quick ride out behind my house in Ashley Resivoir in Holyoke, ma. It starts on an old access/fire road that leads no where anymore.
I had done a bunch of work to a up and over of a huge fallen tree, I was sick of the losing momentum and going around it. So i spent a good 2 hours making ramps that were solid and sturdy outta limbs, branches, and rocks. The very next day I went up the trail and it was completely pulled apart. For no reason that I can understand. This is state land belonging to the town of Holyoke and the state of Massachusetts.
I know how I felt and I am interested to know how others feel when they find this utter display of bullshiz. I did react after the 3rd day fixin and again finding this same problem. What do you guys feel is appropriate measures and reaction?
I have several thoughts and a few suggestions. You feel you wasted 2 hours of hard work. I've done something over 4000 hours of trail work and building a ramp over a fallen tree would be considered trail work 101. I've have seen several ride-over ramps dis-assembled along local trails. The usual culprits are hikers who have volunteered along that section and feel only they have the right to make any changes. You could contact the State Land manager and ask if he knows about the fallen tree or what his policy is for when trees go down on trails. Most land mangers send out a person with a chainsaw and remove a section of the tree. If that is what you want, go forward with a call or personal visit to State Land people.

If it was me, I'd return and create and even better ramp over the fallen tree. I've done a lot of reroutes and mods to trails that other disagreed with and quickly found my work undone. I went several months redoing a section of trail reroute that someone kept covering with logs and rocks. I finally met the person and he was a good friend. He didn't like having two seperate braids in the trail and after we agreed to cover the old eroded section, the reroute has gone untouched. In other instances, I knew from experience that the riders or person(s) changing the work were upset about a favorite trail being altered. I had to return maybe 5-6 times and redo the work before they gave up changing it back to how they liked it. Sometimes you just have to outlast the other guy. Be willing to put in a whole lot more than two hours before this is settled.

Another suggestion is that you can leave a note pinned to the tree and ask the person to call you. The problem is, you don't have permission to do any work to begin with. If you go back to rebuild the ramps, add a lot of soil around the base of the branches and add some more soil over the top of them after they are in place. It will stabilize the ramps and let people know your work is meant to be sustainable. I would also bring a sharp ax along and knotch out the top of the fallen tree, maybe 4-6 inches deep. It looks great and makes the work look like it was done by an experienced builder. I did it on a very busy trail two years ago and I expected the Forest Service to come out and chainsaw the tree but everyone liked the work I had done and left it alone. But then I used only soil to build my ramps so hikers could easily get over the 16" diameter tree just as easy as me.
 

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Masher
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Mosha said:
...This is state land belonging to the town of Holyoke and the state of Massachusetts.... If this was someones land, then cool, but it is not.
Actually, this is a common misconception. It is someones land - it's the public's land, so if you want to do anything on that land you need permission of the land manager and you'll need to follow their administrative procedures to do anything to alter that land.

How would you like it if some baseball team thought that nobody owned that land so they leveled it and built a ballfield? This is why administrative procedures exist so that can't happen. You have to follow them too.
 

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trail rat
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We (www.cccmb.org) are a 20+ year old group that has permission and approval for everything we do from city, county, state, federal land managers. Very often, work we do on reroutes, safety issues, erosion control are undone.

Most often that we can identify, it is users (mtb, hiker, equestrian) who want it back the way that it was for the last 1 / 5 / 10 / 20 years, they don't want "their" trails to change. This is especially true when reroutes are done around very old, fall line, unsustainable trails (often old roads).

We keep that attitude that "no good deed goes unpunished". :D
That is something that the dedicated trail workers have to learn, whether we have been at it for 20 days or 20 years.

In some cases we end up adding signage from the land managers stating that the old trail is closed for rehabilitation. Still, the barriers and signs get torn down, debris used to obscure the trail removed, and they go through.

....no good deed goes unpunished.....
 

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Mosha said:
I have a 6 mile loop I ride many times a week to just get out for a quick ride out behind my house in Ashley Resivoir in Holyoke, ma. It starts on an old access/fire road that leads no where anymore.
I had done a bunch of work to a up and over of a huge fallen tree, I was sick of the losing momentum and going around it. So i spent a good 2 hours making ramps that were solid and sturdy outta limbs, branches, and rocks. The very next day I went up the trail and it was completely pulled apart. For no reason that I can understand. This is state land belonging to the town of Holyoke and the state of Massachusetts.
If this was someones land, then cool, but it is not. I know alot of moto's, atv's etc use these same trails. They use the up and overs that have been there in the past. This wasnt just a throttle happy punk. The pile was pulled in all directions like a rabid dog found a pile of milkbones. I know how I felt and I am interested to know how others feel when they find this utter display of bullshiz. I did react after the 3rd day fixin and again finding this same problem. What do you guys feel is appropriate measures and reaction?
My $0.02: turn this into your advantage. Do research and find the land owner. Get permission to maintain the trail.

I have problems with people pulling down my flag lines for new trail. Last time, I posted a sign stating the work was authorized by the park management, stated my club affiliation, and gave contact information for the park manager. The flags stayed put!

Walt
 

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Delirious Tuck
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Contact your local NEMBA (New England MTB Assoc.) chapter, I know those guys are active in the Holyoke Range and probably already have the relationships and 411 on where you are. They probably have tools to help you, and definitely have TM/Building Knowledge and if you can get in touch with the right crew, you might be able to get a more permanent role as a Trail Ambassador and have some authority from the Land Manager to do as needed TM (cutting back the growth, and pulling out blow down) and be in a good place to get permission to build an up and over for the log or pull it out.

PM me if you're not a NEMBA member or need help getting in touch with the local NEMBA crew.

What everyone else said about having to outlast the other guy who's taking your stuff down, keep at it and you'll eventually win. I find though, if you build (sustainable) better flow or a TTF option that wasn't there before you're giving users more than you take and win acceptance for the option quicker.

If you're making the line easier, maybe make your work narrower so that the up and over option is still there. (but not widening the trail and with armored in and out...)

thefriar
CT NEMBA Trail Rep.
 

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Why not just come back with a saw and cut the blowdown out?

You say that someone is undoing your hard work but who gave you the authority to build the ramp in the first place? You took it upon yourself to deal with a trail maintenance issue in a way that suits you and perhaps some others, but are you sure it's what everyone else who uses the trail or the land managers want? If you want a trail with stunts and "skills" sections, work with the land managers to get something like that built.
 

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Zach Attack
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Dude, You have received a proper thrashing. I have to say, I agree with most of the comments above regarding considerations when working on other peoples land (including public).
We have had some issues in the past with trail pirates. If you really want to know whats up, utilize a game camera hidden near by. Not only does it provide a picture, but a time stamp when they use the trail. That way you can do some altering of their vehicle why they are altering your work. (just kidding)
z
 

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Delirious Tuck
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Hmmm... Game camera... I have a trail I rerouted, working with the land managers, that created an extra 200 yards from point a to point b. I have had to re-close the fall line section we close six months ago dozens of times now. It's getting to the point that I'm considering a game camera at the point so that the Friends org for the park can take some kind of action against the individual(s).

It's probably the same person as it typically happens between my Tuesday AM ride and Wednesday AM ride and stays for a week or so until the next wednesday morning's ride, I'd rather buy a game camera than hang out taking a day off from work. Aldo, we've tried signage and it gets pulled down even before the un-doer comes along.

Anyone have luck or used game cameras?
 

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Zach Attack
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174 Posts
Wildview Digital Game Camera is a great light unit that I got for as cheap as $40 ea. We also have some of the Moltrie cadalac units that have invisible infared flash as well as movie modes and high res. We use these to watch our equipment, identify trail users, check out problem sections or features on a trail and also to shoot time lapse of our trail building.
z
 

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Interesting. I was always under the impression that they where fairly pricey, especially with the infrared and silent shutters. Do you have any links? I've been interested in doing some use surveys.
 
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