Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Will Guide for Beer
Joined
·
731 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the past, I have always understood that riding social trail to be legal in the National Forest. Building and maintaining with saws and shovel ... not so legal. That's how I've always understood it.

Last week, a local rider was out riding some social trail and ran into some forest service folk who told him that riding a bike on said social trail was an act of maintaining the trail. He was given a warning ticket. Thinking ... Woudn't walking on the trail provide similar result? Hmmm??

Over the past 2-3 years, I haven't heard of any grumblings out of the FS. A new district manager was appointed about that time and I have plesently enjoyed network and social trail riding without any problems. Anyone else notice any sort of rule changes going on? Word has it that there are some new FS employees in the Red Rock Ranger District (RRRD) ... Optimistically hoping that they are just peeing on trees and that it is short lived.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,234 Posts
One of the guys at Bike-n-Bean said there were 3 new employees who were out closing some of the social trails and writing tickets to the effect that riding them was maintaining them and hence, illegal. Made in the Shade was mentioned as closed but I didn't see any evidence of that. One really nice rock wall on the side of one of the gullies had collapsed but that could have happened during the recent rains.

Anyway, a new management policy for Sedona would require NEPA compliance showing bike use on social trails is causing more resource damage than other users such as hikers or horses. As I understand it, the Red Rock office doesn't have the authority to sign off on a different mangagement policy. I doubt that any of those tickets would hold up in court, perhaps why they are just warnings?

It does beg the question of all the trail building going on in Sedona is from what I can tell occurring without input from advocacy groups or a working relationship with the forest service. Obviously, there is a need for more trails and some of the newer ones are really cool but I wonder about the eventual outcome. I guess some get adopted and some destroyed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Please explain to me what exactly a "social trail" is and how is that land supposed to be used? Is the land leased out, just for looks from afar, or what? It was my understanding that some tours (pink jeep) were given rights to tour people but that's about it. WTF?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,234 Posts
RogerDoger said:
Please explain to me what exactly a "social trail" is and how is that land supposed to be used? Is the land leased out, just for looks from afar, or what? It was my understanding that some tours (pink jeep) were given rights to tour people but that's about it. WTF?
A social trail is a non-system trail. How the land is used or trails built and maintained and whether or not illegally built ones constitute resource damage is up to the land management agency. Typically, the forest service or BLM in the southwest. Jeep tours have a permit with the FS to conduct tours in Sedona on existing roads. That is, they're not out trail blazing although I have seen jeepers trying to drive up the Soldier Pass trail from the sinkhole. That's lame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
zul said:
Last week, a local rider was out riding some social trail and ran into some forest service folk who told him that riding a bike on said social trail was an act of maintaining the trail. He was given a warning ticket. Thinking ... Woudn't walking on the trail provide similar result? Hmmm??
.
A trail is open to travel unless posted otherwise. The forest circus knows this and since the coconino nf is in the process of revising their motorized plan, they seem to be looking at their non-motorized "plan" as well. However nebulous it is. With all the online ramblings about this and that trail here at mtbr and other sites, I kinda forecast a fs effort to curb the social trail use. Those who really dislike wheels on trails monitor this site and at some point complain to the fs that mountain biking has run amok in Sedona. So those chaps in green pants have to do something. Either they will post the trails as closed or destroy them. A couple of years ago in Sedona there was the building and destruction of the social trail between the broken arrow sinkhole and mystic trail. Was that called "hogsback" or something? Anyway, some riders put in a lot of work to make a very interesting trail and the following season, the fs came in and took it out. 2009 should be an interesting year in the red rock country.
That said, I do not know of the communications between mtb riders and the sedona ranger district. Does anyone know who the players are who push for trail advocacy down in the red rock country?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,040 Posts
Chalkpaw said:
A trail is open to travel unless posted otherwise.
I do not know the particulars, but I'm pretty certain an effort to change this statement in New England passed. making their definition:

"A trail is closed to travel unless posted otherwise".

I do not think this was not NFS land but State. I could be off my rocker.

My point in all parts of the country do not assume that open unless otherwise posted is in effect.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
rockman said:
One of the guys at Bike-n-Bean said there were 3 new employees who were out closing some of the social trails and writing tickets to the effect that riding them was maintaining them and hence, illegal. Made in the Shade was mentioned as closed but I didn't see any evidence of that. One really nice rock wall on the side of one of the gullies had collapsed but that could have happened during the recent rains.

Anyway, a new management policy for Sedona would require NEPA compliance showing bike use on social trails is causing more resource damage than other users such as hikers or horses. As I understand it, the Red Rock office doesn't have the authority to sign off on a different mangagement policy. I doubt that any of those tickets would hold up in court, perhaps why they are just warnings?

It does beg the question of all the trail building going on in Sedona is from what I can tell occurring without input from advocacy groups or a working relationship with the forest service. Obviously, there is a need for more trails and some of the newer ones are really cool but I wonder about the eventual outcome. I guess some get adopted and some destroyed.
I think the biking community hopes that the land managers recognize that the current Sedona trail system needs to be enlarged to accommodate current and future increase in equestrian, hiker and rider usage.

Hopefully, since most of the social trails demonstrate better sustainability characteristics than the current system trails, many of them will be incorporated into the current system inventory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Thank you for the explanation. Unfortunate, but with limited resources I suppose it's easier just to say no to a few rather than let everyone flood in then be forced to maintain even more trails. I can see both sides but I say ride it and don't get caught. Forest land should be used and appreciated since it's paid for by tax dollars anyhow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,234 Posts
traildoc said:
I think the biking community hopes that the land managers recognize that the current Sedona trail system needs to be enlarged to accommodate current and future increase in equestrian, hiker and rider usage.

Hopefully, since most of the social trails demonstrate better sustainability characteristics than the current system trails, many of them will be incorporated into the current system inventory.
Maybe so. South Ridge trail (old Ridge?), Two Fences, Broken Arrow, and even Little Horse are good examples of system-trails with non-sustainable sections that just continue to erode, even w/ periodic maintenance.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
rockman said:
Maybe so. South Ridge trail (old Ridge?), Two Fences, Broken Arrow, and even Little Horse are good examples of system-trails with non-sustainable sections that just continue to erode, even w/ periodic maintenance.
How about Munds, Old Post and Dawa?
 

·
Coors, the american beer.
Joined
·
3,533 Posts
brianc said:
I do not know the particulars, but I'm pretty certain an effort to change this statement in New England passed. making their definition:

"A trail is closed to travel unless posted otherwise".

I do not think this was not NFS land but State. I could be off my rocker.

My point in all parts of the country do not assume that open unless otherwise posted is in effect.
actually learned about this in school ... basically when it was "open unless posted otherwise" people would just tear the signs down ... so its been changed for a long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,234 Posts
zul said:
Here in Sedona, we don't need tax dollars. We've got the Red Rock Parking Pass for that :rolleyes:
The RR pass and all the new trailheads, map boards, and parking lots are a large reason why there are so many, mostly out of town hikers on trails bikers used to have to themselves. All days of the week. It's no wonder the local mtn biking community is pushing further out and building trails away from the congestion.

Of course, hikers as well as equestrians have every right to recreate in the national forest on shared-use trails. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out. The only cycling advocacy group in the area doesn't appear to do much with mtn biking management issues and is focused mainly on establishedment of bike lanes and routes on roadways http://www.vvcc.us/

I don't know anything about the players or advocacy issues in Sedona but it doesn't appear that the mtn biking community and the USFS have the same vision for a shared-use trail system in Sedona.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
We ran into what I think was a forest service volunteer out on the trails on New Years Day. I was actually impressed with her approach, she had no issue with us being out there and gave us a card asking us to help by participating in trail maintenance. We're not locals but we ride Sedona frequently, know the trails well and do our fair share of trail work in So. Cal. (I would be happy to participate in Sedona if I was in town at the time) I hope MTB trail usage doesn't become as militant in Sedona as it is in CA. Unfortunately seems like the more money and affluent people that flow into an area the more they want to restrict us. Look what happened to Marin County.
 

·
sonoranbiker
Joined
·
503 Posts
Do you guys have any sort of official club or advocacy group for bikers in Sedona? That might be a first step towards addressing land management and trail issues, especially since it counters the public view that mtn bikers are a bunch of unorganized, uncivilized rabble. Here in Tucson SDMB has done lots of work creating good relationships with land managers, and it has paid off in the amount of singletrack we have open to riding.
 

·
just 1 more
Joined
·
1,153 Posts
The average tourist with a rental bike or even the average ability mountain biker has no business on some of the social trails in and around Sedona. Should these trails be:

Assimilated and dumbed down for everyone?

Closed and destroyed?

Ignored.
 

·
shred my gnar
Joined
·
604 Posts
azjeff said:
The average tourist with a rental bike or even the average ability mountain biker has no business on some of the social trails in and around Sedona. Should these trails be:

Assimilated and dumbed down for everyone?

Closed and destroyed?

Ignored.
i assume you ask this question with regards to liability issues.

how about assimilated and signed as such. this has occured fairly recently in flag when the east section of secret trail was closed and newham was built-up on the way to upper moto.

personally, i wouldnt want signs all over the place but that type of thing has been utilized elsewhere.

as far as i am concerned the responsibility is on the user. what about climbers dying or getting injured on routes that were over their head or things just went sour.

talk about opening a can worms that shouldnt be opened.
 

·
shred my gnar
Joined
·
604 Posts
rockman said:
I don't know anything about the players or advocacy issues in Sedona but it doesn't appear that the mtn biking community and the USFS have the same vision for a shared-use trail system in Sedona.
this seems to be what it all boils down to if there are new usfs personnel that arent willing to look the other way or the same personnel simply cant do that anymore due to the increase in trails and heat coming from those that dont want them.

seems to me that 2 things can occur with a few different outcomes...

1) mtb advocacy group (that apparently doesnt exist) goes to usfs to attempt to work things out. which could result in:
a) a few non-network trails being incorporated and others being destroyed. seems
most likely.
b) many or most non-network trails being incorporated. unlikely due to nepa and other
regulatory statutes, if it did happen it would take years to get all the analysis
completed and paperwork submitted and approved.
c) the usfs telling everyone to pound sand. illegal trails are illegal and the rules are
the rules. crowds be damned.

2) Do nothing (as mtb) and see what happens. Obvious good and bad outcomes happen with this.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top