Rubicon Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Southern sportsmen, conservationists sue to protect native trout from ORVs
Located in North Carolina's Nantahala National Forest, the Tellico Off-Road Vehicle Area is one of the most heavily used ORV zones on public lands in the Southeast, with twice as many designated ORV trails as allowed by the U.S. Forest Service in addition to many illegal trails. Some of those trails lie with 100 feet of streams, which violates Forest Service rules. Many of those streams also flow into the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.

Heavy use has turned some of the area's trails into ditches as deep as 7 feet, and when it rains they send muddy water into nearby creeks and streams in violation of state and federal water laws. The runoff is destroying one of the last strongholds for brook trout, a native species in decline.

Sportsmen and conservation groups have repeatedly asked the Forest Service to take steps to halt the damaging ORV traffic, to little avail. So now Trout Unlimited's North Carolina and Tennessee councils, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project have announced their intent to sue the agency to take action.

"The Forest Service has come up short in taking decisive action to fix this problem," says attorney DJ Gerken of the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represents the groups. "We are letting them know that the law is unambiguous -- water quality and mountain trout come first."

The groups are calling on the Forest Service to permanently close the most environmentally damaging trails and to temporarily close the entire system during the wettest months. To read the groups' letter announcing their intent to sue and for other details on the case, click here.

(Photo by Barry Sulkin courtesy of SELC's Web site.)
Labels: environment, north carolina, regulatory oversight, Tennessee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
unfortunately this sort of thing has been happening all over, but more so out west...it was only a matter of time before it happened over here. hopefully the forest service will step up, and come up with a compromise so we dont lose the whole trail system. Uwharrie NF, also in NC, closes in the winter also, and while i wish i could wheel in these spots year round, id rather sacrifice a couple of months a year, (the more uncomfortable months at that), than lose the trails altogether.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
There is a reason that there are clubs that sponsor trails and do trail cleanups. It is because alot of people out their dont respect trails the way we do and tear stuff up and throw beer cans and bottles in the woods and leave all of their trash everywhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
This isn't a matter of litter on the trails in tellico, it's a matter of environmentalists wanting NOTHING open to 4x4 vehicles at all. This is literally war between normal citizens and offroaders vs. tree huggers... Makes me sick. PUBLIC land is for PUBLIC use, not to be cordoned off for no one but the few scientists who can putter around studying things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
("This isn't a matter of litter on the trails in tellico, it's a matter of environmentalists wanting NOTHING open to 4x4 vehicles at all. This is literally war between normal citizens and offroaders vs. tree huggers... Makes me sick. PUBLIC land is for PUBLIC use, not to be cordoned off for no one but the few scientists who can putter around studying things.")


They have been doing this since I lived out there 15 years ago. Of course 15 years ago most of the trails were passable with a lightly modified rig and the trail with the 7ft deep holes had 3ft deep holes. I think back then the main concern was where trail 5 (I think) crosses through the river. They were using the excuse that the mud and oil washing off the rigs was killing the trout downstream. (Funny, I never saw anyone with a fishing pole up there in the woods)
It's been a while since I've been there but from the pic's and vids I've seen on the net the place looks pretty torn up. Problem is that they have closed so much land to off road use that the few remaining areas are being overused. Gone are the days when you can load up the kids on a Sunday afternoon and drive out to the natl forest and hit a couple of unmaintained logging trails, maybe jump in the river to cool off, and call it a day. Now you have to plan a vacation, drive 300 miles to an open area with 150 other rigs and have to listen to whining tree huggers. Like stated above, the main goal isn't sound forest management, it's eleminating everyone from the forest who doesn't think the same as they do.
In the natl parks and forests they are closing campgrounds and roads all over the place while the demand for recreation space is increasing. The remaining recreation areas are being overused. Look at Yosemite in CA. The only open areas are the main paved roads and a few concentrated campgrounds. Then they complain about overcrowding. Hell, reopen some of the logging roads and closed campgrounds and create some new campgrounds away from the center of the park and ease some of the overcrowding. Seems like they want to be able to keep an eye the park users and it's easier if they're all cramed as close to the office as possible.

Rant off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Bradlybob-very well stated and I agree with you 100%. The tree huggers will not be satisfied until every "public" land is closed off to the people.

Jim
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Well said Bradlybob ... did you see they are going to "outlaw" bottled water up in San Fran! Caught part of it on NBC news. Something to do with it being sold in plastic bottles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
mikel said:
Well said Bradlybob ... did you see they are going to "outlaw" bottled water up in San Fran! Caught part of it on NBC news. Something to do with it being sold in plastic bottles.
Yep, I don't know what's next, disposable diapers? I can understand their motivation behind wanting to reduce the amount of plastic going to the landfill, but come on, plastic water bottles? What about plastic soda bottles, milk jugs, juice bottles, the 1,000's of tons/day of industrial waste. Instead of making another stupid law that everyone will ignore, how about promoting recycling more. Last time I was in San Fran there were enough bums hanging around digging through the trash that there shouldn't be a recyclable container seen anywhere.
Again I don't think banning the plastic water bottle is what they really want. It's just another little thing that they feel that they can control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Being both a Jeeper and a flyfisherman I can see both sides of the issue. Unfortunally from what I hear, both sides have the same problems. "Screw the trout, I want to wheel." "Screw the 4 wheelers, I want to fish." Wouldn't it be easier to compromise by building log bridges over the river, building catch basins to catch muddy water, and move some of the trail that are close to the river a 100 yds away. Both sides win. We still get to wheel, the trout habitat is protected from runoff. Seems to me if we started with that position, then if the enviromentalists refused,it would be easy to get the public opinion on your side. Seems like a resonable compromise. You could raise the fee to wheel in the park $1.00 and raise the cost of a fishing lisence $1.00 to pay for the materials and require both sides to supply the labor to build the stuff. Who knows maybe we could even convert some people to jeepers or some of us might enjoy flyfishing for trout.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
JRubi said:
Being both a Jeeper and a flyfisherman I can see both sides of the issue. Unfortunally from what I hear, both sides have the same problems. "Screw the trout, I want to wheel." "Screw the 4 wheelers, I want to fish." Wouldn't it be easier to compromise by building log bridges over the river, building catch basins to catch muddy water, and move some of the trail that are close to the river a 100 yds away. Both sides win. We still get to wheel, the trout habitat is protected from runoff. Seems to me if we started with that position, then if the enviromentalists refused,it would be easy to get the public opinion on your side. Seems like a resonable compromise. You could raise the fee to wheel in the park $1.00 and raise the cost of a fishing lisence $1.00 to pay for the materials and require both sides to supply the labor to build the stuff. Who knows maybe we could even convert some people to jeepers or some of us might enjoy flyfishing for trout.
Don't start using common sense, it doesn't work in the U.S.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
No common sense dosent apply in the Marine Corps. This situation is stagnante. The problem is the enviromentalists make a big deal about it and for some reason have more political pull then we do. We as 4 wheelers should be the bigger people and just change the trails like was stated by JR Rubi. Other wise we will loose it all. I would hate to think about putting together my rig and not be able to take it to Tellico because of something like this. Dont get me worng, I hate tree huggers, but I hate the thought of loosing a place like Tellico more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
On Trail 5 that does cross the river they DID build a gigantic bridge. That thing IMO would up up a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and maybe even a light tank so that portation of the trail is now mud, oil, etc free but as usual the tree huggers want more.
Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
old soldier said:
On Trail 5 that does cross the river they DID build a gigantic bridge. That thing IMO would up up a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and maybe even a light tank so that portation of the trail is now mud, oil, etc free but as usual the tree huggers want more.
Jim
Darn, I kind of liked that crossing because you could wash off most of the mud if you were heading out that way. Of course nowadays my little Jeep would never make it through the giant mud trenches farther on down the trail anyway.
The words of a tree hugger at a forest use planning meeting out here when asked why she hated mtn bikers so much say it all. "Your mere existance is an afront to me"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Bradlybob-- The bridge is bulit and barricades are in place so you can't bypass the bridge and wash the mud off your tires. I can remember (10 years ago) when Trail 5 was tougher than it is now because the FS removed a big rock that was a challenge on that trail.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
supr_fly03 said:
No common sense dosent apply in the Marine Corps. This situation is stagnante. The problem is the enviromentalists make a big deal about it and for some reason have more political pull then we do. We as 4 wheelers should be the bigger people and just change the trails like was stated by JR Rubi. Other wise we will loose it all. I would hate to think about putting together my rig and not be able to take it to Tellico because of something like this. Dont get me worng, I hate tree huggers, but I hate the thought of loosing a place like Tellico more.
the enviro's have more political pull than us, because their claims are backed by research, and they are claiming they are protecting something other than their own desires. however, we as jeepers appear to simply be looking out for our own individual interests. this isnt my personal feeling on the matter, but it is how it looks to politicians. also someone said earlier, that we could try to come up with some compromise with the fishermen. Trust me, the fishermen arent what we have to worry about. oddly enough, they may be our only allies in this. if the enviros have their way, we wont be able to wheel there, and fishers wont be able to fish. they want the whole thing closed of to people period. and i agree with the other comment too. they only do this because it gives them a sense of control in their quest for global protectoconqueration...eventual parking lots will be a wildlife refuge for ants, or some other assanine idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
970 Posts
I propose to pass a bill that prohibits tree huggers from taking sh!ts...Their organic matter is polluting our sewers.

Hopefully there will be some compromise as stated above. The diversion or capture of the runoff, and the potential closure of the trails during certain times of the year seems like a good win-win. Heck, I'd even pay 3 to 4 times of what they charge today to allow the forest service to make the appropriate modifications.

My question is, why don't these organice matter polluting SOB's come up with money to help the issue rather than just trying to simply close every GD thing they can?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
BlackSahara said:
My question is, why don't these organic matter polluting SOB's come up with money to help the issue rather than just trying to simply close every GD thing they can?
'Cause they're a bunch vegan weenies or angry lesbians who want to stick it to us 'cause we eat meat and won't let them get married and live in socialist paradise.

Actually I think it's a control issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
970 Posts
Bradlybob said:
BlackSahara said:
My question is, why don't these organic matter polluting SOB's come up with money to help the issue rather than just trying to simply close every GD thing they can?
'Cause they're a bunch vegan weenies or angry lesbians who want to stick it to us 'cause we eat meat and won't let them get married and live in socialist paradise.

Actually I think it's a control issue.
:laugh: :laugh: :lildevil:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,270 Posts
Bradlybob said:
The words of a tree hugger at a forest use planning meeting out here when asked why she hated mtn bikers so much say it all. "Your mere existance is an afront to me"
Well sure, but I could say that about half my wheelin' buds, they got some bad bathing habits! :rotflmao: :laugh: :rotflmao:


Tellico definitely needs better management, and by that I mean a ranger at the gate, checking coolers and keeping the troublemakers out. The weekend we were up there, the place was littered with a ton of garbage (we picked up 3 big bags in 2 days) and most of the 4-wheelers (ATV's) we met seemed to be trashed, or pretty close to it. I didn't see any garbage bags on the back of their ATVs either. The jeepers we met were allright, for the most part.

Regardless, it was easy to see how a case could be made for closing the land, it was a mess. From who we met it seemed to be the case of a few bad apples spoiling it for everybody. I hate to see restrictions, but I don't see any problem with a few full-time rangers patrolling for troublemakers and hopefully helping us keep the trails open.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top