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Thread: 2. Why the US Forest Service should not close more Two Track Trails or other Forest S

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    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member Greenway's Avatar
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    Default 2. Why the US Forest Service should not close more Two Track Trails or other Forest S

    Why the US Forest Service should not close more Two Track Trails or other Forest Service roads

    Two Track trails are currently classified as roads. In the National Forest, roads must meet a certain minimum construction standard. It is not feasible nor desirable to turn Two Track trails into bladed gravel roads.

    Two tracks need their own classification so they don’t fall under the requirements of roads and so they are not counted in the road density calculations.

    Turning two track roads into gravel roads will destroy their aesthetic character and increase the speed of vehicles through the forest to the detriment of wildlife.

    Far too many two tracks have been closed already. Many have only been closed only on a map that most people have never heard of. On the ground, the road is still open with no indication that it is arbitrarily closed by the decision of a single manager in the Forest Service.

    If you take your family for a drive in the forest and are found on one of these, you can and will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor violation and fined. Even though, you passed no closed sign or barrier and thought it was open. Just as any other reasonable person would think it was open.

    Driving through the public forests has been a historical part of the culture for generations of Michigan families. So many people and groups continue to use the Two Track trails in Michigan. These include:
    • Hunters
    • Fishermen
    • Berry Pickers
    • Photographers
    • Recreational Drivers
    • Wildlife Watchers
    • Mushroom Pickers
    • Campers
    • Firewood Gatherers
    • Geocachers
    • Artists
    • Hikers
    • Joggers
    • Families on picnics
    • Botanists
    • Biologists
    • Fall Color Tours

    Trails that are not used, wanted, or needed by the public grow closed naturally. If it does not have trees growing in the road bed, it is used, desired, and needed by the public. This should not be the decision of some bureaucrat who was just notified by the accounting department that he is spending too much money in “his” forest.

    Decreased miles of Forest Trails will concentrate more people into smaller areas, degrading the recreational experience for all involved. Additional pressure and stress will be put on the ecosystem in the areas that remain accessible to the public.

    Lack of legal public access to many miles of physically open trails will only increase incidents of dumping, Meth production, vandalism, fire growth before detection, and poaching.

    Closing trails to the public because the Forest Service has no need of them is just plain wrong. It will only serve to create ‘criminals’ out of good law abiding people.

    The long term ramifications of decreasing public access to the forests includes enculturating new generations of people with no knowledge, respect, or desire for the forest. If they have no need of the forests, they feel no ownership, much less, stewardship. Do you think they will allow the Forest Service to be funded? The lands will be sold to private corporations creating vast tracts of monocrop wastelands.

    Reduction of forest use will hurt tourism in Michigan. In a study commissioned by the Michigan DNR; Michigan Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, it was recognized the state needs more motorized and non motorized trails. Closing more Two Tracks in the National Forest goes against the recommendation of this plan. Of course, the USFS is not bound by this document. But, if it really is interested in what we need, this study is a great start.

    Please follow this link to see why the Forest Service is doing this.

    Enough! Just take me to Who do I have to talk to
    Last edited by Greenway; February 10th, 2015 at 01:28 AM.

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