We need Connecting ATV roads through the forest that make since

April 10, 2010

Last year at this time I wrote a letter to the Editor about Quading in the Eldorado National Forest. The topic was about how you couldn’t trust the forest service’s new maps and the closing of the forest during the winter months from Jan. 1st through April or later when they feel the roads are dry enough to travel. At the end of the article I told how the forest service said that they would have a new and better map soon and that the four El Dorado National Forest District Rangers will each host a day when people can drop-in at their offices to talk about the designated travel system.

I went to those open houses last year and talked to many people that showed up with some of the same ideas. I talked to many Forest Service People also, two of them being Lester Lubetkin and Jon Jue. I told them that I spend a lot of time driving the forest roads and I found that their new Motor Vehicle Restrictions Map had many flaws. I told them that after a few times of trying to use the new Motor Vehicle Restrictions Map, that I found that it was a pain. Most of the roads were mismarked. It showed that paved roads were dirt roads were and that quads could ride on them. And gravel roads shown that quads could not drive on them. It didn’t distinguish the difference between dirt roads or gravel roads or paved roads; which on a quad is most important, as it is illegal to drive on paved roads unless they are designated for such use.  So, if you planned a trip and came upon a paved road, your trip was finished. Actually, according to the new Motor Vehicle Restrictions Map, if you come up to a gravel road on your Quad your trip might end there also.  And this is what makes this map ridicules. This means that for quad riding according to the map that you have a whole lot of dots without any connections because the gravel roads are the only way to connect the dots and according to the map quads can’t drive on the gravel roads. This would leave you driving your Truck and Trailer down the legal gravel road (while motorcycle riders ride by) to each little dead end legal dirt road you can ride on , then unloading your quad and reloading your quad to drive to the next legal dirt road you can drive on. I think this is ridicules. According to the Map these are the vehicles that can drive the on gravel roads where Quads can’t – highway legal vehicles which are Passenger Cars, trucks, motorcycles. Some of the gravel roads on the map like 10 N 46 or 10 N 36 are in some places either  to overgrown with brush or to steep and rocky to drive a car on for me, but the guy making the map in some office dosen’t know that. I think that quads are one of the safest vehicles out there if (as in all vehicles) driven responsibly. And they use a lot less gas than a car or truck also.  Lester Lubetkin told me that these roads fell under some classification and would need to be changed by the Highway patrol or some other authority and they would try to get it changed.  After the meeting I felt optimistic with the forest service I felt real hopeful that they would make the changes and to see a better map soon.  That week I stopped by the Ca. Highway Patrol Office in Placerville to see what they would say about how to change the classification of the forest service roads and they told me that they didn’t care what the forest service did with their roads and that it was up to them.

After last year’s talk with the forest service my sister Nancy and I decided to make a magazine on Internet called  ONEwithQUAD.com  . So we started it in January. We wanted to help people find good places to go on their ATV’s (QUADS’s) and UTV’s. We wanted to show good routes through the Eldorado National Forest with places to see and to promote good responsible riding and care of the forest.  We wanted to work hand and hand with the Forest Service.    Now because of the Forest Service, I feel like I need to sit on my hands.

ONLY ONE PROBLEM.  I met with Lester Lubetkin about a couple months ago and he told me there wouldn’t be an updated map for another year. But then the last time I looked the Forest Service finally made changes to the Motor Vehicle Restrictions Map, but they ONLY fixed the mistakes they made as in showing some of the paved roads as dirt roads kind of mistakes. They didn’t make any of the changes to the map with the roads that could have connected the dots were AVT riders could have better routes through the forest.  It’s been a year and that’s all the Forest Service could muster.  The only thing they seemed to get out of the open houses was the mistakes they made about the paved roads being dirt on the map. Other than that what did we get out of having an open house? What does it take to let a quad drive on a gravel road through the forest land an act of Congress? I’m always the person that wants to do everything on the up and up and would like to be on the same page as the Forest Service , but what the Forest service shows on their maps and what the public actually drives their ATVs on in the Forest are two different things . The people drive their Quads on the gravel roads anyway.  The map just makes it illegal to do so. You would think we were trying to legalize pot.  Maybe it takes somebody to do a million dollar survey to prove that a quad can drive down a gravel road with other vehicles? In Nevada you can drive down a gravel road. We drove a hundred and fourteen miles on one last year.

It makes it hard to map out a good quad round trip and stay in the boundaries of the Motor Vehicle Restrictions Map. I guess on our ONEwithQUAD.com Magazine I will have to map out a good Quad trip and state that it doesn’t totally comply with the Eldorado National Forest Motor Vehicle Restrictions Map.  You can’t have a cohesive Motor Vehicle Restrictions Map without letting ATV’s drive gravel roads. Why that’s just Prejudice against ATVers. And it’s a Travesty, Sham and a Mockery, It’s a Travishamockery. At least the Forest Service could say that they will be lenient on ATV,s traveling gravel roads until they get this matter changed  in the future year.

Trying hard to make better roads to travel.

Harvey   @ ONEwithQUAD.com