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The USFS closes one of your favorite singletrack trails!!!!

posted Jun 22, 2010, 1:57 PM by Smokey Bear   [ updated Aug 3, 2010, 3:47 PM by Jim Planet ]
    While on an epic Saturday morning ride, 3 members of the Mammoth M.C. made their way over to a once perfect and well cut piece of Eastern Sierra singletrack, to find that it is now "closed to most."  Yes, it's true, the new "Headwaters of the Owens" wilderness designation has changed a once important connecting trail section from it's original intended use,  to something entirely different.  Not even hang gliders are allowed to enter.


The small print at the bottom reads:  "...Area back of this sign managed and protected Under Public Law."  "Public law," refering to the public at large - I'm guessing .  Unfortunately, the group that approved the legislation involved with this new boundary & sign pollution (the US Congress) has little interest in what the public wants or does not want.  In fact, most registered voters (78%), believe that the members of Congress are "...more interested in helping their own careers than helping people."  

So there you have it...  Private individuals and their private agendas,  posting "closed" signs on our public land...  With scriblings of "Punishable Violations."  

An accomplishment indeed.

 As some of you know, this prime section of Mammoth Lakes singletrack was very low impact, and was considered a fine example of a safe and enjoyable trail.  From a technical standpoint, it wasn't the most challenging trail in the area, but it was the most scenic.  It's narrow width contrasted with all the double track logging roads that are found everywhere in this area.

This important section of trail blended with the surrounding pine trees and overgrowth in the area, and was only accessible by two wheeled vehicles - keeping it in excellent condition.  There was something spiritual about it...  The ever changing forest and steep valley's along the trail seemed to draw the rider in, then quickly releasing him/her out into the open spaces of the Inyo Crater landscape.  We shall never forget.

The ironic part about this sign and it's statement, is that if you look hard in the distance, above the tree-line, you can make out a partial view of  Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort...  One has to wonder, are they effected by this new "closure" as well?  
 Probably not, many politico types enjoy skiing from time to time.

Not too soon before making this horrendous discovery, the 3 members of Mammoth M.C. were working their way through the forest in search of this trail's beginning, When what they found instead was a USFS representative - stuck hopelessly in the snow.  Was it a simple coincidence that the road he accessing happened to be the exact same road that leads to the entrance of this historic trail?  Most definitely not.  His truck was loaded up with tools needed for "tree littering" and sign pollution.

It's a true wonder how anything gets done in the FS... everyone is off doing personal errands in the name of public interest.   

A fine mess indeed.


When asked what he was doing, he answered "I'm just checking the road up ahead."  

10-4 pal!

It should be mentioned, that in order for this "worker bee" to get his sweet 4x4 up the road, many snowbanks had to be "driven around," and sensitive riparian areas had to be disturbed.  

In other words... this guy had to make some "modifications" to the existing road by driving partially off of them, on embankments, and through muddy forested land.  This exception to the rule (tread lightly) can be ignored - when on official government business, and in a truck with emblems and such.
...Of course.  

Your... Eyes of the Inyo,
-Smokey Bear

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