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Old 11-21-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
COBob OP
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Captain Jacks closed

http://m.gazette.com/articles/ban-14...roup-bear.html

Forest Service settles lawsuit, agrees to ban dirt bikes

By R. SCOTT RAPPOLD
11/21/2012 2:42 PM
The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to ban dirt bikes on a popular trail network along Bear Creek in response to a lawsuit by environmental group the Center for Biological Diversity.

Recent research has found Bear Creek, just west of Colorado Springs, is home to the last genetically pure species of endangered greenback cutthroat trout.

Federal attorneys agreed to a settlement with the group Wednesday. The settlement gives the Forest Service 10 days to ban the vehicles on all trails in the drainage, except for Trail No. 667, also known as the Buckhorn Trail, between High Drive and a saddle above the Bear Creek drainage.

“We’re so glad the Forest Service agreed to do the right thing and protect the only place in the world where greenback cutthroat trout still live in the wild,” said Tim Ream, attorney for the environmental group. “This endangered fish has been hanging on by a thread for decades. The last thing it needs is motorcycles tearing through its only home and filling the creek with sediment.”

The Center for Biological Diversity claims dirt bikes cause erosion that damages the habitat for the fish. The settlement requires the Forest Service to conduct environmental review under the Endangered Species Act before reopening the trails to vehicles.


A Forest Service spokesperson was unavailable for comment today.

Check back later for reaction from dirt bike riders, who have long maintained the trails there.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:03 PM   #3
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Another article

http://articles.outtherecolorado.com...roup-bear.html
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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F%CK. F%CK. F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.F%CK. F%CK.

F%CK.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #5
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"The Forest Service would have to get approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before reopening the trails to vehicles."

What are the odds of that.




So, who wants to ride Jacks this weekend?
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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If it was the motorcycles riding through the creek that was causing the problem why not let the forest service reroute and build bridges to keep the trails out of the creek. Seems like there are other options other than banning. What about hoofed animals, they dont stir up sediment? Are mountain bikes still allowed? How about hikers? Can people still fish? Seems they are unfairly singling out motorized vehicles again.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtrulz View Post
If it was the motorcycles riding through the creek that was causing the problem why not let the forest service reroute and build bridges to keep the trails out of the creek. Seems like there are other options other than banning. What about hoofed animals, they dont stir up sediment? Are mountain bikes still allowed? How about hikers? Can people still fish? Seems they are unfairly singling out motorized vehicles again.
From the second article...

"Colorado Springs dirt bike rider Don Riggle, president of the Trails Preservation Alliance, slammed the settlement.
Dirt bike groups have ridden and maintained the trails for decades, and Riggle questioned why only they are being excluded.
“Why wasn’t the whole thing closed? Because the entire trail system is the problem,” he said. “Now they’re going to let mountain bikes, horses, hikers and others continue to use that trail and cause more damage than motorcycles ever caused.”
“Here’s another example of the Forest Service and government bending over to another threat just to alleviate a lawsuit,” he said.
A Forest Service spokesman said Wednesday nobody from the agency was available to address the settlement because of the Thanksgiving holiday."
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul Duke View Post
From the second article...

"Colorado Springs dirt bike rider Don Riggle, president of the Trails Preservation Alliance, slammed the settlement.
Dirt bike groups have ridden and maintained the trails for decades, and Riggle questioned why only they are being excluded.
“Why wasn’t the whole thing closed? Because the entire trail system is the problem,” he said. “Now they’re going to let mountain bikes, horses, hikers and others continue to use that trail and cause more damage than motorcycles ever caused.”
“Here’s another example of the Forest Service and government bending over to another threat just to alleviate a lawsuit,” he said.
A Forest Service spokesman said Wednesday nobody from the agency was available to address the settlement because of the Thanksgiving holiday."
I wonder how many people will just poach it now. Any bridges or maintenance that was done by us evil dirtbikers should be taken out as they are ours and can be used elsewhere

Can someone post a map of the section highlighted...be help to some.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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I'm up for a ride Sunday or next week (got to get the dates) but I should be able too (maybe Saturday). I say we gather a lot of people and all ride up it...show of force.

I'll lead the bigger bike group on my XR650R...

Come on out people Lets do this...
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #10
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #11
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"The settlement gives the Forest Service 10 days to install signs and barriers on trails 665, 668, 701 and 720. Trail No. 667, also known as the Buckhorn Trail, will be open to dirt bikes only from High Drive to a saddle above the Bear Creek drainage."






There is no F'ing reason 665 should be on that list.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:57 PM   #12
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Sounds like a court injunction is in order. They can't just shut down an area to "settle" a lawsuit.
The travel management plan would address the endangered species and it is the process that is to be followed.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dirtrulz View Post
If it was the motorcycles riding through the creek that was causing the problem why not let the forest service reroute and build bridges to keep the trails out of the creek.
Bridges were built over every stream crossing except the last few way up top. Those were slated to have bridges built too - Im not sure if that happened or not this summer.

There was talk of re-route. I dont know if that is still on the table or not. It almost sounds like it may be if they have a section in the ruling about getting Fish and Wildlife dept approval before re-opening anything. I assume that may hold true to re-route trails as well. Im not holding my breath.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:23 PM   #14
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Makes me want to poach everything. Civil disobedience being the order of the day.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:09 PM   #15
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Just in case you havent been following this...

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/...m-dna-reveals/
Rare Trout Survives in Just One Stream, DNA Reveals




Fish and Wildlife ServiceHanging by a thread? A study offers new insights on the greenback cutthroat trout.


The rare greenback cutthroat trout, Colorado’s state fish, is even more imperiled than scientists thought, a new study suggests. By analyzing DNA sampled from cutthroat trout specimens pickled in ethanol for 150 years, comparing it with the genes of today’s cutthroat populations, and cross-referencing more than 40,000 historic stocking records, researchers in Colorado and Australia have revealed that the fish survives not in five wild populations, but just one.
Stocking records and the tangled genetic patchwork of trout in the southern Rocky Mountain region suggest that efforts to replenish populations were far more extensive and began earlier than previously recognized. Between 1885 and 1953, state and federal agencies stocked more than 750 million brook trout, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout from hatcheries into streams and lakes in Colorado, the researchers found.
The study, published on Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Ecology as a follow-up to a 2007 study led by the same biologist, Jessica Metcalf, yielded some findings that “may be uncomfortable,” Kevin Rogers, a researcher for Colorado’s state parks authority, said in a call with reporters.
Doug Krieger, senior aquatic biologist for the same agency, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, predicted that the study would shift the direction of conservation efforts.

A shift in the scientific landscape is not an entirely new experience for fish managers working with the cutthroat trout in the region. The 2007 study shook the very foundations of cutthroat trout recovery efforts, showing that managers had accidentally mixed a different subspecies of cutthroat trout, the Colorado cutthroat, with the rare greenback, and then stocked these hybrid strains into otherwise pure greenback streams.
The latest study, whose co-authors also include the biologist Chris Kennedy of the Fish and Wildlife Service and scientists with the University of Adelaide’s Australian Center for Ancient DNA and the University of Colorado, Boulder, shows that the last surviving greenback population lies within a four-mile stretch of a small alpine stream known as Bear Creek. The stream is about five miles southwest of Colorado Springs, on the eastern slope of Pikes Peak.
Located outside the greenback’s native range, this holdout population is probably descended from fish stocked at the Bear Creek headwaters in the 1880’s by a hotelier seeking to promote a tourist route up Pikes Peak, the researchers say.
To map out the historic distribution and range of a species whose taxonomic record is, to quote the latest study, “rife with errors,” Dr. Metcalf sampled skin, gill, muscle and bone from trout specimens collected in Colorado and New Mexico from 1857 to 1889, before the state and federal efforts to propagate and stock native trout were ramped up.
Now housed in museums including the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the California Academy of Sciences, the specimens were preserved in ethanol. “The DNA was very degraded, and there wasn’t very much of it,” Dr. Metcalf said. “So this took a lot of effort and repeated sequencing for each specimen.”
Still, ethanol preservation opened a window to the past. “After the 1900’s, a lot of things were fixed in formalin, which keeps them looking the way they were when they were collected,” Dr. Metcalf said. “Before that, things were just straight up pickled” in ethanol.”
The problem for latter-day genetic sleuths is that formalin actually binds with DNA, making the latter impossible to recover. It’s not always obvious what chemicals were used for a given specimen, but the fact that some fish appeared partially decayed was a good sign these trout were preserved the old-fashioned way (in ethanol only), leaving fragments of DNA intact.
“The DNA I get out of 15,000-year-old, extremely degraded animals from Patagonia is in better shape than these ethanol-preserved fish,” she said.
Aside from presenting an approach for using pre-1900 museum specimens to provide a baseline for historic diversity, the study effectively yanks the rug out from under cutthroat trout restoration efforts and raises the stakes in a lawsuit filed last week by the Center for Biological Diversity against federal land managers.
The center claims that “rampant motorcycle use” permitted on trails running along and across Bear Creek is destroying precious habitat. “We’ve asked the forest service to close that trail to motorcycle use and move it,” the director of the organization’s endangered species program, Noah Greenwald, said in an interview.
Even after the construction of bridges and other projects designed to minimize erosion, Mr. Greenwald said, heavy trafficking of erosive soil around Bear Creek causes sediments to fill pools that are vital to cutthroat trout survival.
“It’s a really small stream,” he said. “So the pools are super-important during drought, when the stream freezes in the wintertime, and to hide from predators.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service does not plan to take immediate action around Bear Creek in response to the Metcalf research, which the agency helped finance as a member of the Greenback Cutthroat Trout Recovery Team. Other funds flowed from the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and Trout Unlimited.
A Fish and Wildlife Service representative told reporters on Monday that the greenback’s status would not be changed from threatened to endangered until a thorough scientific review was carried out and the public had a chance to weigh in. Separate research that the agency will use to crosscheck Dr. Metcalf’s genetic results is to be completed this fall.
Historic records indicate that Bear Creek, like many high-alpine streams made inaccessible by waterfalls and other natural barriers, once had no fish at all. When frontiersmen arrived in the area, they typically would settle near a creek, Dr. Metcalf said., “The first thing you’re going to do is stock it, so you have a good food resource right by your house all year round,” she said,
The revelation that Bear Creek is home to the last remaining greenback cutthroats underscores the importance of protecting the population, said Mr. Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity.
“If we can’t protect it, if we don’t do what’s necessary to protect it, “we’re at risk of losing another one of these cutthroat trout subspecies, and that would be a real tragedy,” he said.


################################################## ############


And here is the Center for Biological Diversity's claim for the lawsuit...


For Immediate Release, September 17, 2012
Contact: Timothy Ream, (415) 632-5315
Suit Filed to Protect Rare Greenback Cutthroat Trout
Off-road Vehicles Threaten Survival of Colorado's State Fish
DENVER— The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in federal court today against the Pike and San Isabel National Forest to protect rapidly declining populations of greenback cutthroat trout, federally protected as threatened since 1978, from off-road vehicle use. According to the lawsuit, the national forest is harming Colorado’s state fish by allowing ORVs on trails adjacent to Bear Creek, located just west of Colorado Springs and one of the last places where the native trout can be found. The ORVs are causing severe erosion, polluting the stream and severely harming the valuable trout.
Greenback cutthroat trout photo courtesy EPA. Photos are available for media use.

“The Endangered Species Act couldn’t be clearer. You can’t authorize a motorcycle playground in greenback cutthroat trout habitat without bothering to ask how it’s going to affect the fish,” said Tim Ream, a Center attorney. “The folks at the Pike and San Isabel National Forest seem to feel the Endangered Species Act doesn’t apply to them.”
A recent habitat assessment, commissioned by the national forest itself, shows erosion from ORV trails is destroying trout habitat by filling deepwater pools the fish need to survive winter and drought and to hide from predators. ORVs can also spread diseases and start wildfires. According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, greenback in Bear Creek are in steep decline.
The Endangered Species Act requires federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to study possible impacts of federal actions on endangered and threatened species. In documents filed in federal court last year, the national forest admitted that it did not consult with the Service before authorizing ORV use in Bear Creek, claiming that the law didn’t apply in this case.
“The Forest Service has known for years it has a serious ORV erosion problem at Bear Creek,” Ream said. “This beautiful cutthroat, the state fish, is a unique piece of the identity and history of Colorado — it’s hard to understand why it’s being treated this way.”
The Center for Biological Diversity has proposed rerouting the ORV trail out of Bear Creek — something the national forest has admitted would be relatively easy — and closing the trail to ORV use in the meantime. Bear Creek ORV trails also run through land owned by the Colorado Springs Utility. Neither the national forest nor the utility has acted. The Center has notified the utility that it is illegally affecting trout, and may bring legal action later this year.
“We’ve tried to be reasonable with the national forest, simply asking it to close the trail while it takes an action it’s already admitted is needed: moving this destructive ORV trail,” Ream said. “But they’ve effectively told us the only way they’re going to comply with the law is if a federal judge orders them to. That’s a sad failure.”
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
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