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Old 11-09-2012, 07:23 AM
swazi_matt swazi_matt is offline
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Originally Posted by Caravan Monster View Post
In England, we have around 2% of unsurfaced rights of way network legally available to ride. The walking organisation called 'the ramblers association' (with it's roots in industrial era communist societies) are using their substantial resources to influence political process and close the remaining few trails to motorcyclists. Things are slightly better in Wales, and worse under the Scottish legal system. The only other options are organised practice days and actual enduro events, both of which cost approx. the same as the price of a new rear tyre, and are subject to quite stringent local planning policy restrictions.

In a wide variety of matters, there's been a noticeable change from 'live and let live' to more of a 'ban everything' attitude over the last 15 or so years in my country. Sad really for a nation that used to have a reputation for being tolerant of others.
and this is exactly why the brits do so well at the extreme events, they not going to stop until they have ridden what they paid to come ride!! :-)

I wont talk about the riding we have available (although the forestry companies dont want us on their property here)

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Old 11-09-2012, 08:53 AM
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Bryan Bryan is offline
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Location: Auburn, Washington
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Originally Posted by jgas View Post
snip... Also, the timber companies around here will absolutely not allow ANY form of racing, competitive event, or even an organized dual sport ride unless the lease holders have a very good/expensive insurance policy protecting the company, not the club.

The AMA offers very good policies at vey reasonable prices and there are other companies out there. For example, our motorcycle club runs a vintage flat track, hare scrambles over a weekend with about 500 entries runs about $750


As for the USFS, we'll have to eventually file lawsuits like the enviro groups do to force them to allow us to use what is really our land. Way I see it, we own it and any federal officials who manage public land are our employees. Regretfully, I think we'll have to resort to what seems to work: Sue!

absolutely SUE. Also join the AMA, they are fighting for our rights. The problems is there are many riders out there who have not joined or supported the AMA. But they are the main group out there fighting for our rights. There is the Blue Ribbon Coalition, but they are not as wide spread for the average rider as the AMA.

Which brings up another question: What would we sue for? What would be our grounds if any? Could we start a nationwide legal fund using donations of money and maybe labor if there are any lawyers out there willing to volunteer some time?
What can we learn from what the enviros are doing that seems to work?

I think that we will have no choice but to somehow learn what it takes to gain and re-gain access to previously lost riding areas that are on public land.

Would it be possible to lease or buy land for riding, then allow it to be managed by wildlife or game and fish agencies? I mean could we somehow work a deal whereby we get to ride on the land, but have it legally set aside as "wilderness"?

There are clubs out there buying their own land, but they are managing it themselves. There is a group in southern Oregon that successfully lobbied and got into law that monies collected from ORV tags had to be spent in the areas that they were purchased. So if you live in southern Oregon and bought an ORV tag, the money has to be spent in southern Oregon to maintain the trails. They took that one step further and got to use the money as long term payments towards land the ORV community is buying for ORV use. They have a fairly large area near Jacksonville Oregon that is bordered by serval BLM forests. They are buying as much land as they can with ORV tag money.

Obviously this would be tough since most agencies think we are the devil and we are harming wildlife and land, but we know that is incorrect. Are there any tax breaks, federal funds, grants, etc available if a club aquires land then allows it to be managed by an agency? On the surface it sounds impossible due to the current bad relations with most government land managers. Sometimes the seemingly impossible turns out to be the best way. We all know that an 18" wide singletrack trail takes up very little space, can be managed for erosion easily, and wildlife thrives. If we had land that we agreed to maintain trails/parking/camping to a high standard, and allowed the enviros to get something out of it in the preservation department, could we actually work together? Again, I know this would be very hard, but timber companies do it all the time.

No way do you want the agencies to manage your land, they will eventually turn it back to no riding areas. Here in washington they are trying to stop riding by passing sound levels for private property owners that are very restrictive with penalties that are very harsh and no standards for how to measure the sound.


The fact is, we and the enviros want much of the same things. We both want standing timber. We both want erosion control. We both want responsible management. I've never seen a dirt bike kill any animal. I've seen a guy hurt pretty bad from hitting a deer on a dirt bike, but the deer was fine! Jumped right up and ran off with nary a limp. Essentially, us and the enviros want wooded land preserved and properly managed. I think we have more in common than is seen currently. We may have to sue, work with land managers and enviros, or both! Often the worst enemies become best friends.

There is another club that has a lease to use the timber land owned by Simpson timber in Shelton, WA. They put on a couple of events each year open to the public. Other than that you have to be invited by the club to ride any other time of the year. It is a win-win for both as they club patrols for meth makers and trash dumpers, and the riders get a very good trail system to ride on that they built.

Honestly, it takes a few people in the area that have a passion and leadership skills to work with the timber companies to get programs set up.
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