CLOSED UP TIGHTER THAN A…
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I’m sick and tired of trail closures. Every time my buddies and I go to our local zones, there are always more trails fenced and closed each time. We ride respectfully, and most riders in this area do. It’s getting terrible; we’re running out of areas to ride.
I highly recommend a few options and can give you some advice. Most Forest Service agencies and off-road recreation parks claim lack of funding to perform trail maintenance and keep things open. Therefore, they will usually close trails when a problem arises, be it a downed tree or a washout they find hazardous. I recommend getting organized with your buddies and getting others involved performing the trail work yourselves—on open trails, of course—with permission from the agency that patrols the area. There are plenty of chainsaw mount options these days and packable hand tools. The more work you can do to help the agencies, the better. This gives them less of a reason to shut down trails because they either lack the manpower or the financial backing to get it done. Now, fighting to get trails back open that have already been closed requires far more work. You have to get involved with the agency that closed the trail and also possibly present the problem to your local congressman. Most states have trail-advocacy groups, and they are a great place to start so you’re not just one voice. Being a part of the American Motorcyclist Association also helps, as they fight for our right to ride. Remember, there are anti-motorcycle groups out there who wish to keep trails closed, so get your friends involved so you guys can keep riding.