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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there... As part of laying out new trails in a local park I've been using orange tape on existing trees to rough out the proposed route. Unfortunately, someone keeps removing the tape. The park authority we are working with to build the trails doesn't know who is doing it, so there's not really much they can do. This last time (for our next segment) the flags were removed within 48 hours of my marking the route.

Since these are just temporary markings I'm hesitant to use typical spray marking paint since orange bands on trees would be rather unsightly once the trail is done, but I'm not sure what else can be used that the aforementioned malicious persons won't be able to easily remove.

Do any of you have suggestions as to what else may be done to mark such route proposal?

I've also seen spray chalks available for temporary grass marking, but have any of you used this on trees? As long as it stays visible for a month or two before degrading to invisibility it should be fine. Here in SE Michigan we get some decent summer and winter storms, so there should be plenty of sun and water to help it fade and wash it off.

Thanks for any advise you can give.

-Steve
 

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We are reluctant to flag proposed trails now since we have had a bootlegger jump on our route while we were getting the land manager approvals in order. Flags are useful to show the land manager but now we mostly memorize, faintly scratch a line, stay away from the ends until the rest of the trail is complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ramshackle said:
We are reluctant to flag proposed trails now since we have had a bootlegger jump on our route while we were getting the land manager approvals in order. Flags are useful to show the land manager but now we mostly memorize, faintly scratch a line, stay away from the ends until the rest of the trail is complete.
I think I may have to go that route, and just walk/GPS the route for the approval maps. Oh well. It's frustrating to see a couple days worth of work go down the drain like that, although I guess I did get a good feel for the route while flagging it.
 

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Builder of Trails
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If your proposed trail is in a somewhat wooded area, you can cut branches part way up the limb as a more natural marker. You can even cut smaller, less desirable trees off waist high.

D
 

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are you sure it's a person removing the flagging? I was working on a trail segment years ago and had 3 sets of flagging get removed. as I was dumbfounded by this trying to figure out what was going on, I pin-flagged the route because we were ready to cut the section. Those flags got removed, too, but I noticed that it wasn't a person doing it. I was seeing the metal pins still in the ground, but the flagging was gone.

after talking to some folks, I learned that others have had problems with deer eating the flagging. nobody I spoke to had ever seen the extent of it that I had, but they've observed it nonetheless. Then I began to pay more attention, and I realized that there wasn't a lot of choice browse left in the woods...the deer were eating it all...and they were mistaking the flagging for vegetation!

when that realization hit me, I stopped trying to flag the trails, and I raked the route in. no more trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
NateHawk said:
are you sure it's a person removing the flagging? I was working on a trail segment years ago and had 3 sets of flagging get removed. as I was dumbfounded by this trying to figure out what was going on, I pin-flagged the route because we were ready to cut the section. Those flags got removed, too, but I noticed that it wasn't a person doing it. I was seeing the metal pins still in the ground, but the flagging was gone.

after talking to some folks, I learned that others have had problems with deer eating the flagging. nobody I spoke to had ever seen the extent of it that I had, but they've observed it nonetheless. Then I began to pay more attention, and I realized that there wasn't a lot of choice browse left in the woods...the deer were eating it all...and they were mistaking the flagging for vegetation!

when that realization hit me, I stopped trying to flag the trails, and I raked the route in. no more trouble.
Wow. I hope those deer didn't get too ill.

I'm quite certain that this is people, as I had orange tape square knotted around trees ever 10' - 20', and every single one is gone, with no trace on the ground, all the way from the end of one segment to a currently-impassable by foot lump of brush, then along the other side.

I really wish I'd come across the person removing it. If nothing else I could have explained how we're working with the local land managers and asked what they were doing. Maybe they think it's kids making motorbike trails and they think they are being helpful.
 

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Birdman aka JMJ
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I've had to deal with this issue before. If someone is adamant about removing markers, they will show up next with grey spraypaint to remove any spray markers on the ground or trees.

Try reflective dots (push-pins) on trees on your proposed routes, but put them above the sight-line, maybe 10-12' up.

Good luck.

JMJ
 

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Some times we have to flag routes well in advance for the park to approve the route. So we gps the route, so we can easily reflag when we go to build the trail.

Paul
 

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Two words...Game Camera. Catch the DB's in the act! But make sure you hide it or lock it to a tree or they'll take it too!!!
 

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I have used spray chalk to mark tree limbs for sawyers to cut but I am not sure I ever paid attention to how long it lasted once sprayed on the tree.

One thing we use to mark trails in arid environments are stake chasers, little plastic whiskers you pound into the ground with 60 penny nails. If driven into hard ground they can be very difficult to remove by hand. Because they are close to the ground they are not very visible unless you are walking the actual line of the trail layout. If you pick a color like yellow they are somewhat hard to spot even when you are looking for them. If your grass is too deep you probably wouldn't be able to use them. In deep grass you might try using neutral color pin flags.

By the way, we have had problems with elk eating the florescent pink stake chasers.
 

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Reading all your posts has been interesting. How about this for an idea, buy a painters extension pole at Home Depot and attach one of those painting sticks to a paint brush adapter which screws onto the extenion pole.

Then mark the tree up high enough that the person doing the deflagging has to climb up into each tree to remove the marking.

In my past I use to untie marking tape and tie it to a totally different route:madman: . I wasn't for the routing being proposed so I remarked the route to something I believed would be better.

Let us know what eventually worked. :)
 

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Zach Attack
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I must agree with the Game Camera Concept. Your issue is that you have someone who is contesting the idea of a trail. Knowing who and why is important. There are many things they can do physical and otherwise and it would be good to nip that in the bud. Obviously they care enough to match effort and that says a lot to me.
Your idea about painting trees etc... is like ripping scabs off your arm without acknowledging you have a wound. You can get a digital game camera for $50. I pick mine up new on Ebay. Not only good for security but also good for placing near technical or problem areas to review how people are riding them or identifying how many or type of people are using your trails.
Zachi
www.foresttrailsalliance.org
 

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There is a little trail near my house that someone kept throwing logs and limbs across, I presume to discourage motorcycles from using. I would move them and they would put them back. Finally, I put a note up on the trail saying I've been MTB on this trail for 20 years and if you have a problem lets talk about it, and left my phone #. Later I came back, the note was gone, the logs were off the trail and have never had a problem since. I'm not saying that will work, but hey, worth a try.
 
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