Ride With Respect Year End Memo

December 31, 2011
For Ride with Respect, 2011 was about doing a little trail work in a lot of places (see photo).

From the Abajo and La Sal mountains to the desert above Labyrinth and Westwater canyons, our nonprofit constructed several primo singletracks, closed a few unsustainable ones, and did everything in between.
Below we’ll highlight a half-dozen projects, followed by an exclusive update from one of our local civil servants. State park rangers have a difficult job. Fortunately, Brody Young is dedicated to protecting natural resources and those who visit public lands.
But first let’s recognize major donors like Grand County, Utah State Parks, and Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance, along with all our individual members. If you pitched in time or money this year, rest assured that you enhanced trails and their surroundings.
If not, there’s still a couple days left to help balance RwR’s annual budget. In fact it’s the last time we’ll ask you to send a check. (*Next year we’ll revamp the website to accept donations electronically, ha ha.) ((Seriously, write a check today, payable to Ride with Respect, 1310 Murphy Lane, Moab UT 84532.))
ABABJO’s – In the mountains above Monticello, RwR is almost done rerouting one steep mile of Robertson Pasture Trail with three gentle miles. So far USFS has matched RwR’s 850 hours with about 400 of their own. Motorcycling and mountain biking in this rugged, backcountry setting is a great privilege. We can’t wait to finish up and open the trail next summer.
LA SAL’s – In the mountains above Old La Sal, RwR marked Trust Lands Singletrack, a twelve-mile loop. The Blanding club SPEAR marked Trail 16, an ATV loop. To accommodate full-size vehicles around this loop, RwR also marked several “road alternates.” And in appreciation for public access to SITLA property, we helped close six miles of singletrack and install four cattle guards provided by Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
BEHIND THE ROCKS – Ten miles south of Moab, SITLA contracted RwR to implement its camping and travel plan. We delineated two dozen campsites and marked nearly two dozen miles of trail, mostly doubletrack. Finally, we defined the boundary of an open area for OHVs to traverse sand dunes. Considering SITLA’s mission to raise funds for Utah schools, this plan is quite generous. As a result, these three-square miles offer a surprising variety.
SOVEREIGN TRAIL – Ten miles north of Moab, RwR inventoried all routes and campsites surrounding Sovereign Trail System. Along with GIS and photo data, we provided detailed comments to the Utah division of Forestry, Fire, & State Lands. FFSL then drafted a comprehensive management plan to preserve the quality of Sovereign Trail. In response to increased visitation, the division will limit camping to a handful of designated sites. RwR commends FFSL on its careful planning and thorough process.
TENMILE CANYON – In the desert above Labyrinth Canyon, BLM designated a network of motorcycle and ATV trails from White Wash. In this area, the agency’s travel plan is favorable to OHVs. The southwest part is particularly sensitive. So RwR contributed a week of work to delineate several miles of singletrack north and south of Tenmile Canyon. In addition to painting slickrock, installing directional markers and blocking trail-braids, we added a couple ‘pinch posts’ to reinforce the narrow character of singletrack. Nearby, the Northern Colorado Trail Riders matched RwR by installing fences to celebrate National Public Lands Day. Likewise, the Bookcliff Rattlers Motorcycle Club installed a cattle guard and gate east of Tenmile.
MEL’S LOOP – In the desert above Westwater Canyon, RwR marked a twenty-five mile singletrack with sixty fiberglass posts. Also we installed a half-dozen ‘pinch posts,’ two gate-related signs, and a kiosk. Thanks to BLM for providing all the materials. RwR also appreciates the agency’s willingness to refine its travel plan in this area. BLM has already reopened a campsite, and is reconsidering a few other restrictions. When visiting, please ride responsibly, especially near the wilderness study area and Colorado River corridor.
Several RwR members have asked about state park ranger Brody Young. After all, it’s been a year since Ranger Brody successfully defended himself from a shooting attack. In that short period, he has begun a tremendous recovery. Now Ranger Brody even works full-time for Utah State Parks once again. In addition to perseverance, his positive attitude is inspiring. So we’re honored to present the following letter from Ranger Brody, himself.
We hope you, too, can make the most of 2012.
Clif Koontz
program director
Ride with Respect
435-259-8334 land
201-741-0361 cell