Going Rogue-Trail Makers Won't Quit | Off Piste | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Going Rogue-Trail Makers Won't Quit 

 Recently The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) that an unauthorized trail has been build on Horse Ridge. Subsequently COTA put up signs at both the start and finish of the trail declaring it shut.

The situation brings up a growing national and local concern about bootleg trails. On the national scale, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is paying more attention to the elimination of all bootleg trails on public lands.

An Associated Press story from this past summer states: "The U.S Forest Service is cracking down after renegade bikers secretly cut up to 30 miles of trails in the Tahoe backcountry over the past decade.

"Agency officials said a hardcore group of bikers seeking access to steeper, more demanding terrain is to blame for bootleg trails in national forests across the country, including those in California, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Utah."

Here in Central Oregon, the building of renegade or bootleg trails hasn't been much of a problem because of the close work COTA has been doing with both the U.S.F.S. and the BLM over the past decade.

But lately, with the popularity of freeride mountain biking have come the demand for more steeper and more challenging trails. Rather than wait to get USFS or BLM approval, the bootleggers go to work.

The advent of local bootleg trails has given rise to fears that some of that cooperative work between users and the land managers will unravel.

This is especially true at Horse Ridge, where, over a period of years, a number of trails have been created and were accepted by the BLM. That agency has requested through COTA that no new trails be created there until the agency has a chance to make a detailed study of rider usage on the Ridge and how that riding impacts the terrain and wildlife.

 Unfortunately, that study has been delayed because of the BLM's focus on the Cline Buttes recreation project.

 Count me among those who have been impatient with the BLM as I've had my eye on creating at least two new trails at Horse Ridge. Yet I've held off and hope that sometime this year that the BLM will move ahead and consider the potential trail additions.

So I plead with other erstwhile trail builders to hold off and follow COTA's lead on new trail development in conjunction with the land managers. In the meantime, work on the trails we already have in place while lobbying for more new trails in the future.

 The days of building trails on the sly and then having them reluctantly approved by the USFA or BLM are over. It's time to work to keep rider-public agency relations strong. When we work together, the land agencies have shown that they much more responsive to trail building requests.

As Mark Eller of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) noted recently: " the pirate trail builders believe they have to build them under cover because they won't get the riding experience they want if they go through channels. We're working hard to show that's not the case."

And so are conscientious Central Oregon riders.  

Pin It

Speaking of The Boot

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Something Dirty Live

Something Dirty Live - Worthy Brewing

Sat., May 28, 7-9 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Off Piste

  • Can't Wait for the Face-Kini Trend to Hit Bend

    • Aug 20, 2012
      More reasons to slap one of these on, according to The Indian Express is they are,"also extremely effective at repelling insects and jellyfish." Read about even racier Face-Kinis here: http://inventorspot. More »
  • A New Way to Protect That Gorgeous Mug of Yours

    • Aug 20, 2012
    Sick of the claustrophobic greasy cloud of sunscreen, fellow sun bunnies?  It drips into your eyes if you're active and sweating and sometimes has a pasty white sheen, but in Bend sun protection is mandatory.   The other problem is the way it makes you feel like you're being buried alive. More »
  • Bust a Love Move Today

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Long before Gay A. Bradshaw (one of Oregon’s own) put a name on them, trans-species relationships have continued to baffle, challenge, and warm the hearts of non-human animals and humanimals alike. More »
  • More »

More by The Source Staff

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation