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Topic: Forest Service trails found in general disrepair< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 6:40 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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The national forest trail system remains in a state of disrepair. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) system includes miles of trails that the agency can't maintain adequately, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a stinging new report.



http://www.examiner.com/article....srepair
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 6:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not news to me.  Gut an agency.  Make it so they can just barely administer the programs that industries want to pillage, then find them lacking in the ability to serve the general public.

Maybe one day we will decide to use prisoners to do the work once done by CCC.  Send them out into the tracts of public land and repair trails, build bridges, and erect shelters.  I see no other source of labor for such work, and we certainly do not want to raise taxes to pay someone a living wage to do it.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 7:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They only have so much budget for trails, so these tend to go to the more popular ones.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 7:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's sad to see some of the improvements made to trails a few decades ago, that are reaching the end of their service life, but nothing is being done to replace or repair those improvements. Corduroy over swampy areas, switchbacks that are now eroding, etc...
I know of two bridges washed out two winters ago when we had a heavy snow year. Neither have been replaced.
I'm all for fiscal discipline and spending restraint, but the money that would fix this isn't a drop in the bucket, it's the evaporation from the drop as it fall into the bucket.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 8:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope the people bitching about poor trail maintenance aren't the same ones bitching about taxes and user fees.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 9:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Truth of the matter is the bulk of NFS employees sit on their arse in front of a computer screen.

Too few are actually allocated to trail maintenance... what the NFS is, is NOT what it once was.

Having said that, apparently America would rather subsidize ethanol...


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trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 10:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Personally, I like my trails somewhat unkempt.  It tends to discourage large groups on horseback.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 10:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope the people bitching about poor trail maintenance aren't the same ones not volunteering their time to work on trails.

That happened when I working on a trail crew in the Columbia Gorge on a closed trail. A group showed up and was very vocal out us "getting off our asses more to fix trails!". I told him we were all volunteers and offered them a phone # for the coordinator so they could join us. The response? "F that! I only hike on'em! I don't work on'em!". Really? OK then. This trail will open in about 2 months. IF another mudslide doesn't hit it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 11:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yup, no surprise - basically the only people doing trail work these days are:

1) firefighters, when there is a fire and they are improving a trail to use as a fireline
2) volunteers
3) ccc-type youth crews


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 11:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just the tip of the iceberg, really.  All of us who get out on forest trails know that maintenance is much less than it was 20-30 years ago, but do we also note that maintenance on bridges and roads, other than the interstates, are also woefully neglected??

Having the lowest federal taxes in half a century has consequences, and these are some of the most important ones, IMO.

If we are unwilling to pay for a livable country, we won't have a livable country.  Simple as that.

Republicans could care less about a livable country, all they want is a big, personal bank account, and they don't even know what to use it for!

What a country!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 12:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is not just the trails, but the FS roads which provide access to those trails.  The USFS is under an order to close roads now.  They are in the process of deciding which will be closed. When they gate the road 20+ miles away from the trailhead, then that effectively kills the unkept trails from both large equestrian groups and hikers.  

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 3:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Trails are for the most part fine in our California wilderness areas unless a person expects trails to look like the big through trails and be usable by horses.    If the bar is placed at just removing fallen trees and replacing washed out bridges, trails look in much better state.   I'm generally a fan of rougher foot trails in many areas while also being ok with a network of horse trails as long as that does not expand beyond where it now rests.  

Beyond trails, funding for the USFS and NPS ought to be removed from control by our politicians and put under some kind of direct control by the American public.   The kind of people that become politicians and control our money are not usually outdoor oriented people and too often just use funding as political pawns.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 8:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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If we are unwilling to pay for a livable country, we won't have a livable country.  Simple as that.,


I'm willing to pay but not for the massive waste that exists. The disagreement amongst the Gang of 2 is what constitutes waste.

Outside emergency services and very few others, shortages should be made up by the users and non-using supporters, not those who don't use something and never will. In this instance, why should city dwellers who will never leave a sidewalk be required to pay for trails and access to them?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 10:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My family just got done volunteering earlier this month for trail maintenance. All I can say is just do it. Each person who volunteers makes a difference.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 10:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This went TPA in a hurry. Pretty sure most of you are sticking to your favorite script and don't know what you are talking about.

In contrast, everybody I've met on volunteer trail crews are essentially on the same side, regardless of political persuasion. We work hard & have fun together. I hope everybody has a chance to try it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 10:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

National Heritage.

Our parks and NF deserve to be supported, and to do so properly would cost each taxpayer very little.

I give a week a year to the NPS for trail maintenance.  I would not mind giving them $$ to do the job in other places.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 11:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Jun. 29 2013, 8:10 am)
QUOTE
QUOTE
If we are unwilling to pay for a livable country, we won't have a livable country.  Simple as that.,


I'm willing to pay but not for the massive waste that exists. The disagreement amongst the Gang of 2 is what constitutes waste.

Outside emergency services and very few others, shortages should be made up by the users and non-using supporters, not those who don't use something and never will. In this instance, why should city dwellers who will never leave a sidewalk be required to pay for trails and access to them?

Right, those city dwellers should pay fees to use the sidewalks.  Why should I pay for their infrastructure since I never use it?  My feet haven't touched a public sidewalk in well over a year.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 11:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

User fees are the rage today.  I would prefer not to have user fees but I am doubtful they will be eliminated.  But user fees are really inadequate to fully fund our trails, parks, and other public recreation areas.  As a nation, we need to realize how important these recreational areas are to everyone, even those who never directly use them.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(no_granola @ Jun. 29 2013, 9:46 am)
QUOTE

(Montanalonewolf @ Jun. 29 2013, 8:10 am)
QUOTE
QUOTE
If we are unwilling to pay for a livable country, we won't have a livable country.  Simple as that.,


I'm willing to pay but not for the massive waste that exists. The disagreement amongst the Gang of 2 is what constitutes waste.

Outside emergency services and very few others, shortages should be made up by the users and non-using supporters, not those who don't use something and never will. In this instance, why should city dwellers who will never leave a sidewalk be required to pay for trails and access to them?

Right, those city dwellers should pay fees to use the sidewalks.  Why should I pay for their infrastructure since I never use it?  My feet haven't touched a public sidewalk in well over a year.

Do we want education to be the same? I'm paying taxes to support the education of other people's children. But I haven't stepped inside a school for 20 years, and I've never had any children in public school. User fees for "public" education?

How about toll roads instead of public highways? I hike and backpack every week and rarely step foot on a maintained trail system, but I don't mind helping support them.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 12:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

User fees, and I am referring to only the users provide financial support, are the one sure way to ensure only the very wealthy get the benefits of our park system, and the trails within our NF as well.

As a nation, we all own the parks and NF.  We all have an obligation to keep up those areas that are used by others.  Entrance fees and permit fees cannot be so high as to price out lower income folks.  Our common tax $$ need to be spent, and if that means the rates all need to go up, so be it.  We are getting off pretty lightly as it is.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 12:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

More than a little delusional to think that tax dollars or user fees would go to trail maintenance. It's a rare occasion when I see someone in a forest service shirt carrying a Pulaski.

FS personnel generally tend to down trees blocking the first mile or so of trail. Actual trail work is done by volunteers or NCCC. And...get this...FS personnel are not allowed to volunteer their time to work on trails.

Your tax dollars are spent on roads, visitor centers and toilets. They are also used to fight lawsuits from whatever environmental wacko wants to stop maintenance or a re-route. Need a new bridge across a stream? Three tress is the limit without an Environmental Impact study.

Please consider lending a hand. There are plenty of volunteer trail groups and I'm sure there is one near you.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 1:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If there was a checkbox on our federal and state income tax forms for funding national forests, national parks, and state parks out of the taxes we end up paying, I am rather optimistic all those areas would always be well funded.  The majority of Americans love their outdoor recreation especially the vast middle class.  And note I am not saying a checkboxes for donating money in addition to required taxes but FROM those required taxes.    The total cost of funding all those park items is a tiny fraction of the total taxes.   If some money oriented urban only types didn't want their taxes put into such a fund, fine, they can leave the box unchecked.  

Unfortunately as noted politicians, corporations, and the rich and powerful control our national and state tax revenues.  Of course we fund a long list of their interests much of which only benefits them.  Unfortunately setting up something more democratic like that would likely scare the !@#$ out of the rich and powerful as it would set a precedent they would then fear might expand into other programs they control politicians for that the public is disgusted and frustrated about.  But it could be done if enough of we peons beat our drums.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 1:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bill g @ Jun. 29 2013, 10:46 am)
QUOTE
. . . FS personnel generally tend to down trees blocking the first mile or so of trail. Actual trail work is done by volunteers or NCCC. . . .

Not even close to the case in my area. With blown-down, beetle-killed trees widespread in areas like Black Elk Wilderness, maintenance is done almost entirely by the Forest Service.

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(hikerjer @ Jun. 28 2013, 5:38 pm)
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I hope the people bitching about poor trail maintenance aren't the same ones bitching about taxes and user fees.

I hope the people bitching about poor trail maintenance aren't the same ones bitching about taxes and user fees but supporting higher military spending and foreign interventions!   :;):

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(Ben2World @ Jun. 29 2013, 10:43 am)
QUOTE

(hikerjer @ Jun. 28 2013, 5:38 pm)
QUOTE
I hope the people bitching about poor trail maintenance aren't the same ones bitching about taxes and user fees.

I hope the people bitching about poor trail maintenance aren't the same ones bitching about taxes and user fees but supporting higher military spending and foreign interventions!   :;):

I hope the ones bitching about poor trail mainenance aren't the same ones bitching about abortion, handguns, assalt weapons, healthcare, gay marriage, education, high murder rate in inner city, pam vs butter, REI return policy, dogs on the trail, Tea-Party activists, the news media, sugared cereal, activist judges, spicy Thai food, kids hanging on street corners, old people driving, the long lines at the DMV, unions, customer service at Walmart, President Obama's birth cirtificate, talk radio, death row appeals, drones, iPhone maps, NSA security measures, Anton Scalia, violence in cartoons, McDonalds menu, immigration reform,doping in sports ...

*bigjustputasmilyfaceonitwillmakeitalrightgrins*

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 7:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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Right, those city dwellers should pay fees to use the sidewalks.  Why should I pay for their infrastructure since I never use it?  My feet haven't touched a public sidewalk in well over a year.


QUOTE
Do we want education to be the same? I'm paying taxes to support the education of other people's children. But I haven't stepped inside a school for 20 years, and I've never had any children in public school. User fees for "public" education?

How about toll roads instead of public highways?


I know you guys are being sarcastic but yeah. Everyone pays a base fee for overall infrastructure but those who use the whatever pay an additional fee. Schools: just picking a random figures, we all pay $1000/year towards education. Those with kids pay an additional $1000/year per kid.

QUOTE
As a nation, we all own the parks and NF.  We all have an obligation to keep up those areas that are used by others.

We do but that's the acreage. Trails and other access are extra.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 10:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Fire Monster is driving the Forest out of the Service. In Region 2 [Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska] the regional forests have been drained of resources to prop up fire programs in the more politically sensitive Colorado Front Range.
The Wyoming congressional delegation screams when the administration tried to bring the fire budget back to 2009 levels but says nothing about the hundred of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance  on our public lands. Fire has a constituency, grazing has a constituency, water has a constituency, logging has real K-Street suits, but recreational influence and real infrastructure is fragmented and inconsequential.
And yes I have volunteered on trail crews. I have more than a thousand hours in the last few years in a variety of positions but I personally despise trail work  :D I much prefer doing science or even resource restoration' a few to mention that the FS can't afford to do unless it's cows,, water, or timber.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 30 2013, 1:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is information about the planned reduction in USFS roads in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

QUOTE
Approximately 2,500 miles of roads crisscross the forest, from the Canadian border to the Mt. Rainier National Park on the western Cascades. The Forest Service can afford to maintain about a quarter of them.

Guided by mandates in the 2005 Travel Management Rule, each national forest must identify a road system by 2015 within budget for safe travel, use, administration and resource protection.


This is what I was referring to in an earlier post about roads.  Eye-opening stuff to consider.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 30 2013, 4:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Jesus H. Christ.  Has everyone got their favorite political gripe in now?

Trail maintenance?  You maintain a trail by USING IT.  Expecting a boulevard when you venture into the wilderness is like expecting a donut at Baskin Robbins.

I think Tarol once posted a question from a touron: Why aren't there escalators?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 30 2013, 6:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

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Trail maintenance?  You maintain a trail by USING IT.


Really? How does using a trail remove the 8' fallen trees in a place where there's no way around it?
Or the 100 yards of trail gone due to avalanche or mudslide or rockslide on a slope uncrossable short of roping up?
Or washouts where a creek changed course and took out all the safe crossings?


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