Information or questions relating to the club, our annual event, or land use.
User avatar
By axleater
#3423
Terry, if you are willing to put together a written submission from the BH4W's I would like this to be a part of it

The railroad buttes area has a long history of diverse OHV recreation opportunities that have recently been closed off because of the mapping that was completed. The area is best suited for an open OHV area and has proven through the test of time (40+ years) that it is sustainable when used this way. The restrictions that have been placed on travel will cause congestion and overuse which not only pushes the sustainability of the used area's beyond thier limits but it also causes potentially dangerous riding conditions with so many users confined to a small area. I would ask that the are be opened up to it's pre-closed unless posted open status for the good of the land and the recreational users that will be riding in this area. Any and all monies that were to used for improvements should be slated for reopening the area completely.
User avatar
By BrangerII
#3613
Cliff notes from my meeting with them today:

- THERE WILL BE A TRAIL STICKER PROGRAM FOR FARMINGDALE! Completely separate from the BH trail sticker. So now we'll have to buy TWO. I expressed that I was pretty unhappy about that idea and was told that there is NOT a way to combine the two and have just one sticker that works everywhere. Major bummer, I think I was more angry about this one than anything else. Government bureaucracy at its finest right here.
- This meeting is concerning the proposed "improvements" ONLY not anything else.
- I complained about the closures and was told that I should have complained in 2010, the decision is final and cannot be changed. That said, there is some talk about opening up a very small portion more of the area but is mostly just talk at this point.
- Also said was "Be glad you have as much area to wheel in as you do now. There is nowhere else in the Hills, let alone the country, that has as large of an open area" (even if it sucks.)
- The "improvements" are being paid for with a grant of some sort, AKA legally laundered tax dollars
- I mentioned the closures of Castle Peak and Black Fox campgrounds (why can't they spend the money on those instead of this?) and was told that it's not their choice, something about different districts can't share money.
- They agree with me that the smaller area could be considered dangerous. Was told that I should have commented in 2010.
- They made it sound as if Greg Mumm (mentioned by name) and the BRC are in favor of all the changes that have been made since they are part of the committee concerning Farmingdale.
- Ranchers will not have to buy trail stickers since they already have a grazing permit
- They disagree that the improvements will be detrimental to the area. In fact they told me that "the vast majority of people they have discussed this with" are in favor of "improving" the area.
- Camping was also discussed - and this is kind of a confusing thing. Apparently, if you are in possession of a dirt bike/atv/truck etc and planning to camp out there, you are limited to 300 feet from a designated trail. HOWEVER, if you are on foot, horseback, bicycle, etc (non motorized) you can camp ANYWHERE. The logic behind this one escapes me.

What I came away from the meeting with was the impression that the improvements ARE going to happen no matter what. The offroad area will stay the same and they think it's plenty fine the way it is (the open areas "not being fun is a matter of your own opinion.")

I left a one page long document full of comments, suggestions and complaints regarding the area, proposed changes, law enforcement, camping, etc. I suggest you all do the same although from the lack of interest in this thread I feel that we're screwed.
User avatar
By axleater
#3785
My letter that will be dropped off at the Ramkota today. feel free to copy and past and use what you can!!

USDA Forest Service
Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands
Samuel R. McKeivie National Forest, Buffalo Gap, Fort Pierre and Oglala National Grasslands
125 North Main Street
Chadron, NE 69337


Mike McNeill:
This letter is in reference to comments being requested for the Railroad Buttes OHV recreational area.
The railroad buttes area has a long history of diverse OHV recreation opportunities that have recently been closed off because of the mapping that was completed. The area is best suited for an open OHV area and has proven through the test of time (40+ years) that it is sustainable when used this way.
The restrictions that have been placed on travel will cause congestion and overuse which not only pushes the sustainability of the used area's beyond their limits but it also causes potentially dangerous riding conditions with so many users confined to a small area. I would ask that the area be opened up to its pre-closed unless posted open status for the good of the land and the recreational users that will be riding in this area.
Any and all monies that were to be used for improvements should be slated for reopening the area completely as an open use area for OHV’s.
Any improvements to the area that do not address these concerns are mute as the area has become virtually unusable for recreational purposes.

Sincerely,


Bradley Williams
BH4Wheelers
14047 Edgewood Place
Piedmont, SD 57769
axleater@gmail.com
User avatar
By axleater
#3940
well done Brett, I am going as soon as I get off work!
User avatar
By Weasel
#4085
Cliff notes from my meeting with them today:

- THERE WILL BE A TRAIL STICKER PROGRAM FOR FARMINGDALE!  Completely separate from the BH trail sticker.  So now we'll have to buy TWO.  I expressed that I was pretty unhappy about that idea and was told that there is NOT a way to combine the two and have just one sticker that works everywhere.  Major bummer, I think I was more angry about this one than anything else.  Government bureaucracy at its finest right here.

No other way to separate the funds from one area to the next if they have only one sticker. Unless we need a sticker for Interior I guess I don't care as it doesn't seem like I will be going out there much anymore. :( :(

- This meeting is concerning the proposed "improvements" ONLY not anything else. 
- I complained about the closures and was told that I should have complained in 2010, the decision is final and cannot be changed.  That said, there is some talk about opening up a very small portion more of the area but is mostly just talk at this point.
- Also said was "Be glad you have as much area to wheel in as you do now.  There is nowhere else in the Hills, let alone the country, that has as large of an open area" (even if it sucks.)
- The "improvements" are being paid for with a grant of some sort, AKA legally laundered tax dollars

So basically "piss off" is what you were told.

I mentioned the closures of Castle Peak and Black Fox campgrounds (why can't they spend the money on those instead of this?) and was told that it's not their choice, something about different districts can't share money.

This is not quite correct per my discussion with the Mystic station. Castle Peak is not being closed, Black Fox is temporary as it seems there are some concerns with the location of the campgrounds. Some other issues that I can discuss at the next meeting.



I left a one page long document full of comments, suggestions and complaints regarding the area, proposed changes, law enforcement, camping, etc.  I suggest you all do the same although from the lack of interest in this thread I feel that we're screwed.

Doesn't sound like they are exactly willing to do much listening here. These attitudes really are pissing me off. They will drop anything and everything to placate the environmental groups but won't do crap for anyone else. [smiley=angry.gif] [smiley=angry.gif]

I don't think I can make it down there.
User avatar
By BrangerII
#4221
So basically "piss off" is what you were told.

In a "I work for the government" sort of way, yes.

I mentioned that it seems like the Forest Service attitude is take, take, take and never give - their response was well, we're offering improvements to this area and parts of it are still open so be happy. Basically, we understand your concerns but have our own agenda to follow regardless of who is paying our salary.
User avatar
By axleater
#4346
I spoke with the woman who is says she is the one who is working this area pounding in signs and what not.

I got a completely different vib than you did Brett. I told her I would like to go for a ride out there with her to survey what is actually what. She showed me 2 open riding areas. one that is 600 acres and one that is 900 acres one the map. I haven't been out there for so long that i need to drive to it to get my head wrapped around it.

I discussed out project with t-back and bikini and how we could offer assistance and she lit up like a kid in a candy store. I really think a little help could go a long way with this group.

that strange little weed they are protecting kind of bugs me because you know it is growing like a weed everywhere it isn't supposed to be but that is part of the fun i guess.

After challenge I think we should set up a committe to meet with the lady who is working out there to see what we can do.
User avatar
By BrangerII
#4460
That is excellent, keep me in mind for the committee. I have a large investment of time over the years wheeling in the area and picking up garbage so I'm happy to volunteer more to help out where it is needed.

I did not know anything about this plant they are protecting. The impression that I got was that the local geology groups, agate hunters and tree huggers made a huge stink about people getting into the mud out there and that is mostly what got a lot of the area closed.
User avatar
By twfuller
#4571
I went in the afternoon and heard kind of what Brett and Brad heard. It sounds like we might be able to work with them to get some more difficult trails added to the map. I don't think there is much chance of adding a lot of wide open area but some well chosen trails could help a lot. Lets keep working on this. If we don't here something fairly soom we need to contact them. I have contact info for Mike McNiell the district ranger but I didn't get the name of the woman Brad was talking about.
User avatar
By Weasel
#4678
I went as well after work and didn't get the same responses as you did Brett. They were pretty helpful, might have been because I was still in Uniform.

Something I found out:
-Funds for these projects are from gasoline tax and funds from Yamaha. So I guess I don't have a problem with that.

- parking areas are going to be gravel, no pavement. Good from a maintenance standpoint

-The toilets are going to be maintained via the sticker program. There are 2 different administration between the Grasslands and BH so that means 2 stickers. Bummer but I get it.

-Going to fence the road off, good idea as I have come close to hitting several riders as they attempt to jump from the trails onto the road.

-Proposed parking has been based off the usage number they had documented

-We reviewed the open areas that we would be interested in and it looks like we should have some decent/ok areas, out by the white caps. He specific said that he has a picture of one of the buggies getting twisted up in the area that is still open. I mentioned that the signing may not be very clear on what is open.

-They are not doing anything with interior and it's staying the same, which is excellent.

-They mentioned that a Baja race there is not out of the question and they would entertain the idea.

-There was some take of adding emblem trails at a later date, unsure of what that means. But I signed up for info on whatever it is.

It was dead in there when I got there. One of the TV crews was there and asked if I would comment but I had to decline. I was hoping Brad was going to get there in time.
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