Future Of Old Logging Roads In National Forests, etc.

rideold

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You made some good points in your reply and it is evident that you are passionate about what you believe or like. Good for you! But, so are the "old people" in our society that also have passionate feelings about what they want after retirement. They are just as entitled to that land as you are. For the most part, I feel that was a very insensitive thing to write and selfish to boot. But I'm not going to let it stop me from respecting you and your opinions.

What about our disabled Americans who have not seen an elderly age? Like our disabled veterans, or our disabled in the line of duty first responders? Or those disabled by a careless drunk driver? Or in some other missfortune that someone may need better access? The list goes on. It's no just an age thing, but the elderly are also entitled to access to these lands. These are citizens of our country and deserve every opportunity what any of us are allowed to do. Many did not ask for what they have had to endure. We ensure access in our building codes and public city access. Why not have a prevision for them?

This is of course my opinion, and with these other considerations, I ask you to re-think your opinion as you stated above.
You make a good point about access for all.....but at some point don't we have to acknowledge that not everyone can do everything and while making accommodation is desirable it is not always possible. If the price of access for all is habitat fragmentation and the loss of roadless areas than I'm willing, as I age, to give up things that I once could do but can no longer do. Don't we have to consider the conservation side of our public lands as well?
 

wllm1313

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Garfield and friends I realize it's Monday, but can we attempted to have a conversation without being insulting.
 

BuzzH

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You made some good points in your reply and it is evident that you are passionate about what you believe or like. Good for you! But, so are the "old people" in our society that also have passionate feelings about what they want after retirement. They are just as entitled to that land as you are. For the most part, I feel that was a very insensitive thing to write and selfish to boot. But I'm not going to let it stop me from respecting you and your opinions.

What about our disabled Americans who have not seen an elderly age? Like our disabled veterans, or our disabled in the line of duty first responders? Or those disabled by a careless drunk driver? Or in some other missfortune that someone may need better access? The list goes on. It's no just an age thing, but the elderly are also entitled to access to these lands. These are citizens of our country and deserve every opportunity what any of us are allowed to do. Many did not ask for what they have had to endure. We ensure access in our building codes and public city access. Why not have a prevision for them?

This is of course my opinion, and with these other considerations, I ask you to re-think your opinion as you stated above.
I've thought plenty about the argument of people getting old and expecting special treatment...and I wont change my mind. They had their chance to hunt when they were young and more physically able. If they squandered their chance, well tough luck, I wont be losing any sleep if another gate goes up or they can no longer reach the places they did in their youth.

Funny thing, my grandfather, who hunted well into his 80's, never expected roads to stay open, or asked for any special treatment. He just continued to hunt, where he was physically able to, due to his age. The last thing he would have wanted, is for roads to be punched into the areas he hunted in his youth, so that it was easier for him to get to those same places.

He was happy knowing that those places were still unroaded, still wild, and that those following were going to be able to experience the same thing he did. I feel the exact same way.

I would be doing his legacy a disservice if I pushed for easier access, more roads, more special privileges for those that are too old, too lazy, or too unmotivated to hack it.

As for disabled people, again it sucks, same as it sucks getting old. If I were to become disabled, and when I get old, I wont be asking others to sacrifice public lands for my sake so that I can still access the same places I have in the past. They can find/buy private to hunt on, hunt off a horse, or just be happy hunting the 380,000 miles of roads on FS lands they have already.

If that doesn't work, well, take up a different hobby.
 

Losing_Sanity

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You make a good point about access for all.....but at some point don't we have to acknowledge that not everyone can do everything and while making accommodation is desirable it is not always possible. If the price of access for all is habitat fragmentation and the loss of roadless areas than I'm willing, as I age, to give up things that I once could do but can no longer do. Don't we have to consider the conservation side of our public lands as well?
Yes, and you are correct. Thank you for respectful reply. My reply was not based on creating anything, but a fundamental attitude and the old can pack sand thought process.

We, our government, have allowed big business like mining and logging and other stuff to cut into our forest. Some with little regard for the "impact". All I'm saying, is it's there, and we could use it, don't disrespect the other that can't do what you do. Take advantage of something they left behind.

I do get conservation and respect it as it is needed. But we can still make the best from what others have left there in their operations to supply us with resources that we need. That is all I am saying...
 

Losing_Sanity

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I've thought plenty about the argument of people getting old and expecting special treatment...and I wont change my mind. They had their chance to hunt when they were young and more physically able. If they squandered their chance, well tough luck, I wont be losing any sleep if another gate goes up or they can no longer reach the places they did in their youth.

Funny thing, my grandfather, who hunted well into his 80's, never expected roads to stay open, or asked for any special treatment. He just continued to hunt, where he was physically able to, due to his age. The last thing he would have wanted, is for roads to be punched into the areas he hunted in his youth, so that it was easier for him to get to those same places.

He was happy knowing that those places were still unroaded, still wild, and that those following were going to be able to experience the same thing he did. I feel the exact same way.

I would be doing his legacy a disservice if I pushed for easier access, more roads, more special privileges for those that are too old, too lazy, or too unmotivated to hack it.

As for disabled people, again it sucks, same as it sucks getting old. If I were to become disabled, and when I get old, I wont be asking others to sacrifice public lands for my sake so that I can still access the same places I have in the past. They can find/buy private to hunt on, hunt off a horse, or just be happy hunting the 380,000 miles of roads on FS lands they have already.

If that doesn't work, well, take up a different hobby.
Thanks for your reply. You have good points for consideration. I never said that I did not respect your opinion and I see your point as I have stated. The elderly has contributed more for you to have what you have. I never advocated punching new roads or creating new accesses specifically for them, but utilizing what is already left behind. It's not a perfect world and at some point you can't do anymore. But I'm not fond of the "they can pack sand" analogy.

Thanks for your input...
 

beginnerhunter

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I'm all for mobility impaired opportunities. Some folks aren't MI due to age but other circumstances/injuries, etc. The trick is how it is defined and what advantages are given. I'd probably set the bar pretty high. But guaranteeing access for mobility impaired to all areas is not only improper, it's pretty much impossible.

Buzz, is there much difference between closing a road and letting nature reclaim it vs actively destroying a road? Or did I misinterpret what Sytes was asking?
 

Losing_Sanity

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One last thought...
One thing comes to mind as I did not communicate as well as I should have. It's hard sometimes to put down what you want to convey. When I referenced "handicapped", the mind wants to envision people in wheelchair. But that's not exactly my point. There are programs, thankfully, to help these people out. My point was more there are many handicaps that does not confine one to a wheelchair.

Sorry to Sytes for derailing your post.
 

mtmiller

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I am headed to the Beartooths again next week. Knee is still a little messed up from surgery. Pretty sure I can get a motorcycle 90% of the way to my destination lake, so it will work out. Hopefully foot traffic will get out of my way so I can enjoy my public lands a little more efficiently.
 

Gerald Martin

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A bit of data I think germane to this discussion is that roads are not just being decommissioned and closed in the FS. New roads are also being built. Some get built, some get closed. Some access is made easier some is made more difficult. The elk and I tend to gravitate towards the difficult. Hanging on to an area out of emotional attachment because Grampa and Dad always walked that road into Elk Hollow doesn’t equate to full freezers when all the elk are gone because everyone has learned to do the same thing.

I find myself pondering the question how many hunters think about the survival of game animals beyond the time they are pursuing them with tag in hand?

I too, like to walk those closed roads to get to hunting areas. There is a point where the law of diminishing returns hits hard when you find yourself in an area that’s too densely roared and an elk herd doesn’t have enough security cover to survive or be pressured out of the area.

Nothing quite as frustrating as looking at 300 head of elk on posted private property and realizing that you and the other couple dozen hunters walking the gated roads on public don’t have any elk to pursue where you can kill them.
 
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Sytes

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A lot is preach about the North American Wildlife Conservation Model:

Sister #4 – Hunting Opportunity for All
Every citizen has an opportunity, under the law, to hunt and fish in the United States and Canada.
If this is an opportunity to facilitate... AND the old blocked logging road does not cut through a specific vital wildlife calving habitat, etc...

While some value a tough as nails theory, it should not mean others must mutually fall in line with this mentality... Some may agree others may not though there is a work smarter, not harder philosophy as well.

I'd be curious, if one of these permanently blocked regen roads exist to access a point to veer off the old road towards the destination, do you bypass this old regen blocked road for sake of being, tough as nails and hike over the mountain and through the woods?

If not... there is a reason.
 

onpoint

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"Opportunity"

Been some interesting discussions on here about opportunity and it's consequences for the public land DIY hunter here in Montana................................
 

westbranch

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Sep 11, 2017
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ID Panhandle
North Idaho has piles of old roads all over the place. Quite a few are gated and/or have giant holes dug that you can walk around or carry a bike over. Some are not gated/blocked and there are obvious atv or dirt bike tracks. I found some old articles on some of the areas I was hunting where they went from 6-7 miles of rds per sq mile in the 1980s to <2.5 by 2007. Drastically changed sediment runoff in the creeks/rivers. No way to hunt in the panhandle of ID without hiking some of those roads. But with the regen or old washouts there are not many you can follow for more than 1/2 mile before you have to go off-trail. Due to the thick vegetation and steep topography most people don't go too far off the main roads anyways.
 

Gerald Martin

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Different areas might have different management plans and more roads being built or destroyed. My experience in the region of NW MT I live in and hunt is that for every road being re-wilded there are multiple roads being built . Gated roads open and close seasonally but the overall road density across the county is increasing rather than decreasing.

Is your experience different in your areas Charles or are you commenting generally about your philosophy of access and road use?

I know a lot of folks highlight closures and road destruction and claim lessened access but I don’t usually see an acknowledgement of additional access via new roads from the same folks.
 

BuzzH

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Here's what I know...I have worked for over 20 years in the woods studying permanent growth plots across 8 Interior Rocky Mountain States. In a typical field season, I visit 90-110 of those sites. The sites were established on a random grid and cover all ownerships. Probably have visited 2200-2300 different locations in National Parks, most all the Wilderness/WSA's, tribal land, DOE, BLM, private, USFWS, private timber lands, etc. etc.

Its a very rare day, even in wilderness areas, where I hike cross country more than 2 miles to access my work locations. Between roads and trails, its pretty damn tough to find areas where you're further than 3 miles from either. Outside of wilderness its even less likely to find anything more than 2 miles from a road or trail.

Which leads me to believe that all this blustering about "no access" is a joke. In no time in history has the West been more accessible than it is now.
 

Nameless Range

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Here's what I know...I have worked for over 20 years in the woods studying permanent growth plots across 8 Interior Rocky Mountain States. In a typical field season, I visit 90-110 of those sites. The sites were established on a random grid and cover all ownerships. Probably have visited 2200-2300 different locations in National Parks, most all the Wilderness/WSA's, tribal land, DOE, BLM, private, USFWS, private timber lands, etc. etc.

Its a very rare day, even in wilderness areas, where I hike cross country more than 2 miles to access my work locations. Between roads and trails, its pretty damn tough to find areas where you're further than 3 miles from either. Outside of wilderness its even less likely to find anything more than 2 miles from a road or trail.

Which leads me to believe that all this blustering about "no access" is a joke. In no time in history has the West been more accessible than it is now.

I have done numerous GIS exercises for my own interest where I buffer open roads by different mileages to identify the wild places, and it is eye opening. There isn't a place in all of the county I live in that is further than 2.5 miles from an open road, and that holds true for most of Montana. Always makes me wonder when someone says they were 7 miles (or some such number) from a road. Those types of statistics are almost impossible to find outside of our largest Wilderness Areas.
 

BuzzH

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I have done numerous GIS exercises for my own interest where I buffer open roads by different mileages to identify the wild places, and it is eye opening. There isn't a place in all of the county I live in that is further than 2.5 miles from an open road, and that holds true for most of Montana. Always makes me wonder when someone says they were 7 miles (or some such number) from a road. Those types of statistics are almost impossible to find outside of our largest Wilderness Areas.
Probably holds true for a vast majority of the lower 48.
 

wllm1313

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Always makes me wonder when someone says they were 7 miles (or some such number) from a road. Those types of statistics are almost impossible to find outside of our largest Wilderness Areas.
You might not be 7 miles from a road, but there are loads of places that might be a 7 mile hike in from the legal point of access. At any point your Euclidean distance from a road might be under a mile.
 
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