I (unintentionally) touched a nerve there I guess. I am no fan of closures, and I go to a lot of those meetings too. It sometimes feels like an uphill battle, but there's hearts and minds that can and could be won if we just keep talking about it, and not just on the jeep board.
Forgot about various local offroad clubs like Jackrabbits MC and also have a life long membership with the AMA. We've been talking about it for decades... On forums, in land meetings, around the camp fire, etc. I remember my parents talking about it at the cabin when I was in jr. high and early in high school it became HUGE cause that's when S21 came up in california. A group in Az and I believe D37 out in California has actually hired lobbyist to walk the halls in DC on behalf of the offroaders yet that's nothing compared to the opposition. When I was in Az. I attended meetings in flagstaff regarding the coconino national forrest. They opened it up to the RAMP process where they took input from all groups to make a final official map. We had reps from Blue Ribbon there helping us on how to go about and deal with it. The outcome... Before the RAMP we had roughly 1100+ miles of trails in that forrest. After the RAMP they cut it down to about 50 miles. That's not a typo on those numbers!!! Do people still ride the illegal 1050 miles of trails? Yep, they just don't stop if they see a white vehicle with a shiny badge type thing on the side now. Basically dirt bikers up there have become outlaws with the signature of some gov. guy that's probably never been on a trail in his life.
BTW, did you know our local BLM officials opened up the RAMP (recreational area management plan, or something like that) for our southern nev area last year? I'm not sure if it's closed for comments at this point yet or not but if it's still open it's worth getting yours in and telling them which trails you use. I put in my 2 cents for the nelson hills area and the stateline stuff last year. At the meetings they actually had maps you would go up and draw in the trails you wanted added or kept in the trails system.
We have a local guy by the name of Mike Payne that has probably done more for the local offroaders then almost the entire rest of the group combined. He spends a lot of time in carson city and also has been to DC on his own dime on behalf of us. He supports mostly dirt biker rights and trails and land access but he's an offroader in general. If anyone ever meets or runs across that guy he deserves a major thank you for the effort he's put out. I don't know how he even holds a job with the amount of meetings he attends!
The only chance we have is for the jeep crowd to talk with the dirt bike crowd and talk with the quads and the buggies and the racers and the mtn bikers and the hunters and everyone band together and even at that point I truly would be shocked if an impact would be made. The problem though with that ever happening is the dirt bike guys hate the quads cause they make the trails too wide. The jeep guys hate the racers cause they drive to fast and make whoops. The racers hate the jeepers cause they drive too slow and are boring. The hunters hate us all cause we scare off their game yet they rely on our trails and the mtn bikers hate us all cause they're hippies yet their trails are in danger every bit as much as ours are. For some reason we aren't all offroaders when it comes to land access and until that changes all the talk in the world isn't going to help. There's been studies done on how much the offroad industry kicks into the economy and it's staggering. I'm sure it's more then the hiking boots and dried meals contribute but we don't have mega bucks behind us like they do.
Hit a nerve? Possibly, but I'm watching a 26 year hobby die more and more every day. That trail I talked about with the no motorized vehicles sign smack dab in the middle of it... That sign wasn't there a year ago yet talking to local riders that have been here MUCH longer then me that trail has been burned in for as long as they can remember.
I know driving on closed trails helps kill offroading but as far as I'm concerned I haven't seen any signs saying it's not already virtually dead and on it's way to the grave anyways so I'm enjoying what's out there for us to play on with or without permission cause I'm sure before I give up this hobby every trail I go play on will be illegal at one point.
at the bottom of this link there's a spot to click to open an article in a .pdf form. It's written from a dirt biker's perspective but it's an excellent read and pertains to anyone out there playing in the dirt! I encourage anyone that likes offroading to read it. Replace the word dirt bike with jeep if you want cause if you've got bit by the bug, the feeling is the same. I have it for many different aspects of playing in the dirt.
Hey where does everyong get their steel here in town. Picking up a welder soon and need a whole lot of stuff for the new jeep!
What kind of welder?
Curtis Steel off of Wynn
Curtis steel here too... Anyone know anyplace that's actually open on Sat though? I think they used to be open for a few hours in the morning but I don't think they are anymore. Sucks having to take time off from work to get metal.