West Magnolia Trails Closed 355 network

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by flyinghorse, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. flyinghorse

    flyinghorse Thank you Herbert Spencer

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    The entire 355 network of trails is closed to all motor vehicles, mountain bikes, hikers, anglers, and all persons of all sorts using any form of locomotion including their own 2 feet.

    The US Forest (Closure) Service has erected barricades and posted closure notices. They say "Public safety closure heavy equipment and falling trees"....etc. I hope this is a quick closure, but from the look of the fences erected I doubt it.

    The 105 trails are not affected by this closure.

    The Forest service might have more on their website but I'm too lazy to click a few times to find out.
    #1
  2. silverboy

    silverboy Bunny

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    West mag is closed for the summer.
    The forest service does not want anyone to see them clear cutting while they simultaneously criticize our single tracks.... Double standard or in the name of public good? Have you been up by Gold Lake recently? It looks like the apocalypse came early.
    #2
  3. Wannabeeuro

    Wannabeeuro Tuner chic

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    There is a map somewhere but I can't find it either. It going to make what they did by gold lake look like a minor pruning.
    Huge swaths of trees are going to be clear cut.

    I was up by gold lake yesterday, none of the clearing is contiguous so I can't see how it will slow down the pine beetles.

    Someone post the map so all of us tree huggers can do something about it.
    #3
  4. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    The cutting plan has been changed from "clear cut" to "heavy selective cutting", so there should be at least 2 or 3 aspens left when they're done. The cutting patch will only be around the Hobbit trails (the main mountainbike area), but everything through there, including 355/105, and the parking areas will be shutdown during the work. Current projected reopening date isn't until September, and then BMA is going to be in there most the fall rebuilding the mountainbike trails.

    Anyone that's used to riding the stuff nearby will find it blanketed in downed trees this year from the winter wind storms. We need to get in a few chainsaw days to get anything worth riding.

    Closure maps and status can be found here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=stelprdb5355381

    I wouldn't recommend poaching the closure order: "Violation of this regulation is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both. 16 U.S.C. § 551, and 18, U.S.C. §§ 3559 and 3571."
    #4
  5. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    Rampart did the same work over the winter. Parts of the forest appear to have been hit by mortar rounds.:deal
    #5
  6. Disquisitive Dave

    Disquisitive Dave Not so wise fool

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    I've done almost zero riding this season and haven't paying attention to what's open or closed. I finally got out yesterday and was making my way from Kingston northbound. I thought I'd pass through West Magnolia, but was greeted with:

    [​IMG]


    :scratch


    A closure order to protect us from the dangerous loggers. Thank you nanny government.


    [​IMG]

    "This order goes into effect upon signing and shall remain in effect until rescinded." It was signed September 5. I guess plans have changed since spring?

    Oh well, it provided an excuse to divert and go abuse my mirrors in the tree tunnel.
    #6
  7. PrairieRider

    PrairieRider Gearing down for Hell

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    Probably the closure is to protect USFS from a lawsuit when a falling tree takes out some doofus who is too silly to stay away from logging equipment.

    At a USFS meeting in Laramie, the talk was that there needed to be a 75' treeless buffer to each side of trails, roads, public ways, etc. Needless to say, all of the attendees (MC & ATV users mostly) were alarmed at the aesthetic effect this would have on the trails. Clearing like this was done at Snyder Creek in some areas.

    Does this mean the tree tunnel at Magnolia will be no more? :cry
    #7
  8. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    Current word is it may remain closed up through next June. Contractor is behind due to crews being pulled for fire work last summer and they'll have to shut it down again for a few months over winter for elk migration. Contractually they have a year to get it done.

    There is no real reason for 355 to be closed though, the road itself is in fine shape... Or at least I've been told, because of course I've not been back there.
    #8
  9. mrgem

    mrgem Adventurer

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    The good news: Much of West Mag is reopened. The bad news: 300 acres of the area south of Haul Road look like this now:

    http://bouldermountainbike.org/content/west-magnolia-info

    West Mag has been one of my favorites for years. I can ride out of my garage and all the way to 355 with only having to ride on 1/4 mile of pavement. I could jump on E. Portal and go to the top of Rollins Pass or up Mammoth Gulch, over James Peak and down to St. Mary's glacier. Or I could go over to Central City and ride those trails, again, only hitting the pavement for about a quarter mile on the north side of Gross Dam Reservoir. I'm pretty certain (but haven't ridden it) that I could drop down into Idaho Springs and work my way over to over to Georgetown and over Guanella Pass into Park County

    It was ideal for me -- I really hope they haven't screwed it up as badly as those pictures make it appear.
    #9
  10. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    The devastation is contained primarily to the front section. Everything SW of the 355/105 intersection is still the same. From a mountainbiker/hiker perspective the area is hosed, from a moto perspective, you've lost maybe 10 minutes of scenery.
    #10
  11. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

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    I used to explore that on my mtb. From the pics, it looks like they hacked it up pretty good.

    Reading the web page, they said it was done to reduce fire load and do something with the beetles. Anyone know if they plan to plant or just let nature take it's course?
    #11
  12. mrgem

    mrgem Adventurer

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    So you've been over there?

    Looks like they literally clearcut that area. How the heck are they gonna hold the soil in place this summer when it rains?

    As you said, though, we are talking about a couple of miles of trail.
    #12
  13. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    I think the WRV folks will probably do some volunteer planting after all the work is done (maybe some grants to?), but for the most part it's planned to let nature do it's thing.

    Word is that BoCo also plans to do some cutting around the Dots as well.

    EDIT - Yes, been over there. Live close.
    #13
  14. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

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    Ugh. Hopefully, not the trees with the dots. That's some nice riding there.

    The place I used to baby sit is over on Porter Ranch. Ride down to the dots, into Ned. Coffee at Cool Beans and then back home.
    #14
  15. no2tracks

    no2tracks Been here awhile

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    They did the same out in the 717 system. Turned nice flowy singletrack into endurocross tracks.
    #15
  16. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    Now if they build an EX track out there you won't hear me complaining.

    Lots of spare logs to work with.
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  17. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    Standing dead beetle-kill is far worse, even from a moto perspective, then clear cutting. Keeping the trails cleared becomes impossible as every windstorm knocks down another few dozen 2,000 pound lodgepoles across the trails...
    #17
  18. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    West Mag had a minimal amount of standing dead. This was a "100 year preventative maintenance".

    Owning a home right across the highway and going through the dry Spring last year with lightning fires every week I'm actually pretty happy about the reduced fire danger, but I'm still not convinced that a total demolition style clearcut was necessary to get that.

    Que sera sera.

    PS - aside from the FS road through the middle, the mitigation doesn't affect moto anyway. The only trails in that part are non-moto.
    #18
  19. pfb

    pfb Riding, not skiing.

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    I assumed it was beetle kill.... So much of it in the area that really needs to be cut, it's hard to fathom clear-cutting live trees, even if they are overgrown and unmanaged dog-hair stands.
    #19
  20. Oilburner375

    Oilburner375 Been here awhile

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    In lodgepole pine forests there is no need to replant after a disturbance, such as a fire, blow down, or a clear cut. A clear cut is actually a silvicultural method of harvesting trees in order to regenerate the forest. The term is often mis-used and associated with deforestation. By no means is the US Forest Service (I am not affiliated with the green pants wearing Federal agency) plan to not have trees there in the future. The slash is mostly left on the ground (along with cones). Once exposed to heat, sun or fire, these cones will actually open and drop their seeds to begin the next generation of trees. I will bet that in less than 10 years there will be 3 to 6 ft tall pine saplings and aspen flourishing in these areas.

    I know it looks bad now, but give it some time. Better than a wild fire, which will do a lot worse damage over the long term in affecting soil conditions, erosion, and air quality to name a few. Not to mention our ability to use this area for recreation.

    Due to the lack of natural wildfires we are way past being able to let Mother Nature take its course, in my opinion. I do not agree with current policies that the US Farce Service has taken, but I do believe the mechanical harvest is a better option than a wildfire in this particular area. Just my .02.
    #20