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Discussion Starter #1
Good Afternoon All,

This is the first time I've spoke out on this subject in this manor, however I feel I must. I just spent the most wonderful day on my TW, riding mountain roads (county gravel) and old 19th century roads finding places my son and I use to go to before he went to Heaven five years ago. The memories came rushing back every time I rounded a familiar corner on the trail, when I found a spring we had drank from on a hot Southern day like today. I also found one of our beautiful bluff camp sites that you can see two towns 30 miles apart at nite at the same time. I also visited a Mill site the local farmers used to bring their corn and wheat to be stone ground back in the 1800 and early 1900's.



I'm telling you all this because it's going away. A few land owners here have persuaded the local officials to allow them to gate off these county grave county roads to everyone, except paying hunting clubs that lease the farmers lands. The explanation for allowing this is "The "Riff-Raff" that comes in all hours of the day and nite and parties back in a couple of places." What was expressed to me was, "They make too much noise when they pass my house." This home is on a major black top where the gravel road joins it (50 feet then silence).



I understand the explanation, I just can't believe this is the only solution. Because of "the noise in a 50 foot area and beer cans, me and others like me who just enjoy the wilderness rides are now being locked out, because of our local politicians choices. These are roads that have in some cases been there for hundreds of years, the primary ones they are closing have county numbers on current road maps.



I hope NO ONE ELSE loses memories this way.

Always

Larry
 

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Its happening in indiana too! There have been a bunch of unmaintained county roads closed in the last few years. There are a few guys on advrider from indiana who are in the process of seeing what we the dual sport riders can do about it.
 

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I don't want to make this political but; It is the Golden Rule: If you have the Gold, you make the rules.



Louis Black has a Succinct way of describing situations like this: YOUR F...ED.
 

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What Ron said.



Around here the trails are reserved for hikers, pedal bikers and horses and it has been that way for 40 years. I was lucky to get a taste of the trails when gasoline was OK on them way back when.
 

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IF they are county roads, & not private, you may have a legal case for "Right of way." Depending on who in your community you can get behind you, you may be able to make a case to forbid them from closing the roads, due to the fact that they have been public roads for upwards of 100 years. I know fighting in court is sh*tty business, but if you can find a local attorney who has an interest in keeping the roads open, that person may support your cause for little to no $$! This is where a good community comes into play, if you can talk to your neighbours, find an attorney, start a petition, you just might succeed. Pro-active? You decide. m.
 

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I see this from time to time here in Southern Arizona too (of all places!) Some developer carves up a chunk of desert adjacent to State or Federal land into custom home lots and puts a guardhouse between the county maintained road and the old trailhead.



I can understand why the new owner of a $1,000,000 custom home wouldn't be crazy about the idea of dirty desert rats like me kicking up dust that might clog their pool filters, and I would never presume to trespass onto another man's property, but it seems to me that if the public loses their access to public lands then said lands aren't so public anymore.



Go ahead and put a gate up at the end of your driveway, it's honestly not a bad idea in this part of the country, but don't block a previously public road that provides access to public lands.
 

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Fighting that battle here too. And on the snow.



Around here, pretty much if you like something with a motor, your evil!



Hang in there and keep it in folks faces. Usually most folks don't even know what's going on around them.



Bag
 

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Until the early 90's All the private forest land round my part of the world was unlocked and open for all to use. Now it's locked up tight because of abuse and it sucks.



Hell a few months ago some folks started stealing the gates to sell as scrap.




I remember when it was kosher for a kid to ride around forest roads and at ocean beaches, now it's jail time.
 

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Right now the tree huggers rule. Hopefully that will change.
 

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I'm sorry to say it's only going to get worse. With little or no money to maintain or patrol these areas most management groups take the easy way out and just close them to public access. We had it happen in this area to several parks and boat ramps.
 

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Right now the tree huggers rule. Hopefully that will change.
Tree huggers rule because they have banded together and spoken to the government as one. Governments don't listen to the individuals. It will change in the tree huggers favour because they have become a force to be concerned with for the government. Same thing is happening North of the border. If responsible clubs(motorbike or quads) were to approach these land owners with a viable plan to monitor and guard these lands by our very presence maybe the landowners would unlock their gates. Maybe just wishful thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for your responces. Like each of yu I don't want it to be political. You'll have inspired me to step out and try something with my local officials. I've always been one who believes right is might. I do believe if enough goo guys get together, something good can come from it.



I'm going to try.



Larry
 

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It's worth it. I went through this with the public horse trail system in Cali and most states the right-of-way laws are similar.



Typically if a landowner or a public entity has allowed right of way for 5 years they must continue, and only if he manages to get away with denying right-of-way unchallenged for 5 years or if it can be demonstrated that no one has used it for 5 years he can reclaim it.



If you can challenge this for even one day their clock starts ticking all over again.



It's always better to make an attempt at dealing with this stuff directly. Maybe approach the principles involved and offer to do cleanup or maintenence. Before turning it into a legal issue and declaring war first see what the concerns which led to the closure may be and attempt to address those.



If it's a local, county or state sponsored closure your town council will sometimes step in on your behalf. An hour out of your life to endure a town council meeting won't kill ya. You may even find that they actually give a rip.



Sometimes people do things just because they CAN, as in your million dollar property owner. But the law iz da law when dealing with them, as well. If they or the previous owner have permitted access in the past there is a procedure for closing it which is prescribed by law. If they have not followed it to the letter you can challenge it and in most cases you need not spend a dime.



Just my .02. I once lived in the suburbs and was the lone holdout horse owner and essentially the only one using the trails. Between myself and literally a handful of hikers and bicyclists we kept them open and even forced the developer of an exclusive pocket of multi-million dollar homes ( the project was literally named "Les Mansiones", I'm not kidding
) to route around the trails. They eventually learned they could use it as a sales feature and even landscaped and maintained their little stretch of it.



You gotta get on this stuff early in the game or it never ends. Sometimes all you need to do is dig into county property records and remind everyone of the covenants attached to the property in question when they bought it in the first place, etc. etc.
 

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We have lost so much land here in Oregon... National Forests have new Travel Management programs that destroy your motorized access. State Forests are less trict but but still decreasing the amount of access all the time. We have had a number of situations where, due to lack of fuel, food, daylight, etc, we had to pass through a gate or two to get home. It happens. And it sucks that it's coming to this. We tried to band together but our efforts are absolutely tiny compared to the massive environmentalist movement. So sad.
 

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Some environmental groups are no better than the millionaire property owner in that they haven't learned the basic moral principle which states that just because you CAN do something isn't necessarily an indication that you SHOULD.



A lot of their concerns are real, but an equal amount of them are simply unfounded power plays which if successful only pave the way for them to do as they damned well please, public (and often even nature, the very thing they claim to be saving) be damned. They often do this under the guise of "saving it for future generations" and do it so effectively that they realize too late that they have effectively created a management nightmare and have inadvertently even closed it off to themselves and ensured that no future generation will be able to set foot in it either. Oops!



When good men do nothing.......
 

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Yibe to all that Lizrdbrth!
Great approach. I hope it works out Larry.
m.
 
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