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Old 03-13-2013, 09:33 PM   #21
Bill I.
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ATV's don't kill the environment;People kill the environment.
People kill the environment ... and they invented ATVs to help them do it.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:08 PM   #22
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I don't think it is possible to actually "kill" the environment, no matter how hard you lean to the right.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:08 AM   #23
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Old Rivers,

Here is your chance to come clean...
Are you the guy who planted the Bass in Little Tupper?
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:14 PM   #24
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I don't think it is possible to actually "kill" the environment, no matter how hard you lean to the right.
Nice job keeping it civil.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:24 AM   #25
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In planning some trips down south, I found this interesting tidbit in a hiking guidebook for the Monongahela National Forest:

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A 1990 survey by the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts estimated that the cost of restoring Michigan land damaged by off-road vehicles would be $1.2 billion.
I did some searching, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a copy of this study. What would be especially interesting would be comparing this number to the estimated cost of repairing damage from hikers.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:42 PM   #26
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In planning some trips down south, I found this interesting tidbit in a hiking guidebook for the Monongahela National Forest:



I did some searching, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a copy of this study. What would be especially interesting would be comparing this number to the estimated cost of repairing damage from hikers.
I believe Michigan also has many miles of designated ORV trails

So much for if you build ORV trails they will stay on them and not ride where they are not supposed to
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:34 AM   #27
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I believe Michigan also has many miles of designated ORV trails

So much for if you build ORV trails they will stay on them and not ride where they are not supposed to
One of the ironies about the environmental debate concerning ATV use vs. hiker use is that there are some things from an impact standpoint that ATV users are much better at doing than hikers are. For example, when a hiking trail passes through a muddy area, hikers instinctively tend to move to the edge of the trail, to hike on drier land. As a result, wear and tear on the trail surface causes the muddy spot to expand outwards over time (this is why hikers are encouraged to stick to the center of the trail, no matter how wet and muddy it gets).

In contrast, on an ATV trail, you generally don't see the same thing happening where the trail passes through muddy spots. ATV users don't instinctively spread out like hikers do, so ATV trails often tend to remain the same width, regardless of how bad the mud and water gets.

Of course, the impact from a single ATV is likely to be a heck of a lot higher than the impact from a single hiker- so even without spreading out, ATV trails are likely going to be a lot more impacted than hiking trails.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:41 AM   #28
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In contrast, on an ATV trail, you generally don't see the same thing happening where the trail passes through muddy spots. ATV users don't instinctively spread out like hikers do, so ATV trails often tend to remain the same width, regardless of how bad the mud and water gets.
This has not been my observation. There are plenty of sites throughout the western Adirondacks where ATV riders have created new detours to bypass the sections they have rendered impassable.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:46 AM   #29
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This has not been my observation. There are plenty of sites throughout the western Adirondacks where ATV riders have created new detours to bypass the sections they have rendered impassible.
I concur, why get off and move a tree limb when it is so much easier to ride around it? It is only natural.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #30
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Seems to me that some people have difficulty in comprehending why the first four letters in wilderness spells "WILD".

I seriously think that people who use motorized means to explore the wilderness have no idea of the satisfaction that comes from reaching a remote area by the use of ones own labor. And for those of us that do, we don't deserve to have those moments interrupted by the roar or the whine of a motorized vehicle nor the pungent smell of gasoline fumes.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #31
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This has not been my observation. There are plenty of sites throughout the western Adirondacks where ATV riders have created new detours to bypass the sections they have rendered impassable.
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I concur, why get off and move a tree limb when it is so much easier to ride around it? It is only natural.
If the trail is destroyed/impassable, sure. My point was that ATVs don't instinctively avoid an inch or two of water like hikers do.

I wasn't attempting to make any broad claims about overall impacts of ATVs and/or hikers, just pointing out a funny little intricacy of two differing types of outdoor recreation.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:08 PM   #32
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I've seen the degradation of the original herd paths that make up the new South Shore section of the CL50 since it became a official trail.

As herd paths ,the trails from Chair Rock Creek on the east, and the trail from Six Mile Creek from the west,both to the new cut trail over the hill, have gone downhill since hikers/backpackers have increased the number of footprints.

Wider trails around mud is the most common problem.


It is in our human nature,no matter how we try, to leave our TRACE.....

Death by a thousand small cuts... and I admit I am part of the problem,as we all are.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:47 PM   #33
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I've seen the degradation of the original herd paths that make up the new South Shore section of the CL50 since it became a official trail.

As herd paths ,the trails from Chair Rock Creek on the east, and the trail from Six Mile Creek from the west,both to the new cut trail over the hill, have gone downhill since hikers/backpackers have increased the number of footprints.
Nothing like taking a little known herd path and turning it into an official, popular hiking trail. Just imagine if it was turned into an ATV trail.
Do you have any 'before & after' photos of the destruction by any chance?
Would be nice to see the contrast.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:56 PM   #34
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If the trail is destroyed/impassable, sure. My point was that ATVs don't instinctively avoid an inch or two of water like hikers do.

I wasn't attempting to make any broad claims about overall impacts of ATVs and/or hikers, just pointing out a funny little intricacy of two differing types of outdoor recreation.
Well, no, you were claiming that ATVers and hikers behave differently and have different instincts, whereas all I see are differing sets of tolerances. We are all Homo sapiens and wired the same way; all that is different are the expectations.

An ATV operator is riding through the mud, not walking through it, and therefore the "issue" is somewhat mitigated for him. I on the other hand have nothing between me and the mud than my boots and gaiters, and I would not walk through a deeply wet and muddy wallow for the same reason I wouldn't walk through a knee-deep creek with my boots on. So what a rider might see as "normal" I see as "degradation." It's like a hill on a road: when you drive up it in your car it doesn't seem that bad, but when you try to pedal a bike up it, it looks like Everest.

In 2003 I came across two ATVs parked in a foot trail in the Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest. Without rehashing all the details, I had an interesting conversation with one of the riders. We were standing in a muddy area, not yet impassable, but I do recall there being more than one set of tracks because there was no obvious way through -- it was a sprawling patch of mud. In the Adirondacks you frequently encounter patches of ground that simply can't drain water very well, and this was one of them. He asked me where I saw ATV damage, and bewildered I gestured around us at what was an obvious scene of ATVs chewing up a sensitive area, with no boot prints to be seen. He said that all he saw was a trail. So where I saw damage, he saw business as usual. Same visual evidence, different interpretation.

So yes, an ATV rider sees a small amount of mud as a non-issue because he can just power through it -- and he will probably see some amount of mud as par for the course, actually. But when the rider perceives that his ATV could get stuck or damaged by a mud wallow that has become too deep, then the same instinct that you and I possess will kick in for him as well. Therefore it's not that ATV riders have different instincts than the rest of the human race, just a higher tolerance for mud.

And it is precisely that higher tolerance for mud that in my view makes ATVs incompatible with most other forms of backcountry recreation. My blood pressure starts to rise at even the slightest evidence of tire tracks in a foot trail; the situation has to become quite dire before an ATV rider takes notice.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:43 PM   #35
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Nothing like taking a little known herd path and turning it into an official, popular hiking trail. Just imagine if it was turned into an ATV trail.
Do you have any 'before & after' photos of the destruction by any chance?
Would be nice to see the contrast.
I do not have any photos. I never thought it would be an issue.

Has it degraded? Yes...

The question to some would be how much...

Has it turned into a major ecological disaster? Probably not by popular standards...whatever they are..


Have I seen a downturn? yes...

When only a dozen families use a trail for a weeks vacation, as opposed to the hundreds who have done the CL50... I do see more wear and tear on the trail...

We, my wife and I, walk that trail a few times a week with our dogs,we are there from shortly after ice out tii water pipe problems in the fall... 5- 6 months...

Is it a major problem, NO, but it is a death of a thousand cuts....


We rarely run into hikers, we use the trail early in the morning.

As I said, we are all part of the problem... or ....we are parasites on this planet....
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:28 PM   #36
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Thanks Chairrock,
Makes perfect sense to me.
I too have seen the impact of a little used foot path that has been turned into a popular DEC marked hiking trail. Sometimes you're happy that the trail is a little easier to follow, sometimes you wish that it wasn't.
I agree that humans leave their impact on the environment, which is fine by me. Machines make it much easier to do.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:35 PM   #37
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Thanks Chairrock,
Makes perfect sense to me.
I too have seen the impact of a little used foot path that has been turned into a popular DEC marked hiking trail. Sometimes you're happy that the trail is a little easier to follow, sometimes you wish that it wasn't.
The next time a newbie asks for the location of remote backcountry trails that I might know about, remind me again why I don't publicly respond.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #38
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Well, no, you were claiming that ATVers and hikers behave differently and have different instincts, whereas all I see are differing sets of tolerances. We are all Homo sapiens and wired the same way; all that is different are the expectations.

An ATV operator is riding through the mud, not walking through it, and therefore the "issue" is somewhat mitigated for him. I on the other hand have nothing between me and the mud than my boots and gaiters, and I would not walk through a deeply wet and muddy wallow for the same reason I wouldn't walk through a knee-deep creek with my boots on. So what a rider might see as "normal" I see as "degradation." It's like a hill on a road: when you drive up it in your car it doesn't seem that bad, but when you try to pedal a bike up it, it looks like Everest.

In 2003 I came across two ATVs parked in a foot trail in the Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest. Without rehashing all the details, I had an interesting conversation with one of the riders. We were standing in a muddy area, not yet impassable, but I do recall there being more than one set of tracks because there was no obvious way through -- it was a sprawling patch of mud. In the Adirondacks you frequently encounter patches of ground that simply can't drain water very well, and this was one of them. He asked me where I saw ATV damage, and bewildered I gestured around us at what was an obvious scene of ATVs chewing up a sensitive area, with no boot prints to be seen. He said that all he saw was a trail. So where I saw damage, he saw business as usual. Same visual evidence, different interpretation.

So yes, an ATV rider sees a small amount of mud as a non-issue because he can just power through it -- and he will probably see some amount of mud as par for the course, actually. But when the rider perceives that his ATV could get stuck or damaged by a mud wallow that has become too deep, then the same instinct that you and I possess will kick in for him as well. Therefore it's not that ATV riders have different instincts than the rest of the human race, just a higher tolerance for mud.

And it is precisely that higher tolerance for mud that in my view makes ATVs incompatible with most other forms of backcountry recreation. My blood pressure starts to rise at even the slightest evidence of tire tracks in a foot trail; the situation has to become quite dire before an ATV rider takes notice.
Yes, a lot of what governs how everyone acts in the woods, ATV riders or hikers alike, is "stress-coping." The basic instincts tend to be the same. But when you've got certain specific situations, users may react differently based on different factors- and one of those factors might be the exact type of recreation they are participating in.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #39
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The next time a newbie asks for the location of remote backcountry trails that I might know about, remind me again why I don't publicly respond.
I get it.
I have seen impacts that may or may not have resulted directly from information that I've posted publicly on this forum.
I've since tried not to get too specific publicly, and keep the details to pm's.
I've always had the weakness of enjoying conversations with others about areas that I've visited, so sometimes its difficult for me not to respond to a question that I may be able to help out with. Have made some good hiking friends that way.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:30 PM   #40
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I am completely unsympathetic to this argument. Everyone has the legal right to use state lands, but that legal right is not extended to inanimate objects like ATVs. Therefore the ban on ATVs only applies to the machine, not the rider.
Bravo. Wonderfully stated.

This a position that many people agree with, and needs to be continually mentioned in these discussions.

Everyone CAN use state lands, but that does not mean that everyone can use them however the heck they want.

This is not some new, strange or rare concept either. This is something we encounter every day of our lives, everywhere we go. Everyone can use the streets in our towns, for example, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever the heck you want on those streets. Same idea applies to any public space, and most private spaces too!
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