Motorcycle Trail Riders,
For the next couple days, we have a chance to show that responsible riders want some real trails in the La Sal Mountains in southeast Utah.
Writing a simple comment to the U.S. Forest Service could go a long way. If you’ll be heading out for the weekend, then please comment now!
Ride with Respect (RwR) is only contacting a hundred people who make the pilgrimage to Moab for their love of motorized singletrack, so your voice is vital.
The Forest Service is finally revising its 1986 Forest Plan for the Manti-La Sal, which includes the Manti, La Sal, and Abajo ranges. The agency’s draft assessment report indicates that they’re aware of the need for some new connections to make more loop opportunities out of the current trail systems. This goal is sufficient for the Abajo’s, which already have a foundation of motorized singletrack (motorcycle), 50″ trail (ATV), and full-size vehicle (side-by-side and 4WD) trails. In the La Sals, however, the current travel plan provides no singletrack (except at Upper Twomile Canyon, which is on a small block of SITLA property that can be closed at any time), no ATV trail (except Hideout Mesa, which is far away and low in elevation), and no real 4WD trails (except around Brumley and Dorry canyons, which is a small area with big cobble rock). Although RwR has enjoyed working with the Forest Service on Abajo trails, the agency needs to hear from more people who want to ride Moab in summertime without having to drive 60 miles to reach the Abajo’s.
RwR has identified a Brumley-Twomile motorcycle loop (see second-to-last attachment) that would require adding 21 miles to the travel plan in order for motorcyclists to park north of Pack Creek, ride around the flank of South Mountain, tie into the Upper Twomile trails on SITLA property, then follow singletrack that would parallel Dark Canyon and Geyser Pass Roads to reach the Brumley and Dorry 4WD trails for a complete loop. Compared to re-opening all the non-motorized trails, it’s a modest proposal. At least a couple parts of this loop (near the La Sal Loop Road) should be open to ATV or side-by-side users so that they can make more connections to existing 4WD trails. Parts of this loop would benefit mountain biking, and none of it would intrude on the most primitive recreation settings or remote wildlife habitat. Regardless of details, I hope many of you can convey that such an opportunity is long overdue, and that there are many potential volunteers to help construct and maintain new trail. With shrinking budgets, the USFS is understandably reluctant to add new trails that it would increase its maintenance burden. However, by rerouting several miles of singletrack in the Abajo’s, RwR has proven its ability to design and construct trails that are virtually maintenance free, other than clearing logs which can be done by volunteers each summer.
Although the current process of revising the Forest Plan will not directly result in putting new off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails on the ground, it will absolutely set the stage for doing so (or for not doing anything) in the near future. A new Forest Plan should recognize the need for more OHV loop opportunities, particularly motorcycling in the La Sals. Five years ago, USFS developed a Moab Non-Motorized Trails Project, and it’s high time to start a Moab Motorized Trails Project.
Please check out RwR’s latest comments (attached), which summarize 18 benefits of a Brumley-Twomile motorcycle loop. Consider putting some of this proposal and reasoning into your own words, and feel free to include your personal experiences / factual data / photographs.
…you can comment in one of three ways.
1. Enter your name, contact info, and text or attachments here:
2. Email your comments to:
3. Mail your comments to:
Manti-La Sal National Forest
Forest Plan Revision Team
559 West Price River Dr., Ste. A
Price, UT 84501
Again, please submit comments by this Saturday, July 22nd, and send a copy of your comments to me as well.
This is an exciting first step to establish epic summertime riding prospects right outside Moab. Thanks -Clif
p.s. If you snowmobile or snow bike, also let the land managers know that zoning your use away from skiers makes sense in small areas, but that most of the La Sals should remain open for over-snow travel in a dispersed fashion.